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Bubba

Jun 1, 2006, 7:58 AM

Post #1 of 42 (2841 views)

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Currency Exchange

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I have spoken with you folks in the past about the efficacy of exchanging your dollars for pesos with a U.S. financial institution before remitting funds to Mexico. I just did that in connection with a real estate transaction in Chiapas and I wonīt tell you the amount of money I saved but give you this example.

Assume you are paying $1,000,000 Pesos for a house down here. If you have your (substantial) U.S. financial institution eschange you dollars for pesos before wiring the money to your bank or investment house you will save some big bucks. If you had made this transfer last Tuesday, you would have saved $1,600USD as opposed to wiring dollars to a local investment house. If you are fortunate enough to have an account at a company such as Schwab as do I, you would pay no wire transfer fee.

Good clean fun, no?

Eat your heart out Johanson.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Jun 1, 2006, 7:59 AM)



NEOhio1


Jun 1, 2006, 8:02 AM

Post #2 of 42 (2808 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Currency Exchange

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Congratulations on the new house!


jerezano

Jun 1, 2006, 8:08 AM

Post #3 of 42 (2805 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Currency Exchange

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Hello Bubba,

Boy! I'm sure glad that you switched aleigance when you retired from banking. Nothing can get my goat so much as to be charged by a bank for letting them use my money. If there were only some way not to use them. So, financial organizations or brokers offer an alternative? Maybe, but so many of those also act just like bankers: Collect as much money from the client as is possible.

You apparently find Schwab a useful alternative. What do us poorer people do? Scottrade offers only a pittance on their money-market fund.

Adios. jerezano.


Bubba

Jun 1, 2006, 8:23 AM

Post #4 of 42 (2796 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Currency Exchange

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Jerezano:

If you have a U.S. address and are willing to claim U.S. residency, I suggest one of the internet banks. I believe Gringal mentioned Compass Bank but there are a number of them that will pay you over 4.0% for totally liquid sweep accounts. ING comes to mind as well.

Unfortunately, none of these banks will open an account for you unless you are a U.S. resident - citizen or not.

Mexican banks offer lousy returns on their checking and savings accounts but they have investment funds that are quite safe and offer good returns. we are moving our local investment funds to Bancomer in Ajijic shortly. We learned the hard way that keeping substantial balances in a local investment house can be an unpleasant experience when one is out of the region where that investment house operates. BBVA Bancomer has branches everywhere including the town in Chiapas where we are buying a second home. They have been extremely helpful in facilitating the close of the deal. The local much touted investment house in Ajijic beloved of gringos was of little service in Chiapas. The new branch manager at Bancomer on the Ajijic plaza speaks good English and was most helpful to us. His name is Daniel Arturo Amezquita Padilla and his phone number is 766 2303. Give him a call and tell him Bob Plummer sent you.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Jun 1, 2006, 8:35 AM)


Gwynne


Jun 1, 2006, 10:21 AM

Post #5 of 42 (2764 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Currency Exchange

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Maybe I just don't have enough money to have any clout.........but last year, we tried to change dollars to pesos with Bank of America here in Dallas (with whom we have 3 accounts plus a mortgage), and they were going to charge us 6% on top of an awful exchange rate. They explained that they had to "buy" the pesos and needed to cover their costs.
We declined.


Gringal

Jun 1, 2006, 10:31 AM

Post #6 of 42 (2755 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Currency Exchange

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Compass? Not me. I use CCB aka Citibank, linked to a Banamex account. I never leave much in either account. When I transfer funds, the peso conversion is made before they make the deposit in my Banamex account. I'm a peso pincher, too.
This system has proved convenient and thrifty.

My bank choices are limited, as I lack U.S. residency other than a cramped mailbox in Texas.


(This post was edited by Gringal on Jun 1, 2006, 10:34 AM)


Bubba

Jun 1, 2006, 10:35 AM

Post #7 of 42 (2750 views)

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Re: [Gwynne] Currency Exchange

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Gwynne:

Maybe we are not talking about the same thing. Iīm talking about wiring substantial sums of money from the U.S. to Mexico totally electronically. I donīt think I could walk into a Schwab branch and buy physical pesos at a reasonable rate. These are wholesale transactions.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Jun 1, 2006, 10:39 AM)


Gwynne


Jun 1, 2006, 10:47 AM

Post #8 of 42 (2743 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Currency Exchange

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That's why you're the banker and I'm not.
Thanks for clearing that up.
G


Rolly


Jun 1, 2006, 10:52 AM

Post #9 of 42 (2742 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Currency Exchange

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Gringal, I have some unwelcome news for you. I just did my monthly transfer from CCB to Banamex, and they charged me US$5.00 for the 'service.' I guess it ain't gonna be free no more.

