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 Moderated by: bartmanaz  
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bachrachj
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We bought and brought our own pesos last year, but were uncomfortable hauling and sitting on the larger amount. Wondering if anyone can suggest alternate ways of dealing with $ short of opening an account in SC. Heard Xoom was good, then looked at reviews and balked. Anyone else have an opinion on it? Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks,

John

PS Looking forward to the new brew pub. Mmm... Anyone tried it so far?

long time resident
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I would suggest taking money out at the ATM. The rates keep changing, and it is almost at 20 -1. Would not sit on a lot of pesos, they lose value in a short period of time. I certainly would not open a bank account.

johnmoore
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Use ATM withdrawals at Bank of your choice. Get a debit card from a bank with little or no withdrawal fees. In the meantime deposit enough monies in your account Stateside, or set up direct deposits, enough to last for your stay here.

bachrachj
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Thanks John. We used ATM's the first couple of years. Just trying to avoid the fees. May have to start a separate account at a new bank. Any suggestions on which ones have no withdrawal fees? Thanks again.

bachrachj
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Sorry Longtime. Only looked at the most recent post. Thank you too. JB

long time resident
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I know that you can set up with your bank in the states to up the amount you can take out. So if you only pay a fee once a month or so, it isn't so bad, and saves you the issues of opening an account in Mexico, which the requirements have become tedious. Wells Fargo charges $5 for each international transaction, and whatever the local bank charges, which is usually less then $3. So if you have a limit of $1000 or more, then it isn't as bad as some banks that charge a 3% on whatever the amount is, plus an international transaction fee, plus??? So many ways to do this. I did find that my last withdrawal gave me a marginal rate of exchange. SO helps to read up on the options , and then decide. Good luck.

Hook
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We find using a Capital One credit card for many purchases is very economical. No intl transaction fees and very competitive exchange rates. We use this for restaurants, groceries, pretty much anything above a few hundred pesos. This saves us from carrying around so much cash and heading to the ATMs as often.

For ATM use, for cash, we use our ATM card from our credit union. There is an international transaction fee but it is less than one percent which we feel is reasonable to access our legacy "checking account" with the back up of our "savings account".

Some people open up brokerage accounts with firms like Schwab or Fidelity and get an ATM card tied to that account. The firms waive the fees, generally. But I have read several stories about people with these accounts having a freeze put on them when using them in a foreign country, DESPITE NUMEROUS CALLS TO THE FIRMS, ALERTING THEM THAT THEY ARE OUT OF THE COUNTRY. It can become a real pain when you are in a foreign country and your card suddenly gets declined and phone service is iffy.

Last edited on Thu Jun 16th, 2016 10:19 pm by Hook

maryt
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I used the Capitol One card at CI Banco and have found it to be quite a bit cheaper than my HSBC card. I got HSBC because they promised no fees and then changed their policy. I have a credit union card also but Capitol One has been the best so far. I just transfer money from my credit union account to Capitol One and then get my cash from the ATM.

Hook
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Mary, sounds like you have a Cap One account, is that correct? And your Cap One card is an ATM/debit card?

The distinction needs to be made because using a CREDIT CARD at an ATM is usually treated like a CASH ADVANCE by most financial institutions. And that gets expensive.

We simply have a Cap One CREDIT CARD, that we use for point of sale purchases.

johnmoore
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I have a Schwab Bank debit card, used for years in ATM's worldwide, never a problem, all fees reimbursed at months end. Only issue, a bit difficult getting money into the checking acct., as there are no walk in banks. All done electronically.

bachrachj
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Wow. Ran some errands, came home and you all have been very busy with suggestions. This really helps. Thanks so much.

John

edale99
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I second the Schwab account. Been using it for years with no issue. Many different countries and fees reimbursed.

bachrachj
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Does Schwab charge international rates? That's where we were skinned alive by our local bank here in Arizona (National Bank of Arizona)at 3% on top of the ATM fee as described above. Seems a little over the top and it's how I ended up here asking you nice folks for advice. We have a Morgan Stanly account and I have an inquiry into them about a debit card and fees. We'll see. Anyone know anything about Share Money ( https://www.sharemoney.com/mexico/ )? Xoom got very mixed reviews, but these guys were a little better. I'd like to hear it from a real person or persons such as your selves though. Thanks again. John

SharkBite
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Wells Fargo has an "express send" transfer option.  Once it's set up in the states, you just log in and do a "transfer" but to "out of country".  You choose which bank to pick your cash up at.  There is no fee at the teller here.  There is a $5 fee for a transfer of $1500.  Banorte allows $1500 max per person per day.  it's a better exchange rate than the ATM, and has less of a fee for the amount.

odwyerpw
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Shark Bite, thanks for sharing that info!

Another option is a Western Union Transfer from a US account to say, Elektra or Coppel. Transfers to Mexico are a flat $5usd. IF you are going to Guaymas anyway.. it's a good option. Transfers usually take about 10 minutes to be ready from the time you schedule it from your PC/Cell Phone.

danelo
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bachrachj wrote: Does Schwab charge international rates?
Charles Schwab charges no fees what so ever. They will also reimburse any ATM fee that the ATM charges you at the end of the monthly statement cycle.

bachrachj
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OK then. It sounds like Schwab is the least expensive option and has service with no hassles. I'm waiting on a reply from Morgan Stanley where we already have an account. If they don't provide the services described, I'll open a Schwab account just for Mexico. You all have been great. Thanks and see you soon.

long time resident
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The biggest issue with Western Union, is their exchange rate which is way lower then anyone else.

maryt
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Hook, you are right. My Cap One card is a debit card not a credit card. I only use it to get money out. Western Union does not seem like a very convenient option to me. My ATM fee is much less than $5.00 and Cap One has no international fee.

Hook
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bachrachj wrote: OK then. It sounds like Schwab is the least expensive option and has service with no hassles. I'm waiting on a reply from Morgan Stanley where we already have an account. If they don't provide the services described, I'll open a Schwab account just for Mexico. You all have been great. Thanks and see you soon.
You're forgetting the third way that institutions can make money on using their cards;  the exchange rate. You need to see how competitive Schwab's xchg rate is, compared to other means.



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