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Best USA Bank for lower ATM fees

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Post by slopy on Fri May 08, 2015 11:24 am

We thought all was good when Bank of America charged no ATM fee at Scotia. Have to make a change. I'm certain most of you already have! We prefer depositing our SSA checks in a USA bank, but if Bancomer or another is the only way, would appreciate your experience with a low USA ATM fee bank or Mexican bank. Hope I don't try your patience as this is covered a lot.

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Post by ajijicbob on Fri May 08, 2015 11:37 am

After my divorce with Citibank Banamex USA, I opened an account with USAA. I too would like to know the cheapest way to get pesos.
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Post by RVGRINGO on Fri May 08, 2015 11:40 am

If you are eligible, USAA Federal Savings Bank in San Antonio, TX, may be the best choice. They have handled military, dependents, family members and descendants in all parts of the world; all online or by mail, for a very long time and have full service. I have been with them since 1959 and found no need for a Mexican bank, using ATMs for cash with fees rebated at the end of each monthly statement. We generally used HSBC machines in their newest Lakeside branch, having had USAA raise our daily limit to reduce the need to visit the ATM so often, and to keep the number of transactions below the rebate limit each month.

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Post by zenwoodle on Fri May 08, 2015 12:22 pm

Our approach is to continue to have our OAS and CPP deposited to our Canadian bank.
We then use Canadian Forex to exchange funds into our Bancomer account here.
We have the flexibility to choose when and how much of our funds to bring to Bancomer, and we try to get the best exchange rate.
Canadian Forex exchange rates are better than the banks, and there are no fees for using our Bancomer card at their ATM's or at Walmart, Paz or any other place.
This is what works for us. Beer Beer
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Post by Jerry00 on Fri May 08, 2015 2:40 pm

The question was what US bank had the cheapest ATM fees.

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Post by RVGRINGO on Fri May 08, 2015 2:50 pm

And the answer was that, if you choose the right bank and are eligible, there are effectively no ATM fees, as they are rebated to your account. USAA Federal Savings Bank, for example.

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Post by slopy on Fri May 08, 2015 3:22 pm

Yes, my question is which USA bank charges the smallest ATM fees. I will go looking myself, I just thought some member here had a USA bank, with little ATM fees, which they would share. Before I go hunting.

Because Bank of America has become insane, now that Scotia not in picture.

In addition, in case that doesn't work, I also added if anyone has experience with depositing their retirement in a Mexican bank, how is that working. Not eligible for the USAA bank, which does sound like a good bank.

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Post by slopy on Fri May 08, 2015 3:23 pm

I don't qualify for USAA.

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Post by gringal on Fri May 08, 2015 3:59 pm

There's one catch worth mentioning. Those who have a Mexican address only or one of those P.O. boxes in Texas may find it difficult to impossible to open an account in the U.S. for SS direct deposit. (Nevermind mentioning the friend or relative "solution".....some simply don't have that option).

After our divorce from Banamex USA, we talked to Actinver Bank in Ajijic.
Very accommodating, and our checks have automatically plunked into an account there for around a year now. Easy to get cash when you need it.

Naturally, our biggest money stash remains in an ancient and honorable investment institutions in the U.S., but that's another matter.

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Post by slopy on Fri May 08, 2015 4:26 pm

Gringal, good point, before continuing. Our B of A acct. was already in existence, we just changed address to relative. Opening up a new one? Good point to consider.

I'm not sure what the point would be of a Laredo box, as I imagine they run over $30.00 USD a month, and I am not much of a shopper. Seems more logical to deposit into a Chapala bank, since we live in Chapela. Still thinking.

Thank you for your answers!

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Post by RVGRINGO on Fri May 08, 2015 5:20 pm

One of the greatest advantages of having your funds in a US bank is that they are protected by FDIC.
Next: It allows you to take cash from an ATM when the exchange rates are in your favor.
Also: You don‘t have to deal with Mexican bank procedures and questionable competence of some employees.
Then: Those long lines and lousy parking.

