Argentine foreign currency credit cards included in the strict dollar “clamp”
Credit card companies operating in Argentina have also fallen under the net work of the tax office AFIP, and now must request authorization and approval to purchase US dollars to balance their clients’ accounts.
According to the Argentine financial media the focus now is on the credit cards companies which purchase dollars in the local market to compensate their affiliates overseas and cancel foreign currency expenditures by card holders which in the last two months averaged 400 million dollars.
Credit card holders when purchasing overseas automatically have their bills compensated with US dollars traded at the Argentine official rate (considerably cheaper than at the parallel market) and was one of the few loops left in the current foreign currency restrictions policy or ‘clamp’ imposed by the government of President Cristina Fernandez.
According to official central bank data during the first four months of this year the average expenditure with credit cards overseas by Argentine residents doubled compared to the same period a year ago. Last February, March the average was 304 million dollars and twelve months before, 179 million dollars.
Foreign currency credit cards are one of the last resources that Argentine residents have when travelling overseas.