Using P2P Whatsapp Groups To Change Money In Buenos Aires 

Leverage the power of WhatsApp groups to exchange money peer-to-peer in Buenos Aires. You can change money for Argentina Peso, get US dollars, buy/sell cryptocurrencies, and more. Save up to 5% on exchange rates by cutting out middlemen. Read our updated 2024 article for how-to guides and safety tips. minutes

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Published On: April 9, 2024

Latest Update: May 6, 2024

About the author

Hi, I'm Marco Sison. I worked in finance for Fortune 50 companies before retiring early at 41 years old. I have been an expat for over 10 years, living in over 50 countries to show you the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries outside the USA. I am a trusted resource on personal finance and overseas retirement for US News & World Reports, HuffPost, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, Association of MBAs, the iTunes documentary Seeking FIRE, and the Amazon Best-Seller- Abroad: Expats That Thrive.

QUICK SUMMARY- USING WHATSAPP GROUPS IN BUENOS AIRES TO EXCHANGE CASH

  • Using WhatsApp groups to exchange money in Buenos Aires can save up to 5% on exchange rates
  • P2P exchanges allow flexibility in payment methods and currencies
  • Avoid high fees and commissions charged by traditional money changers
  • Transactions can be done in English, overcoming language barriers
  • There is a risk of encountering counterfeit bills or incorrect amounts in cash transactions
  • No regulation make it impossible to recoup losses if scammed
  • Relying on WhatsApp groups requires trusting strangers with personal and financial information
  • Face-to-face meetups for cash exchanges carry inherent safety risks

After living in Buenos Aires for several months, you get the hang of the money system. You know when to use your credit card, when to pay cash, and how to get Argentina pesos with Western Union.

However, larger transfers of US dollars into the country to pay for a major purchase are still a challenge. Because of foreign currency restrictions, you can’t just wander into a bank and ask to exchange your pesos for a stack of $2000 in US one-hundred-dollar bills.

The first time I needed a large amount of US dollars was for my first apartment rental. I had to pay the first month’s rent, one month’s deposit, and my real estate agent’s commission for finding us an apartment. Getting nearly $3,000 USD in cash to sign my apartment lease felt like an adventure straight out of a money heist Oceans 11 movie.

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6 Quick Tips To Prepare For A Move To Argentina

TIP 1. Use Western Union to get more pesos- Western Union is still the best way to change money in Argentina. As an added bonus, you get a $20 Amazon Card and Free transfer fees for using our sign up link.

TIP 2. Argentina is another country that requires an onward ticket- Be prepared to show a departure flight or a return ticket. You can get a cheap onward travel ticket $16 here.

TIP 3. Your home insurance will not cover you in Argentina- Protect your health with international health coverage that costs less than what you would pay in the United States.

TIP 4. Get FREE quotes to save on moving costs- International moves can get expensive. You can save hundreds of dollars using this form to get professional international moving companies to compete for your business.

TIP 5. Keep a permanent address with a travel mailbox- Keep an address in your home country to receive important mail from getting lost. A virtual travel mailbox ensures you don’t lose an important tax return, bank statement, credit card, or government document in the mail.

TIP 6. Pick up some Spanish Skills- Only 6% of locals speak English. You’ll make life in Argentina easier by knowing more than “Hola.” Get a free 7-day Spanish language crash course your transition here easier.

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As first-timers in Buenos Aires, we made several mistakes. We first transferred USD to our Western Union account. Then, we had to arrange a large Western Union branch that was busy enough to have almost 2,500,000 Argentinian pesos. After arranging pick up, we walked a backpack filled with stacks and stacks of pesos wrapped in rubber bands to a cueva to exchange the ARS back to US dollars. All in all, we lost over 20% of the cash value in transfer fees and unfavorable exchange rates.

If I had known WhatsApp groups existed for P2P money exchange, I could have avoided the hassle and saved $150 on those international transfers.

What is Peer-to-Peer or P2P Money Exchange

P2P exchanges operate on a decentralized system, where you are directly matched with other individuals looking to buy or sell a specific currency.

