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  1. #18865

    ATMs

    CheckMate.

    There are no Scotia or be of A terminals anywhere near La Zona. You have to use Multivar machines. They are known to exact high terminal fees plus exchange commission, and they skim your card data.

    [Deleted by Admin]

  2. #18864
    [Deleted by Admin]

    EDITOR'S NOTE: This report was redacted or deleted to remove sections of the report that were largely argumentative. Please read the Forum FAQ and the Forum's Posting Guidelines for more information. Thank You!

  3. #18863
    Quote Originally Posted by CheckMate1  [View Original Post]
    as for bottles, I've brought 7 bottles through once so I don't know the limits. But usually, after you go through agent, you then have your luggage scan.
    It's best to do your own research sometime:

    "What am I allowed to take into Mexico?

    When crossing by land, you are allowed to take your personal belongings and $75 worth of merchandise, duty free. People over the age of 18 may bring three liters of liquor or beer and up to six liters of wine."

    Now you know.

  4. #18862

    ATM's and bottles

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainSolo  [View Original Post]
    Most ATMs in tourist areas will charge you high fees out of debit cards and an extra $10 fee for credit cards. ATMs in Tijuana have been known to steal codes and sell them to criminals. The ATMs around the bar block have stolen codes from me and my wingmen a few times. You should lock your Schwab card for the next few months, unlock it only for a day or two when you need to use it.

    The ATMs in hotel Cascada are safe. I have used them a few times recently and have not had problems. They cost only 95 pesos in fee, refundable by Schwab. The one in the South lobby dispenses dollars, the North lobby pesos. ATMs in Hong Kong are also safe when it reopens. Looks like crooks cannot install skimming devices in machines with hotel and bar workers around.

    Liquor prices in Mexican duty-free stores are as high as retail prices in the US, not very good. US Duty-free stores in San Ysidro like UETA have killers' prices, 12-year Chivas Regal 1 L like $25 IIRC. They also sell Tequila at lower prices than stores in Tijuana. Don Julio 70 for $30. My favorite is Jose Cuervo Especiale 750 ML for $9. 50. It's a 80 proof tequila with nice, clean taste, good fragrance with lots of spicy aromas, the slightly sweet taste stick to your mouth like fine liquors that cost a lot more. Some nights I drank 5 shots on ice, got nice buzz and never had head ache or hang over next day. Jose Cuervo has on its label as the brand with the most awards in all Tequilas, a very fine liquor and very good value. I was pleasantly surprised.

    You should stop in the duty-free stores in San Ysidro and buy bottles to party with your sweeties, a lot cheaper. Don't know how many bottles Mexican Immigracion allows you to bring in if you walk over. They will likely hassle you for some bribe like anything else.
    Additional tips:

    Check online with regard to your bank. Some banks are affiliated with foreign banks and thereby not charge you a fee. Example is scotiabank and bank of america. Here's a list of bank of america. https://locators.bankofamerica.com/international.html.

    as for bottles, I've brought 7 bottles through once so I don't know the limits. But usually, after you go through agent, you then have your luggage scan. Mine are in the luggage

  5. #18861
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainSolo  [View Original Post]
    The ATMs in hotel Cascada are safe. I have used them a few times recently and have not had problems. They cost only 95 pesos in fee, refundable by Schwab. The one in the South lobby dispenses dollars, the North lobby pesos. ATMs in Hong Kong are also safe when it reopens. Looks like crooks cannot install skimming devices in machines with hotel and bar workers around.
    This message might matter if it did not come from HK Group's family biggest shill.

    Anyone with a pair of eyes could see that the hallways inside Cascades / HK are fully staffed with cartel drug dealers.

  6. #18860

    Tijuana's ATMs and Duty Free shops

    Most ATMs in tourist areas will charge you high fees out of debit cards and an extra $10 fee for credit cards. ATMs in Tijuana have been known to steal codes and sell them to criminals. The ATMs around the bar block have stolen codes from me and my wingmen a few times. You should lock your Schwab card for the next few months, unlock it only for a day or two when you need to use it.

    The ATMs in hotel Cascada are safe. I have used them a few times recently and have not had problems. They cost only 95 pesos in fee, refundable by Schwab. The one in the South lobby dispenses dollars, the North lobby pesos. ATMs in Hong Kong are also safe when it reopens. Looks like crooks cannot install skimming devices in machines with hotel and bar workers around.

