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opening bankaccount

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Ernesto78
4/1/2018 13:34 EST

Is it possible to open a Mexican bankaccount with a 180 day tourist visa?

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YellowTail
4/1/2018 13:44 EST

We opened our first HSBC Mexico 'checking' account from a HSBC US branch with NO visa of any sort. BUT - we had a premium account with HSBC. We still have that checking account - but after getting our PR visas we next opened savings/investment accounts.

At one point I was considering the need for a Euro account and they were willing to open one of those for me as well (in the canary islands I think).

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Ernesto78
4/1/2018 16:10 EST

Thanks but I'm not a HBSC customer :) Looking at their website I guess I'll try banamex (an English website fully functional). They say : For Foreigners: FFM, FM2, FM3, FMVL, FMTF, FMN, FMVC, or any documentation issued by Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores that certifies the legal stay of a foreigner in the country (VISA) now the question becomes: is a FMM also valid? I don't know the difference between all those forms.

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RVGRINGO

From: Mexico
4/1/2018 16:17 EST

FMM is the current Forma Migratoria Multiple. The previous forms are obsolete since about 2012.
Mexican websites are notoriously often way out of date.
These days, it seems that one needs a residence visa in order to get the CURP and RFC documents (ID and Taxation) needed for most serious transactions in Mexico.

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Ernesto78
4/1/2018 16:26 EST

so....no residence visa is no bank account? Guess I will e-mail banamex, see what they say.

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kikipt
4/1/2018 18:18 EST

We already had an HSBC premier account in Florida, but they would NOT allow us to open an account of any sort in Mexico without our TR cards. Once we had our cards, it was not difficult, though it was time consuming, since HSBC's customer service cannot even negotiate the nightmares of their own web functions! I don't know if that is just the staff here in Mérida, or if that is typical of HSBC elsewhere as well. Overall it took more than 12 hours in visits to get the accounts all working together so we can transfer between the US account and the Mexican account with no problem.

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RVGRINGO

From: Mexico
4/1/2018 18:53 EST

We managed just fine for 13+ years living in Mexico without a Mexican bank account & the headaches that come with them. We used ATMs for our cash needs, by raising our US debit card limit to allow us to avoid multiple visits, and our bank reimbursed the ATM fees. For large purchases, you can ask your bank to remove the limit for a number of hours, to buy a car or appliances, or use a wire transfer for really big things, like a house. Not a problem.

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Ernesto78
4/4/2018 15:40 EST

I think I found one :) They explicitly put the FMM form as acceptable on their website and I now have e-mail confirmation. One step closer every time

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RVGRINGO

From: Mexico
4/4/2018 18:32 EST

But......Then they will probably ask you for your CURP and RFC. Of course, you will have to prove your address with a utility bill from CFE or Telmex.

Catch-22.

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Ernesto78
4/5/2018 05:00 EST

What is CURP and RFC? Yes they ask for proof of address, you're right about that. This is what's on their site:

Foreigners:

Passport and FMM (Multiple Migratory Form), FM2, FM3, FMVL, FMTF, FMN, FMVC, VISA or any documents issued by the Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs which certifies your legal residential status.

Proof of
address

No older than 3 months.

In case your current address is different from your identification you can present a telephone, electricity or predial bill; pre-paid TV statement; water bill or statement in your name; current and registered lease contract (subscribed at least 90 days ago at most) and registered upon the Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público or Tesorería del D.F.

So.....if I rent an appartment with a lease/rent contract on my name...I should be good to go...right?

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RVGRINGO

From: Mexico
4/5/2018 11:44 EST

Possibly. However, the information you quote is more than six or seven years out of date. For example: The FM2, FM3, etc. became obsolete in 2012.
CURP is your Unique Registration Credential, a Mexican federal form. The RFC is your Mexican tax registration umber; like an IRS ID
number of sorts. The CURP may be applied for at INM & may have been issued with one‘s residence visa. The RFC may require an appointment and visit to the taxing authorities office.
More and more, Mexican banks and other institutions are requiring residency visas and federal documentation. Years ago, simple tourists could buy homes, cars, open bank accounts, etc. It is not so simple and easy not, as computerization has made it easier for the government to keep track of things.......taxes, for example. Caveat: Some things vary by state, or even by areas. Change is not always instant and universal.

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Ernesto78
4/5/2018 13:06 EST

That's what I have noticed on the forum, many different answers. So I guess it could depend on the bank and the employee. That's why I e-mail the bank and I did receive confirmation that the FMM form is accepted. That is also listed on their website as a requirement. And the FMM should be the new form...

Just in case they give me a hard time, I have printed the websites documentation. I however do fear you are probably right that things are becoming more strict, even over there. Downside of the computer era....:(

Nevertheless I will give it a try when I'm over there. If anyone else has had an experience with opening a bankaccount with or without a residence visa/on a tourist visa, I would like to know! So please post your experience.

Thanks

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RVGRINGO

From: Mexico
4/5/2018 14:55 EST

If you are an American citizen, I would be to your advantage to establish an account with a Major US bank, with good online services, and never let it go. If you have US income, have it deposited there, and only take what you need in cash from ATMs in Mexico as you need it. As I have mentioned before; we lived happily in Mexico without the need for a Mexican bank. You will find that US banks are easier to deal with, and much safer. No time spent waiting in long lines, either.

