How to Move Money from the USA to Mexico: Checks, Wire Transfers, ATMs

July 15, 2014
Cashing US checks at Mexican banks, transferring money into Mexico, and avoiding big ATM fees has definitely become more difficult since the US Govt’s July 1 FATCA new rule additions. Some banks and financial institutions are now saying there are additional new US govt. rule changes coming in August, which has left some bank’s check cashing and transfer policies in limbo until they deal the with rule changes and figure out their costs and consequences, but there are still many good options.  This post attempts to summarize the current common options for moving money from the USA to Mexico.

Since some bank’s policies are temporarily in flux, and others are on hold, we’re waiting until any August rule changes to finally settle in,  creating new long-term bank policies, before we write a full summary article on what’s available, but here’s a snapshot of people’s first-hand reports of their July 2014 experiences with their banks.

ATMs are still a good option for getting cash out in Mexico (see details below). Readers should note that there have been sporadic problems with ATMs being modified by thieves installing skimmers, so here’s a link to an article on stopping this kind of information theft at ATMs – see about halfway down:

Wells Fargo’s Express Send service is still wiring money from the USA to Mexico. Account holders can send up to $1,500 U.S. per day to certain Mexican banks for $5 USD. One poster described using BBVA Bancomer here to receive the wire. They said there is no charge for receiving if you have an account which can be opened with a $2,000 pesos min. balance/no fee. This process takes 2 days.

In no particular order: Bancomer is still cashing foreign checks for account holders. Intercam currently accepts personal checks from the USA, but some branches are saying they will stop cashing them in August. Actinver is saying they will no longer deposit checks from the USA. Merrill Lynch transfers money for free, if you have enough on deposit with them. Citibank US accounts can transfer $$ for free to MEXICAN Banamex accounts (– but who knows how long that will last… as Banamex goes through regulatory scrutiny and prosecutions: where the Banamex-USA has closed most accounts of US citizens living in Mexico). We can open an HSBC bank account in the US or Canada, and one in Mexico, and then link the accounts and make free transfers between accounts between countries if we deposit enough. The HSBC transferred money appears instantly. does exchanges from US accounts and transfers within 4 days, but you have to open the XE account from the USA. Capital One 360 debit card has no fees and allows free withdrawals at Banorte ATMs – up to $3,000 pesos a day. Monex still has its fans where you can wire money from any US bank to Monex, and then withdraw funds from Monex Mexico offices. Also note that the information I listed here has eccentric twists like: one way to get around Capital One 360/Banorte’s $3,000 peso a day withdrawal, MultiVa allows withdrawals up to $10,000 pesos a day for about $2 -$3 in fees. Also note that if you have a MultiVa account, then you can currently deposit US checks here in Mexico with them.

**** Be aware that if you start pulling lots of cash from Mexican ATMS, and then making cash deposits to a Mexican account, it creates an electronic “paper” trail that Hacienda/SAT tracks. The good lawyer Spencer McMullen reports that Hacienda then requires the expats (or Mexicans) “to explain why the deposits are not income”. Hacienda/SAT only gives us a short time frame to explain why its not income, or we face taxes, fines and penalties. ****

More news updates next month, when the next round of changes shakes out,


Disclaimer: Note that all of this information is for educational and entertainment purposes only, it is not meant as financial advice.   Please see a competent professional for all important tax and investment questions, and contact your financial institution to find out their current policies.

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What if it’s not … about politics … nor about ideas?

July 9, 2014
Are “Traditionalists” different from “Conservatives”?
Identical twin and fraternal twin studies show: Obedience to Traditional Authority*: … “authoritarianism, religiousness and conservatism”, called the “traditional moral values triad”, are “substantially influenced by genetic factors” according to 2 different studies. All three traits reflect “a single, underlying tendency”: “traditionalism.” Traditionalists are defined as “having strict moral standards and child-rearing practices, … valuing conventional propriety and reputation, …opposing rebelliousness and selfish disregard of others, and … valuing religious institutions and practices.”

