Due to the strong rise in the free dollar in recent days, the MEP price remained the most accessible. (REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won/File)
Among the multiple exchange rates that populate the Argentine financial market in times of rigid exchange regulations, the MEP dollar today stands out as the cheapest price among all those accessible, assuming that the official dollar is practically impossible to acquire. And in the high holiday season, people who chose destinations outside the country for their summer now have a difficult decision regarding which dollar to use to make expenses cheaper. Whether the “Qatar dollar” punished with 100% taxes and withholdings or the “Stock dollar”, still somewhat opaque for the retail saver.
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In this framework, Infobae brings 3 tips to pay credit card expenses in dollars and alleviate the impact on your pocket.
1. As long as the expenses in dollars that have been made exceed USD 300, it is best to buy MEP dollars and with those funds pay for the expenses in dollars pending payment.
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This dollar arises from the purchase of dollar-denominated bonds using pesos and their subsequent sale, receiving dollars. The current price is $358, below the free or “blue” dollar ($377) and even further away from the tourist or “Qatar” dollar ($393.02), the exchange rate at which the cards spend in dollars if they are decide to pay in pesos.
A specialist assures that it is best to buy the MEP dollar, settle the expense and reinvest the difference in a UVA fixed term. (REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian/Illustration)
2. Now, what Sebastián Domínguez, partner of SDC Asesores Tributarios, advises is first to analyze the different ways of accessing the MEP dollar.
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“The most typical thing is to transfer the pesos to the Alyc -the agency that will carry out the operation where you have to have previously opened an account called “commitment”- with that buy AL30 or GD30 and then sell those titles in dollars; but another option, although more difficult, is to observe what other public title, negotiable obligation or CEDEAR can be bought in pesos to sell in dollars, obtaining a more convenient MEP dollar”, said Domínguez.
“The problem with the second option is that it can be convenient as long as the market has the necessary volume to buy those titles, bonds or CEDEARS, you have to make sure that the market will buy them,” said the specialist.
“Finally, and only for those large operations, that is, over USD 5,000, it is possible to close the transaction directly with the Alyc desk and get a more convenient quote,” Domínguez added.
The purchase of MEP dollars can be done in stock exchange companies (Alyc, in the jargon), in which case it is necessary to transfer the dollars to the bank in order to have them. Many banks also allow you to buy it directly from homebanking, which makes the process easier and saves transfers, but the commissions can be somewhat higher.
3. The other advice to spend less, as explained by Domínguez, is to spend with the Argentine card in companies abroad, so that the expense is computed in dollars, “if the payment is made in pesos, all taxes will be collected of the tourist dollar and it will end up being more expensive,” he said.
This is because if a card purchase is made at a local airline or Argentine travel agency, the expense will be charged to the card in pesos, with all taxes already charged. In that case, the option to pay with specially purchased MEP dollars disappears. If the purchase, on the other hand, is made directly with a company outside the country, the expense appears in dollars and can be settled in that currency.
When it comes to settling the spending in dollars on the card, the MEP dollar appears as the best option for the pocket. (Andean)
“Another option that exists is to pay in person at travel agencies or airlines with dollars, which has a 5% perception is still convenient. Otherwise, some allow payment with a transfer in dollars, without perception”, added the tax official.
4. An option for finance lovers.
Domínguez adds a recommendation for Argentines who have spent abroad. “The difference resulting from the MEP dollar and the tourist dollar -currently at $35.02 for every dollar- can be reinvested in a pre-cancellable quarterly UVA fixed term, which can be renewed,” said the specialist. That deposit, he explained, yields based on the evolution of inflation plus 1% per year.
“If problems arise, they can pre-cancel 30 days after any stage; If you keep it and renew it, you will be able to use the funds generated in June 2024 to pay taxes or in October 2024 for whatever you want depending on whether or not you are a taxpayer. This scenario would be better because the UVA update would guarantee monitoring of inflation, as long as the INDEC statistics are not distorted and it continues to be reliable”, concluded Domínguez.
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