In a Peer-to-Peer exchange, the buyer and the seller connect directly to swap currencies, bypassing intermediaries like traditional financial institutions, banks, and money changers.

By avoiding brokers, you should save on any transaction fees.

How much can I save using WhatsApp to change money?

Your savings depend on the currency. I could save about 1.5% on my USD on Argentina peso P2P exchanges and up to 5% when buying US dollars.

Here are two examples of your potential savings

USD to ARS Informal RateRates as of 4/9/24
Argentina Peso Buy Rate955
Argentina Peso Sell Rate985
Midmarket Exchange Rate Using WhatsApp Group970
Savings Selling $1000 USD On A WhatsApp Group15,000 ARS or ~$15 USD

Getting US dollars is a little trickier because of currency restrictions in Argentina. Cuevas (black market money changers) can set their own rates. Today, one of my trusted Cuevas in Palermo Hollywood is offering a 1005 rate, while the unofficial rate is 955. Notice the rate changed from 1015 to 1005 in two hours.

Savings Buying $1000 USDRates as of 4/9/24
Cueva ARS to USD Rate1005
Midmarket Exchange Rate Using WhatsApp Group970
Savings Buying $1000 USD35,000 ARS or ~$36 USD

How to use WhatsApp Groups In Argentina to Exchange Money

Over 90% of Argentines use WhatsApp. In Buenos Aires, you can use WhatsApp to make dinner reservations, book gym classes, or get food deliveries.

Additionally, locals and expats in Buenos Aires use WhatsApp to buy and sell US dollars, Argentina pesos, Euros, USDT, Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies directly to each other. By cutting out the middlemen, you’ll get cash at better rates and lower fees than using a traditional money exchange or even a black market cueva.

Step 1: Join A P2P Currency Exchange WhatsApp Group

Here are the two most popular WhatsApp groups in Buenos Aires for changing money

Click To Join Exchange P2P
Click To Join Buy and Sell USD

Step 2: Look Up The Current Exchange Rate

Groups require you to choose a mid-market rate between the current blue market buy and sell rate and the seller’s rate. You cannot offer a worse rate. The whole point of using a P2P rate is that the buyer gets a slightly lower rate, and the seller provides a slightly lower rate. This way, each side of the transaction benefits.

You can get the latest ARS exchange rates here

Step 3: Post Your Transaction

Each group has different requirements for posting a transaction. Ensure you follow their instruction so as not to break group rules. 

In general, the format to post a transaction is: 

  • How much
  • Which currency
  • For what rate
  • What location

3 Examples Of How To Post A Peer Currency Exchange In A WhatsApp Group

USD to ARS
USD to USDT
ARS to USD

Step 4: Meet Face to Face (FTF) For Cash Pickup

If you exchange fiat currency (like Euro, Dollars, or Pesos), both parties bring the cash to the meeting points and physically exchange the money.

If one party needs to send the money via Paypal, Wise, Revolut, or a similar electronic transfer service, the cash is usually presented and counted first, and then the electronic transaction is completed.

In a cryptocurrency exchange, the party using cryptocurrency, the party holding the crypto sends the coins last in the transaction. 

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Tips To Ensure A Safe Whatsapp Money Transfer Process

1

Only meet in a secure public location

I like to meet in front of a police station. If there isn’t a police station convenient, choose a public location with lots of people like a McDonalds. 

2

Trust Your Intuition

Trust your gut if you get a bad vibe after meeting someone from the Whatsapp group. This feeling is a silent alarm for safety. If something feels wrong, listen to it.

Your gut picks up on things you might miss. It keeps you safe and makes the deal go well.

3

Don’t Share Any Private Or Personal Information

When making a P2P transfer, share only the personal details required for the transaction. Never share unnecessary private, personal, or online details.

There is no reason to share how much money you usually carry. The other party doesn’t need to know how much you hold in Bitcoin. Where you are staying in Buenos Aires is irrelevant to the transaction. 

Stay vague about your personal life and focus on the transaction. Keeping your information safe protects your money and identity from phishing attacks.

