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Bubba

Mar 8, 2007, 7:55 AM

Post #26 of 100 (4536 views)

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Re: [S & C] H S B C

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Stan:

Perhaps you have a good point. Unfortunately, I was a banker for about 35 years so sometimes I become a bit churlish when discussing banks because I know the games they play. I was simply trying to warn people that huge multinational banks such as London based HSBC and my own bank, the Spanish based BBVA, which owns Bancomer, should not to be considered in the context of what they are globally but what they are in the political jurisdiction in which one does business.

I read so much misinformation on these forums that I become irritated at times.

There are no good Mexican banks. Period. There will be no good Mexican banks until this oligarchical political entity frees itself from its corrupt exclusionary rules and regulations. The same was true in the United States until the 1960s so this is no holier-than-thou pronouncement by some snotty American. I just hate to see people choose banks by presuming those bank´s Mexican franchises are what they have come to enjoy in their native lands.

HSBC is a fine consumer bank and, if I were living in the U.S. I might very well open an account there.

Here is how you make your decision as to where to bank in Mexico. I bank at BBVA Bancomer in Ajijic because they are the only bank in this town. Had I the decision to make over again, I would choose Banamex because I like the fact that you choose a number when you enter their branches, have a seat and wait for your number to be called. Bancomer tries hard to please but, God, are they inept.

Actually, most of our money is either in a U.S. investment house or Activiner/Lloyd investment house which is big in Jalisco. We earn a decent rate of return there while our Bancomer savings account is a joke and returns us nothing.

Bubba´s Rule #1:

Keep only that amount of money in Mexico whether in banks or investments you can afford to lose completely and totally without remorse.

Idiot friends of mine brag about their success in the Mexican stock market about which they know nothing. They remind me of high tech investor friends of mine who laughed at my conservative investments in 2000. They are still working and Bubba hasn´t worked since 2001.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Mar 8, 2007, 7:57 AM)


db52

Mar 8, 2007, 9:45 AM

Post #27 of 100 (4510 views)

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Re: [Bubba] H S B C

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I started the thread because, two or three weeks ago I'd asked for advice about how to avoid getting ripped off by Chase Manhattan (and my arch-enemy David Rockefeller) when visiting Mexico and using my ATM card.

I don't know where all the stuff about "credit cards" started. I have never used a credit card of any sort in Mexico and do not plan to do so. I'm also not real clear on who is supposed to be the "basketball brain" or what that is all about!

Anyway, I've got my brand-new ATM card from my brand-new "HSBCdirect.com Online Savings" account and it worked fine at my local bank. I just got off the phone with them and it turns out that they do indeed want me to notify them whenever I travel, just the same as the despicable minions of Rockefeller.

I am going to try it out in Tepic in about ten days and write down how many pesos I get in a little notebook. Also will not the rate offered by the casa de cambio on the same date. Then, when I check my account on-line, I will know whether it is better to take cash or to take my ATM card on the next trip.

And before you jump all over me, Bubba, for visiting Tepic, let me just say that I happen to LIKE Tepic and, additionally, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you! Nyahh, nyahh, nyahh!


Gringal

Mar 8, 2007, 11:18 AM

Post #28 of 100 (4486 views)

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Re: [Bubba] H S B C

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On this forum, Rolly is the benevolent giver of information, but you, Bubba are like that nun who hits your fingers with a ruler util you "get it," Bless you for your ruler-wielding.

A Mexican bank is a Mexican bank is just the truth. No insurance. Lots of other issues.

I do business with Banamex for the line ticket. I like the fact I could "link" my account with their US affiliate, keep my money in the US insured account and get it to my miniscule Banamex account on a same-day basis. I like the Banamex Mastercard that works without a hitch and which I can pay online, out of the U.S. account. Other than all that, I know that my personal relationship with ALL banks is similar to that of the drill and the wall.


thriftqueen

Mar 8, 2007, 7:37 PM

Post #29 of 100 (4439 views)

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Re: [db52] H S B C

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Also will not the rate offered by the casa de cambio on the same date.