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Post by slopy on Fri May 08, 2015 6:56 pm

Good points. I have read online that Barclay's USA has a no ATM fee with the Ajijic branch...if the Ajijic bank is still there, I don't go to Ajijic much. I will keep looking. I do prefer a US bank.

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Post by David on Fri May 08, 2015 10:24 pm

Schwab has no fees and rebates the ATM fees as does Capital One.
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Post by slainte39 on Fri May 08, 2015 11:46 pm

David wrote:Schwab has no fees and rebates the ATM fees as does Capital One.

I don't get charged fees on Capital One if I use an Allpoint machine which I believe are in the Oxxo stores.

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Post by dcampbell757 on Sat May 09, 2015 7:34 am

Direct deposit of SS checks is easy and free at Bancomer. Never a problem in 8 years.

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Post by David on Sat May 09, 2015 7:45 am

The OP was asking about US banks, not Mexican.
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Post by dcampbell757 on Sat May 09, 2015 8:10 am

Read the OP carefully. Mexican banks are discussed as a possibility.

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Post by slopy on Sat May 09, 2015 9:09 am

That's right, dcampbell. Must have written my post unclearly. And I certainly appreciate you sharing your experience with Bancomer.

I thought I understood that Schwab is super strict that you must have a USA address, and, to the point, that withdrawing your funds with their ATM card in Mexico, all the time, would disqualify you. Without going into personal detail, would love to be proven wrong on that!

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Post by juanrey on Sat May 09, 2015 10:08 am

David wrote:Schwab has no fees and rebates the ATM fees as does Capital One.

Works well
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Post by JayBear on Sun May 10, 2015 8:21 am

At Bank of America, if you maintain a savings account as well as a checking account, and your total balance does not go below $10,000 USD, there are no fees to make an ATM withdrawal here. They only charge you fees when your total balances are under $10,000 and you make a withdrawal. I realize this is not the greatest investment, even these days when investments are not doing so well, BUT I like to have the easy cash access in case of emergencies. Note of course that the bank here charges ATM fees, based on the amount you withdraw, and this is not cheap. In golden days of yore, Scotia did not charge because of their relationship with BofA, but this changed a year or two ago. We are not a military family, so USAA is out. And I am limited to US banks that have a branch in Tucson, as that is my US address where my son lives.

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Post by MexicoPete on Sun May 10, 2015 8:33 am

Remember that BofA owns Merrill Lynch. I simply link the balance in my ML retirement account to my bank account and have a high enough balance not to pay any extra fees from BofA.

Oh and for my own protection, one can not automatically transfer funds from ML to BofA via the internet etc.
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Post by JayBear on Sun May 10, 2015 8:37 am

Yes, I should have said that my savings acct. is with Merrill Lynch, which is now joined at the hip to BofA.

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Post by viajero on Sun May 10, 2015 9:38 am

JayBear wrote:At Bank of America, if you maintain a savings account as well as a checking account, and your total balance does not go below $10,000 USD, there are no fees to make an ATM withdrawal here. They only charge you fees when your total balances are under $10,000 and you make a withdrawal.
Well,that's news to me,BoA told me that the only way to avoid their obscene 3% international ATM withdrawal fee was to maintain a balance of $250,000 or more.

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Post by MexicoPete on Sun May 10, 2015 10:51 am

Yes I too was told several years ago that the total had to be at least $250,000 US which luckily my IRA plus smaller brokerage account plus my very small BofA accounts slightly exceed. Maybe they have changed the total amount, I do not know
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Post by JayBear on Sun May 10, 2015 8:11 pm

Maybe BofA has changed it in the 3 years since I opened the account, or maybe it is a question of fees at the Mexican end? I don't know but I am not going to ask them;) These days, there is a lot to be said for keeping your money under a rock.

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