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Mexicanbill

Sep 22, 2015, 6:26 AM

Post #1 of 14 (5102 views)

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Banking in Puerto Vallarta

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Is there one bank that is better than the rest when it comes to rates charged when drawing cash from my BofA Stateside account?
My wife has a BanaMex account but the people there do not seem to helpful. I plan to open an account as soon as my temp. residency is approved. Just not sure which bank to choose.
Chef William aka MexicanBill



chicois8

Sep 22, 2015, 7:57 AM

Post #2 of 14 (5087 views)

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Re: [Mexicanbill] Banking in Puerto Vallarta

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Just curious, what advantages are there to have a Mexican bank account ?
I believe BoA has a relationship with Sanderfer (sp)......
Rincon de Guayabitos,Nayarit
San Mateo, California


joaquinx


Sep 22, 2015, 8:07 AM

Post #3 of 14 (5085 views)

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Re: [Mexicanbill] Banking in Puerto Vallarta

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Is there one bank that is better than the rest when it comes to rates charged when drawing cash from my BofA Stateside account?
My wife has a BanaMex account but the people there do not seem to helpful. I plan to open an account as soon as my temp. residency is approved. Just not sure which bank to choose.


Santander doesn't charge a fee to use their atm, however, BofA will hit you with a 3% International Conversion Fee. Using Xoom.com to fund your Mexican bank account is about the same as an ATM.
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


joaquinx


Sep 22, 2015, 8:10 AM

Post #4 of 14 (5079 views)

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Re: [chicois8] Banking in Puerto Vallarta

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Just curious, what advantages are there to have a Mexican bank account ?


Chicois8 has been asking this question all over the internet. Will someone, please, give him an answer.
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


rvgringo

Sep 22, 2015, 10:34 AM

Post #5 of 14 (5060 views)

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Re: [chicois8] Banking in Puerto Vallarta

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In 13 years living in Mexico, I found absolutely no advantage to having a Mexican bank account. We maintained a US address through a forwarding service and our same US bank accounts that we had used since 1959 at USAA. All banking was done online and we increased our debit card limit to $1000 USD per day to limit trips to the ATM and to allow for accumulating funds for large purchaces. When buying a car, we arranged a three hour window with a debit limit raised to the value of the car. Never a problem living within the cash economy. We seldom used credit cards in Mexico as cash gets a better deal every time.


DigYourself

Sep 22, 2015, 10:45 AM

Post #6 of 14 (5058 views)

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Re: [chicois8] Banking in Puerto Vallarta

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BofA has no special relationship with any bank in Mexico. We have accounts at BofA.
Banamex is owned by Citi - but I'm not sure that is a good thing. We have accounts at Banamex.
We have accounts with HSBC in Mexico and the US. I don't think the two banks are even aware of each other.

Advantages to a Mexican bank account :
- the closeness of our funds.
- diversity.
- lack of capital controls - today and in the future.
- our Mexican accounts earn interest (but the peso is getting beaten up at the moment). On Monday I purchased a 1 yr CETE which (before taxes) earns 3.71%.

We have the best relationship - yet the least money - at HSBC Mexico because we have a close relationship with the staff.

At the moment almost every peso I spend I put on my BofA Visa credit card. No fees and a great exchange rate.

Finally - look into Schwab. We have a debit card with them which offers the same low Visa exchange rate and no ATM fees.

Just my 2 cents.


chicois8

Sep 22, 2015, 11:21 AM

Post #7 of 14 (5053 views)

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Re: [joaquinx] Banking in Puerto Vallarta

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In Reply To
Just curious, what advantages are there to have a Mexican bank account ?


Chicois8 has been asking this question all over the internet. Will someone, please, give him an answer.


This and the expat forum is not all over the internet, you sure run hot and cold..........
Rincon de Guayabitos,Nayarit
San Mateo, California


mcm

Sep 22, 2015, 11:44 AM

Post #8 of 14 (5045 views)

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Re: [Mexicanbill] Banking in Puerto Vallarta

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Now that BofA charges 3% foreign transaction fee for debit card ATM withdrawals, there's no real advantage to one bank over another, except for ATM fees charged by the local banks. Not sure which are the lowest.