What is sacrificed-by or lost by these traits(?):  ~ Open minded-ness, … flexibility, … tolerance, …acceptance of the others who are different, and … one definition of intelligence: the ability to consider/hold apparently-conflicting or ambiguous views.

If you are not part of that “Traditionalist” gene pool, will you ever be able to understand or really communicate/dialogue with the “Traditionalists” ?

Are “Traditionalists” an irreconcilably alienated segment of Americans?    ~ Do genetic predispositions doom “Traditionalists” to irreconcilably alienating themselves from open-minded tolerant individuals?

… What if it’s not … about politics … nor about ideas?

Interesting concepts?

…. or just another excuse to dis other people’s beliefs?


A wise disabled person observed:  “Everyone is disabled.  Some people’s disabilities are just more visible.”

Does this say that we should give special treatment and special exceptions to “traditionalists”/”Conservatives”, because they are victims of their genetically predispositioned disabilities?

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A knock at the door…

July 7, 2014

It always starts out so innocently, with only the best intentions:
Knocking on Doors


…Laughing so hard I dropped my taco AND spilled my beer!

Like the mouser-cat that must show all trophies before eating them, I drug this in from FaceBook to confirm Joanne’s point about the value in some FB posts (“fast-food”).*

… my first kitty growing up was a near-feral mouser – never allowed in the house – who’d line up every night’s bodies in a neat rown on the doorstep for mom to inspect (the morning horror show) before she dined. Imagine your only pet is one who sinks her claws into your shoulder every time you hug her… explains a lot. *grin*

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Just what are we doing here…

July 6, 2014
Just what are we doing here?

… in blogs,  on webforums,  … on facebook or twitterr?

Have you considered that writing is “cognitively unnatural”? (Steven Pinker)    “For almost all human existence, nobody wrote anything; even after that, for millennia, only a tiny elite did so. And it remains an odd way to communicate. You can’t see your readers’ facial expressions. They can’t ask for clarification. Often, you don’t know who they are, or how much they know. How to make up for all this?” (O. Burkeman)

Have you considered that maybe what you are doing … is psychology:  “a way that one mind can cause ideas to happen in another mind”. (Pinker)

Continuing to cherry-pick from other fields, consider insights from language scholars Mark Turner and Francis-Noël Thomas, on “joint attention”.   According to them:  “Writing is a modern twist on an ancient, species-wide behaviour: drawing someone else’s attention to something visible. Imagine stopping during a hike to point out a distant church to your hiking companion:   look,   over there,   in the gap between those trees – that patch of yellow stone?   Now can you see the spire? “

Crystallized:  “When you write,” Pinker says, “you should pretend that you, the writer, see something in the world that’s interesting, and that you’re directing the attention of your reader to that thing.”

… Is this why most people’s FB posts are almost all pictures,   and only a rare few dare present their own text – daring to write whole paragraphs,  with few or no images? **

… Is this FB quirk caused by the audience?
… Are pictures/photos the tool of a writer who has not yet learned to create wondrous images of the mind?

… What are we to make of all the misunderstandings over web-forum posts that almost exclusively use text?

Are these too the fault of an audience of  individuals who actively choose the inability to read more than a sentence or two versus exercising their minds and attention-spans?  … an audience of group-thinkers who automatically revile and complain about “overly long posts” ?

or … is it again, the inability of less-than-mature writers to create enticing, tasty pictures of the mind?




Sagrada Familia-2014-001







… steve

Sources:  The Edge 7/6/14  and The Guardian 6/28/14

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Useful Mexican Web Addresses: A Starting Point

July 5, 2014

Check your CURP number:
and print an official copy.

