Renting a Cell Phone

If you need to rent a cell phone while visiting Buenos Aires here are a few of your options.

If you are renting an apartment from an agency, the agency may be able to set you up. For example, when I needed a second cellular for my girlfriend’s use the agency handling my apartment rental provided one free of charge. All I had to do was pay for the minutes. Hotels also often provide cell phones.

If you plan on staying in the city for a while, you may find it cost-effective and convenient to buy a phone. I purchased a basic pay-as-you-go phone from Movistar in 2007. To buy the phone I simply went to their office in Microcentro with my passport, filled out the necessary forms and voila — I had my very own permanent Buenos Aires phone number. It didn’t cost a lot either. I believe I paid the equivalent of about US$50, and that included about US$20 of talk time. To charge the phone I buy Movistar recharge cards which are available at kiosks all around the city.

Another option is to bring your existing cell phone to Argentina and get a local SIM card. SIM cards are available from any of the three main cell providers: Movistar, Claro and Personal. I’ve never tried this option. I assume your phone must be unlocked and compatible with the local network.

Finally, there are a number of companies that will rent you a phone. One such company is called Phonerental. They deliver the phone to you and pick it up when you are done, 24/7. Last time I checked their rates, there was no charge for the first week’s rental and local minutes cost 72 centavos (about 20 cents US).

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