Rolly Pirate


Bubba

Jun 1, 2006, 11:17 AM

Post #10 of 42 (2733 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Currency Exchange

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Rolly, my friend,

It wasnīt free even before they charged you that fee. Think, "lost opportunity costs" if you had your money in a decent institution that paid market rates for the use of that dough.

Dammit, I think I must devote my time as an old goober to explain the following:

Pepsi Cola Hits the Spot,
12 Full Ounces, Thatīs a Lot,
You Get Much More for a Nickel Too,
Pepsi Coal is the Drink for You.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Jun 1, 2006, 11:34 AM)


bournemouth

Jun 1, 2006, 11:33 AM

Post #11 of 42 (2722 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Currency Exchange

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Nothing is going to be free anymore sadly. Our credit card is with MBNA - there never used to be a foreign currency charge. MBNA was bought by B of A and now they have instituted a 3% (that should be in caps to express my horror) foreign currency surcharge. No wonder the manager of our principal bank in the US used to call B of A "The Evil Empire".

It's not that we used the credit card for foreign currency transactions - it's the darned principal of the thing - they make it on the exchange rate and then they sock you with an extra 3% on top of that.


Rolly


Jun 1, 2006, 11:49 AM

Post #12 of 42 (2714 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] Currency Exchange

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That's interesting about MBNA/BofA charging a foreign fee because BofA does not charge a fee for their debit/check card. I use mine often and am never charged a fee for ATM withdrawals at Serfin. Perhaps we are talking about different transactions -- a credit card purchase vs an ATM withdrawal?

And Bubba, I know you have a burning hate for CCB, you've expressed it often, but for me, and many others, it provides a useful service -- it transfers my monthly IRA loot to Banamex for 5 bucks (formally free). I don't give a hoot about the interest because the dough sits there for no more than a day. I would not keep a major stash in anybody's bank.

Rolly Pirate


Gringal

Jun 1, 2006, 11:58 AM

Post #13 of 42 (2710 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Currency Exchange

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The devil is in the details here, but basically, it ain't so.

I checked my last bank statement from Citibank aka CCB and as of the 5/05/06 statement, there was no transfer charge. I plowed through my folder and found no announcement of an anticipated charge.

I just called Citibank/CCB and spoke with a representative who assured me that there was no fee to transfer funds from my Citibank/CCB account to my Banamex account. He did, however, stress that this applies to accounts which are "linked" . He said there are no anticipated charges for these transfers in the future. Perhaps your accounts have not been "linked" as mine is. This "linkage" involves writing and signing a request to that effect. You may wish to call them and check on this.

I trust banks about like I do coiled rattlesnakes, so I always check up on what they're up to.


(This post was edited by Gringal on Jun 1, 2006, 12:01 PM)


Bubba

Jun 1, 2006, 12:15 PM

Post #14 of 42 (2699 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Currency Exchange

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Rolly:

I donīt hate CCG, I hate the way banks screw people through deceitful practices.

Gringal:

It is unfair to coiled rattlesnakes to compare them with bankers. Rattlesnakes are simply trying to protect themselves. What bankers are trying to do to you I am not allowed to say per Jennifer who seems to think that Bubba has become unduly crude of late.

There may be an element of truth in that assertion.


Gringal

Jun 1, 2006, 12:50 PM

Post #15 of 42 (2683 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Currency Exchange

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You're quite right. The rattlesnake is neither greedy nor deceitful. How about "pickpockets" ?

The "free" accounts for seniors is one of my favorites. Give a bunch of people who are having their monthly checks automatically deposited a "free" account and maybe they'll be so grateful that they won't notice they aren't getting enough interest to feed a flea. If they do notice, make it such a hassle to change deposit banks that they'll give up.

With a "regular" checking account, you hand them your money and they charge you fees for their use of it. $5 here or $1 there is only significant when multiplied by a few million customers. Then there's the biggies, like the $30 for an incoming wire transfer. What a business! Yum.


(This post was edited by Gringal on Jun 1, 2006, 12:55 PM)


bournemouth

Jun 1, 2006, 12:51 PM

Post #16 of 42 (2682 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Currency Exchange

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The notice came with the last statement. We do not use this card for cash withdrawals - only purchases and you can bet we won't be using it for peso transactions!


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Jun 1, 2006, 12:53 PM

Post #17 of 42 (2682 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Currency Exchange

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Bubba, I concur with your opinions on this subject.......


"It is unfair to coiled rattlesnakes to compare them with bankers. Rattlesnakes are simply trying to protect themselves."

I agree wholeheartedly. It's totally uncalled for to be insulting rattlesnakes.


"What bankers are trying to do to you I am not allowed to say per Jennifer who seems to think that Bubba has become unduly crude of late."

Since when is an honest, frank, expression of truth and/or opinion not welcome here. Crude or not. I doubt seriously that we have very many eight year olds reading this forum. Wether something is crude (or not) should be decided by all of those who read it. Last I heard, opinions do differ.
Getting older and still not down here.


