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How to buy dollars: 4 available alternatives to protect pesos


What are the different operations to acquire the US currency. Step by step, how to do it each time.

Silvana Saldisuri

06/15/2021 6:00 AM

  • Clarí

  • Services

Updated 06/15/2021 6:00 AM

The dollar has always been

attractive to Argentines

as a result of years of inflation and devaluation of the peso, not only in the markets but also in the domestic economy.

And is that the North American currency is considered by many as the only "refuge" from local volatility and that is why its demand is so high.   

In Argentina, there are several ways that exist to buy dollars and, therefore, their value varies from one to the other.

Among the best known are the

official dollar

, the one that is acquired in official financial institutions, and the famous

parallel dollar

or "



Among the less known, the MEP dollar (Electronic Payment Market) or

the Stock Exchange dollar

and the


(Cash with Settlement) are available.

Here are the characteristics of each of the operations, pros and cons, and the step by step of how to buy each time.

The official dollar, and the "blue" dollar, are among the best known ways to buy currency.

Today they are the least convenient.

Photo: Clarín Archive

What is called a "savings dollar" and how to buy it?

It is the one that can be obtained through the

official quotation

and also the one that is registered within the stock established by the


of the Nation and the

Central Bank

of the Argentine Republic (BCRA).

To control the high demand for the dollar in Argentina, in 2019 the Law of Social Solidarity and Productive Reactivation was enacted, which establishes a maximum purchase quota of US

$ 200

(solidarity dollar) per person, per month.





is added

to the official exchange rate plus a

perception of 35%

that left the home banking dollar as

the most expensive

in the market today.

To achieve this, you can access the

home banking

of each financial institution or even request it via the window.

But in addition to the limit to acquire dollars per month, it must be borne in mind that

not all people are qualified

to do so.

In Argentina, there are several ways that exist to buy dollars and, therefore, their value varies from one to the other.

Photo: Clarín Archive

Who cannot buy dollar savings in Argentina:

  • Beneficiaries of an ANSES plan or program, such as the Universal Child Allowance (AUH) or the Universal Allowance for Pregnancy (AUE).

  • People with no declared or consistent income.

  • Co-owners of bank accounts.

  • Those who have already used their entire quota (US $ 200 per month) through credit or debit card purchases.

  • Those who have refinanced a 12-month credit card balance.

  • Monotributistas who have processed the credits at zero rate.

  • Those who have acquired a dollar "bag" or MEP in the previous 90 days.

  • UVA loan holders who agreed to the quota freeze during the pandemic.

  • SME owners that have received 24% credits.

What is called a "blue dollar or parallel"?

This type of dollar is the one that

circulates outside the official media

and is considered illegal.

It can be obtained in the so-called "


" or similar places for buying and selling foreign currency, where

physical tickets are exchanged in person


Its price is more expensive than that of the official (if taxes are not taken into account), although it has the characteristic that

there are no restrictions on it


This means that anyone can buy it and that there are no limits on amounts or acquisition times.

Those who operate currencies illegally can be sanctioned with fines of up to 10 times the operation of the offense.

Photo: Bloomberg

What is the MEP dollar (Electronic Payment Market) and how is it purchased?

It is also known as "

Dollar Stock Exchange


This is the name given to the price per dollar that arises from a sovereign bond operation on the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange.

It can be accessed through the

home banking

account of

the bank to which the interested user belongs or through a

Settlement and Clearing Agent

(ALYC) or



It consists of buying

bonds or shares that are listed both on the local and foreign markets

and selling them after a few days.

The operation is

quick and simple

, and although today it is also one of the most profitable alternatives to obtain dollars

without restrictions and without having to go to the parallel market

, many savers still do not know how it works.

What are the requirements to buy dollars through the MEP?

In case you

have accessed the

monthly allowance of u $ s 200

in the home banking, whether in banks or exchange houses, they must

wait for the least 90 days

to access the Bolsa dollar.

Those who have credits at a 0% rate or rates subsidized by the government, current or pending cancellation, including loans,

will not be able to access the MEP dollar


The same applies to those with outstanding credit card debts, or those recipients of state aid such as the IFE (Emergency Family Income) or the AUH (Universal Assignment or Child), among others.

How is the operation to buy dollars with MEP?


Open a client account

(they are used to operate with bonds or shares in the Capital Market and the Stock Market).

The account can be opened in the bank or in a Stock Exchange or ALYC, something that is processed with just a few

clicks and a copy of the DNI



Deposit or transfer the pesos

in the client account.

After carrying out the due accreditation, the operations are now enabled.


Buy dollar bonds


The bonds most used for this operation are the Global 2030 Argentine law (


), or the Global 2030 bond, New York law (



4. One point to keep in mind is that for this operation

the bond in pesos must be kept

in the portfolio for one

business day

in order to carry out the operation (a term known as “parking” or “parking” due to its translation).


Sell ​​the bonds in dollars

, which are of the same type but with the letter D at the end, AL30D or GD30D, and in this way the dollars are received in the principal account.

The operation to buy dollars with MEP and CCL are very similar.

Photo: Clarín Archive.

What is the "cash settlement dollar (CCL) and how is it purchased?

Also known as "

counted with liqui


It is a

legal way to buy dollars outside the restrictions

that prevail on the foreign exchange market.

The operation consists of the purchase and subsequent sale of bonds and shares that are listed both in the Argentine market and abroad.

This methodology to buy dollars in Argentina is quite

similar to the one mentioned in the previous item


The difference is in the account that is used to perform the operation in question.

While to buy the MEP dollar it is enough to have an account in the local market, to operate with the "cash with liquid" it is necessary to

have an account abroad


This in turn implies that the CCL

allows savings to be moved abroad and also repatriated


On the other hand, with the MEP, they always remain inside the country.

How is the operation to buy CCL dollars?

The first three steps (

opening an account, depositing the pesos and buying bonds in dollars

) are common to the previous operation, to buy dollars with MEP.

The difference is that instead of keeping the voucher in pesos for a day, in this case it must be done for

72 business hours 

in the portfolio in order to carry out the operation (a term known as “parking” or “parking” due to its translation).

Finally, you have to

sell the bonds in dollars

, which are the same kind but with the letter C at the end,




, and in this way the dollars are received in the principal account.

As detailed by the Head of Research & Strategy of Inviu,

Diego Martínez Burzaco

, to


, "in the

Cash With Settlement


 the dollar is settled abroad, therefore it

only makes sense to do so if the saver is going to invest dollars in a account with an outside broker


"This alternative is the most recommended to safeguard the savings in pesos. Because although in the first instance it is necessary to dollarize, in a second those dollars must be invested to obtain higher returns and also be covered from inflation in the United States."


Look also

Strenna 2021: when it is charged, how the amount is calculated and what should be done with the money

Step by step, how to sell dollars legally and at the best price

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2021-06-18

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