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RED ALERT warning for using any ATM to get pesos for USD/CDN.

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Post by Clueless Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:46 pm

For many years, I have been using the Santander ATMs to get pesos using my BofA USD account.

Santander has a "deal" w/BofA that is still in effect, and that is you won't pay any fee for use of the Santander ATM if using a BofA debit card. I confirmed this yesterday w/both Santander and BofA NOB. I also confirmed I get the same exchange rate at any Santander ATM in Mexico.

I always knew there was/is a 3% conversion fee that BofA takes for giving you pesos.

I recently saw some charges alleged to be from Santander that I didn't understand. One was almost US$70. It didn't link to any of my withdrawals of pesos, so I started snooping.

But first, I went to the ATM in the Municipal building in Chapala and took $100 pesos out. When I got home, I checked to see how much I was debited. It turns out, my debit was US$6.31.

Two days and 3+ hours on the phone w/BofA, and I'm told there is another fee of somewhere around US$14.00 for international transactions. I talked to 3 customer service people and one supervisor at BofA. No one could explain this to me.

When I said to the BofA supervisor that it showed as a Santander debit, I was told it wasn't Santander. Now my realities were being challenged.

So my (semi-) bottom line is that I had all but one of the charges reversed, and I had to dispute the largest one, that is pending.

BTW, these added charges didn't show up until hours after the actual debit showed up, which was almost instantly. I had also NEVER been told of any charge by BofA other than the 3% I mentioned.

So if it matter to anyone here who uses an ATM to get pesos, you might want to double check your monthly statements and see if there are charges you don't recognize.

I'm not only clueless on this one, but yes, I'm cheap, especially when the amount is over US$200.



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Post by MexicoPete Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:11 pm

Remember that some of us who use B/A do not have to pay that 3% exchange rate. I don't.

What's the trick? You either have to have $250,000 in your B/A account, which I certainly do not have (I have about $25,000 in my bank account) or a linked account with a brokerage firm B/A owns, Merrill Lynch which can be part of that $250,000.

Now the majority of all working couples, have retirement accounts with balances approaching $300,000 or more when they retire at age 65 according to Mr. Google. So if you combine these amounts you have more than $250,000 US and you are not charged the 3% exchange fee.  Thank God my retirement IRA account was/is with Merrill Lynch

Oh, I use the Scotia Bank ATM lakeside and am only charged a small fee for using their machine, perhaps $20 pesos or so whether I withdraw $1,000 or $5,000 pesos
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Post by SunshineyDay Wed Aug 12, 2015 5:39 pm

Mr Google is in LaLa land. Maybe 10 years ago?

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Post by MexicoPete Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:34 pm

OK. Check out Google. Here is what I just got

For employees in a 401(k) plan for 10 or more years, the average balance was a hefty $251,600, up 12% year over year. For those with both a 401(k) and IRA at Fidelity, the average combined balance rose 2.2% to $267,200.

http://time.com/money/3838816/fidelity-401k-savings-high/

http://time.com/money/3838816/fidelity-401k-savings-high/

These folks often have other stock balances not in their retirement accounts and bank balances which could average much more than $300,000.

There are other articles suggesting more.

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Post by Gamina Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:02 pm

Nothing about BofA makes any sense.  I can no longer use my ATM card at the Scotia ATM--it refuses to recognize my card.  But when calling BofA they say everything is OK with my card.  When using Santander ATM I get no charges at all.  But using the Santander ATM in the Palacio, the charges are outrageous.  Having a large balance in a Merrill account has nothing to do with fees paid for using your card. Calling BofA is of no use at all since you will get a different answer with every person you talk to.  I even tried to us my ATM card in Laredo at a BofA bank ATM machine and my card was not recognized.  So I went across the street to some other bank (don't remember which bank) and took money out of my BofA acct. and paid a small fee.  You are trying to get an answer, Clueless, when no answer exists.  My advise is to quit beating a dead horse.
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Post by slainte39 Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:51 pm

MexicoPete wrote:Remember that some of us who use B/A do not have to pay that 3% exchange rate. I don't.

What's the trick? You either have to have $250,000 in your B/A account, which I certainly do not have (I have about $25,000 in my bank account) or a linked account with a brokerage firm B/A owns, Merrill Lynch which can be part of that $250,000.

Now the majority of all working couples, have retirement accounts with balances approaching $300,000 or more when they retire at age 65 according to Mr. Google. So if you combine these amounts you have more than $250,000 US and you are not charged the 3% exchange fee.  Thank God my retirement IRA account was/is with Merrill Lynch

Oh, I use the Scotia Bank ATM lakeside and am only charged a small fee for using their machine, perhaps $20 pesos or so whether I withdraw $1,000 or $5,000 pesos

Pete, you have made this post so often that you should ask Bob to make it a "sticky". lol!

