Opening a bank account in Argentina

bank in Argentina
Updated 2021-07-20 12:12

Depending on your situation in Argentina, you will probably have to open a local bank account to pay for rent, bills, etc. Banks charge high fees for foreign ATM withdrawals or transactions so the sooner you open your account, the better.

How to open a bank account in Argentina

The biggest local banks in the country are Banco De La Nación Argentina and Banco CreditCoop, both of which have their own requirements. You'll also find well-known foreign banks, such as Citibank, HSBC, and Santander. Check with these banks prior to your departure in order to find out more about the conditions for opening an account as a foreigner and get the complete required documents checklist, which generally includes the following:

  • A valid passport
  • Proof of residence (compromiso de domicilio) - this can be obtained at a civil registry office or local police station
  • Proof of employment (if applicable)
  • A CUIL or CUIT (Tax & Identification number)

If you do not possess a CUIL or CUIT, the alternative is a CDI or Identification Code (Clave de Identificación). The requirements for obtaining a CDI are as follows:

  • A completed F 663 form.
  • A national ID document or documentation from the National Immigration Office (Dirección Nacional de Migraciones) showing residency status (for residents)
  • Passport (for non-residents)

A minimum deposit is also often required, the amount of which amount varies from bank to bank.

If your current bank in your home country has office branches in Argentina, you may open a bank account directly there. However, audits and additional information will be requested by the Argentine branch to your bank of origin, and the finalization of the opening of your bank account will solely remain at the discretion of the bank in Argentina.

Procedures and formalities greatly vary according to banks and, although some will allow you to open a current account (cuenta corriente), most of them will not let you open a savings account (cuenta ahorro) unless you are permanent resident, in which case you will need to submit your passport, Tax ID, and proof of address. Once your bank account has been opened, you should receive a debit card, which will be sent to you within a fortnight.

Other information

Argentine debit cards can be used abroad if they are part of the Cirrus/Mastercard networks. Note that withdrawal limits are frequent with debit cards and often arbitrarily set, and bank account maintenance fees apply in Argentina, though they rarely exceed 300 pesos per year.

The banking hours in Argentina are very short; in summer, they typically close as early as 12.30pm and in winter, they tend to stay open just one extra hour. Be prepared for long lines and non-English-speaking bank clerks. Finally, if you are residing in Buenos Aires or another major city, you will have no problem finding 24-hour ATMs, however, these are scarce in smaller towns, so be sure to take cash with you if you plan on venturing to such places.

We hope you found this article useful! For more articles on expat life in Argentina, visit our website.

Useful links:

Citi Bank of Argentina
BNP Paribas
Banco de la Nacion

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