In the last two weeks, I’ve been inundated with emails and messages from readers reporting that their debit cards were skimmed while using ATM’s in Mexico. The majority of the incidents occurred along the coastal area from Cancun down to Tulum.
The only way to be 100% certain that your debit card information won’t be stolen is not to use the card at all. Another popular alternative is to wire the money to yourself via your cell phone and then pick it up at a designated bank or store location.
After researching several different transfer services, I think Xoom.com is the most user-friendly, secure and reliable service out there. Xoom is a service of PayPal, one of the world’s largest Internet payment systems.
How Does it Work?
Xoom can transfer money to you directly from your bank account or from a credit card. I recommend using the bank account because credit card companies often charge you a cash advance fee to use this service.
To arrange the transfer, you access your Xoom account online or via their mobile application. You select the amount and the location where you’ll be picking up the funds. When choosing a location, I recommend using a bank because the transfer limits are higher per transaction.
Once you’re notified that the funds are available, you pick up your money by showing the transfer number and your identification. It’s that simple.
If you already have a bank account in Mexico, this service is an inexpensive way to transfer money from your bank account back home.
The fee per transfer is $4.99 USD.
The exchange rate given is updated periodically during the day and you can wait until the perfect moment to arrange your transfer. Once you click on it, you’re locked in at that rate.
You can check out the current rate offered by clicking HERE.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Even if you plan on relying solely on ATM’s while in Mexico, you might want to consider setting up a Xoom account as an emergency backup. If your card is skimmed and deactivated, you’ll still be able to get money without having to panhandle.
A note about the main photo:
Some of you might be wondering why I used a picture of the beach for this article. Well, there are two reasons: 1) this was my view while I was working on it yesterday, and 2) I thought it would look nicer than a picture of an ATM machine.