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Banking in Mexico

My wife and I will be moving to Mexico in August from Texas. Goin to build a house and I'm thinking about keeping my bank account open here as well as opening up an account in Mexico. Any ideas??

Most expats keep their US bank account for SS and pension deposits. There might be a need to pay some bills in the US. Daily money for living is done via ATM withdraws. Having a Mexican bank account to transfer funds for the purchase of a house or car is a convenience that can not be underplayed. Plus, with a Mexican debit card, you can buy at all stores that accept cards. Sometimes, US cards are not accepted.

Your SS or VA checks can be sent to a Mexican bank, however some US pension plays will not send checks out of the country.

When I built my house I opened an account with Intercam and was able to write checks for like $4-5000 US as needed for materials.  They've gone through some changes since 2008 but I would definitely check with them.   Of course, you would need an Intercam office nearby.

http://www.intercam.com.mx/index.php/en/

Thank you sir but don't fall into the SS or VA bracket yet just curious do the ATM withdrawals cost you a percent every time you withdrawal ??

Most charge a 3% fee. I believe that Capital and Schwab do not.

Thanks I see there is an intercam about 45 min south of our town which is good! Have to do my homework and see how everything works out. Any more good advice??

Good to know. Thanks again

If you have an account with BBVA Compass in the states you are not charged an ATM fee at a BBVA Bancomer bank.  you are charged a 1% fee when using a U.S. card for purchasing in most establishments however the conversion rates always seem to be the most favorable available.

If you keep your U.S. bank account, and you definitely should, keep a U.S. address on  it. Due to the FATCA law that went into effect in 2014, having a Mexican address on the account will cause problems up to and including having the bank close the account with little advance notice.

Having a Mexican bank account is very handy.

I have a Us address on both my bank account and credit card at Bank of America. I have had that address for years without any problem. Mexican banks will ask you to fill out an IRS form W-9 for FATCA. No big deal. FATCA has nothing to do with US banking.

Thank you good to know

I should have said that I have had a MEXICAN address on my Bank of America account and credit card. My bad! Still no problems.

Joaquinx, You've been quite lucky. Thousands of others, not so much. U.S. banks have nothing to do with FATCA unless you live outside the U.S., i.e. Mexican mailing address. The only exceptions I've known to not having the account abruptly closed were people with substantial balances, which apparently inspire the bank to put up with the significant extra legal hassle required. Perhaps you fall into that category. If not, you are simply fortunate.

I've had an IRA and annuity for decades, long before I moved to Mexico, with The Vanguard Group, a major U.S. mutual fund company. I had my Mexican address listed on the accounts for 14 years after moving south. Along came FATCA, and they were about to dump me until I quickly changed my address with them to a Miami mail drop I own. Everything calmed down.

I even had a U.S. PayPal account with my Mexican address. Along came FATCA, and the can of worms opened. Disgusted, I simply closed that PayPal account and opened the Mexican version. Works the same way. You can run it with dollars or pesos. The Mexican PayPal works smoothly.

My only U.S. bank account previous to FATCA was with Banamex USA, an offshoot of Banamex. They dumped me immediately. It's very difficult these days to open a U.S. bank account from overseas. You have to have a U.S. address still, and an ID like a drivers' license, etc. I have none.

I now have an account with Bancomer and HSBC-Mexico. Mexican credit cards, debit cards, etc., and my SS and corporate pension are electronically deposted in Mexico. I've pretty much cleared out of the United States, and I like it.

After the smoke cleared, I actually found I preferred my new situation to the old one.

No, you have been unlucky!  I and many other who have accounts with BofA never had the problems you have stated. The only US bank that had problems was Banamex USA and they got caught in a money laundering scam. They no longer exist. As for Paypal, I have a Mexican Paypal account with both a Mexican debit card and a US bank credit card on it. When I buy from a dollar site, the credit card pays and on a peso site, the Mexican debit card pays for it. All with a Mexican address.

I have never been consulted by BofA regarding FATCA, however, a representation of HSBC here in Mexico actually came to my door and asked me to come to the bank and complete a W-9 to comply with FATCA. Of course, I have no intention of having more that 10,000usd in that account at any time.

¡Suerte!

That was very informative! Thanks

Depending on your situation, it might be hand to have a month's worth of pesos in a Mexican account, just ion case something happens to your US debit card.  Or you use you US credit card for cash advances till you get a new debit card.

