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Radita

Accessing My Money From U.s. For Long Term Stay

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Hi, I'm planning to relocate to the area and stay for a year or so. How does one get access to their money from the U.S.? Is it better to keep the money in my u.s. account, or open an account in Bucerias? If I open an account in Bucerias how do I get the money from my u.s. bank account to the Mexican bank? Sorry if this is a silly question, I just don't have any experience and want to make sure my money is safe. If you prefer to send me a private message that would be great. I hope this is the right place to ask this type of question. Many thanks!

Radita

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For larger amounts of money you can have your U.S. bank transfer the money to your Mexico bank, or, increase your withdrawal limit on your debit card and just use that to withdraw directly from your U.S. account. A daily withdrawal limit of $1000 USD (the equivalent in pesos) isn't unusual so that should keep you flush for most expenses.

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Hi, I'm planning to relocate to the area and stay for a year or so. How does one get access to their money from the U.S.? Is it better to keep the money in my u.s. account, or open an account in Bucerias? If I open an account in Bucerias how do I get the money from my u.s. bank account to the Mexican bank? Sorry if this is a silly question, I just don't have any experience and want to make sure my money is safe. If you prefer to send me a private message that would be great. I hope this is the right place to ask this type of question. Many thanks!

Radita

At Bancomer I just write a check to myself from my US account and it gets deposited about 2 weeks later into my MX checking account. You get the current rate of exchange (minus about 0.5%)

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Thank you Dynamic Duo and Yachats, I appreciate the wisdom!

Also if living in Sayulita or San Pancho are there 'safe' ATM machines? I had my card cloned in Sayulita.

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Any ATM is subject to risk, I agree that those in Sayulita, or any tourist hotspot, are more succeptable because the contstant flow of tourists make them lucrative for criminals, yet, in more than 15 years I have yet to have a problem (knock on wood). On trips to Vallarta I take advantage of the opportunity to use a bank ATM or while at Costco but when necessary I've used the various machines in Sayulita.

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We have never had a problem with the ATM at Oxxo in Sayulita (although it's frequently out of service) or at El Indio in San Pancho, but they both limit you to a $3000 peso withdrawal (so the machine doesn't run out of cash) and have high fees. We primarily use ATM's at brick and mortar banks in Bucerias. We raised our withdrawal limit, so we just go in once every one or two weeks and make a larger cash withdrawal. Your bank will likely charge international transaction fees (roughly 3% per transaction) and foreign ATM fees too though, so consider that.

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Bank of America and Santandar is the same company. If you have a B of A ATM card it is free withdrawals. There might even be more benefits but I have not looked into it to closely.

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Not the same company but have an agreement no fees at ATM but now charge 3 per cent foreign transaction fee

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Yikes 3%! My credit union charges 1%

If I need to withdraw more than $300 in a day how do I do that? Do I call my bank and then use multiple ATM's or can I withdraw from one ATM after the bank makes the increase? Funny how little westerners know about cash anymore.

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I use XOOM exclusively. Up to 2999usd$ per transaction. $4.99usd flat fee. 25 basis pt. spread (banks about 300 basis pt spread). Money available within minutes at banks. I save up to about $50.usd in fees and spread/commission taken by banks, per transaction. Where most ATM cash withdrawals get you is in the spread. They grab your attention with the fees but while you are looking at the fees they are reaching in your account and taking 3% on top of the fees with the spread.

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Thanks Don Vivo, very helpful. So do you keep the money you get from Zoom in a Mexican bank? or under mattress? lol.

Looks like Xoom would save me a little, but do I need to open a Mexico bank account or can I pick up money at any bank in Mexico without an account?

My u.s. credit union only charges 1% international transaction fee. So if for example I withdraw 1,100 usd per month it would cost me $11.00 plus the ATM fees (how much do the brick and mortal ATM's charge in Bucerias?). My bank doesn't charge for the first 3 non-credit union ATM withdrawals per month.

Thanks!

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I use Banco Azteca. I don't like lines and appreciate good service.

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I did some research on Xoom and while it's faster than Western Union, I noticed they get you with the exchange rates. Today their rate is 1 USD = 12.7420 MXN. So for every $1,000 it would be about $18.00 + 4.99 = 22.99. I think I will stick with the ATM's and just pay the 1% and use what I save on a few margaritas!

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Radita, to pull out more than $300 per day, just call your bank and tell them you'd like to raise your daily withdrawal limit. You can put your limit at whatever you want, then you only have to go to one ATM, pay one fee, etc. We have never had a problem pulling out large amounts from the bigger bank branches, but smaller ATMs sometimes lmiit the pesos you can get so as not to run out of money (like OXXO and other stand alone terminals).

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Thanks Kristen, I called my credit union and they said they don't raise the daily limit...what's up with that?!

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I have a U.S. bank account with a small credit union in CA as well and this year the fee whenever I use an atm nearly doubled. I would guess you will end up paying a lot more than 1% or even 3% all totaled. I am now paying almost $7 per withdrawal and discovered that despite all internet advances I cannot open a new U.S. account while outside the country. I suggest you considering doing so before you leave in order to avoid/reduce atm fees. Capital One and Charles Schwab both offer accounts with no international atm fees and Bank of America is part of the same Global ATM Network as the Mexican bank, Santander, so that is another good option. See this article: http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/avoid-paying-bank-fees-traveling/

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Thank you. I just spoke to my credit union and they have assured me that there is actually ZERO international transaction fee now. It used to be 1%. We'll see.

Also, she told me I don't pay for the first 3 ATM withdrawals...sounds too good to be true! Anyway, there's no time to open a new account, I leave on Saturday.

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