Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Finally, banking gone easy

I have been known, at times, to unleash my inner beast. Since I've left the classroom, it doesn't rear its ugly head much except when I'm at the bank (although when a man intentionally opens his garage door and lodges it into your car, I can't help but thrash around a few saucy words and fingers).

Yes, another banking story. But, a good one this time. I recently joined a new Facebook page called Surviving Mexico City where the topics range from how to keep people from blocking your driveway to how to avoid being served a Nescafé when what you asked for was coffee. On that page, I read a thread about easy and discounted bank transfers from Wells Fargo accounts in the US to BBVA Bancomer accounts in Mexico. Not only discounted bank transfers, but Bancomer can also deposit US checks, and depending where you live, allow you to keep both dollar and peso accounts.

For us, we have financial obligations in the US which require us to transfer money back to the US on a regular basis. If you add up the commission fees from both banks, it comes out to nearly $50 in fees. However, I just found out that Bancomer has a relationship with Compass Bank in the US. So if you happen to come from the following states -- Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas -- it behooves you to open a Bancomer account in Mexico and a Compass account in the US if you have bills to pay in the US. Why? Because there's only a $5 fee on wire transfers between Bancomer and Compass Bank.

And, certain branches throughout Mexico have a segment called the Preferred Customer Unit, a foreigner-friendly banking service. They guarantee Preferred Customers an English-speaking banker, no waiting in line, free online banking, access to English-speaking mortgage bankers, and more.

So, of course, we went to open one of these accounts last week, and it was nothing short of a miracle. We had a fully-functioning bank account in one hour, debit cards in hand, and just because I could, I chatted with my banker -- in English -- for over an hour. It became another long trip to the bank but only because I didn't want to leave!


  1. That sounds great, so glad things like this are falling into place for you. Man I bet this makes life a lot easier.

  2. Ok, maybe this topic is more than 2 years old, but I've been trying to find information on how to do exactly this between Bancomer in Mexico and Compass in the US and your blog is the first thing that came out in google. Can you tell me how did you transfer the money between this accounts? I have an account in both banks but I can't manage to find where is the option in online banking. Do I have to go and make the deposit directly in the bank?

  3. Hi Luis,
    I neglected this blog once I left Mexico but still receive any comments. Per your question, you need to go in-person to Bancomer and fill out the form. You just need all the info of your US Compass bank account, including swift, routing, acct#, etc. and your passport and they will move the money for you within 24 hrs. For transfers from the US, I have no idea how that works, but I don't think they have the option online to perform transfers because I've tried an interbank transfer without luck.