Banking in Baja

Hi there, recently moved to Baja and am tired of paying the ATM fees. Which banks are the most expat friendly? Is it difficult to get your SS moved to a bank in Mexico? Any tips on the protocol would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

M.W. Stanley

I am also interested in this subject. I will be in another part of Mexico, but general info would be appreciated.

Useful information about banks and credit in Mexico. https://www.mexperience.com/lifestyle/l … in-mexico/

I have had experience with three of these banks, some are affiliated with U.S. banks, banks in Canada, Spain or England also affiliate.  I have not had good experiences with Scotia, or BBVA, I avoid anything B of A because of their long history, and I am careful with HSBC given their money laundering for the cartels history.I do actual business with a Mexican bank, and have found them to be very efficient.

Went and spoke with Bananas today.  I was told I needed a green card to open an account.  Wish there had been a way to know that so I wouldn't have wasted my time.

ibmark1 :

Went and spoke with Bananas today.  I was told I needed a green card to open an account.  Wish there had been a way to know that so I wouldn't have wasted my time.

i have found they are all a little different, and , Generally I think they want you to have a visa that is at least a temporary visa but preferably permanent.  It's the U.S. and all the U.S. regulations about money that makes them tense.Banamex is a citibank affiliate, City bank operates in the U.S.

I understand some expats began with the bank account in the U. S., and just use the affiliate in Mexico. . That is perhaps what you should do. "To open a Mexican bank account you will need valid identification such as your passport or driving license and a proof of address. Dollar denominated accounts are only available for citizens of the US and Canada or for corporations." I think my bank wanted to see an electric bill also.

So do you mean you are not a American citizen, but have a green card to work in America ?

No, and I asked the bank guy several times "you mean a permanent visa is a green card" and his answer was always "Si".

Hi to all,  I am a permanent resident of Mexico so a non-resident of Canada (the legal way to live can't be a resident of 2 countries at the same time) and decided not to open a mexican bank account once I spoken to the RFC ombudsman.

The main reason is that RFC might request you information were the money deposited comes from should you pay taxes on it in Mexico etc... (impuestos sobre la renta), banks could be forced by RFC to witheld taxes, also some fees in Mexican banks are equal to ATM fees. Also having your SS converted to pesos and deposited in a mexican bank could be done but subject to exchange rates.

Actual fact:
January 24th 2018 mid-range rate of the Canadian dollar with the Mexican peso 15,01
Mid-range is not valid for consumers
http://www.xe.com/foreign-exchange-char … harges.php (try it and also compare it to other options results about the same ie www.worldremit.com )
Withdrawal of 14000 pesos at HSBC for a total cost of 965$CAD including my Canadian bank fee of 3$ giving a 14,51

So the reduction of 3,358% so less than the normal 4% that lots quote.

For today live mid-market XE is 14,86 at 16:45UTC and worldremit would give a rate of 14,42 for a reduction of 2,96% .

Final comment, there are other options then opening a mexican bank account.

Adios y buen dia a todos, GyC.

ibmark1 :

No, and I asked the bank guy several times "you mean a permanent visa is a green card" and his answer was always "Si".

A green card is a work card and a U.S. name for a work card. I have never had someone refer to my residente permanente as a green card.  I would Try a different bank .

As for depositing an american retirement or SSI account into a Mexican bank that was a risk I wouldn't want to take. I would rather keep the account under the trigger amount , and let my retirement remain in the U.S.

Canada has different rules , and Canadians can advise you on those.

travellight :
ibmark1 :

No, and I asked the bank guy several times "you mean a permanent visa is a green card" and his answer was always "Si".

A green card is a work card and a U.S. name for a work card. I have never had someone refer to my residente permanente as a green card.  I would Try a different bank .

As for depositing an american retirement or SSI account into a Mexican bank that was a risk I wouldn't want to take. I would rather keep the account under the trigger amount , and let my retirement remain in the U.S.

Canada has different rules , and Canadians can advise you on those.

Hi, (U.S. citizen here) what is this "trigger amount" you mention?

Reading the other posts on this, it seems the approach most use is to have some small account in a bank in Mexico and transfer US funds into that smaller account. Is that correct?
Thanks, Mike

MikeKulhanek :
travellight :
ibmark1 :

No, and I asked the bank guy several times "you mean a permanent visa is a green card" and his answer was always "Si".

A green card is a work card and a U.S. name for a work card. I have never had someone refer to my residente permanente as a green card.  I would Try a different bank .

As for depositing an american retirement or SSI account into a Mexican bank that was a risk I wouldn't want to take. I would rather keep the account under the trigger amount , and let my retirement remain in the U.S.

Canada has different rules , and Canadians can advise you on those.

Hi, (U.S. citizen here) what is this "trigger amount" you mention?

Reading the other posts on this, it seems the approach most use is to have some small account in a bank in Mexico and transfer US funds into that smaller account. Is that correct?
Thanks, Mike

The equivalent of $10,000 USD is the magic number for the U.S. What the U.S. does at that number I don't know , because I don't go there. I am sure it is a money laundering trigger.