    Liquor prices in Mexican duty-free stores are as high as retail prices in the US, not very good. US Duty-free stores in San Ysidro like UETA have killers' prices, 12-year Chivas Regal 1 L like $25 IIRC. They also sell Tequila at lower prices than stores in Tijuana. Don Julio 70 for $30. My favorite is Jose Cuervo Especiale 750 ML for $9. 50. It's a 80 proof tequila with nice, clean taste, good fragrance with lots of spicy aromas, the slightly sweet taste stick to your mouth like fine liquors that cost a lot more. Some nights I drank 5 shots on ice, got nice buzz and never had head ache or hang over next day. Jose Cuervo has on its label as the brand with the most awards in all Tequilas, a very fine liquor and very good value. I was pleasantly surprised.

    You should stop in the duty-free stores in San Ysidro and buy bottles to party with your sweeties, a lot cheaper. Don't know how many bottles Mexican Immigracion allows you to bring in if you walk over. They will likely hassle you for some bribe like anything else.

  7. #18859
    Quote Originally Posted by Phordphan  [View Original Post]
    Name for me another country that will let visitors in on an expired passport. For a mordida of $20 they let you in with no passport? I'd say that's a screaming deal.

    AFAIK, Mexico has never accepted credit cards for FMM payment. Even at the airport kiosk it's cash only. And good luck getting change. The fee is on the up and up, as long as they give you the FMM.
    Yeah, I'm with you on this. While I don't like the concept of paying a bribe I definitely agree that paying $20 to enter a country when you have an expired / missing passport (so by federal law not allowed to enter the country) is an excellent deal LOL. I will point out again though that I did not receive an FMM the two times I paid the bribe to get into Mexico on an expired passport (despite asking for one) - they told me not to worry about the FMM and that I was good for 7 days. But in my mind yes, it's still a great deal considering I wasn't legally allowed to enter the country in the first place. Imagine being Mexican with an expired passport (or no documentation at all) being able to bribe a USA Customs official $20 to let you into the USA LOL. Obviously that's never happening.

  8. #18858

    I Fucked Up

    Came down Friday afternoon and the immigration guy took me into the office. Nothing was going on outside at the usual desks where you report. There was another guy already sitting down at the desk. I do not know what the deal is with those guys. But he was the usual "stray" for the lack of a better word. It seems he was with the bullshit because the immigration officer said look I told you before bla bla bla. Then he said you know what before ushering him into an adjacent office and leaving him inside closing the door. He told another officer that he put the guy in there.

    Then he told me to come take a seat at the desk. He asked what I was going to Mexico for. I told him to get a haircut. He said that it was only open to Mexican citizens and residents at the time but I could purchase a 6 month visa for $30 and be allowed in. I moaned about it and said paying an extra $30 defeats the purpose of going to get my usual $6 haircut. He said that he didn't make the rules around there. I told him that I would not enter. He took my passport card and said hold on. He left out and came back and told me to follow him.

    I changed my mind and decided to enter the country. I had just exchanged $80 before crossing over. I told him I only had pesos. He said 600 pesos then. I did not want to use up my pesos so he told me about the ATM right outside the door. I went to withdraw money. It had various amounts as options for withdrawal, the least being $200. I decided to take that.

    It also had a $7.95 fee. No problem because I have Schwab and they will give it back. But I was in hurry mode so I was just clicking yes yes yes. Then a screen popped up and I did not realize what it said until I clicked yes and it was too late. It asked if I agreed with a whatever percent commission. I tried clicking cancel and everything else 100 times but it was already too late. The machine shot the card out and started counting the money. I ended up paying $23.85 to use that damn ATM. Not sure if I will get the commission fee refunded from Schwab. Bastards!

    I paid the $30 and he gave wrote 180 days on the visa and gave it to me. I entered the country and walked down to where the taxis were. I was about to do my usual walk but stopped and asked the guy how much to the zone. He said 100 pesos. I said fuck that, I usually pay 50 pesos. Then he said 80 pesos and I said okay. He called some taxi from across the street and down to come over. He explained to me that the taxis over there were cheaper than the ones at the curb. He told me to just walk over there next time. There was no difference in the taxis. The were all the same company.