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Post by CanuckBob Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:42 am

Gamina wrote:Nothing about BofA makes any sense.  I can no longer use my ATM card at the Scotia ATM--it refuses to recognize my card.  But when calling BofA they say everything is OK with my card.  When using Santander ATM I get no charges at all.  But using the Santander ATM in the Palacio, the charges are outrageous.  Having a large balance in a Merrill account has nothing to do with fees paid for using your card.  Calling BofA is of no use at all since you will get a different answer with every person you talk to.  I even tried to us my ATM card in Laredo at a BofA bank ATM machine and my card was not recognized.  So I went across the street to some other bank (don't remember which bank) and took money out of my BofA acct. and paid a small fee.  You are trying to get an answer, Clueless, when no answer exists.  My advise is to quit beating a dead horse.

It sounds like the chip in your card is malfunctioning. Some ATM's require the chip and others use the magnetic strip OR you have an old card that doesn't have a chip. The Scotia ATM identifies with the chip.
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Post by MexicoPete Thu Aug 13, 2015 8:20 am

I have two B/A debit accounts and one of the two has that new chip. That card does not work in the Scotia ATM. And yes the card that is older and will soon be replaced which doesn't have a chip works.

And of course, B/A says both should work and that there's nothing wrong with the chip. All I can say is that my card with the chip doesn't work here at Scotia Bank.



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Post by CanuckBob Thu Aug 13, 2015 8:45 am

That's actually the opposite of what I was saying. My chipped card works at the Scotiabank but not at some of the older machines. Either way I'm sure it is a chip vs. no chip problem.
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Post by Clueless Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:29 am

I'm not using my BofA Debit card for pesos until it works as I have been told by BofA. 3% transaction fee and that's it.

And yes, you can often get differing stories/answers from different people at (your/my) bank. That's why I always made notes, and if I can, get the name or I.D. # of who I am talking with.

In this instance my persistence with BofA got me close to US$200.00 back. And "No," there were no threats involved other than I did say I hoped I didn't have to find another more "user friendly" bank after "all these years."
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Post by David Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:39 am

Even 3% is too much. Many banks charge only 1%, some are 0%. I quit using my AMEX card because if its 2% fee. My two banks have 0% foreign transaction fee.
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Post by benjji Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:30 pm

3% is, indeed, an outrage. I too pay zero fees for using my ATM cards. 3% over a years time certainly will help pay someone's salary and it won't be Clueless

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Post by Frijoles Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:01 pm

David wrote:Even 3% is too much.  Many banks charge only 1%, some are 0%.  I quit using my AMEX card because if its 2% fee.  My two banks have 0% foreign transaction fee.

Which are your banks?
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Post by Zedinmexico Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:59 pm

First Tech Federal Credit Union is 1%. HP, Agilent,MS,Intel, CH2mhill credit unions merged to form FTCU using HP federal credit union charter. I just don't use BOA products in Mexico. Great in the USA, locations everywhere and I am never charged a fee using BOA cards at BOA ATMs. Got new chipped cards from FTCU and the chips don't work at most places in US even if they have a chipped card reader in bottom of swipe machine. It will take time to swap out all the machines and update the software.

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Post by Clueless Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:26 pm

Other than a credit union, what banks give credit cards with low or no transaction fee?

Thanks.
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Post by gravy Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:42 pm

BOA can kiss my butt .....I write a check on my BOA account and deposit it in my Bancomer account and then use my ATM card to withdraw money ....doesn't seem to be any charges attached
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Post by Explorador Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:35 am

Schwab is fantastic. They reimburse ATM fees. Yes, even in Mexico. I'd get $5 or $10 back every month. (I'm no longer in Mexico.)

I did have to fill out a real application with all the details and even pass a phone interview. But all you need is a linked Schwab investment account. No minimum balance required. No fees.

It was definitely the best way to transfer money. I'd take it out of the ATM and walk over to the teller and deposit it.

If they offer it and you qualify I definitely recommend it.

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Post by Gamina Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:35 pm

Capital One credit cards are no transaction fee and no foreign fee. There is another card out there but I can't remember which bank. I use Capital One 360 bank accounts because they have no fees of any kind. They make their money on the float. They are a virtual bank with no brick/mortar branches so you don't have to go to the US to sign up with them. All by internet. There are several other virtual banks in the US.
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Post by CanuckBob Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:50 pm

Get a Scotia account. No fees at all at their ATM's down here.
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Post by David Sat Aug 15, 2015 3:50 pm

Chase Sapphire card has no foreign transaction fee.
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