Uruguay Basics: Money – Use Debit Cards to pay less. Still worth it in 2018

Best way to save money on what you spend in Uruguay, whether visiting or living here, resident or tourist? Use your debit cards for anything and everything you can. Not cash, and except in two cases, not credit cards. That’s the TL;DR basics indeed. The rest of this article is, to be honest, not all that “basic” but that’s the concept – Debit Card plastic payments give you a lot of savings in Uruguay, and no, not just the “tourist rebate” you might read about elsewhere (and further in to this very article too!)

2018 Update: Still good this year too, though the tax rebate on everyday purchases has dropped back to the permanent 2% from last year’s temporary bonus.

The 4% instant rebate on all debit cards, foreign or domestic, is was back for 2017! Up from “only” 2% 2016 and 3% 2015. Back for the first half of 2017 to the original late-2014 bonus.

We’re going to explain it. As well as suggest some particularly good debit cards to have if you live here. But the discount works with any debit cards. This isn’t our long-awaited full “Money Basics” article, nor our longer-awaited “Law of Financial Inclusion” article. It’s a “Pull that Debit Visa out of your wallet and start spending on it” article. (But of course including some of our normal “attitude”!) Because that’s the cheapest way to make your money go further here in Uruguay. What’s that you say?  Isn’t that just for tourists? And only for a few specific things?

No. Not at all. That’s a different law. Continue reading Uruguay Basics: Money – Use Debit Cards to pay less. Still worth it in 2018

Renovation in progress!

We have the site in surgery for a while. Using a temporary “look and feel” and that may change several times. Among other things, we’re trying to figure out where all the images disappeared to – looks like we had a flawed backup. They’ll show up; we have lots of backups offsite if we need to re-do them. Yes, we recovered them.

But if you see this, that means the rest of the site is available, including all the article text content, even if it looks funky.


Residency Intro for those looking for a new country

Well, it’s mid-November 2016 as this post happens, and our site is getting hammered. Can’t imagine why all of a sudden so many people are considering moving to another country, jaja!

Entry to Ciudad Vieja
Entry to Ciudad Vieja from Plaza Independencia in Montevideo

If you are, please do be thoughtful about what, where, why, when, and how you do it. We try to stay out of partisan politics here at the Uruguay Expat Life & Uruguay For Me site network, though we have in the past reported on our perceptions of the Uruguay elections, in terms of describing how it works. But if you are thinking of moving here, perhaps from the USA (hmm, why all of a sudden?) please do understand that changing countries is nothing to be taken trivially.

We’ve covered some of the process of getting residency, of being here legally as a legal immigrant (that is what an “expat” indeed becomes if you are looking to be here permanently or for the indefinite future), and we’ll have more to say about it, in a more organized way, with resources links, in an upcoming “Uruguay Basics” series article. And even more in a deeper-dive article.

But due to the huge, tremendous recent interest, so big we’ve had to make the firewall higher, here are a few crucial concepts. Granted, mostly a stream-of-consciousness “Thinking about it? Here’s the scoop” kind of quick piece. Here you go:

Pan de Azucar "Sugarloaf" mountain looking from Pan de Azucar city
Pan de Azucar “Sugarloaf” mountain looking from Pan de Azucar city

Continue reading Residency Intro for those looking for a new country

Random Cultural Observations about everyday life in Uruguay

Four or five years in, some everyday culture observations about life in Uruguay. Nothing earth-shattering, maybe not even important, but some hopefully-useful, “Hmm, that’s a little different, wonder if I’ll like that?” points. These are, by nature of who we are and where we’re from originally, from the perspective of “Northerners”, “Westerners”, and that particular part of that often called (and inaccurately overstated as) “Americans”. As in, “USAians”, for which while  there is no real word in English, there is the perfectly good and accurate “estadosunidense” en español.

A off-the-cuff post, to relaunch our much-delayed resumed publishing here on the site (we’ve been plenty active on our various Social Media parts of the Uruguay Expat Life & Uruguay For Me network – all available from the menu and sidebar for you to discover and join in!)