    On the was way I stopped in at the duty free. Recently I went to my local liquor store and wrote the prices of the stuff I usually purchase into my phone so I can begin comparing prices in duty frees and shops around the world. The prices at this store were excellent. Crown was half price, Jack was $11 less, Chivas was $21 less. I bought a bottle of Gentleman Jack for $12 less than my local store. In 30 years that was my first time stopping into that store. There were only about 10 people crossing back into the States at the time and they were not even scanning bags.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20210108_195242.jpg‎   20210108_195909.jpg‎  

  9. #18857
    Quote Originally Posted by BrotherMouzone  [View Original Post]
    I don't know the exact reason but I suspect it's because, by law, they weren't supposed to give me a 7-day pass in the first place (since my passport at that time was expired). Every other time I've gone through with a non-expired passport, I've gotten the 7-day pass with no issues. So am suspecting there's an issue internally with giving someone with an expired (or perhaps missing) passport that FMM 7-day pass. So they just had me pay the "fee" (bribe) I guess not for the 7-day pass, but to enter the country (presumably undocumented and off the record). I actually straight up asked them for the 7-day pass both times I went last year and they told me don't worry about the pass. That I should just go and that I was good in the country for 7 days without it. After they collect the "fee", the customs official takes a picture of you as part of the process but I suspect that's a ruse to make the bribery look like it's part of an official process. The other suspicious thing about the process is they only take cash, no credit. I understand credit is much less common in Mexico but you'd think for a federal-level process such as that, credit would be an accepted payment option (if the fee was indeed on the up-and-up).

    I do see instances in other forums of people even flying in to Mexico with just proof of passport application (in lieu of a valid passport) so I'll look to try that, thanks. Though part of me wonders if I should just try the Otay Mesa entry in hopes of avoiding this hassle. But I do expect to receive my renewed passport by late January / early February so hopefully I won't have to resort to any of this other stuff.
    Name for me another country that will let visitors in on an expired passport. For a mordida of $20 they let you in with no passport? I'd say that's a screaming deal.

    AFAIK, Mexico has never accepted credit cards for FMM payment. Even at the airport kiosk it's cash only. And good luck getting change. The fee is on the up and up, as long as they give you the FMM.

  10. #18856
    Quote Originally Posted by Hargow20  [View Original Post]
    Mexico immigration started making people buy the FMM / Visa in late spring. So crossing would be a problem prior to that. I would go to San Ysidro crossing.
    They are getting much stricter in Laredo as well now. No time to be playing games anymore, just buy it and move on.

  11. #18855
    Mexico immigration started making people buy the FMM / Visa in late spring. So crossing would be a problem prior to that. I would go to San Ysidro crossing.

    Quote Originally Posted by BrotherMouzone  [View Original Post]
    I don't know the exact reason but I suspect it's because, by law, they weren't supposed to give me a 7-day pass in the first place (since my passport at that time was expired). Every other time I've gone through with a non-expired passport, I've gotten the 7-day pass with no issues. So am suspecting there's an issue internally with giving someone with an expired (or perhaps missing) passport that FMM 7-day pass. So they just had me pay the "fee" (bribe) I guess not for the 7-day pass, but to enter the country (presumably undocumented and off the record). I actually straight up asked them for the 7-day pass both times I went last year and they told me don't worry about the pass. That I should just go and that I was good in the country for 7 days without it. After they collect the "fee", the customs official takes a picture of you as part of the process but I suspect that's a ruse to make the bribery look like it's part of an official process. The other suspicious thing about the process is they only take cash, no credit. I understand credit is much less common in Mexico but you'd think for a federal-level process such as that, credit would be an accepted payment option (if the fee was indeed on the up-and-up).

    I do see instances in other forums of people even flying in to Mexico with just proof of passport application (in lieu of a valid passport) so I'll look to try that, thanks. Though part of me wonders if I should just try the Otay Mesa entry in hopes of avoiding this hassle. But I do expect to receive my renewed passport by late January / early February so hopefully I won't have to resort to any of this other stuff.

