Opening a Bank Account
You may find it necessary, or at least advantageous, to have a savings account in Argentina if you work locally. It is relatively easy to open an account with residency, but the guidelines do vary from one bank to the next. Opening an account is sometimes possible with just a tax identification number (such as a CDI or CUIL), but the process has become increasingly cumbersome without a DNI.
Most banks will require at least the following in order to open an account:
- Your DNI
- Proof of residency (a bill with your name and address on it, lease agreement, or bill of sale).
- Some banks require a minimum first deposit of US$1,000, but it varies by bank so be sure to ask around before starting the paperwork process.
In order to open an account, you will be able to walk into any bank and speak with someone, however the best times to go are on Mondays or Tuesdays before the lunch hour. Because of the limited opening hours (10am-3pm), be prepared to wait until your number is called (this can take upwards of an hour at times).
Types of Accounts
You can open any account, including a savings or current (checking) account.
- A savings account is one that accrues interest, usually a small percentage (between 1%-5%) of the principle amount, and is generally used to save money you will not be accessing on a regular basis.
- A checking account is one in which you deposit money that you will be using on a daily basis. There is no accrual of interest, and they will have either checks or debit (ATM) cards that you can use to withdraw the funds.
If you’re thinking of opening a checking account, be aware that there is a tax of 1.6% on all checking transactions. Some banks also charge a check fee or an ATM withdrawal fee, so be sure to check with your bank about this. You will be able to withdraw funds from an ATM from either bank account, however most savings accounts have a minimum balance that you must maintain in order to keep the account open. Another slight distinction is that you can open a bank account in pesos or in dollars, and the minimum balances usually vary depending on this as well.