If you are Correct my friend, Then you just made my month. I have been dealing with ATM fees for a year and sometimes it's extremely depressing when you know you are being charged both ways. I often use my Discover card to avoid foreign transaction fees but every now and then, I have not pulled enough money out before crossing the border. This would save me some skin. I Hate Hate Hate big banking, so I only have Credit unions in the states.  I will go to BBVA Compass on Monday!!! Thank You Bud! :one  :cool:

Be sure to keep US address for your American bank account,if you use a Mexican address it could take up to 3 months for a renewal card to arrive,if it arrives at all.

My BofA account, both debit and credit cards have Mexican addresses, arrive within weeks not months. The last one came by DHL.

i have been waiting for three months for a bbva compass card.They sent it regular mail.This is the first correspondence from the states to my address in Morelia so i dont know how long it will take.USA to Coatzacoalcos by regular mail was one to four months.I guess check with the bank to see if they are going to use fed ex or the likes

OK Guys, yes I just opened an account with BBVA Compass in the US. Here is the deal. The checking account is free as long as you allow a $25 draft from checking to savings. You can move it back without penalty into your checking after it is drafted. This is an E-account pretty much.  So now the good news! You will not be charged to take out money by BBVA Compass ATMs in US or BBVA Bancomer ATMs in Mexico. But we all know there is always strings attached. You WILL have to pay a fee from visa and that is 1% of your withdrawal. So for example, if you take out 500 you are charged 5 dollars. This is the best deal I can find and it's a good one in my opinion. I hope that things go well and if I find any hiccups I will let you know! Peace and adobada grease!

Kellyberto :

OK Guys, yes I just opened an account with BBVA Compass in the US. Here is the deal. The checking account is free as long as you allow a $25 draft from checking to savings. You can move it back without penalty into your checking after it is drafted. This is an E-account pretty much.  So now the good news! You will not be charged to take out money by BBVA Compass ATMs in US or BBVA Bancomer ATMs in Mexico. But we all know there is always strings attached. You WILL have to pay a fee from visa and that is 1% of your withdrawal. So for example, if you take out 500 you are charged 5 dollars. This is the best deal I can find and it's a good one in my opinion. I hope that things go well and if I find any hiccups I will let you know! Peace and adobada grease!

Have you confirmed that 1% by verifying it online?
Have you compared the net rate of exchange you get taking the 1% into account compared to the rates reported by the Bank of Mexico, XE, x-rates?

BofA charges 3% and claims that's Visa's fee.  I find that my net rate of exchange is usually within 50 centavos of the published rates.  BofA has an arrangement with Santander to avoid foreign ATM charges.

For me, the 3% is about $12 a month.  I generally get a batter rate charging what I can and making one big payment a month.

gudgrief :
Kellyberto :

OK Guys, yes I just opened an account with BBVA Compass in the US. Here is the deal. The checking account is free as long as you allow a $25 draft from checking to savings. You can move it back without penalty into your checking after it is drafted. This is an E-account pretty much.  So now the good news! You will not be charged to take out money by BBVA Compass ATMs in US or BBVA Bancomer ATMs in Mexico. But we all know there is always strings attached. You WILL have to pay a fee from visa and that is 1% of your withdrawal. So for example, if you take out 500 you are charged 5 dollars. This is the best deal I can find and it's a good one in my opinion. I hope that things go well and if I find any hiccups I will let you know! Peace and adobada grease!

BofA charges 3% and claims that's Visa's fee.  I find that my net rate of exchange is usually within 50 centavos of the published rates.  BofA has an arrangement with Santander to avoid foreign ATM charges.

For me, the 3% is about $12 a month.  I generally get a batter rate charging what I can and making one big payment a month.

I got some bad news from BofA recently, they don't have an agreement with Santander anymore and I have to pay BofA a 5.00 USD foreign ATM fee to use any ATM in Mexico.  Plus there is a nominal Santander fee of 31.32M XN in addition to the 3% Foreign Transaction Fee.

Kellyberto, I called BBVA Compass' 800 number and a branch in McAllen, TX and what they told me doesn't match with what you posted.

Have you gotten a statement and does it match up with what you posted.  I'm going up to McAllen end of October and would appreciate having the information verified.

Thanks in advance.

I have a bbva compass account in the states,there is a $5000 minimum ballance agreement I am not charged a dime for withdrawls at bbva bancomer.

stinkyboy1 :

I have a bbva compass account in the states,there is a $5000 minimum ballance agreement I am not charged a dime for withdrawls at bbva bancomer.