  12. #18854
    Quote Originally Posted by Hargow20  [View Original Post]
    Then take your renewal application and a copy of your birth certificate. It's unbelievable that they made you pay for the 7-day pass and did not give you a copy. The Mexican immigration officals are making things up as they go along. The Mexican immigration accepts proof of application for passport documentation. So they should let you pass. Just tell them you have a dental appt. Just go to Tijuana before the dental offices close.
    I don't know the exact reason but I suspect it's because, by law, they weren't supposed to give me a 7-day pass in the first place (since my passport at that time was expired). Every other time I've gone through with a non-expired passport, I've gotten the 7-day pass with no issues. So am suspecting there's an issue internally with giving someone with an expired (or perhaps missing) passport that FMM 7-day pass. So they just had me pay the "fee" (bribe) I guess not for the 7-day pass, but to enter the country (presumably undocumented and off the record). I actually straight up asked them for the 7-day pass both times I went last year and they told me don't worry about the pass. That I should just go and that I was good in the country for 7 days without it. After they collect the "fee", the customs official takes a picture of you as part of the process but I suspect that's a ruse to make the bribery look like it's part of an official process. The other suspicious thing about the process is they only take cash, no credit. I understand credit is much less common in Mexico but you'd think for a federal-level process such as that, credit would be an accepted payment option (if the fee was indeed on the up-and-up).

    I do see instances in other forums of people even flying in to Mexico with just proof of passport application (in lieu of a valid passport) so I'll look to try that, thanks. Though part of me wonders if I should just try the Otay Mesa entry in hopes of avoiding this hassle. But I do expect to receive my renewed passport by late January / early February so hopefully I won't have to resort to any of this other stuff.

  13. #18853
    Then take your renewal application and a copy of your birth certificate. It's unbelievable that they made you pay for the 7 day pass and did not give you a copy. The Mexican immigration officals are making things up as they go along. The Mexican immigration accepts proof of application for passport documentation. So they should let you pass. Just tell them you have a dental appt. Just go to Tijuana before the dental offices close.

    Quote Originally Posted by BrotherMouzone  [View Original Post]
    I don't have my old passport. The passport renewal process requires that you mail in the old passport to the State Department with the application so it can be replaced with a new one. I can print out a copy of my renewal application and a copy of the webpage where it does show that my passport is currently being processed so I might try that thanks. The last two times I've been to Tijuana they did not even give me an FMM / visa card as I passed through, probably because I was entering on an expired passport. They just had me pay the "fee" (bribe), told me I was good for 7 days, and let me through. I suspect I could do the same (pay the fee) this time around if I don't get my passport in time but the fact that I don't even have an expired passport this time around has me slightly worried.

  14. #18852
    Quote Originally Posted by BrotherMouzone  [View Original Post]
    I don't have my old passport. The passport renewal process requires that you mail in the old passport to the State Department with the application so it can be replaced with a new one. I can print out a copy of my renewal application and a copy of the webpage where it does show that my passport is currently being processed so I might try that thanks. The last two times I've been to Tijuana they did not even give me an FMM / visa card as I passed through, probably because I was entering on an expired passport. They just had me pay the "fee" (bribe), told me I was good for 7 days, and let me through. I suspect I could do the same (pay the fee) this time around if I don't get my passport in time
    The thieves running Mexican Customs at the border will still steal $30 from you for a short-term stay, even if you get your new passport in time.

    Low-life thugs run the border for the country of Mexico and they will continue to steal from gringos, taking advantage of the current situation.

  15. #18851
    Quote Originally Posted by Hargow20  [View Original Post]
    If you have a copy of your renewal application then take it with you. The state dept site may show if your application is being processed. If so print it out and take it with you. If not take your old passport and tell the Mexican immigration that you have a dental appt. They will probably making you buy a FNN / Visa. Take your old Visa form. They will probably accept if it is not to old In the end you should probably have any problems.
    I don't have my old passport. The passport renewal process requires that you mail in the old passport to the State Department with the application so it can be replaced with a new one. I can print out a copy of my renewal application and a copy of the webpage where it does show that my passport is currently being processed so I might try that thanks. The last two times I've been to Tijuana they did not even give me an FMM / visa card as I passed through, probably because I was entering on an expired passport. They just had me pay the "fee" (bribe), told me I was good for 7 days, and let me through. I suspect I could do the same (pay the fee) this time around if I don't get my passport in time but the fact that I don't even have an expired passport this time around has me slightly worried.

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