Hi all, I see a lot of posts about how to access money while on Coz and, although I searched for it, nothing came up about the solution my wife and I use so I will post it here. I do believe it is the finest possible solution (with maybe one limitation).
My wife and I have a "Charles Schwab Investor Checking Account". This account has no minimum opening balance, no fees and, here is the best part. They reimburse 100% of ATM fees from any ATM on the planet (Provided the ATM works with the VISA debit card...we found one bank here in Rio that it doesn't).
Schwab does not charge an ATM fee. Yes, they reimburse the fee imposed by the ATM as well. A couple examples: We stayed on the island from January through May of this year (2015). We habitually used the HSBC on the corner of 30 and 11 - but also used others. You will lose a small amount per peso (we typically lost .2 pesos vs the actual exchange rate) - every place on Earth keeps a little to cushion the exchange rate. I forget what the ATM fee was from HSBC but every month Schwab would go in and reimburse us for it.
Example 2: Once about three years ago, on our first trip to Cozumel, we stayed at the Secrets down South. We had just finished our first ever dive trip in Coz and immediately signed up for another trip.But...we needed another couple hundred bucks to cover the trip, gear rentals, etc. We hit the resort ATM....$20.00 ATM fee. We were thinking..."Well, let's just bite the bullet" (it was our fifth wedding anniversary trip). we pulled out $200 (the ATM was in US $) and got hit with the $20 fee. The next month rolled in and Schwab had reimbursed the $20.00 fee.
We use our Schwab card for ATM withdrawals all over the world. Never a fee!
Schwab is mainly online, but is easy to start an account online and transfer money from an existing account. Unless they have changed something since we opened ours about five years ago...I would say this is pretty much "hitch-free"
Here is a link: http://www.schwab.co...hecking_account
The limitation I mentioned? Well...usually the "Max withdrawal" per day on an ATM is less than Xoom or WU or moneygram. Here in Rio, we start going to the ATM daily about 4 days prior to rent due so we can build up the stash :-)
Hope this isn't covering old information. I did search - honest :-)
BTW...swinging back to Coz next month!