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ATM Use

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ATM Use Empty ATM Use

Post by texunsam on Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:46 pm

Planning first visit to Ajijic in February and wanted help on 1) good/safe ATM to use (am staying at Hotel Casa Blanca) 2) any hints on ATM use if you don't know Spanish? Any tips for a gringo? Will exchange USD at airport, but want to use two different debit cards from US to test out whether any problems with using them or what charges are refunded. I have a Credit Union and Charles Schwab Bank cards, and both tell me no charges, but I want to verify before I really need them.
Any help is appreciated

Thanks

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Post by papa chango on Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:03 pm

There is an ATM at the southwest corner of the plaza in a Bancomer bank.  It's an easy walk from your hotel.
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Post by David on Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:09 pm

The ATMs are all safe and all ATMs are bilingual.  Do NOT change $ at the airport, the exchange rate is a ripoff.  If you must change $ do so at a bank.  Watch your debit cards for foreign exchage charges, usually 1%.  You're stuck with the local ATM charge I think.  I have two zero fee cards, one from my CU and one from Vanguard, neither of them will refund local fees.  I hear that Capitol One does.
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Post by Jim W on Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:25 pm

texunsam wrote:Planning first visit to Ajijic in February and wanted help on 1) good/safe ATM to use (am staying at Hotel Casa Blanca) 2) any hints on ATM use if you don't know Spanish? Any tips for a gringo? Will exchange USD at airport, but want to use two different debit cards from US to test out whether any problems with using them or what charges are refunded. I have a Credit Union and Charles Schwab Bank cards, and both tell me no charges, but I want to verify before I really need them.
Any help is appreciated

Thanks

Sent you a PM, Sam.
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Post by lucky on Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:38 pm

i've been using Banamex ATMs for the past six years since i moved here. i have an ATM card from a credit union in California. i do pay for each transaction (about 30 pesos), so i always take out the maximum (normally 6000 pesos). Still worth it to me because i love my credit union. The instructions on the Banamex ATMs are in Spanish and English, so you should be able to handle it fine.

If you want more than the 3000 or 4000 pesos that the ATMs normally list, choose the "other" option (or whatever it is called) and enter the amount you want. i take out 6000 pesos, as i said, because my daily limit happens to be $500US and, depending on the exchange rate, that comes close to it.

Just be sure and let your credit card and ATM companies know that you will be using your cards in Mexico so they don't put a stop on them. And i know lots of people use their Schwab cards for no fee at all.

One other thing, do NOT use the ATM machines that "eat" your card. Use the ones that allow you to swipe or pull your card in and out before you enter your PIN. i've had several friends whose cards got "eaten" by the machine and they cannot be returned, so you have to get a new one, which can take a long time.

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Post by David on Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:27 pm

My bank is Banco MultiVA.  It's ATM is a RED network machine.  It eats the card.  Such machines are the safest since it's not possible for ladrons to replace the card dock with one of their own.  I have never had a problem with such a machine.  IMHO to warn people off this device is a disservice.
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Post by lucky on Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:13 pm

David, you're right. i shouldn't have made such a dogmatic statement. But it is something to consider since getting a replacement card is so time-consuming.

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Post by David on Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:19 pm

In my experience getting a replacement card, while a PITA, takes very little time.  Some card issuers FedEx the new card to the cardholder.
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Post by Pedro on Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:53 pm

if ya don't hafta replace it,ain't that better?
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Post by texunsam on Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:31 am

Thanks to all for the advice

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Post by BobC on Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:45 am

When we were down there for a winter, the first time I used an ATM, we were pretty bagged from the long drive down, plus were having a rather heated discussion so was distracted while I was using the machine. The next time I opened my wallet and noticed that it was gone from my wallet.

I realized what had happened was that the sequencing in the Mexican machine was different from our bank back in Canada. Up here, you must remove your card before your money is dispensed. Down there, the money came out before the card was removed.

I had absent-mindedly taken my money and walked away with my card still in the machine.

We went back to the bank right away (HSBC in Chapala), to see if the card had been turned in (we can always dream) but they said that all cards left in the machine were automatically shredded.

We notified the bank back home via Skype and they said that they would mail a new card, but ONLY TO MY REGISTERED ADDRESS-- i.e., to our home NOB, not to an address in Mexico.