Here we go, in no particular order: Continue reading Random Cultural Observations about everyday life in Uruguay

Our “Uruguay For Me” network and affordable consultations via Plansify (Now closed)

UPDATE: As of January 17, 2017, the Plansify service has been closed, with one day of notice, by its owners. We apologize for the inconvenience, but please direct any issues to its founder/owner, the well-known and excellent travel-blogger, “Wandering Earl”. Thank you for your trust in our consultation services to the many clients, several who became friends, during the time that Uruguay For Me / Uruguay Expat Life co-publisher Mark Mercer was a Plansify Advisor. And thank you for the consistently high ratings you gave! Sometime during the remainder of Q1 or during Q2 2017, as part of an overall overhaul of our online presence including a redesign of this website, we may be launching a direct, low-cost, paid consultation service via our to-be-launched full UrugayFor.Me website.

We are interested in your comments and suggestions for what you might like that service to be, price ranges for consultation (our last-year Plansify price was $21 USD for a 3-question detailed email session and $65 for a 1-hour Skype or similar voice-call. A chunk of that went to “Wandering Earl” and his partner, which if we do a direct service, we won’t have reducing our revenue, so we might go slightly lower.) Please feel free to use the Contact Form right here on this website, to send us your suggestions and ideas. Please don’t ask for or expect free personalized advice, because things of value are worth paying a fair price.

Meanwhile both Mark and Lisa are regularly adding short-to-medium-length content on our Facebook Page (publish/comment-only, we don’t do messaging or allow posting there), and both host and as members, participate, in the Uruguay Expat Life Community at Google. At that community/forum, we do sometimes share specific advice and ideas, though not as detailed or researched as when we’re getting paid to do it! Also, too-rarely, post updates to our @UruguayForMe Twitter. All of which can be found from the links right here on the sidebar and menu of this website.

Thank you for the continued great feedback for our “Uruguay For Me” consultations  we offer via the innovative “Plansify” service. Mark Mercer is the official Plansify consultant, invited at the launch of the service last year by famous travel blogger, Plansify founder “Wandering Earl”. Uruguay Expat Life/Uruguay For Me co-owner, travel author Lisa Marie Mercer, also is involved in the research and consultation process. It’s a great value for personalized research and perspective for your questions about expat life in Uruguay.


The costs are quite low (though they are increasing slightly in Mid-July, so you may want to book now! We’ll honor previous pricing for confirmed bookings), and we do research specific to your questions. Whether you choose the “three detailed email questions” or the “One hour Skype call” option, you can give some background on your issues ahead of time, so that we can do our best to get your relevant-to-you answers. How relevant? Please check Mark Mercer’s feedback at Plansify.com/markmercer to read real client responses. Based on sessions done and feedback received, we’re humbly pleased that Mark is on the front page of their long list of advisors, sharing the page with well-known travel and expat luminaries like “Wandering Earl” (and Plansify co-founder) Derek Baron himself, and widely-published financial consultant and long-term traveler Nora Dunn, among other top advisors.

Traveling or moving elsewhere? We encourage you to consider them, and the other Plansify consultants, for your non-Uruguay destination needs. (We do NOT get any commission for your booking of anyone other than Mark – this is a straight-up recommendation based purely on thinking the service, and their list of advisors, is a great idea!)

In case we haven’t explained it recently, our “Uruguay For Me” branding with its “name tells the story” UruguayFor.Me website address, is the paid-services part of our overall site network. At least, the starting-to-monetize, as the startup culture calls it, part of our offering. “Uruguay Expat Life”, including this website here at UruguayExpat.Info (another of our “the name tells the story” domains), is and will always be our “internet gift culture” part of the overall “Uruguay Expat Life and Uruguay For Me Site Network”. Continue reading Our “Uruguay For Me” network and affordable consultations via Plansify (Now closed)