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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am curious if anyone has any advice about banking and/or traveling with money...
Long story short:
I will be traveling/living in Tulum, Mexico in two months (coming from NYC) for at least half a year...(I may also travel to Colombia for 3 weeks)...
- I plan to close my bank account in the USA for personal reasons (I need to, long story involving student loans & the fear of bank freezing while out of the country for a long period of time).
- I have a large amount saved for living etc.
- I have a paypal account in the USA...

What the safest, most economical, and easiest way to store or send money etc. I am aware that you need certain Visas to open an account in MX, which I may not be able to do...I looked into Bancomer, but it is unclear what I would need to open an account as a foreigner...I will be most likely living with a 180 day FM. I can have a family member in the states hold the majority of my funds for me and send as needed to me in MX but I am afraid all the money transfers may be costly...Anyone have any good advice? Also, in the event that I make some money in the US via telecommuting on the computer how would I cash this? Paid through paypal? Or can I cash a US check in MX...and without a MX or US account...? Any advice would be great! Thanks!
 

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A Bank of America debit card and withdrawing funds from either Scotia Bank or Santander Bank seems to be one of the preferred methods. Those banks plus BofA will allow you to withdraw funds without fees. Plus the exchange rate is very good. If you want to keep a smaller amount in the account, do so, and have your family deposit funds into the account when you need it. Send them an email or Skype them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info...just to clarify:
I would open a Bank of Am. account in the USA and use the debit card at Scotia Bank or Santander Bank in MX?
There are no fees at all with this??? Just seems a little too good to be true...
Also, I am not sure if those are located in the Tulum area...I know there is HSBC and I think Bancomer.
Thanks again for the help, any more info is appreciated.
Thanks!
 

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Santander is in Tulum and the nearest Scotia is in Playa.

NO fees, many expats use this combination all the time.
 

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Thanks for the info...just to clarify:
I would open a Bank of Am. account in the USA and use the debit card at Scotia Bank or Santander Bank in MX?
There are no fees at all with this??? Just seems a little too good to be true...
Also, I am not sure if those are located in the Tulum area...I know there is HSBC and I think Bancomer.
Thanks again for the help, any more info is appreciated.
Thanks![/QUOTE.

No fees at all. I've been doing this for several years. My Social Security and pension checks are direct-deposited to my BOA account, and I can withdraw money in pesos from any Santander or Scotiabank ATM. Why not check the Santander and Scotiabank websites to find out if they have branches in Tulum?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks a lot for the info!!! This is probably a really silly question but...if I have dollars in the account, do I have to exchange them? I have never used a ATM in another country...also, what happens if you have a US check to cash?
 

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You withdraw pesos. A few ATMs will permit you to withdraw US dollars or Mexican pesos (I believe those ATMs are located in Cancun), but it would be best to withdraw pesos. Cashing a check will be difficult. You might need an account with the bank and that would require a visa (FM3 or 2 type), while you will have a Tourist Permit (FMM). Plus, even if you did have an account, it could take up to two weeks to clear and only then could you get your cash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the help! I am just concerned in the event I get a US paycheck while I am living in MX...has anyone worked telecommute and solved this dilemma?
 

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Go to you bank and tell them you'll be out of the country. Generally, ATM withdraws won't freeze your account. However, if you buy something expensive, say for around 3,000 pesos without informing the bank that you are going to do this, they might freeze the account. Then you'll have to call them up and get it unfrozen.

As for the checks. It's best to NOT have the checks sent to Mexico. If at all possible, have them deposited directly to your account. Else have your family deposit them. In either case, it is best to ask your banker how to handle these checks. If they are deposited to your account in the US, you will have immediate access to the funds via ATM. If you try to cash them at a Mexican bank, you might have to wait up to two weeks for the funds.
 

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Schawb Bank has a checking account where you can direct deposit your work checks and have an ATM card where you can withdrawal up to $1000.00 USD a day from any banks ATM, all fees are reimbursed at the end of the month....

BanamexUSA has a simular plan but you must use a Banamex ATM.........
 

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Schawb Bank has a checking account where you can direct deposit your work checks and have an ATM card where you can withdrawal up to $1000.00 USD a day from any banks ATM, all fees are reimbursed at the end of the month....

BanamexUSA has a simular plan but you must use a Banamex ATM.........
An important factor to consider with all these plans is the exchange rate you get when withdrawing your money in pesos.
 
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