Aduana VIN and Pedimento Checker (to see if a car was successfully imported): CONSULTA RÁPIDA DE PEDIMENTO ESPECÍFICO

SAT’s website VIN checker:

Help with TIP problems, Aduana DF:   Lic. Karen Villaseñor   01-55-5802-0000 x46889  Administracion Central — 01-55-5802-2069

Aduana/SAT’s “Reference Values” for used cars:

Mexican Govt’s official VIN Checker with import duties:

SAT information for importing Classic Cars:

The Banjercito website for checking deposit costs for Temporarily Imported Permits for cars.

SAT/Aduana Operations Manual for Temporarily Imported Vehicles, page 45, Sec. 17-17.4 “Manual Importacion de Vehiculos”

SAT Vehicle TIP Permit Checker

Aduana Letter to Carry In the Car If Your TIP was Issued before June 11, 2011

Retorno Seguro Permits:  “Safely Returning Autos to the USA”

Ley Aduanera:  Dec. 9, 2013

Aduana/SAT website for Permanent auto imports:  Importaciones definitivas de automóvilies usuados

Aduana/SAT website for Temporary auto imports: Importación temporal de vehículos

What Happens if Your Foreign Plated Car is Stolen? … …. SURPRISE ! @#%&***!!

Unexpected Effects of Having a Trailer with Your Car’s Temporary Import Permit (TIP)

SAT -Directory of Banjercito Locations for Importing Cars

Map of Aduanas del Pais   to get current contact information for ALL Aduana offices across Mexico.

…. and that’s all for today.


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Driving across Mexico: 1935 Road Trip Video

July 17, 2014

The first 3 minutes were added by the “grandson” who has clearly watched way-too-much  American Pickers or Pawn Stars,  but the grandfather’s other 27 minutes are . . .

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Alternate Way of Getting a New Residente Temporal Permit after 4 Years

June 17, 2014
What do You do When You Have Completed 4 Years of Temporary Residency?

If one wants to continue with another 4 years on a fresh Residente Temporal, then when that expat is completing an aggregate of 4 years on a single FM2/FM3 or Residente Temporal permit, the formal rules say they must leave Mexico and return to their home country to file at a Mexican Consulate for a new Residente Temporal permit… or switch to 6 month Visitante permits and go to the border every 6 months to renew.

ALTERNATELY:   SOME local INM offices do now process applications for new Residente Temporal permits for previous RT’s who have just completed 4 years of temporary residency (aggregate RT, FM2/FM3, No Inmigrante/Inmigrante years)  – issuing a NEW Residente Temporal permit without leaving Mexico.   For the INM offices that allow this (like Chapala and Guadalajara and  … ?),  the foreigner intentionally allows the final year’s RT to expire, and then they go into their INM office immediately after expiration.  They pay a modest $1,600 peso “late penalty” fine – and the $1,036 “Regularization” fee,  submit bank statements and translations, and pay the normal RT fees.  This is done at your INM office,  without going to a Mexican Consulate.    Lic. Spencer McMullen’s law firm does this without ever going to a Mexican consulate.

Downsides:  Realize that INM will will not give us a travel letters during this special process,  so, plan to stay in Mexico until your new RT is approved.     Also note that if the RT applicant has a temporarily imported TIP car,  when their old RT expires,  the TIP expires simultaneously – and you would need a Retorno Seguro permit to legally drive the car (to a border),  unless you live in the Free Zones:  Baja California,  Baja California Sur, and Q. Roo – where foreigners are allowed to drive their foreign plated cars without any TIPs – as long as they have insurance and also keep their US or Canadian license plates and registration current.

We look forward to hearing from readers around Mexico about whether their INM offices accept this approach.

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For more information, please see our main article on Visiting and Staying in Mexico at:  ~ Current Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico

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Disclaimer: This information is not meant as legal advice. It is for educational and informational purposes only. Government policies vary between States and offices, and Mexican Government officials have broad discretion in how they individually enforce policies, so, your personal experiences may vary. See a professional for advice on important issues.

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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

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