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USAA, cheapest ATM?

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Post by tictoc on Tue May 19, 2015 6:39 pm

RVGRINGO wrote: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.
So I just went to open a usaa account and have found that they say that they charge

"ALL ATM & DEBIT CARD
Foreign Transaction Fee 1% Of  Transaction Amount
Applies to debit card or ATM transactions with a merchant or ATM in a foreign country, whether the transaction is originally made in US dollars or converted from foreign currency."

Even though BofA is at 3% for their normal account, there are cheaper ways than +1% (if you have USAA Secure Checking Plus, it is another $9.95mo). So what USAA account is being used that make them the cheapest?

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Post by RVGRINGO on Tue May 19, 2015 7:08 pm

One way or the other, you will pay the 1% foreign exchange fee charged by the card you use. We pay no other fees, since they are rebated on each monthly statement.

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Post by JoeInMO on Tue May 19, 2015 8:41 pm

I'm a USAA member and agree with the above... you're going to pay a 1% foreign exchange fee. I also have a TD Ameritrade debit card and they don't charge any foreign exchange fees but outside of the USA and Canada you have to pay the local ATM surcharge. I've yet to find one that covers the ATM surcharge and no foreign exchange fee.

-Joe

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Post by tictoc on Tue May 19, 2015 8:49 pm

JoeInMO wrote:I'm a USAA member and agree with the above... you're going to pay a 1% foreign exchange fee.  I also have a TD Ameritrade debit card and they don't charge any foreign exchange fees but outside of the USA and Canada you have to pay the local ATM surcharge.  I've yet to find one that covers the ATM surcharge and no foreign exchange fee.

-Joe
Yes but what does TD charge to transfer to a Mexican account? It still seems to me that the cheapest way is to write an America check and deposit into a Mexican account (keep to total low). I will need to see who gives the most accurate (best) exchange rate when I get down.

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Post by JoeInMO on Tue May 19, 2015 8:54 pm

tictoc wrote:
JoeInMO wrote:I'm a USAA member and agree with the above... you're going to pay a 1% foreign exchange fee.  I also have a TD Ameritrade debit card and they don't charge any foreign exchange fees but outside of the USA and Canada you have to pay the local ATM surcharge.  I've yet to find one that covers the ATM surcharge and no foreign exchange fee.

-Joe
Yes but what does TD charge to transfer to a Mexican account? It still seems to me that the cheapest way is to write an America check and deposit into a Mexican account (keep to total low). I will need to see who gives the most accurate (best) exchange rate when I get down.

If the bank in Mexico allows ACH transfers then there's no charge for the transfer and the currency is exchanged at the Visa exchange rate for that day. The same applies for a Wire Transfer. If you have to use a SWIFT transfer then there's a charge involved.

-Joe

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Post by David on Wed May 20, 2015 7:55 am

No ACH to Mexico, wire only. There is a small charge from my MX bank, none from my US bank.
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Post by artesialulu on Wed May 20, 2015 9:19 am

Arent' USA federal government deposits to banks in Mexico ACH?
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Post by David on Wed May 20, 2015 9:30 am

I give up, are they? I asked my US Bank if they could ACH to my MX bank and they said no. Hmmm. Does anyone know the real answer?
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Post by JoeInMO on Wed May 20, 2015 12:02 pm

David wrote:No ACH to Mexico, wire only.  There is a small charge from my MX bank, none from my US bank.

Yes, all automatic Social Security and Veterans benefits are deposited via ACH.  I looked up the info via the US Federal Reserve and ACH is permitted to Mexico.  Currently the only bank they list is Banco de Mexico and they call it "Directo a México" instead of ACH. Here's the Directo a México website which tells what US Banks participate in the system: http://www.directoamexico.com/en/default.html

-Joe

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Post by tictoc on Wed May 20, 2015 12:29 pm

JoeInMO wrote:
David wrote:No ACH to Mexico, wire only.  There is a small charge from my MX bank, none from my US bank.

Yes, all automatic Social Security and Veterans benefits are deposited via ACH.  I looked up the info via the US Federal Reserve and ACH is permitted to Mexico.  Currently the only bank they list is Banco de Mexico and they call it "Directo a México" instead of ACH. Here's the Directo a México website which tells what US Banks participate in the system: http://www.directoamexico.com/en/default.html

-Joe
Joe, thanks for the info. It looks like you missed the actule list of banks...
http://www.directoamexico.com/en/spei.html

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Post by tictoc on Wed May 20, 2015 12:34 pm

So it looks like what one needs to do is find a US financial institution that is recognized by Directo a México and does not charge for ACH (I know BofA does)

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Post by David on Wed May 20, 2015 12:59 pm

Bance De Mexico is the central bank. Good luck with that.
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Post by JoeInMO on Wed May 20, 2015 1:07 pm

David wrote:Bance De Mexico is the central bank.  Good luck with that.

Just look at this site and you'll see many other Mexican banks in the program: http://www.directoamexico.com/en/spei.html

You can also find a list of US Banks in the program.

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Post by phxfunguy on Wed May 20, 2015 1:07 pm

JoeInMO wrote:I'm a USAA member and agree with the above... you're going to pay a 1% foreign exchange fee.  I also have a TD Ameritrade debit card and they don't charge any foreign exchange fees but outside of the USA and Canada you have to pay the local ATM surcharge.  I've yet to find one that covers the ATM surcharge and no foreign exchange fee.

-Joe

You will be charged no ATM fee or ITF (international transaction fee) using a CapitolOne360 debit card at Banorte banks in Guad or the Banorte ATM's at Oxxos Lakeside (Chapala malecon, El Torito, Ajijic Centro, Jocotepec.)  You will be temporarily charged an ATM fee using a Charles Schwab debit card at any ATM but no ITF.  The cumulated ATM fees will be credited back to your Schwab account on the last day of the month at the rate of the day you withdrew each amount.  So when calculating what your exchange rate was for any one day, be sure to include the ATM fee: for example,  $1000 pesos at Santander will be charged as $1031.32, you go home and look online to see you were debited $66.70, divide that by $1031.32 = .0646 per peso, divide that into 1 to get a rate of 15.48.  At the end of the month you'll be credited $31.32 x .0646 or $2.02 US for the ATM fee.

Check procedural details outlined in the similar thread 5 down the list from this one.
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Post by Shagnastie on Thu May 21, 2015 8:27 pm

I use my stateside credit union debit card and pay only a transaction fee of $1.00. No exchange or foreign transaction fees.

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