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nomore

Apr 24, 2013, 1:14 PM

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How about credit cards ?

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Yesterday we FINALLY got our free peso based HSBC MasterCard. Not the highest credit limit but that's ok for now.

We really don't use credit cards all that much, mostly for large purchases, and we have always paid off whatever balance in total each month. But - we have found it good practice to have 2 different cards when we go on a trip, say.

I just checked the American Express/Mexico site and they want $120USD for a basic green card. In the States our green card was from Costco which built up points as well and I believe was part of the Costco annual membership fee.

My question is : Has anyone come across good 'deals' on credit cards ? Any way to get a free peso based American Express ? Other banks that provide free credit cards ?

Thanks



roberb7


Apr 24, 2013, 1:26 PM

Post #2 of 35 (13693 views)

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Re: [chuck4430] How about credit cards ?

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Scotiabank has to usual variety of credit cards. They told me that the easiest way to get one is to put some money into one of their "fondos de inversión". This would become the collateral for whatever credit card you get. So, if you put 20,000 pesos into the fondo de inversión, the limit on your card will be 20,000 pesos.


nomore

Apr 24, 2013, 1:31 PM

Post #3 of 35 (13690 views)

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Re: [roberb7] How about credit cards ?

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Yes - we have a fondo de inversion at HSBC but the credit limit was much less than the dollar amount invested.

But they did throw in a free card that gets you free access to the Priority Club lounges at 600 airports worldwide :-)


esperanza

Apr 24, 2013, 5:24 PM

Post #4 of 35 (13615 views)

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Re: [chuck4430] How about credit cards ?

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Yesterday we FINALLY got our free peso based HSBC MasterCard. Not the highest credit limit but that's ok for now.

We really don't use credit cards all that much, mostly for large purchases, and we have always paid off whatever balance in total each month. But - we have found it good practice to have 2 different cards when we go on a trip, say.

I just checked the American Express/Mexico site and they want $120USD for a basic green card. In the States our green card was from Costco which built up points as well and I believe was part of the Costco annual membership fee.

My question is : Has anyone come across good 'deals' on credit cards ? Any way to get a free peso based American Express ? Other banks that provide free credit cards ?

Thanks

Be extremely careful with Mexican credit cards. There are infinite ways to charge fees, and all of the fees are exorbitant. And God forbid you should not pay off the whole balance each month--the CAT (annual interest rate) will kill you. Here's an article published just a few weeks ago:
http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/finanzas/101281.html

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









roberb7


Jun 5, 2014, 1:57 PM

Post #5 of 35 (12691 views)

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Re: [roberb7] How about credit cards ?

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Scotiabank has to usual variety of credit cards. They told me that the easiest way to get one is to put some money into one of their "fondos de inversión". This would become the collateral for whatever credit card you get. So, if you put 20,000 pesos into the fondo de inversión, the limit on your card will be 20,000 pesos.

The limit actually turned out to be 18,000 pesos.
I finally got a MasterCard from Scotiabank today. It's not a deal that I'm bragging about.
As I wrote a few months ago, Scotiabank does advertise a variety of credit cards, including a couple of low-interest ones. I wasn't offered one of these.
What they gave me is a "Scotia Travel" card. The terms on this would have inspired "Fat Tony" Salerno to go legit. 41% annual interest rate, and an annual fee of 850 pesos. (Free the first year.)
That annual fee does include a few things. Credit life insurance, which is worth very little with such a low credit limit. Travel insurance and car rental insurance, but I won't know how good these are unitl I read the fine print.
This market needs more competition; I'll jump at a better deal.


Aaron+

Jun 9, 2014, 8:31 AM

Post #6 of 35 (12449 views)

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Re: [roberb7] How about credit cards ?

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Our Mexican bank account -- well, I should say my wife's, since for Banorte I barely exist -- has been after us, er, her, to apply for a credit card with them. We do use their debit card.

Something is missing with my understanding, I guess, as I see no reason to apply for a Mexican bank credit card, with their usurious interest rates and fees.

We do use our US credit cards here, for gas and for firms that do not impose a surcharge on credit card purchases. (For those with surcharges, they apply equally to domestic Mexican or foreign cards.) The card we use most frequently has a 1% foreign transaction fee charge against the interbank wholesale rate, so we come out fine. For really big expenses, we call up Cap1 to tell them we are in Mexico for x period to get their 0% foreign transaction fee.

Indeed, for an expat, what is the advantage of a Mexican bank credit card?


roberb7


Jun 9, 2014, 8:38 AM

Post #7 of 35 (12444 views)

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Re: [Aaron+] How about credit cards ?

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Indeed, for an expat, what is the advantage of a Mexican bank credit card?

There's one important one, and it's the only reason why I bothered with this.
Certain online purchases, such as bus tickets, will only work with a credit card on a Mexican bank. No, debit cards will not work.


Adios

Jun 9, 2014, 9:28 AM

Post #8 of 35 (12418 views)

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How about credit cards ?

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We have never (in 30+ years of marriage) incurred 1 cent in interest or fees on anything from any bank or credit card (well except for the $50 to keep the Amex going). The few times something has shown up incorrectly it was always credited back.