Simpler yet, just check the online exchange rate posted on Mexconnect, found under the news heading on the main page.


db52

Mar 9, 2007, 2:56 AM

Post #30 of 100 (4413 views)

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Re: [thriftqueen] H S B C

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Well, I can do that of course, or look at the chart on Yahoo to find the official range for the day, but what I am primarily interested in finding out is who is going to put more pesos in my pocket in the next five minutes. So what it boils down to is the bank teller versus the ATM machine versus the 'street.'

Thanks to all for comments and suggestions.


Teo

Mar 10, 2007, 6:49 AM

Post #31 of 100 (4372 views)

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Re: [db52] H S B C

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Hello db52,
I find myself on a similar path as you. After more than 30 years of banking with its predecessors in Arizona, I have grown tired of the machinations of Chase Bank.

Today I became the proud owner of a new HSBC checking account - no small feat with the hurdles imposed by the Patriot Act - just so I could withdraw my money in Mexico without paying an arm and a leg for it.

A question I have for you though: You mention using the HSBC ATM card when making withdrawals. When I applied for my account online, I was prompted to choose between an ATM card and a Debit Card (perhaps because I have a checking account?). Although the HSBC customer service staff are courteous and helpful, they could not explain whether there was a difference in the ATM withdrawal charges using one card versus the other. Do you know? If I use a Debit Card to withdraw pesos, will I incur the despicable Exchange Rate Adjustment fee that Chase charges?

At any rate, it has been a pleasure doing business with HSBC so far and would recommend it to anyone looking to link a US-based account to a "Mexican" bank. I will have the opportunity to use my HSBC card in Puerto Vallarta at the end of April for peso withdrawal. Hope it works!

Teo


sfmacaws


Mar 10, 2007, 7:22 AM

Post #32 of 100 (4365 views)

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Re: [Teo] H S B C

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Here's what I found out at my credit union. I switched my ATM/Mastercard to a pure Debit card in hopes of avoiding the new charge (or newly reported on my statement charge) of some percentage of what I withdraw. Unfortunately for that part of it, I still get charged a percentage although I think it is lower. My credit union doesn't charge me anything else and no bank I've used in Mexico has charged me so.. when I called they said that all currency transactions are charged this fee by the company they use to do them. Something like that.

However, there is a side bonus. If the pure Debit card is stolen or lost it can't be used without the PIN. An ATM card can be used as a credit card and if stolen, it will be. Recently a machine ate mine and I could wait out getting it back because I hadn't used the PIN yet and knew it couldn't be used.

So, a Debit may be cheaper and it is definitely more secure, as long as you diligently protect your PIN.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




esperanza

Mar 10, 2007, 7:38 AM

Post #33 of 100 (4357 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] H S B C

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In Reply To
However, there is a side bonus. If the pure Debit card is stolen or lost it can't be used without the PIN. An ATM card can be used as a credit card and if stolen, it will be. Recently a machine ate mine and I could wait out getting it back because I hadn't used the PIN yet and knew it couldn't be used.

Several years ago my debit card was stolen. The thieves, without benefit of my PIN, used it to steal more than $7,000 USD from my checking account even though they had no direct access to my funds. They used the debit card at retail stores by forging my signature, purchasing easily resold high-end electronics. No PIN is necessary when a debit card is used to make a purchase. Of course as instructed I had signed the card on the back and my signature was right there to be copied.

The bank replaced the funds, but the process involved in rectifying the problems caused by the theft took more than nine months.

Even the pure debit card is not as secure as we would like to believe.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









sfmacaws


Mar 10, 2007, 8:30 AM

Post #34 of 100 (4347 views)

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Re: [esperanza] H S B C

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mmmmm, I may have the terminology wrong then. This new one I have has no MasterCard or Visa logo and doesn't work as a credit card with a signature. It only works in machines that ask for a PIN. In fact, it doesn't work in some stores in the US that process their bills through a credit card center. Pretty much the only place it does work is in an ATM machine. You can't use it buy anything online or over the phone either.

Some of that I was told, I haven't tried to use it as anything but a cash card. It did not register on several machines that were part of a store in the US, when I asked the store said they processed all charges through Visa or MasterCard. The larger stores, WalMart, Von's, and the like it does work. It didn't work in at least 2 cash machines here in Mexico, one of them ate it but gave me the nifty message first that the card could not be read.