If you have flown in, that is one of the popular declaration questions. The Mexican bank has lots of paperwork covering everything, and they are aware the U.S. is under the impression that they want dollars. At this point they go out of their way not to have dollars.

There are only a few places, money exchanges, and a very small number of banks where you can get them. Getting them usually involves a hefty fee and although they may take your U.S. credit card charge, many don't really want to take your dollars. Hence the money exchanges in Cancun and other tourist places.  I make sure my account does not have a questionable amount, especially with the current status in the U.S.  My taxes ask about foreign accounts and amounts over $10,000. I make sure I don't have one of those. I like life to be as uncomplicated as possible.

Thank you, that is good to know. Yes, I guess taxes are another whole adventure for expats these days too.

Here is my eleven years experience living in MX, primarily in Campeche. (Yucatan peninsula )
Bank of America DEBIT card may be used at a Scotia bank atm, only incurring a 3% foreign transaction fee imposed by BoA. Depending on the BoA CREDIT card you may or may not be charged a 3% foreign transaction fee for purchases.

NOTE: HSBC. I have a US HSBC Checking account. Using my HSBC DEBIT card in MX to make HSBC atm withdrawals  I incurred the full array of atm withdrawal fees. My US account was treated as an out of network transaction.

I believe Citibank has a partner agreement with Banamex. I can't comment on the fee structure for DEBIT card withdrawals.

CREDIT CARDS: I have only been refused at one establishment (Tony's Papelaria) in Campeche, Campeche the use of a US issued Master/Visa card. They would accept a MX issued card(s).

ADO bus. You need MX card for internet reservation transactions. A US MC/Visa card is  acceptable for walkup transactions, of course with a gov issued ID.

Cablemas/Izzi: I pay my monthly internet fee via their website with a US issued credit card.

Telcel: I purchase saldo via their website with a US issued Visa/MC card.

There was a comment regarding "trigger" transactions.
1.  ALL persons entering/ leaving US must declare any financial instrument on their person 10,000+ USD.

2. Any deposit 10,000USD or over to a US bank or from a US bank account is automatically flagged to detrmine the legitamacy of the funds. Also the banks have software that will flagged MULTIPLE  trans actions from the same account that are just under the 10,000USD threshold. For example: 9, 8, 7 thousand dollar range.

3. Persons that are require to file US tax returns are require to self report if they directly own, have co.-ownership of any foreign  bank account(s). It is also required to report if the aggregate sum for all deposits to all the banks total 50,000USD  or more for a calendar year.

Thank you for your time and reply.

Hi "ibmark1", on the french side of this forum, someone said that "intercam banco" is accessible to open a bank account with a FMM visitante (tourist). There are some services in Baja California y Baja California sur

https://intercam.com.mx/index.php?lang=es

Adios y buen dia a todos, GyC

Can expats obtain a mortgage to purchase homes in Mexico? I'm not in the market at the moment, but would like to know a little about the requirements and the general costs involved, if they are available. Thanks.

I think I recall our real estate agent telling us you could.  But the interests rates are outrageous.  The developer who is building our condo complex will finance with 40% down at 9% for ten years if that gives you any idea.

"City bank operates in the U.S."

Boy do they ever!!!  Banamex has just affiliated with them.  Rats of a feather flock together. 

I understand SS will deposit your payments anywhere you want.  You can even get your payments at Western Union.

If you believe in that old adage; while in Rome do as the Romans avoid Mexican banks.

My fee at an ATM is 40 MXN.  Why would anyone be concerned enough to take a risk to save those peanuts? 

I have had several Mexican bank accounts but just for convenience and never with a respectable amount.  Santander has the best service and handsome machines too.

RE: Money Triggers

FYI, reference pertains to FATCA requirements with US IRS.
https://www.irs.gov/businesses/corporat … -taxpayers

RE: Banking

I attended Live and Invest Overseas in Mexico Conference, 11/15-11/17/17 in Cancun and according to the presenter, Raul Garcia, w/CiBanco:
-Opening an account: bring passport and resident card (temporary or permanent) with proof of address to include water, property tax or telephone (not cell phone) bill; photos of front of house (residence) and try to learn some basic Spanish phrases in conducting business
-Checking account in peso's and include checks (no one uses); includes debit card (USD & MX $) & no cost if use same bank, fees are assessed if use other banks & overseas; on line banking; must maintain min. balance otherwise fees will apply; checking accts. USD are for corporations only
-Interest bearing accounts e.g. CD's: funds are locked in until maturity, no early withdrawls; better rates than in US
-Mutual funds:  available for government and MX private sector funds
-Money exchanges via wire transfer, cash and/or personal checks available w/account

According to Raul there are 51 banks operating in MX.

I hope this helps!
Mike

can someone share their renting experience was it or is it long term and how did the owners treat you ?

I am in Campeche. I have been in the same furnished efficiency on a month to month for seven years. The land lord is so fastidious and prompt to make repairs that I am reluctant to move, although I would like a one bedroom.

I have noticed in previous rentals, what you see is what you get although promises are made to do repairs or replacement. Major replacement of AC,toilet,  hot water heater are at no cost to me. Leaky faucet, corroded handles in shower I pay half.

New topic