Living in Mexico. EVERYTHING you need to know (and then some)
how foreigners can open a bank account in mexico
April 29, 2020
Opening a bank account in Mexico has changed a lot since I opened mine a decade ago. While the process now is a bit more tedious, it’s still worth the time and effort if you intend to live here. Having a Mexican bank account in your own name will avoid a lot of hassle not to mention open up a world that will make living here much easier.
Most asked question:Can a tourist open a bank account in Mexico? The answer is no. As a foreigner, a non-Mexican, you must be a temporary or permanent resident (and have a CURP) to open a bank account. It’s free and available only through a Mexican immigration office.
To open an account, the first thing you will need is a residency card. You need to be either a temporary or permanent resident to open a bank account in Mexico. You will also need a CURP. If you are a permanent resident, you have likely already been issued this number (it will be on the front of your INM card), however, if you’re a temporary resident, you may need to request one.
Most asked question:What American banks have branches in Mexico? There are several to choose from.
You will need to decide on which bank to use. Most of the mainstream banks in this country are linked to other bank brands in the US and Canada. For example, we have Scotiabank and HSBC. We also have Citibanamex (Banco Nacional de México) which is connected with Citibank as well as the country’s largest brands of Banorte and Santander, which is affiliated with Bank of America.
I highly suggest you do your homework before choosing since not all banks are created equal. For foreigners, some have deposit limits, while others do not allow easy money transfer transactions. The first bank account I ever opened was a Scotiabank, but I quickly shut it down after I learned it did not allow online banking (I’m sure that has changed over the years.) Other banks are known for having the most easily and often cloned debit cards in the country, so again, do your homework first.
Most asked question:What documents do I need to open a bank account in Mexico? You will need your INM card, passport and proof of address.
Once you have chosen a bank, pick a branch in your city and show up in person (foreigners cannot open a bank account online) with your immigration card, passport and proof of address. A Telmex bill in your name is never disputed and is the easiest to obtain. Make sure you have copies of all these items. You will also need a cash deposit of 5,000 peso to open and initiate the account. This is not a fee, it’s your first deposit.
You won’t need more than an hour to get everything set up. When you’re done, you will be able to pay local bills online, make international money transfers and shop locally without any problems, including online shopping via the .com.mx sites (saves a fortune in import fees!).