About 10 days ago we received a call from HSBC Mexico that someone was trying to use my HSBC Mexico card number in San Antonio ! They shut the transaction down and then THEY called me. Now THAT is service. So - I am waiting for my new card to arrive and I'll tell you - I miss having it in my wallet.

I use my Mexican credit card for a lot of things here - and I use my B of A card for ebay and amazon purchases. Plus my HSBC card earns reward points here.


esperanza

Jun 9, 2014, 5:28 PM

Post #9 of 35 (12359 views)

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Re: [roberb7] How about credit cards ?

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Indeed, for an expat, what is the advantage of a Mexican bank credit card?

There's one important one, and it's the only reason why I bothered with this.
Certain online purchases, such as bus tickets, will only work with a credit card on a Mexican bank. No, debit cards will not work.

I buy ETN bus tickets about once a month, online and with my Bancomer debit card. You have to sign up (online) for the Bancomer process. Once you've been accepted, it's a piece of cake.

Some businesses do not accept Bancomer debit cards, but DO accept all others. I believe that your information is inaccurate.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









roberb7


Jun 9, 2014, 8:39 PM

Post #10 of 35 (12329 views)

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Re: [esperanza] How about credit cards ?

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I believe that your information is inaccurate.


No, it isn't.

I can state specifically that I was unable to buy an ADO ticket with either a Scotiabank Mexico debit card or a Capital One Canada Master Card. This was a problem, because there isn't any place in the Guanajuato area where you can buy ADO tickets over the counter.


esperanza

Jun 10, 2014, 7:04 AM

Post #11 of 35 (12296 views)

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Re: [roberb7] How about credit cards ?

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Then your information is correct--for ADO. But not for all bus companies, as you implied earlier.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









(This post was edited by esperanza on Jun 10, 2014, 7:05 AM)


joaquinx


Jun 10, 2014, 9:28 AM

Post #12 of 35 (12260 views)

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Re: [roberb7] How about credit cards ?

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I can state specifically that I was unable to buy an ADO ticket with either a Scotiabank Mexico debit card or a Capital One Canada Master Card. This was a problem, because there isn't any place in the Guanajuato area where you can buy ADO tickets over the counter.


Wouldn't it be possible to order the ticket on line and pay for it at a local Guanajuato OXXO rather than credit/debit card?
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


roberb7


Jun 10, 2014, 9:33 AM

Post #13 of 35 (12254 views)

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Re: [joaquinx] How about credit cards ?

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I can state specifically that I was unable to buy an ADO ticket with either a Scotiabank Mexico debit card or a Capital One Canada Master Card. This was a problem, because there isn't any place in the Guanajuato area where you can buy ADO tickets over the counter.


Wouldn't it be possible to order the ticket on line and pay for it at a local Guanajuato OXXO rather than credit/debit card?


I tried this, too. The local OXXO couldn't process it. (If my memory is correct, I tried two different OXXO's, in case the clerk at the first OXXO just didn't know what she was doing.)
Apparently, this only works at OXXO's within ADO's trading area. And if you think that this doesn't make sense, I agree with you.


joaquinx


Jun 10, 2014, 9:47 AM

Post #14 of 35 (12244 views)

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Re: [roberb7] How about credit cards ?

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I tried this, too. The local OXXO couldn't process it. (If my memory is correct, I tried two different OXXO's, in case the clerk at the first OXXO just didn't know what she was doing.)
Apparently, this only works at OXXO's within ADO's trading area. And if you think that this doesn't make sense, I agree with you.


I can't think of a reply. It is too odd.
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


esperanza

Jun 11, 2014, 6:41 AM

Post #15 of 35 (12172 views)

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Re: [roberb7] How about credit cards ?

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The OXXO bus travel system is often out of order--not for all buses all the time, but often for one or two at a time. For example, I have given up buying ETN tickets at OXXO since the system is rarely working.

I suspect that the same is true for ADO. All of the OXXO bus system screens in both Morelia and the DF show that ADO is one of the companies they sell tickets for, but apparently that system doesn't work very well.

The last time I bought an ADO ticket I was in Oaxaca and bought the ticket at the bus station. The OXXO ticket system wasn't working for ADO even in Oaxaca, where ADO is common.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









joaquinx


Jun 11, 2014, 7:41 AM

Post #16 of 35 (12155 views)

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Re: [esperanza] How about credit cards ?

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This reinforces my belief that many Internet sites in Mexico are written by Computer Science graduates doing their year of public service. The site will work for that year, but after the student completes their year of service, there is no maintenance done after that. The same for email addresses to these sites. It works for the year, but after that, no one cares to even look for emails.
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


Anonimo

Jun 13, 2014, 1:22 AM

Post #17 of 35 (12043 views)

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Re: [joaquinx] How about credit cards ?

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This reinforces my belief that many Internet sites in Mexico are written by Computer Science graduates doing their year of public service. The site will work for that year, but after the student completes their year of service, there is no maintenance done after that. The same for email addresses to these sites. It works for the year, but after that, no one cares to even look for emails.


