From the "Teach an old dog new tricks" Department, Gracias!

by Padrino ⌂ @, San Diego/Rosarito, Monday, September 19, 2022, 17:13 (14 days ago)

Many thanks for the tips here over the past few months regarding currency and banking. The referrals to Wise.com (formerly TransferWise.com) was a winner. The results from Schwab Bank have been mixed. I actually had opened a Wise.com account some time ago but when I saw that it would take several days for the money to arrive, I decided to stick with Xoom.com, even though Wise.com's exchange rate after fees was better than Xoom.com's. However, I broke down and used Wise.com a few weeks ago and lo!, and behold, the transfer went through far faster than several days. They must warn you on your first transfer that it could take several days just in case there are issues. Since then, transfers have happened within hours. They are not as quick as Xoom.com but hey!, they are cheaper.

Wise.com's exchange rates are been similar or just a bit less than the best rates from the Casas de Cambio on the U.S. side of the San Diego/Tijuana border. (When changing pesos back into dollars, the Tijuana side has the best rates.)

Getting a Schwab account was a bit of a hassle but eventually the regulatory issues gave way and my debit card arrived just in time for my current trip. Imagine my excitement yesterday when at the BBVA (formerly Bancomer) ATM, I was greeted with the option of either English or Spanish! Yippee! My Spanish is passable but when money is involved, I much prefer English, thank you very much. (There have been some frantic times when I didn't quite understand what BBVA was asking me such as when they want you to input your date of birth. Once it was in DDMM format and then another time, it was in MMYY format. Doesn't sound too nerve racking now as I write this but it put the scare on me standing in front of the ATM hoping and praying the stupid machine doesn't eat your card!)

Okay, so here comes the bummer from Chuckie and his crew. The exchange rate from Schwab was awful! Yesterday, they offered me 18.45 pesos to the dollar. Yes, that is better than most kiosks at airports and tourist locations that offer 18 pesos or less. However, just today, Wise.com offered 19.648 and the Casas de Cambio in San Ysidro just a few days ago were offering 19.65. (Rates change hourly.) Today, Xoom.com is offering 19.5329. The ATM fee would have been 174 pesos which I have been assured would be taken care of my Schwab and no doubt they would wind up paying far less. Needless to say, I declined their less than generous offer and took advantage of Wise.com's exchange rate.

The takeaway? Mr. Schwab stays in my wallet just in case of dire emergency. However, they won't be seeing much money flow through the account.

Again, Many Thanks To Everyone Who Chimed In On Currency Issues! Best wishes for awe-inspiring exchange rates!


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