It may be that they could use it anyway, but you would certainly have a better case for a refund since it is not supposed to be accepted like that.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




esperanza

Mar 10, 2007, 8:46 AM

Post #35 of 100 (4342 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] H S B C

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That card did not work as a credit card with a signature. It worked as a DEBIT card with a signature--as soon as a purchase was made and signed for, the amount was debited to my checking account. That's how debit cards work, if I understand the process correctly.

If you are buying something over the phone or online, you must have a card associated with a credit card logo even if you are using that card as a debit card. As you said, some stores in the US that process their bills through a credit card center and require credit card information even though the card is being used as a debit card.

Of course, you can also use them in ATMs, where you do need the PIN.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









db52

Mar 10, 2007, 8:54 AM

Post #36 of 100 (4340 views)

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Re: [Teo] H S B C

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My card appears to be purely an ATM card. It says "ATM Card" up at the top right-hand corner on its face. On the back are two of the little symbols with interlocking circle-things that look like the MasterCard logo. One says 'cirrus' and the other says 'maestro.' ('Maestro'=Master? Hmmmm)

Of course my account is a savings account and not a checking account. My advice to Teo is to use the Chase card to withdraw 1000 pesos and then stay right at the same machine and use the HSBC card to withdraw another 1000 pesos. And if it were me, I would write down in a little notebook the rate you would get by handing money to the teller. Then he (and I) will know which card to take next time and which to leave at home. Or maybe leave them both at home and just take regular cash money. (This all applies to vacationers, I guess, not folks who live in Mexico.)


bournemouth

Mar 10, 2007, 8:56 AM

Post #37 of 100 (4335 views)

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Re: [Teo] H S B C

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Don't forget to tell HSBC you will be using the card in Mexico or it may be frozen on you.


sfmacaws


Mar 10, 2007, 8:57 AM

Post #38 of 100 (4334 views)

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Re: [db52] H S B C

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That's what I meant by having the terminology wrong, perhaps mine is a pure ATM and I thought it was a pure Debit. I have no idea of the true meaning of those words.

Where is Banker Bob when you need him? Oh, he's over in the Southern forum talking about beaches again.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




db52

Mar 10, 2007, 8:58 AM

Post #39 of 100 (4333 views)

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Re: [db52] H S B C

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For best results (I forgot to say) I would make sure to use an HSBC bank for this little experiment. And if I saw a better rate at a different bank (or on the street), I would note that, too, but just if it were at a very close point in time. Because they might change once or more during the course of the day.


thriftqueen

Mar 10, 2007, 9:25 AM

Post #40 of 100 (4322 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] H S B C

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Your thoughts are fairly correct however you just reversed the way a card may be used.

The ATM card is to be used only in an ATM machine, which as we know requires a PIN #

The debit card may be used at any merchant who accepts credit cards or debit cards. They all carry either Mastercard or Visa logo. If one is using that card in Mx they will be charged the international fee as that is the Visa perk for handling that transaction. If that card is stolen the thief simply uses it as a credit card, he doesn't need the PIN. If they tried to use it as a debit card then they would need the PIN. That is one reason not to write that pesky little number down somewhere in your wallet. My credit union charges us .75 for usage at a non member ATM. The banks in Mexico show on the ATM screen that you will be charged .75 and ask if you wish to continue the transaction. You will not see that Mx charge broken out on your CU statement where you will see any US CU charges broken out on the statement.

Esperanza, what happened to you is fairly typical of a stolen debit card. The thief will immediately use it all over town possibly before the owner discovers it missing and reports it. The signature on the back doesn't alter any facts as rarely does the cashier look at those signatures and the processing center sure doesn't. I like it when I use mine and the cashier asks for ID as that helps stop some fraud. All the fraud simply gets passed on to you know who.


Papirex


Mar 10, 2007, 10:36 AM

Post #41 of 100 (4306 views)

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Re: [thriftqueen] H S B C

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ThriftQueen, Most Mexican banks charge $7 Pesos for using their ATMs. That is the charge you are asked if you want to approve before you use the machine. Not all banks here charge that fee though.

