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How to open a BBVA Bancomer bank account as an expat or foreigner

Please note that only foreign nationals with a resident visa can open a BBVA Bancomer bank account. If you don’t have this document, this article is not for you but if you do, continue reading.

BBVA Bancomer bank is one of the top-ranking banks in Mexico. When I moved to Mexico in 2018, I asked my Mexican friends what is the best bank in the country for them to get a local perspective and they said they are all the same.

So what I did was apply for all the banks (I know that sounds stupid as opposed to having one bank) but one of the things I learned from living in Mexico is to adjust to what locals do.

Everyone has a bank account everywhere since it’s more efficient in terms of ATM withdrawal fees, inter-bank transfer fees, etc.

You will find many resources about banking in Mexico on our blog but this time, I only want to talk about my experience with BBVA Bancomer bank.

living in mexico

📋 BBVA Mexico bank account application requirements

Now this, I must tell you, vary by state. Let me first tell you about my experience in opening a BBVA Bancomer bank account in Puerto Vallarta (Jalisco).

I lived in Puerto Vallarta for two years so when I got my Mexican residency visa, I immediately went to BBVA to apply for a bank account. After all, you can’t apply for an account in Mexico if you don’t have a resident visa.

When I got to the branch (just a 3-minute drive from my home), they told me that I have to have an RFC in order to apply for a bank account so I didn’t do it there and went to the bank next door (Banorte), which, anyway, accepted my documents without an RFC.

Then I moved to La Paz (state of Baja California Sur) in 2021, went to the BBVA branch (which was luckily a 2-minute walk from my apartment in La Paz), and guess what? They did not ask for my RFC.

At the time, I already have my RFC which was a tedious experience. So the lesson I learned from giving details to foreigners who are reading this blog is to check the requirements per state or in the city that you are in.

The only difference I experienced in both states was the RFC requirement but in general, what BBVA Mexico asks from foreigners are the following:

  • Passport
  • Mexico residency visa (temporary or permanent are both acceptable but may have different limitations)
  • Minimum deposit of US$100 (2,000 Mexican pesos)
  • Completed application form (filled out at the bank)
  • Lots and lots of signatures on the day of your application

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bancomer bank
BBVA MEXICO

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🏦 Steps in opening a BBVA Bancomer bank account

Step #1: Choose a branch in your city

BBVA Mexico has many branches just in one city. You will see them everywhere but you have to choose a branch where you want to open a bank.

Make sure you go to a branch and not in an ATM. If you use Google maps, the Spanish term for “branch” is “sucursal” while the word for ATM is “cajero.”

You need to go to the location where it says “BBVA Mexico Sucursal” and it should give you the right addresses of the existing branches in your area.

bancomer bank
I have two BBVA Bancomer bank accounts: one in USD and one in Mexican pesos.

Step #2: Go to a BBVA Mexico branch

Sadly, Mexico is still very backward when it comes to banking. You cannot open a bank account online (even if there is a BBVA USA). These are two separate entities and Mexico is not just an automated country (yet).

You also cannot set an appointment online. You have to just go there, fall in line, and wait. Note that all this process can last up to 2 hours (falling in line, signatures, etc) so you will have to make time for it. There is no other way but to go to a branch, especially for us foreigners.

bbva mexico
Sorry to break it to you but this is the line outside BBVA Mexico all the time.

Step #3: Present all the requirements

Make sure to arrive at the Bancomer bank branch with complete requirements. Mexico is still old-school so just to be sure, print them all.

Again, I won’t go into details about the Bancomer bank account opening requirements as it varies per state. What you can do is call the BBVA Mexico phone number: +52 55 5226 2663.

Please note that this is the national phone number, not a branch phone number. I am giving you this advice so that you will ask the main office what the requirements are in the state you are applying in.

Do not forget to mention you are a foreigner/expat with a residency card since they will always assume you are a Mexican citizen even if you speak English.

mexico residency visa categories
rfc for foreigners

Step 4: Do the minimum deposit

You can also bring cash for your initial deposit but I did it differently. As soon as she confirmed that she has generated a Bancomer bank account number for me, I asked her if I can just transfer directly from my US bank.

