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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

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