Two days ago, I took my ladies out for a simple dinner at a Sanborns on the Internacional Dia de Mujeres. I got some money at an Inbursa Banks ATM there. I was surprised to be asked if I wanted to approve a charge of only $3 Pesos to use the machine. I withdrew $2000 Pesos and surprisingly received two receipts from the ATM.

The first receipt listed: cantidad - $2,000.00, then: comision - $ 3.00, then: total - $2.003.00

The second receipt had this message on it: Inbursa Y ¡No te cobramos comision!

I guess we just haven’t used an Inbursa ATM in a couple of years, since the Mexican banks have been required to reveal any charge for using their ATMs. We do avoid using any ATM that takes your card inside it, maybe that is why we haven’t used an Inbursa ATM lately.

If Inbursa isn’t charging a commission, that leads me to believe that Sanborns is the one charging the 3 pesos. That is understandable, Carlos has only jumped from 4th to the 3rd richest man in the world in the last year at a worth of just $49 billion Dollars. The poor guy probably really needs our 3 Pesos.

Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


esperanza

Mar 10, 2007, 10:37 AM

Post #42 of 100 (4305 views)

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Re: [thriftqueen] H S B C

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The point I was trying to make when I said that my signature was on the back of the debit card is that the thief had the signature available to copy when making his/her purchases. In theory the signature confirms that you are indeed you; in practice it confirms that anyone signing your name could be pretending to be you.

In fact, it was the discrepancies in the signature as signed by the thief that proved to the debit card company that I was not the one who made the purchases. The forgery was close, but not close enough--especially on the last purchase, where the thief spelled my name wrong in the signature.

The $7,000 USD was stripped from my account in a period of less than two hours.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









doogie

Mar 10, 2007, 10:47 AM

Post #43 of 100 (4301 views)

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Re: [RexC] H S B C

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I believe Carlos Slim owns both, Sanborns and Inbursa Bank. So he'll get ya either way, and probably both ways.
Doogie,
Tapatío de corazón


moonfam5

Mar 10, 2007, 12:13 PM

Post #44 of 100 (4285 views)

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Re: [mparrino] H S B C

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easy, open an online savings account with HSBC with maybe 500.00USD. once your account is established, you can transfer funds online between your bank and HSBC (the HSBC account is a US account) then request an ATM card from HSBC. You can then access money from anywhere in the world.
WinkThe more I learn, I less I know.


sfmacaws


Mar 10, 2007, 12:23 PM

Post #45 of 100 (4280 views)

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Re: [esperanza] H S B C

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Esperanza, I used to write "check ID for signature" in the signature spot on my credit cards for just that reason. It makes no sense to me either to give them a sample to copy. A couple years ago I started getting hassled that I had to have a signature on the card to use it. So, now mine says 'check ID' but I also sign it. Clearly they rarely read what they pretend to look at as only about a quarter of the time, in the US, am I asked for ID. I always thank them when they do ask. I've been asked for ID most of the time I've used a credit card here in Mexico but I don't know if that is just policy or they read the back, which is in english.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Marlene


Mar 10, 2007, 1:16 PM

Post #46 of 100 (4268 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] H S B C

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Jonna, that's a great idea. I have been leaving the signature portion on the back of my credit card blank which may not be the best because the thief could write his own version of my signature in there and go on a quite a shopping spree before I would get around to noticing. But I felt leaving it blank was better than allowing them to try to copy my signature. When the cashiers here in Mexico notice it's blank, they don't always ask (which is scary). If asked, I show other ID with my picture and signature to match the credit card slip. "Check ID" is a great alternative.


thriftqueen

Mar 10, 2007, 1:52 PM

Post #47 of 100 (4262 views)

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Re: [esperanza] H S B C

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In fact, it was the discrepancies in the signature as signed by the thief that proved to the debit card company that I was not the one who made the purchases.


Believe me when I say the thief isn't interested in forging your signature, their interest lies in hitting the stores with that card before you report it stolen or missing to the card company. Oh, the miracle of online computers, the time frame is short that they can use that card for purchases if the owner is aware and immediately reports it stolen.

