Using debit cards with chips in Mexico

Old Dec 17th, 2016, 12:52 PM
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Using debit cards with chips in Mexico

We always use ATMs to get cash while we travel. I vaguely recall having seen something about ATMs in Mexico not being able to process cards that have a chip. My bank has replaced my old chip-less card with one having a chip and we have a January trip planned to Merida. Does anyone here have any experience or information concerning the use of debit cards with chips in Mexico?
Thanks in advance,
Neph
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Old Dec 17th, 2016, 03:10 PM
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EMV (chip card) has been the standard in Mexico for years.
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Old Dec 17th, 2016, 04:15 PM
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Your debit card also has a magnetic stripe? I think then the chip is ignored and you will be fine.
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Old Dec 17th, 2016, 06:17 PM
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Only one bank (Banamex) was a problem last season. All others worked fine with my "chip" Chase card.
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Old Dec 17th, 2016, 08:45 PM
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Tom, you're wrong. The ATM or card reader first looks for presence of the chip, then defaults to magnetic strip if it doesn't detect EMV.
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Old Dec 18th, 2016, 08:47 AM
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I had trouble last year with a new chipped BoA debit card (Nov 2015). It wouldn't work at any bank ATMs, I tried several, in Puerto Vallarta.

But it was a BoA issue which they seem to have fixed, and it did work in PV Nov 2016.
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Old Dec 18th, 2016, 11:03 AM
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OK, I have only got a stripe card so plan to use that. I'm not sure I've ever seen an ATM that reads chips, although they may look the same.
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Old Dec 18th, 2016, 11:17 AM
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We use our chipped cards throughout Merida and the Yucatan.
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Old Dec 18th, 2016, 11:20 AM
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<although they may look the same>

They do... the machine look the same, that is.
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Old Dec 18th, 2016, 11:33 AM
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I haven't had any issues with my chipped debit card at any ATM that I've used in Mexico.
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Old Dec 18th, 2016, 01:50 PM
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Thanks all for your replies. I'm sure now that I'll be able to find at least one bank where we can use the ATM.
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Old Dec 19th, 2016, 10:06 AM
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Yeah, I don't think you'll have a problem with ATMs.
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Old Dec 19th, 2016, 10:40 AM
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If you do have a problem, it will be because of your home bank, not the Mexican one.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2016, 08:37 AM
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No problem with my home bank. Have used the card from that bank in Mexico before. They even refund any ATM fees that I'm charged. It's a small New Hampshire bank.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2016, 08:50 AM
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Even if you have used your card before, your bank could still block it this time. If that happens, just call them us and remind them that you are in Mexico and to unblock the card. Sometimes even if you put a travel notice in place, the bank's fraud protection algorithms kick in and freeze the card. Just something to be aware of so you dont stress if it happens.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2016, 11:38 AM
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Yes, you should always advice your bank that you will be using your card from Mexico. I have had my debit card frozen once in Playa and luckily I was able to use my credit card...
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Old Dec 22nd, 2016, 11:56 AM
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Probably, but pay attention to the fees that are assessed. Many Mexican banks assess an ATM fee for foreign debit card use. Last time I was there in November, Scotiabank was going to charge about the equivalent of US$5 per ATM withdrawal (and I think maybe an exchange rate on top of that, I'm not sure, as I declined the withdrawal). $5 is a lot of money for a withdrawal of US$100 or less, as mine was (I only wanted about 800 pesos or $40). My debit card was Capital One bank, maybe there are some banks it doesn't do that (they are part of the same alliance as B of A), don't know. I've had ATM charges from other Mexican banks also but they weren't that large. These were all major banking names, not private ATMs. Not sure I tried Banamex.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2016, 12:31 PM
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Most of the ATMs that I have used in Mexico charged a 30-40 peso fee, so the equivalent of a couple USD, which isn't bad. I have run into a couple bank ATMs that charged more - one was in Tikulin Yucatan state. I needed cash and that area doesn't have a lot of banks, or at least it didn't then, so I paid the fee. But in larger places, there will usually be another bank with a smaller fee.
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