We bank at Scotiabank (Mexico), and use it for local transactions (paying bills on line, taking money out of ATM, etc.). The exchange rate is good (one social security check deposited there each month from the US). There is no charge for taking money out of a Scotiabank ATM, and there is no annual fee for our account (the minimum balance is something like 1000 pesos). Talk to the bank executive to find out the best type of account (with lowest or no fees) for your purposes. The quality of service will probably vary from branch to branch, for any bank. BUT, be sure and choose a bank with a branch close to where you live or do business, since some transactions or account business can ONLY be taken care of at the branch where you opened the account. Scotiabank probably has fewer ATMs throughout Mexico than some other banks, so if that's a consideration, you might look elsewhere (you can use other bank's ATMs to withdraw cash, but they will charge a fee).

If you want to use your BofA funds in Mexico without fees, get a B of A Travel Rewards CREDIT card -- there is no annual fee for the card, no international transaction fee, and the exchange rate is very good (within a few pesos of the daily rate posted on XE). Assuming you have online banking with B of A, you just pay the credit card balance monthly and incur no charges at all.


joaquinx


Sep 22, 2015, 1:36 PM

Post #9 of 14 (5033 views)

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Re: [mcm] Banking in Puerto Vallarta

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If you want to use your BofA funds in Mexico without fees, get a B of A Travel Rewards CREDIT card -- there is no annual fee for the card, no international transaction fee, and the exchange rate is very good (within a few pesos of the daily rate posted on XE). Assuming you have online banking with B of A, you just pay the credit card balance monthly and incur no charges at all.


As a test, I withdrew 2,000 pesos from a Santander ATM with my BofA Travel Rewards CC and was charged 117.68usd. That was at 16.99 pesos to the dollar. Later I was charged a 10.00 usd ATM Transaction Fee. The bottom line rate was 15.66 while the Visa rate was 16.59

Used the same CC and bought 336.09 pesos and was charged 20.53. BofA rate and Visa were both 16.37.

Does this mean that the Credit Card is a good deal for purchases and not so good at the ATM? I think so.
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


mcm

Sep 22, 2015, 2:50 PM

Post #10 of 14 (5018 views)

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Re: [joaquinx] Banking in Puerto Vallarta

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Yes, sorry -- I should have made that clear -- I use the B of A Travel Rewards Credit Card just for purchases (services or goods), not for cash withdrawals. If you use it as a credit card for purchases, no fees.


Mexicanbill

Sep 23, 2015, 5:53 PM

Post #11 of 14 (4913 views)

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Re: [mcm] Banking in Puerto Vallarta

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Thanks everyone for all the help. I use my BofA debit card at Soriana and Walmart and my BofA travel rewards card just about everywhere else. I guess I will just stick with that. After reading the article about the long arm of the USA Gov't and banking, I'll keep my money up north. I have an address in Texas so I should be ok. I do like to carry some cash so the fees of a withdraw once a month will just be a part of the cost of living in Mexico.
Chef William aka MexicanBill


johanson


Sep 23, 2015, 6:51 PM

Post #12 of 14 (4902 views)

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Re: [Mexicanbill] Banking in Puerto Vallarta

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BofA does not hit everyone with a 3% International Conversion Fee. Should you have more than $250,000 in your B/A account or your linked Merrill Lynch (ML) account, that 3% is waved.
Remember that when ML went belly up B/A bought them out. So if, say your combined IRA account plus your total in your B/A account exceeds $250.000, link the accounts together and you will be exempt from that 3% fee.


Mexicanbill

Sep 24, 2015, 5:35 AM

Post #13 of 14 (4865 views)

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Re: [johanson] Banking in Puerto Vallarta

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Thanks, reducing expenses by 3% can add up over the year.Looks like that could be the best option....
Chef William aka MexicanBill


DigYourself

Sep 24, 2015, 6:57 AM

Post #14 of 14 (4846 views)

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Re: [johanson] Banking in Puerto Vallarta

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Revised post.

First I called BofA and spoke to the debit card people and they said there was no way to avoid the 3% exchange rate hit - regardless of balance.

Then I called Merrill Edge. After 23 minutes - someone finally said that the 3% exchange rate was waived for their 'Wealth Management Accounts'. She said - that would require 250,000 on account with ML regardless of our BofA balances.

So I guess you are right.

Schwab requires 10K.

Edit:
Found this link which agrees with you (kind of) and does not agree with what I was told on the phone.

https://mlaem.fs.ml.com/.../pdf/ml-470714PM.pdf

" International travel benefits available with your
Bank of America debit card, including:
No international transaction fee(s) when you use
your Bank of America debit card to make purchases
in a foreign currency
Waiver of Bank of America fees at non-Bank of America
international ATMs2"


(This post was edited by cuerna1 on Sep 24, 2015, 8:25 AM)
 
 
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