In my past life, LOL I worked for Mastercard and that was an education to the ingenuity of the crooks. Then in later years I worked for a police department in what they called the telephone report unit. There were 15 of us on a shift and all we did was take calls where the city/and PD deemed their officer's time could be better spent on other calls.
On night I had a woman call in to report say her purse had been grabbed from a shopping cart. I asked if she had credit cards and if so had she reported the cards stolen. She had not reported them stolen. I refused to take her report until she called the card companies. She was irate at me. As the rotating call system picked up her call back to us, I happened to get it. She was singing a different tune. A couple of teenagers had hit an athletic store in the mall and charged over $500.00 worth of shoes, etc. She said the store told the card company they had asked whose card it was and the kids said it belonged to the parent. Needless to say the merchant is so hungry to make that sale until they ignored that red flag.

My daughter and I have a joint account that my husband does not sign on. She was issued a debit card with her married name on it. Her Dad carries this card and uses it occasionally. He says he has never been asked why it is obviously a female name and the last name being different than his.


Papirex


Mar 10, 2007, 2:10 PM

Post #48 of 100 (4260 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] H S B C

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Jonna, I think it is probably the policy of any reputable business here to ask for additional ID when a person uses a credit card for any large purchase. We never use our credit cards for small purchases, dinner, etc. here. When we first moved to Cuernavaca, we did use them for large purchases of furniture, appliances, etc. here and in México City. That was easier then going to an ATM for several days to get enough cash.

They always asked me to show them a visa, or my passport, and they always asked Doris to show her voter’s card. I think that thieves using a stolen card to rack up large purchases in just a few hours must always have confederates working in the stores where the stolen cards are used. They wouldn’t care if the thief put a paw print on the purchase slip instead of a forged signature.

At the Sears store here it is a little different. It is very time consuming to use a Sears card here in Cuernavaca. They only have one telephone in the entire store that is capable of making international calls. We bought dining room furniture, and later, a small freezer, and a portable dishwasher there on three separate occasions.

Sears in México is a separate business from Sears in The United States where our cards were issued. It required a phone call to The US to get credit approval for those purchases. I took about an hour and a half to two hours each time.

Later, my wife was in Sears here and wanted to buy some small thing for $200 or $300 Pesos in the house ware department. She was short of cash, so she just flipped out her Sears card. She was then informed that Sears would not approve use of a Sears credit card for purchases of less then $350 to $450 Pesos. We don’t know if that is their policy in the entire republic, or just here in Cuernavaca.

We each carry only one of our credit cards with us now, in case of an emergency. We carry different cards in case one of them is lost or stolen. I keep the rest of our cards hidden in my secret hidey-hole at home, along with my passport, Doris’ Green card, etc.

I believe that with the dysfunctional police and court systems in México, credit card theft is probably one of the most risk-free crimes that even semi-organized criminals can commit here.

We do have one MasterCard, and one of our Visa cards that have our individual photos on them. That should help, but there was a post on these forums a few years ago by a woman that had her credit card with her photo on it stolen in Ajjijic. The thief had pasted her own photo on top of the true holder of the cards photos and used it. The card with the other person’s photo on it was recovered by the police and eventually returned to the owner.

The owner of the stolen card posted a picture of it here on Mexconnect; it showed the thief’s photo on it. Nothing else was recovered, just the card. Tell me that the thief didn’t have help using the card.

Rex




"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


sfmacaws


Mar 10, 2007, 2:31 PM

Post #49 of 100 (4245 views)

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Re: [RexC] H S B C

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I think that is it. I've only used it for large purchases and since the last one was a TV at CostCo and they stole the card number and tried to buy stuff online, I'm probably not going to use it much in the future either. Although, it can be difficult to accumulate enough cash for large items. I'm working on collecting up enough for my big dentist bill now and it has occurred to me to ask if he takes credit cards.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




thriftqueen

Mar 10, 2007, 5:03 PM

Post #50 of 100 (4215 views)

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Re: [RexC] H S B C

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Sears in México is a separate business from Sears in The United States where our cards were issued.

As a matter of fact in one of today's articles regarding the billionaires list. The article listed all of Slim's holdings and it said he owned all the Sears stores here in Mexico. Best I remember it was 50 odd stores.


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