She said it’s OK since the account is already active and voila, my US bank transferred the amount required in real-time.

bancomer bank
You can also deposit more than the required minimum. In my case, I deposited US$500 so the transaction fee was worth it.

Step #5: Activate your BBVA Mexico app

Do not leave the bank without activating this in front of the bank manager. He/she will help you because the BBVA Mexico app is in Spanish.

The BBVA Bancomer app is really good and high-tech. It allows you to pay your (Mexican) bills online, transfer money to all banks in Mexico, add contacts, add credits to your Telcel, do scheduled transfers, etc.

Even if I speak Spanish fluently, I still do the app activation with the bank manager because the first time I did it, I left, went home, and found myself trapped and lost in the world of tokens and codes that nobody explained to me.

It is still best to do this while in the bank. You will also need a Mexican phone number in order to activate the app.

bbva mexico app
This is what the BBVA Mexico app looks like. It’s in Spanish so you have to wait at the branch until it is activated.

Step #6: Activate your bank card

The bank teller will give you a sealed envelope where your debit card is. Inside the envelope indicates the current pin number of your debit card. All you have to do is go to the ATM machines that are outside the branch.

Click English > click change pin (or nip as they say in Mexico) > put the existing pin code which you can find in the envelope > put your new 4-digit code.

bancomer bank
BBVA Bancomer ATMs have options in English so you can easily navigate the pin change process. | Photo: BBVA Mexico

⁉️ BBVA Mexico bank account FAQs

BBVA is actually a bank from Spain that has opened its local companies all over the world, especially in North America and Latin America.

BBVA USA and BBVA Mexico are not the same as they are following local rules. Meaning, opening a BBVA USA bank account is not the same process as BBVA Mexico.

You have to be in Mexico to open a BBVA bank account. Make sure you have the complete requirements but the main requirement is the Mexican residency card/status. Both permanent and temporary visas are accepted by BBVA Mexico.

So far, at the date of the writing of this article, only Mexican citizens are allowed to open a Bancomer bank account online. Foreign nationals (even resident card holders) are required to appear in person at any BBVA branch.

ABSOLUTELY. As soon as I opened my Mexican peso account with BBVA, they asked me if I want to open a USD account and I said yes since they already had all my documents.

The minimum deposit to open a US dollar account in BBVA Mexico is US$300 and you can never go below that balance. Otherwise, they will charge you a monthly fee of US$40.

As a local subsidy of BBVA Spain, Mexico re-branded their BBVA branding to BBVA Bancomer. Mexicans use the term BBVA or sometimes the Spanish shortcut “BBV” (be-be-u) or simply the word Bancomer. Today, BBVA Mexico’s main operation name is BBVA Bancomer.

✈️ Ready to move to Mexico? If you need more information about opening a BBVA Bancomer bank account, we’d be happy to update this post – just leave your questions below or join our Facebook community where we answer questions without a cost.

🇲🇽 Mexico Expat Resources

  • 📃 Legal documents: find all the legal documents you need to apply for when you move to Mexico!
  • 🧾 Paying bills in Mexico: whether it’s Telcel, Telmex, or CFE, you will find step-by-step guides on how to pay your Mexican bills.
  • 🏦 Banking in Mexico: best banks for expats including foreigner requirements for every bank in Mexico.
  • 📶 Internet in Mexico: how to apply for Internet and wifi situation tips for every Mexican destination.
  • 🏠 Housing Guides: find the best tips on how to rent apartments in the city you wish to live in Mexico
  • 🤝🏽 Mexico Expat Group: join our Facebook community where we answer questions without a cost.
  • 🚑 Mexico Expat Insurance: Check if the insurance company in your home country will still cover you when you get residency status in Mexico. If not, check the expat insurance link and see what works for you.
  • ⚖️ Mexico Immigration Lawyer: 95% of us at Mexico Insider are foreigners so we hired an in-house immigration lawyer who helped us with our smooth move here. Get in touch and see how she may be of help!
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