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prop
4/5/2018 15:00 EST

i opened one at banamex with just a tourist visa,passport and an electric bill.

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YellowTail
4/5/2018 15:31 EST

I agree that a US citizen definitely wants to maintain a US based account - particularly a long standing account, We have BAC accounts going back decades. Since arriving in Mexico we opened accounts with Schwab One international. That is the debit card I use at ATMs in Mexico.

We have absolutely NO issues dealing with our Mexican banks, Just yesterday we were patiently waiting in line at a teller's window and the receptionist at the Premier desk pulled us aside and handled what we needed done. I guess - what goes around comes around...

We can almost live off the 7% + interest we are earning on our Mexican cetes. I had a similar plan in the US while still working and we were making a good deal of interest (5 % +) on our US money market accounts. That is part of the reason we find ourselves in Mexico I guess,

I think a lot of the different perspective we seem to have on sites such as this are due to differing experiences - which quite possibly be caused by things like location and attitudes.

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Cozumeldeb
4/5/2018 15:40 EST

We bought in 2001, our notary and a lawyer (both Mexican) told us to never open a Mexican Bank Acct. We never did, and have had no problems. We use Charles Schwab Bank and they refund all bank fees monthly, also daily fluctuations in peso rate also is a problem.

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YellowTail
4/5/2018 15:53 EST

Schwab refunds my fees immediately.

Do you live in Mexico year round ? We really need Mexican bank accounts. We pay a lot of our bills online in Mexico. We also pay things like ; our TAG for highway access, MercadoLibre, Amazon Mexico, etc against our Mexican CC. We save 4% at Costco using banamex. We have the auto insurance for our cars and house through our bank - and get a 10% discount.

Our HSBC Rewards CC is excellent (and free) and comparable to an American Express Gold card or better.

But we _live_ here -

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YellowTail
4/5/2018 15:54 EST

Schwab refunds my fees immediately.

Do you live in Mexico year round ? We really need Mexican bank accounts. We pay a lot of our bills online in Mexico. We also pay things like ; our TAG for highway access, MercadoLibre, Amazon Mexico, etc against our Mexican CC. We save 4% at Costco using banamex. We have the auto insurance for our cars and house through our bank - and get a 10% discount.

Our HSBC Rewards CC is excellent (and free) and comparable to an American Express Gold card or better.

But we _live_ here -

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Cozumeldeb
4/5/2018 16:12 EST

We live the majority of the year here, we pay many of our bills annually or online. We have Costco Citicard bank 4% as well, but from the states. The main driver for us, we've been through 2 peso devaluations and know people that lost a lot of money, that plus legal advice. Majority of Mexican friends have accounts in US.

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YellowTail
4/5/2018 16:36 EST

Regarding the peso devaluations - we are talking 1994 and some point earlier ? Do you think that we live in the same world ? Do you believe that Mexico is the same place ?

Sure we have accounts still in the US - particularly retirement accounts etc - But at this point we have perhaps half our savings here in Mexico. We exchanged for our house at 15 : 1. We exchanged for our latest car at 22 : 1. Today the peso is roughly 18 : 1.

At this point - truly - all 24 of our feet (5 cats) are in Mexico. We are in the process with SRE. I'm half joking - but perhaps the principal reason we would ever return to the US would be for a decent corn beef on rye sandwich...

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RVGRINGO

From: Mexico
4/6/2018 12:28 EST

If we had moved our money from the USA to Mexico when we moved down, it would have been at 9 pesos to the dollar. So, by now, it would have lost 50% of its purchasing power, even before considering inflation. The rate of return on Cetes would not solve that problem.
Do not put more into pesos than you need to spend in the immediate future, unless you can truly afford to lose it. You will thank me later.

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dwwhiteside
4/6/2018 16:15 EST

One other thing to consider regarding opening a bank account in Mexico if you are a U.S. citizen; FATCA. If you have, at any point in time during a calendar year, the equivalent of $10,000 USD in any bank not in the U.S., you are required to complete an online form and tell the government all about your account; where it is located, the account number and the highest aggregate balance.

This is not much of an issue if you keep a fairly small balance in your Mexican bank account. But if you transfer in a sizable amount for a real estate or auto purchase, even if the money is only there for a brief period of time, you are still required to file a FATCA report.

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YellowTail
4/6/2018 17:04 EST

I hear you - but in a sense we have been cost averaging our peso exchanges. I think the worst exchange rate we have received was in the 13 : 1 range and the best maybe 22 : 1. At this point we have enough pesos that I have no plans to move any more large'ish blocks of money to Mexico. I do use my BAC Blue Rewards CC quite a bit - and get a very fair exchange rate as well as my Schwab dollar based debit card. My wife just signed up for SS - and we are having those monies direct deposited into our Mexican bank. They offer a VERY fair exchange rate - and since that is done every month, will also be a way of cost averaging,

I also like that we are a little diversified away from simply dollars.

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YellowTail
4/6/2018 17:09 EST

At this point it only takes me a couple hours to prepare the FinCen reports. I basically just move the account info over from last years reports and update the dollar amounts, Sure it is a little bit of pain, and I would not want my wife to have to do it, but it is not so bad.

I take that same information and report it on various 8938 filings with our tax return. I provide the exact same information to Fincen and the IRS. Again - not such a big deal (and I have no finance background).

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Ernesto78
4/7/2018 11:48 EST

That's good news prop, it confirm with what I have read on the website of Banamex.

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