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Best Bank at Lakeside

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#1 gfresh

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 07:37 PM

Since there are so any Bank related posts today, I thought get feedback as to what Bank in Ajijic/Chapala is the best "deal" for transferring funds from the US to Mexico.

The scenario I'm envisioning is direct deposits to some NOB bank, ie. Social Security, dividends, etc.., while withdrawals at Lakeside. Withdrawals would of course be in pesos based on the current exchange rate, but what I'm most interested in is the cost of those transactions and the ease of the process. I've read in recent posts here, that if certain balances are maintained, transactions like ATM use are free, no problema, but I'm curious as to other transaction or transfer fees or other issues.

I'm a couple years way from setting up "base camp" at Lakeside, so I'd like some insight as to what's working the best for banking with the Lakeside expat community. As this point I've no stateside affiliation with anything more than my credit union, so I'm open to changing to HSBC, Citi, whomever..

So if you'd do it differently who'd you go with???

#2 traderspoc

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:04 PM

Use intercam, open account, transfer money by writing a check, no ATM, no chance of ATM fraud.
get better exhange rate and save money.

been working great for over 3 1/2 years.

The ATM fees, poor foriegn exchange rates add up ,

keep your social security and pension funds in a US credit union or bank with no fees

#3 lcscats

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 07:49 AM

Use BOA in US or Scociabank in Canada. You can take money out of a scociabank ATM without fees
and you get a good exchange rate. I use local bank for change, local investment and backup
in case the ATM network goes bad. The local machine is near Walmart and has a guard in front of
it 24/7/365.

#4 More Liana

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:05 AM

Second the motion for Bank of America in the USA. As lcscats said, due to BofA's agreement with Scotiabank and Santander, you can use ATMs at either of those two banks without withdrawal fees. Plus, the exchange rate you get is almost always better than at any other bank and is always far, far above what you would get at a casa de cambio (money exchange house). Ask BofA to raise your daily withdrawal limit to whatever you think you'll need; I recently asked for an increase to $1,500USD per day. Although there is a limit to the amount you can withdraw in each ATM transaction at Scotia or Santander, there is no limit to the number of transactions you can make--until you reach your daily BofA limit.

You may well want an Intercam account as well, but I like knowing that ATMs are open even when Intercam and other bank offices are closed.

#5 Chamanelo

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:40 AM

Santander is the way to Go the Bank President in chapala, will do anything ( almost ) to get your business! he has been a great help, his name is Jesus! their bank give the best exchange rates when you use your US debit or credit card! couldn't say more about how good this guy treats me!

#6 Shira

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:38 AM

I have used Banamex USA's amistad account for almost 12 years. It has undergone a few name changes during that time, but the bottom line is that it is a division of Citibank. As such I have used my Banamex USA ATM card anywhere in the world that Citibank has operations. No cost for usage.
In Mexico there are Banamex ATM's thoughout the country. That is not true of all the banks previously mentioned.
I have on occaision had some ATM problems but they have not been unsolvable. There is no fee to use a Banamex ATM with a Banamex USA ATM card. Once when I had a problem with my card Banamex USA authorized free check cashing withdrawl from Banamex,l where I had no account, until the problem was resolved.
I also have a peso account with Intercam for emergencies. However I never use it where an exchange rate is involved as the exchange rate is better through the ATM machine. I then deposit pesos into my account.
Another tip is that if you have any Capital One credit card they are one of the very few credit cards that does not charge a foreign transaction fee. Their exchange rate on foreign transactions is very good. The card I have is free, no foreign exchange fee and I get cash back.
Ir is easier to love Mexico than to understand it.

#7 LaChula

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 01:22 PM

I have used Banamex USA's amistad account for almost 12 years. It has undergone a few name changes during that time, but the bottom line is that it is a division of Citibank. As such I have used my Banamex USA ATM card anywhere in the world that Citibank has operations. No cost for usage.
In Mexico there are Banamex ATM's thoughout the country. That is not true of all the banks previously mentioned.
I have on occaision had some ATM problems but they have not been unsolvable. There is no fee to use a Banamex ATM with a Banamex USA ATM card. Once when I had a problem with my card Banamex USA authorized free check cashing withdrawl from Banamex,l where I had no account, until the problem was resolved.
I also have a peso account with Intercam for emergencies. However I never use it where an exchange rate is involved as the exchange rate is better through the ATM machine. I then deposit pesos into my account.
Another tip is that if you have any Capitol One credit card they are one of the very few credit cards that does not charge a foreign transaction fee. Their exchange rate on foreign transactions is very good. The card I have is free, no foreign exchange fee and I get cash back.

I have been using BanamexUSA aka Citibank aka Calif. Commerce Bank since 1995. My US pension is direct-deposited to that bank and I use Banamex ATM's to get my pesos in Mexico. If I want more than my daily limit, I write a check from that account and get cash at Intercam.
Like Shira, I also have Capital One cards for no foreign transaction fees anywhere, ever.
"He upon whose heart the dust of Mexico has lain will find no peace in any other land." Malcolm Lowry

#8 Intercasa

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 01:51 PM

Different strokes for different folks and different banks for different needs and transactions.

My picks:

Credit Card - Capital One as no foreign fees
US Bank Account: Bank of America as you can withdraw at Scotia and Santander ATMs at a good rate and no junk fees
Local Mexican account: Bancomer, make sense banking, many locations and free accounts and English speaking staff and VIP gold card to never wait in line.
I make good things happen. 765 7553, US 805 683 4848.
El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz.

