It is different for everyone whether or not you should open a bank account in the country you are planning to stay for a longer period of time.
I collected 7 points on why I want a foreign bank account when I stay in a country long enough to make it worth a while.
Maybe you will recognize some valid reasons for you as well:
1. No fees for ATM withdrawals. Mexican banks usually charge 30 pesos or more per transaction and transactions are limited to 6,000 pesos per day from a foreign ATM card. And my Bank in the Netherlands adds to that fee as well.
2. Transfer money from your bank account back home. If I need to buy something extending the daily withdrawal from an ATM I can easily transfer money from the Netherlands to Mexico. No need for money transfer services and to have to pick up a lot of cash in person.
3. Pay for goods and services in Mexico with bank transfers. It is very common here in Mexico to pay for goods that have a big price tag to pay with a bank transfer. So laptop, car, motorcycle, building equipment, you can pay by bank transfer.
4. Higher daily spendings amount on your ATM card. Your Mexican ATM card probably gives you a higher daily limit on spendings, my Dutch ATM card allows me 6,000 pesos and with my Mexican ATM card I can do ATM Withdrawals up to 7,000 pesos. And my Mexican ATM card is better and safer accepted in shops and handheld online payment methods.
5. Easily obtain a replacement ATM card in case of fraud or loss. Every day I keep my Dutch ATM card and Creditcard at home, that card is safe. It is easier to replace a local card than a foreign one.
6. Less risk of ATM failure and loss of money because of it. I once was at Santander Cancun, using my Dutch ATM card, the process went well, but no money came out of the ATM, that day I lost 300 euros. Santander Bank does not handle ATM transactions in the branch, you have to contact a service, they tell you to contact your own bank, my bank has very limited possibilities to contact them unless I want my card blocked. And when trying to get through I learned that they will do nothing to retrieve my money from a transaction that went wrong in a foreign country.
If this happens with a local card ist is almost always corrected instantly.
7. I have a backup account for when the Dutch Bank decides it wants to close my account
European bank laws are changing every year, and the rules for Dutch people heaving a Dutch bank account while living abroad are becoming more strict. Lots of banks close down accounts with only a 6 months warning. When using a local bank I protect myself from lots of stress this will cause.
By keeping an account back home at the same time, a Mexican account will provide a buffer of protection, an easy to access the amount of money and an easy payment method with a local card.
Is my money safe in a Mexican bank?
Your money will be just as safe in a Mexican bank as it is in your local bank, as long as your bank has the government label of acknowledgment of official bank and is supervised by the Mexican Central Bank.
Your bank will work with the BURO, a credit organization, owned by Mexican banks, that will monitor loans and credit ratings.
Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.