Joaquinx, you have hit the nail on the head!

Saludos,
Anonimo


roni_smith


Jun 18, 2014, 2:06 PM

Post #18 of 35 (11902 views)

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Re: [nomore] How about credit cards ?

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I use cash and go down to one of the ADO stations in Merida to buy bus tickets. Sounds like a lot less hassle than a Mexican credit card.
------
Planning for Mexico Move Blog



roberb7


Jun 19, 2014, 8:55 AM

Post #19 of 35 (11834 views)

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Re: [roni_smith] How about credit cards ?

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I use cash and go down to one of the ADO stations in Merida to buy bus tickets. Sounds like a lot less hassle than a Mexican credit card.


It is, if you live in a town that has an ADO station.

In my case, I was going from Guanajuato to Acapulco. I took Primera Plus to the Taxquena station, but, as I'm trying to explain here, I had no way of buying an advance ticket for Taxquena-Acapulco. I lucked out; there were only two tickets left for the next Taxquena-Acapulco bus, and I got one of them.


Anonimo

Jun 19, 2014, 1:44 PM

Post #20 of 35 (11807 views)

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Re: [roberb7] How about credit cards ?

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About two weeks ago, I bought two one way tickets on ETN, complete with INAPAM discounts, for a trip from Nuevo Laredo to Morelia, but not from an ETN ticket counter. Rather, it was at the counter for AutoVías, in Pátzcuaro. (There is no ETN ticket counter proper in Pátzcuaro.*)

When we started to board the ETN bus in Nvo. Laredo, the boarding hostess looked askance at my ticket, but after she conferred with their ticket agents, we then boarded with no difficulty.

*Yes, I know about buying tickets at an OXXO, but didn't want to do that, for several reasons.



Saludos,
Anonimo


roberb7


May 6, 2015, 8:48 AM

Post #21 of 35 (10678 views)

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Re: [roberb7] How about credit cards ?

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What they gave me is a "Scotia Travel" card. The terms on this would have inspired "Fat Tony" Salerno to go legit. 41% annual interest rate, and an annual fee of 850 pesos. (Free the first year.)
That annual fee does include a few things. Credit life insurance, which is worth very little with such a low credit limit. Travel insurance and car rental insurance, but I won't know how good these are unitl I read the fine print.


OK, here's an update. The annual fee turned out to be 600 pesos, not 850. The travel insurance is not included; you have to get a different card with a higher annual fee for this.


DigYourself

May 6, 2015, 10:37 AM

Post #22 of 35 (10653 views)

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Re: [roberb7] How about credit cards ?

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600 pesos is very little, but it isn't free. Over the Christmas holidays we had dinner with some Mexican friends one of whom recommended a girl at Banamex Patrimonial. We opened an account with her in January (they require a chunk of money as a minimum). She has been very helpful/attentive. She got us free Citi Prestige credit cards with a pretty big credit limit, certainly more than we will ever need. The cards have every perk you can think of. I know a lot of expats stay away from moving money to Mexico, but to each his own.

And while I am on a banking topic... I keep pretty close tabs on how our investments are performing. When I can get 3.6% interest and someone has us in something that is earning 1%, I question it. Well that happened recently with this girl and low and behold the bank agreed to match what we can earn elsewhere. Banks here have all these various classes of fondos. Some earn substantially more than others, based on the amount of the investment. What she did was push us into a class where you normally find very wealthy people. I thought it interesting that we could get her to do that.


YucaLandia


May 6, 2015, 11:06 AM

Post #23 of 35 (10645 views)

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Re: [cuerna1] How about credit cards ?

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600 pesos is very little, but it isn't free. Over the Christmas holidays we had dinner with some Mexican friends one of whom recommended a girl at Banamex Patrimonial. We opened an account with her in January (they require a chunk of money as a minimum). She has been very helpful/attentive. She got us free Citi Prestige credit cards with a pretty big credit limit, certainly more than we will ever need. The cards have every perk you can think of. I know a lot of expats stay away from moving money to Mexico, but to each his own.

And while I am on a banking topic... I keep pretty close tabs on how our investments are performing. When I can get 3.6% interest and someone has us in something that is earning 1%, I question it. Well that happened recently with this girl and low and behold the bank agreed to match what we can earn elsewhere. Banks here have all these various classes of fondos. Some earn substantially more than others, based on the amount of the investment. What she did was push us into a class where you normally find very wealthy people. I thought it interesting that we could get her to do that.


Well Done!

This shows what's possible when we take positive polite sometimes-creative action.

We can complain about what we don't like, or we can go outside the box,
steve
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on May 6, 2015, 11:07 AM)


roberb7


Jul 25, 2015, 7:03 PM

Post #24 of 35 (8837 views)

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Re: [roberb7] How about credit cards ?

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Another update: The interest rate on my Scotia Travel Master Card magically dropped from 41% to 32%. Still not very good, but at least it's no longer in Fat Tony territory.


salto_jorge

Jul 29, 2015, 2:01 PM

Post #25 of 35 (8572 views)

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Re: [roberb7] How about credit cards ?

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Anyone have a Santander card and know what their rates are ?
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