4

Share only Required Financial Information

Some platforms and apps, like Wise, require financial information for bank transfers, wires, and other online financial transactions. This information includes your full name, ACH routing number, Swift number, email, bank name, and bank address. Check the online platform for what information is specifically required and only provide the necessary information.

Sharing any more than necessary puts you at risk of fraud and theft.

5

Report Activity To WhatsApp Group Admins

Remember, there is no go-between to regulate peer-to-peer transfers. No one can enforce any rules or get your money back if you are scammed. The best you can do is report any suspicious activity or unfair transactions to the Whatsapp group admin. 

However, at best, that will result in the person being banned from using the group, and you are unlikely to get your money back.  

Benefits of using WhatsApp Groups For Peer-to-Peer Money Transfers

  • Widespread Accessibility: nearly everyone has WhatsApp. Not everyone has a Revolut, Wise, Payoneer, or other money transfer app; only 17% of Americans have used cryptocurrencies. https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2023/04/10/majority-of-americans-arent-confident-in-the-safety-and-reliability-of-cryptocurrency
  • Flexibility in Payment Methods: Whatsapp groups allow you to buy or sell in any currency, crypto, or money transfer service. It is a free market. The main requirement is that someone be willing to accept your terms. 
  • Competitive Exchange Rates: Whatsapp group rules require you to use a favorable exchange rate. You cannot post a transaction at rates worse than the official rate. 
  • Save Money On Lower Processing Fees: By cutting out the middleman, neither you nor the buyer or seller on the other side of the transaction need to pay any extra money transfer fees or transaction costs. 
  • Get Around Argentina Currency Restriction: Whatsapp groups are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get large amounts of US dollars in Argentina. 
  • Language Flexibility: Is your Spanish crap? WhatsApp comes with a language translator to make online transactions easier. Plus, the Whatsapp groups consist primarily of foreigners who can speak English, making transactions more accessible and reducing misunderstandings.     
  • Less Sketchy: This is subjective, but some people never feel comfortable with black market cuevas and arbolitos on Florida street shouting “Cambio! Cambio!” While a P2P transaction has potential risks, some people prefer dealing with other expats to change money. 

Key Takeaway: Whatsapp Groups In Buenos Aires For Currency Transfers

What are the risks of using WhatsApp for P2P currency exchange?

I haven’t heard of anyone getting scammed, but that does not mean there is no risk. If you follow my safety tips in the article, your most significant risks come from incorrect amounts and counterfeit bills.

Count your cash carefully and ensure you know what Argentine Pesos look like. Most transactions use the 1000 peso note. However, there is a rarely used but legal 2000 peso bill. 

How much can I save on Peer-to-Peer transactions?

Your savings depends on the currency and the exchange rate. I tend to save 1.5% on converting dollars to pesos and up to 5% when I need to buy US dollars.

How fast are P2P Payments on WhatsApp? 

It depends on the amount of cash you want changed. A WhatsApp group has nearly 1,000 buyers and sellers. Transactions smaller than $200 can usually be filled on the same day. 

How much does exchanging money in Buenos Aires using WhatsApp groups cost?

First, understand that WhatsApp is NOT a P2P Money Transfer App. WhatsApp is a free messaging service. You use WhatsApp to message other expats, locals, and digital nomads looking to buy or sell currency.

There are specific WhatsApp groups focused on matching currency buyers and sellers in Buenos Aires. There is no payment to use the service.

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About the author

Hi, That's me. I'm Marco Sison. I am a survivor of the corporate rat race. I started Nomad FIRE to show you an alternative to the stress and grind of 70-hour weeks to pay off a mortgage, student loans, and countless bills. After getting laid off in 2015, I said screw it all and retired early at 41 years old. I have traveled the last eight years to over 50 countries to show you the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries for 70% less cost than the US. I have been featured in: US News & World Reports, HuffPost, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, the iTunes documentary Seeking FIRE, and the Amazon Best-Seller, Abroad: Expats That Thrive. [view press...]

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