#9 Floradude

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 03:10 PM

Can you get a Capital One Credit card with only a Mexican address?

#10 Intercasa

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 04:14 PM

I use my parents address in Calif but have electronic statements so haven't received paper correspondence in many years.
I make good things happen. 765 7553, US 805 683 4848.
El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz.

#11 tomgates

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 05:43 PM

Best bank is an oxymoron.
Tom

#12 lakeheron

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 05:50 PM

You need a US address when applying for US credit cards. I use my daughter's which is where I stay when I go NOB. But I have a different mailing address which is in Texas and which presented no problem when I applied for my Capital One card six months ago.

#13 gfresh

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:07 PM

Thanks for all responses, I have the Capital One Credit Card covered, love those double miles, but you'd have to pay me to deal with BofA in the US, they've been total screw ups, at least the branches I've dealt.

The buddy was relating that he uses Schwab for everything (bank, brokerage, ATM) and he travels in Europe mostly but not Mexico or Latin America, so I'm wondering if anyone at Lakeside had any experience or horror stories working with Schwab???

#14 hkrause

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:41 AM

I'm also looking for input on which US bank to use for easy transactions with Mexico banks. We have a Capital One card, so that's covered. Already have an account at Bancomer (which we're not married to, and can switch to another bank if it's an issue). Our current (Kansas City) bank doesn't offer simple, inexpensive transfers to MX, so we need to switch before moving down.

Curious to know what banks (both ends) people use if they're regularly depositing into MX from the US. Also, what's the process for doing this - Electronic transfer? Write a check from your US bank to deposit in the MX bank? ATM card?

I'd also like to know about the person with a Schwab account, and whether that provides a simple way to make transfers into MX. We have the option of rolling my 401k into something like that when I leave work.

Heather

#15 PV Kids

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:56 AM

In the Southwest USA you can have an account with Compass Bank and then here in Mexico with Bancomer. Both are affiliates and wholly owned by Spain's second largest bank, BBVA. Makes life very easy in either locale. Compass also acquired a failed bank, Guaranty Bank of Austin, which gave it a presence in California for residents of that state.

#16 kbleitch

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:25 AM

I posted this a while back in another thread:

We bank with Wells Fargo NoB and have a Bancomer account. With the click of a mouse on WF online banking, I can send up to USD2,500 per day (I believe that's the amount) directly to our Bancomer account in real time. It is at the more favorable conversion that you'd receive if you were using a US bank ATM card to withdraw funds here. This program is called Express Send; its principal market has been to Mexican individuals living and working in the US so that they could send funds home. However, it is also available to send funds to a number of countries other than Mexico.

The first time you send to a particular recipient, you must go to a WF branch in person, so obviously must be in the States to do this. After that, it's all online. At the end of your online Express Send transaction, it shows the conversion rate and equivalent peso amount. The charge for this has varied from US$2-3 per transaction, depending upon the amount of $ we have on deposit at the moment with WF. This has worked very well for us and it is immediate. We don't have to write a US$ check and go to the bank to deposit it. We just withdraw cash with our Bancomer ATM card.

#17 JRPJR

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 10:00 AM

I would be really informative if all you folks with an ATM card entitling you to a preferred rate would chose a date and time and then all withdraw a previously agreed upon amount of cash. If you did this over a period of a few days or weeks we might all learn something. Might be fun. I don't use an ATM card but I might change my mind.

#18 hkrause

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 10:41 AM

I posted this a while back in another thread:

We bank with Wells Fargo NoB and have a Bancomer account. With the click of a mouse on WF online banking, I can send up to USD2,500 per day (I believe that's the amount) directly to our Bancomer account in real time. It is at the more favorable conversion that you'd receive if you were using a US bank ATM card to withdraw funds here. This program is called Express Send; its principal market has been to Mexican individuals living and working in the US so that they could send funds home. However, it is also available to send funds to a number of countries other than Mexico.

The first time you send to a particular recipient, you must go to a WF branch in person, so obviously must be in the States to do this. After that, it's all online. At the end of your online Express Send transaction, it shows the conversion rate and equivalent peso amount. The charge for this has varied from US$2-3 per transaction, depending upon the amount of $ we have on deposit at the moment with WF. This has worked very well for us and it is immediate. We don't have to write a US$ check and go to the bank to deposit it. We just withdraw cash with our Bancomer ATM card.

Excellent, thanks. Sounds like what we're looking for.

We tried this, in reverse, previously... trying to transfer from Bancomer to a Wells Fargo account, and it didn't work. That was when we were trying to get rental income from the house in MX, back to our US bank with us living in the US. Also wasn't possible with BoA, so we just gave up. Now that we're moving south and will need to bring US funds down to MX to live on, sounds like the process should work fine!

Heather

#19 hkrause

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 10:45 AM

In the Southwest USA you can have an account with Compass Bank and then here in Mexico with Bancomer. Both are affiliates and wholly owned by Spain's second largest bank, BBVA. Makes life very easy in either locale. Compass also acquired a failed bank, Guaranty Bank of Austin, which gave it a presence in California for residents of that state.

Interesting... may look into it. We don't have Compass Bank in our area (Kansas City), but since we're moving from here we might open an account there if we could do it without being present. I'll have to check on that. Thanks for the suggestion.

Heather

#20 Shira

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 10:58 AM

Banamex USA is in California and you can transfer to Banamex in Mexico with no fee if you set up an accountwith Banamex Mexico. There is no ATM fee. You do not need to be in Californa to do it. 800 222-1234. Free from Mexico 01 800 111 1234
Ir is easier to love Mexico than to understand it.





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