Fortunately, we had my wife's card, so no problem. If we hadn't had the backup, we could have had the people picking up our mail retrieve the letter with the card and courier it down, but it would have been a pain for them and for us--not to mention an expense. And, we would have been unable to get cash until it arrived.

Now that I think of it, I can't remember, but the new card  might have had to be activated at our home branch, too, so our neighbours would have had to do that and learn my password--not fair to them as they would have been under suspicion if there were any unauthorised transactions.

Just a word to the wise if your bank uses the same sequence as ours at home and/or your permanent address at your NOB is not in Mexico.

Bob

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Post by Lady Otter Latté on Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:54 am

Bob offers excellent advice. We all (and most especially visitors) should always focus on what we are doing when using an ATM. Being distracted can end up causing us a lot of problems.
Also, for those of us living here full time, replacing a lost bank card is not always a time-consuming or difficult process. When I lost my card, initially my US bank representative told me they had to send the new one to the mail address for the card (which is my daughter´s US address). I explained the process and time it would take to then get it to me and asked if there was something else we could do. He said he would check with his supervisor who then got on the line. I said I did not know if it was possible, but it would be best for me if the card could be expressed directly to my home in Mexico. The supervisor said that would be special circumstances and had to send me to HIS supervisor. BINGO! That was the person who could make it happen. It involved me answering additional security questions and cost $5 US for the expedited service. Forty-eight hours later, DHL showed up at my gate with my new card.
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Post by David on Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:57 am

There are several types of machines here each with it's own sequence.  So, pay attention to the screen prompts, they're all in both Spanish and English.
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Post by Jim W on Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:12 am

My US based bank reimburses transaction fees, unfortunately the Banks most ATM's don't show a separate ATM fee.
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Post by texunsam on Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:42 am

Always be aware especially when giving/receiving cash ... That's my motto

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Post by K2tog on Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:59 pm

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this part, but it's a good idea to let your bank know you will be traveling to this area and will be using your ATM card here...that way they won't have a negative reaction to a transaction coming from a foreign country. The bank will probably appreciate having the update.
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Post by Jim W on Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:10 pm

Good advice K2tog, however the issue is credit cards more often than not. Over the past 8 years I've had purchases declined a half dozen times because I failed to advise my card company I intended to make a large purchase via credit card. Better safe than sorry.
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Post by islandiver on Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:44 am

texunsam wrote:Always be aware especially when giving/receiving cash ... That's my motto

"Some Americans say Canadians are too nice – we even thank our bank machines, goes the joke."

It seems to help and does no harm.

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Post by Zedinmexico on Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:08 am

Scocia Bank ATM near Dominoes and Walmart is a swipe machine and does not eat your card and it also is in English and Spanish. Pretty reliable also.

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Post by CheenaGringo on Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:23 am

It also probably knows that it is Scotiabank. HA! HA!

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Post by Pedro on Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:31 am

it's[SCOTIABANK] not swipe anymore,it's push pull only part way, which means it won't eat your card.
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Post by Grizzy on Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:54 am

I upped my weekly limit for withdrawals prior to moving since I pay a withdrawal fee. This is pretty much a cash society so I do the max cash withdrawal I can weekly to save fees.
I jave founf that CiBanko across from Wings Army in Plaza Laguna has the lowest fees and is almost never out of cash.
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Post by Zedinmexico on Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:53 am

Pedro wrote:it's[SCOTIABANK] not swipe anymore,it's push pull only part way, which means it won't eat your card.

Pedro swipe means it takes US cards which don't have the chips in them like Canadian and Mexican cards. Swipe cards use the strips on the back whether they eat your card is a separate issue depending on design. The Scocia Bank ATM does not borrow your card and reads US swipe strip cards and chipped cards also. Also in English and simpler to use than the Bancomer ATM for example.

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Post by Pedro on Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:05 am

why do you insist on misspelling SCOTIA,SCOTIA,SCOTIA and read my lips-SCOTIA.
and most people consider swiping a card an "action" as in " you no longer swipe your card in that machine. it is push pull and only part way so that you never lose sight of it and it is always in your grasp.
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Post by lunateak on Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:10 am

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