BBVA Compass has 3 levels of checking account.  the one you open with a $25 deposit doers not require a minimum balance.

The descriptions of the 3 different levels aren't specific enough to determine which bank charges what fees on the basic checking account. 

I couldn't get a straight answer on the following questions:

Does BBVA Compass charge a fee for using a BBVA Bancomer  ATM?
Does BBVA Bancomer charge a fee for using a BBVA Compass card in a BBVA Bancomer ATM?
What is the International Transaction Fee percentage for withdrawals from overseas ATM's?

I'll post an update if I get additional information.

We currently bank at intercam in malaque. No lines, no fees and English speaking tellers. By far the best user friendly bank in malaque. Will b using this bank while we build our home. Thanks Sparksmex

Based on a recommendation from an expat here,
Banco Santander doesn't have a deal with Bank of America anymore.  If you use your BofA Debit card at a Santander ATM, you'll pay foreign ATM fees to both banks and a few months ago, BofA upped it's foreign transaction fee to 3%.

Based on a recommendation from an expat here, I recently switched to BBVA Compass in Texas.  There's no fee to use you BBVA Compass debit card in BBVA Bancomer ATM's and their foreign transaction fee is only 1%.

I don't carry a balance big enough to avoid foreign ATM and foreign transaction fees at other banks.

I had a problem Wednesday and Friday where my BBVA Compass Debit Card wouldn't work at any BBVA Bancomer ATM.

I went back to day and tried again and was successful.  whatever the problem was, it was fixed over the weekend.

The sequence that worked was selecting Con Chequera from the Spanish menus.  I assume that's Checking from the English Menus.

When you buy at the supermarket with your debit or credit card, the cashier always asks, at least where I shop, if you want some cash withdrawn from your card. I always say no since if I need cash, I withdraw it from my Mexican bank account at the atm.

Has anyone done this? If so, what was the exchange rate? Better or worse at the atm?

I've done that on many occasions in the U.S. but don't do it here because I feel there would be a higher risk of an error due to the different way they handle transactions.

In the U.S. I could pretty much tell which check out lines to avoid, and where there might be a problem. Here for instance I have had people return to hassle a checker long after their purchase. So while they are processing my items they may also be dealing with the elderly lady who came into the front of the line to question her purchase made 2 days ago. You may also quickly find that one person in front of you with only one item is really 6 people, each showing up with separate purchases, but all together. Add to that the items that were not labeled and the cashier is unfamiliar with.

For me that was enough chaos to keep me just getting money out of the bank.

After only 4 months I have had it with BBVA Bancomer.  I early November, I couldn't find a Bancomer ATM that would give me cash on my BBVA Compass debit card.  At any other bank, I have to pay a higher international transaction fee plus two foreign ATM fees.  I have to turn sround

Continued

Turn around and get a cash advance with my credit card.

It fixed itself two weeks later wiith no explanation.  I was able to get cash in 3 cities till early Janusry.

Yesterday, my withdrawal rejected at the only ATM in Coatepec that didn't have a line hours long.  Same thing today.  I had to use my credit card at another bank to be able to pay my rent.

Never again.  I never had a problem anywhere else in the world.

We do our banking with Santander and have never had a problem. We are limited as to how much can be deposited in a month, and they are conservative on the exchange rate when the dollar gets over 20 pesos, but we do not have a problem with that. Good luck with your banking issues.

I have accounts with bbva compass in the states,bancomer here have never had a problem withdrawing cash.I have an account with banamex but only use the card for online transactions,and check my statements weekly to see if they are stealing from my account which they are prone to do,for that reason i keep my balance to a minimal.for me,what works best and is most hastle free is to withdraw cash with a debit card from a non mexican bank using an inbursa atm,they charge $17 for the withdrawl but for me its worth the peace of mind.My advice would be to have as little as possible to do with mexican banks and by mexican banks im referring to any bank that is located in mexico

Just curious, do you routinely use BBVA Bancomer ATM's during the first 3 days of the month?  I have had the problem only during the last few days and first few days of the month.  Between the 15th and 22 of the month I haven't had a problem anywhere.

The excuse I heard from BBVA Compass was that Bancomer had updated some of their ATM's, some not.

No,I very seldom withraw from bbva,have not done so for months.For my first year in mex2014-2015 i used bbva on a regular basis

That clears things up, thanks.  I'll change my schedule to test my theory.

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