Bank accounts

How to open a bank account in Mexico

Mexican banks offer accounts in Mexican Pesos or US-Dollars. There are significant differences between account services and fees, so shop around before making a decision.

To open a Mexican bank account you will need valid identification such as your passport or driving license and a proof of address. Dollar denominated accounts are only available for citizens of the US and Canada or for corporations. To open a corporate account you will need all articles of your incorporation and a power of attorney.

Checking accounts in Mexico

Checking accounts can be opened at any retail bank in Mexico. Charges can vary and often depend on a minimum deposit that you leave in your account (if you go below this deposit charges automatically go up). Many banks only offer a limited number of free cash withdrawals at ATMs; any additional withdrawals are charged with commission.

Deposit accounts in Mexico

Deposit accounts in Mexico come in two forms: ‘sight’ deposit accounts allow you to withdraw without notice and are usually accompanied by a debit card for withdrawing cash at ATMs worldwide. Interest rates are minimal, and many banks require you to hold a minimum deposit in the account if you don’t want to pay any account fees (usually around 1000 Pesos).

Deposit accounts require you to hold your savings for a minimum time before you can withdraw them; notice periods are usually between one month and a year. ‘Notice’ accounts will generally offer a better interest rate than sight accounts, with interest usually going up together with the notice period.

Investment accounts

Major Mexican banks also offer ‘market accounts’ which let you buy and sell in the international stock markets directly. These accounts usually require a higher minimum deposit (around 5000 Pesos).

Offshore accounts in Mexico

Foreign citizens can also open Dollar-denominated offshore accounts through the offshore branches of Mexican banks or their affiliate banks abroad. These accounts are targeted towards high net worth individuals and usually require high deposits. Activities on these accounts are free of any taxes on income, profits, interest and dividends, though the income from the account is obviously taxable in your country of residence. Mexican offshore accounts come in all forms. Most of them are completely liquid, offer daily capitalisation of interest and an extremely strict confidentiality of information.

Internet Banking in Mexico

All major Mexican banks offer Internet Banking together with their accounts, though sometimes it make take a while to get it up and running. In a country where you can easily waste a whole morning putting through a basic transaction at your local bank, Internet Banking can save you a lot of time (and nerves). Most major bills (like telephone or electricity) can be paid online, though some (like your rent) might still have to be paid in cash.

Further reading

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