Credit cards & corruption

Just back from the exercise walk today on a lovely morning.

When I arrived on the south side of the Rio Bravo these many years ago, I came with two credit cards, one from Wells Fargo, the other from a bank I now forget. I used the latter in 2003 to make monthly payments automatically for a Sky TV service. Sky almost immediately started to hose me, overcharging the card.

Oddly, the bank would not let me block future charges, so I had to cancel the card, leaving me with just one, the Wells Fargo. A year or two later, when I received a renewal card in the mail from up north, the fraud department wanted me to jump through so many hoops to activate it that I canceled it too. So, no credit card.

I started using a debit card online, which is a dreadful idea. I had two banks at that point, a Mexican account at Banamex, and a U.S. account at Banamex USA in Los Angeles. I finally obtained a Visa card from the Banamex account. It had a very low limit, the peso equivalent of about $150 U.S, so rule out a European splurge.

It was the same sort of starter card they offer campesinos.

My credit card history above the border was stellar, but credit history does not travel across the Rio Bravo. Down here, you start from scratch. Mexico has a credit bureau.

In 2014, due to the nincompoop FATCA legislation from the Obama Administration, Banamex USA closed my account with little warning, leaving me just the Mexican bank account with its almost useless credit card.

I was mad at Banamex in general, so I opened another Mexican account at HSBC only to learn it would not give me a credit card, in part due to my age. You read that right. HSBC is a nightmare bank. Avoid it. And I had canceled the Banamex account.

I then opened an account at BBVA Bancomer to have a fallback. After a wait of about three months, they gave me a Visa credit card with a free additional with my wife’s name on it. I have since requested a second one which also came with a free spouse card, plus the two have digital cards connected. So, all told, I have six Mexican credit cards.

BBVA Bancomer is an excellent bank. It has dropped the Bancomer name, and is just BBVA now. I have also tried out and found wanting accounts at Banco Santander and Banco Azteca. I investigated opening an account once at Banorte, but the woman with whom I was dealing briefly was so surly, I decided against it.

And I dumped the HSBC account. BBVA now serves all my needs nicely.

I have the BBVA app on my Motorola cell, and I check it daily. On two or three occasions, I found fraudulent charges. Since the cards never leave home, I wonder how that’s done. I suspect it’s bank employees. No matter, a phone call to the bank gets the matter resolved, the card in question cancelled, and a replacement rapidly arrives at my door.

Fraudulent charges, quite a lot, appeared on one of my cards just last week. Someone was having a field day purchasing goodies from Mercado Libre. A replacement card is en route. I’m a big fan of BBVA even though I do think it’s bank employees who occasionally buy stuff with my card. Let’s just call them bad apples.

From what I see on internet forums, lots, probably most, Gringos who move to Mexico live here for years without Mexican bank accounts and without Mexican credit cards, relying totally on their accounts up north. This often gets them into binds.

If you’re gonna live in Mexico, you need a Mexican bank and credit cards.


Now let’s turn to politics, always fun.

Have you heard about last week’s revelations in the New York Post that Hunter Biden, in cahoots with his creepy dad, aka The Big Guy, were selling access to the White House when Sleepy Joe was vice president?

Have you read about Facebook and Twitter censoring mentions of the scandal? And how that censoring is blowing up in their partisan faces? If you know little or nothing about these things, that means you get your “news” from The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, the Houston Chronicle and others of their ilk in the mainstream media.

All for now, amigos. Vote for Trump.

13 thoughts on “Credit cards & corruption

  1. My wife and I voted for Trump this morning. The wait time in line was about 30 minutes. Feels good to get that done.

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  2. Voted recently, Trump of course. Now have a wonderful bumper or window sticker “Women for Trump.” They were being handed out at the plaza area where we vote. First time I’ve seen them.

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  3. I’m not taking any chances on my early ballot getting lost. I’ll take it to my regular polling place and make sure it is deposited in the right slot. Phil

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  4. Hola, Felipe. We’ve had two credit cards compromised over the years. My wife’s card had over $7000 fraudulent charges including flights from Alaska to Venezuela and a week in a 5-star hotel. After we identified the bogus charges we got them removed and got a new card. My card was compromised a year later with some relatively small charges in San Diego. It’s all a hassle but par for the course, I guess. I heard from a techie that criminals use computer “bots” to search all the possible card numbers and when they get a hit … one that works … they print up cards and give them to low-level street gangs who start out with small purchases and work up. I’m not sure if this is true, but I’m not sure how they get around the chip and the three numbers on the back. It’s a good thing to check your bank balance at least once per month.

    As a Canadian I can’t vote for Trump but would if I could. Maybe I can! 😉

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    1. Brent: So maybe it’s not bank employees? Who knows? What I do not understand is how they get the three numbers on the back. As I understand it, not even bank employees here have access to those. As mentioned, I check my accounts every day on the bank app. Sure not gonna wait a month.

      While you cannot legally vote for Trump, we appreciate your moral support. Alas, I am sure lots of people are voting this year who have no right whatsoever to vote. No doubt of it. All you need to vote in the U.S. these days is a driver’s license, and plenty of states hand them out willy-nilly. Pathetic.

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      1. I’m just saying that the bank will reimburse you for up to a month after a fraudulent charge. I don’t check every day but every week or so. I’m in a celebratory mood as we’re coming down to Mexico in less than a week … if all goes right. Can’t wait to get out of this stupid country. Oops. Did I really say that? Actually, most countries seem to have had a big dose of stupid lately. If only there was a vaccine. 😉

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        1. Brent: Actually, I recall my bank gives you even more time than one month. But, no matter. I check daily.

          As for stupidity, it’s running wild in the western world. Asia, not so much, it seems, but there’s stupidity there too. Sad.

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