Rolly


Jun 1, 2006, 12:53 PM

Post #18 of 42 (2682 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Currency Exchange

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Gringal, nothing is ever as simple as it seems. I called CCB, and after waiting on hold for a long time, I was told that the $5 fee applies to transfers of $1,000 or less, and that it has always been the rule, but has not been enforced until this month.

I wonder what else they forgot to tell us.

Rolly Pirate


Gringal

Jun 1, 2006, 1:16 PM

Post #19 of 42 (2673 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Currency Exchange

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Oooooh. The sneaky, thieving %&****. I just called CCB/Citibank again and checked your information. (Not that I don't believe you as gospel, mind.) I do wish they'd improve the sound quality on "hold".

You are absolutely correct. $1,000 or less: $5.00 fee is charged. Over $1000, no fee. Since I have an extravagant lifestyle, my transfers are in the free range. Not by that much, but I like the phrase "extravagant". It has a nice ring, like "boundless options".


Georgia


Jun 3, 2006, 6:49 AM

Post #20 of 42 (2539 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Currency Exchange

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Citibank always charged the fee ... they just didn't list it separately. Now they do. I just had this conversation with my investment firm (Smith Barney) that is linked to Citibank. Why the new charges, I asked. Not new, was the answer, just revealed. This is for ATM withdrawals on my Citibank card.


(This post was edited by Georgia on Jun 3, 2006, 6:51 AM)


Rolly


Jun 3, 2006, 7:50 AM

Post #21 of 42 (2523 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Currency Exchange

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Banorte has announced plans to team with a Texas bank to offer free transfers and check cashing between the banks -- bidirectionally. Read here: http://www.mexiconews.com.mx/18562.html

Rolly Pirate


Anonimo

Jun 3, 2006, 8:29 AM

Post #22 of 42 (2516 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Currency Exchange

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Our experience agrees with Gringal's; we have our CBB (CCBUSA) account linked to a local Banamex account, and there was no fee for the transfer we did recently.
We just now explored the CBB/CCBUSA website and found the Pesos transfers page and form, so we do not have to make a Skype call to LA everytime we want to transfer. We are proceeding with deliberation.

"En Boca Cerrada No Entran Moscas."

Saludos,
Anonimo


thriftqueen

Jun 3, 2006, 9:08 AM

Post #23 of 42 (2509 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Currency Exchange

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As of January 1, 2006 for the first time those pesky international banking fees started showing up on my bank statement. I called the CU and asked who and why this charge. I was told it was not a credit union charge but a Visa (my ATM is also a Visa debit card) charge and that it had always been there but the government has now ruled it must be broken out where the customer can see it. I worked in banking (not at Bubba's level, ha) for many years and know that the CSR isn't always properly trained to answer questions and thus two callers may get different answers. My frustration is to ask a question and realize that the person answering the phone doesn't really know the answer.

As another poster said, I thought well I'll just get a straight ATM card without the Visa logo to avoid that charge. I was told I couldn't have both that I would have to surrender my debit card, which I didn't want to do as I keep that card hot when I'm in the states and use it online here in Mx. I do not use it ever in a store here in Mx. I remember when we first came to Mexico some of my friends used theirs in Obregon's Wal-Mart and the number began having unknown charges made to it.


ignacio

Jun 3, 2006, 9:44 AM

Post #24 of 42 (2497 views)

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Re: [thriftqueen] Currency Exchange

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As mentioned some time ago in this forum, if you have an account with Bank of America, regardless of balance, you can withdraw on ATMs of Santander-Serfin or Scotiabank without any charges at all.

It is also very nice that most of these ATMs are the kind that you slide your card trough a trench, without letting go of your card ever, so none of this card swallowing problems there.


Bubba

Jun 3, 2006, 10:47 AM

Post #25 of 42 (2480 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Currency Exchange

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The "free" accounts for seniors is one of my favorites. Give a bunch of people who are having their monthly checks automatically deposited a "free" account and maybe they'll be so grateful that they won't notice they aren't getting enough interest to feed a flea. If they do notice, make it such a hassle to change deposit banks that they'll give up.

Excellent observation, Gringal. Banks love this sort of thing. Once a person starts the automatic deposit, that person is highly unlikely to change banks. The same is true of their bill paying services and other recurring services . These are nice services but you need to make sure you are getting the best, or at least, a good product.

I must try to recap my point here which some of you are missing.

If you concentrate on stuff like ATM fees, money transfer fees and other fees, the banks will take you to the cleaners. I repeat; my favorite customers were those who kept large interest free, relatively inactive checking accounts or low paying savings accounts with my branch in Oakland and who demanded stuff such as free ATM transactions, cashierīs checks and that kind of stuff which I gladly would give them. Bankers know these people are concentrating on the superficial and are easy to please. Think about the product as a whole. Thatīs it. No more.
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