A common frustration about living in Mexico is paying bills. This is especially true for those who only reside here part time, meaning they arrive on a visitor’s visa and are without residency. This can be tough since most banks will not allow non-residents (non-temporary or permanent) to open a local account.
Having a local bank account in Mexico certainly does make life a lot easier. Not only for online shopping via Mexico outlets where you can avoid paying import fees, but for also for paying bills. If you live here to any extent, rent a place part of the year or actually own a home, then you know how frustrating it can be to pay bills.
One of the first lessons most people learn about bills in Mexico is that they cannot be carried over. All bills (often with the exception of water) need to be paid by the due date written on the factura. If it is not paid by midnight Mexico City time on the due date, that particular service is automatically cut off.
Albeit your TelMex / TelCel, internet, cable or electric bill, it will be cut, no exceptions. To get the service reconnected (in most instances), you only have to pay the bill. Usually within a hour or so, the service will automatically be reactivated.
So, what is the best way to pay your Mexican bills when you don’t have a local bank account? A lot of businesses now take credit cards, something they did not do even several years ago. Another way to pay your local bills in Mexico is to prepay them.
You can go in person, pay the current outstanding sum then before leaving, ask to put a specified amount against the account. For example, once a year I physically stand in line to prepay my water bill since the monthly amount is relatively consistent. I go to a wicket in person, pay the current bill, get that receipt cleared to zero then hand over 1,500 peso. The teller then puts that as a credit toward my monthly account.
On my next 10 or 11 water bills, I show “amount due” is 0.00 and an outstanding credit that is deducted each month until I have to go again. I do not do this because I don’t live here, I do this because I hate standing in line, but you too, can prepay your bills even if its only for a few months while you’re away.
Prepaying bills ensures services are not cut (and you’re not charged a reconnection fee). If you don’t want to prepay, you can always hit up the website of the company and look for a downloadable app or online payment method, most of which, accommodate out of country payment methods.