Whether living in Mexico as a full time resident or visiting your vacation home in Puerto Vallarta, opening a bank account is a smart idea for numerous reasons including avoided costly currency exchange service fees, avoiding travelling with large sums of cash and for the convenience that access to local banking provides.  The banking system in Mexico is quite straightforward but it does come with some characteristics that are unique to the country.  Here is a quick overview of what you will need to know or inquire about when opening a bank account in Mexico.

Checking Accounts

  • These generally require a minimum balance to be left in your account. If your balance dips below the minimum balance, services charges will likely go up.
  • Most banks only offer a set number of free ATM withdrawals on checking accounts and subsequent withdrawals are subject to a service charge.

Savings Accounts

  • There are two types of savings accounts in Mexico: the first allows you to withdraw funds at any time while the second requires that you hold your savings for a set time before you are able to withdraw funds, generally a period between one month and a year.
  • Immediate withdrawal accounts generally pay minimal interest rates, while hold accounts generally offer a slightly better interest rate.
  • Both types of savings account generally require a minimum balance of around 1000 pesos.

Investment Accounts

  • These accounts, which require a higher minimum balance (usually starting at 5000 pesos or more), allow account holders to buy and sell on the international stock markets.

USD Accounts

  • American dollar accounts are offered at most major banks but are only available for American or Canadian citizens or for corporations.

To open a Mexican bank account you will need valid photo identification (your passport is the best bet) and proof of address, like a current utility bill.  And like with most things, it’s wise to shop around before choosing your preferred bank as rates and services do vary.

Read more about living and investing in Mexico with Ron Morgan Properties.