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The unclear steps of CFE bills payment for expats, explained

We feel you. Paying your CFE bills as an expat is very unclear. Here’s detailed information about paying CFE bills, as written by a long-term Mexico resident.

When I first moved to Mexico, I never asked my landlord how to pay the CFE Mexico. I only had the chance to know about it when CFE actually cut my electricity. This was such a hassle because it’s way easier to pay your CFE bill on time instead of asking for reconnection.

You probably got to this page because you just moved to Mexico and have no idea about CFE Mexico online payment. Welcome to Mexico and congratulations on the big move!

living in mexico

The first thing you need to know about paying bills in Mexico is that it’s not as convenient as it is in the US, Canada, Australia, or Europe where bills are easily paid online.

Mexico has very confusing and backward systems when it comes to technology. The good thing is I’ve been living in Mexico since 2018 and I had to do trial and error myself.

This tutorial will definitely help you easily pay your CFE bills online! Let’s get started.

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🔌 CFE Mexico: 5 ways to pay your electricity bill

#1: Via CFE branches

This is probably the most traditional way in paying your CFE Mexico bill but take note that there will be a lot of people in line if you choose this payment option. All cities and states of Mexico have CFE branches (at least one) so all you have to do is to type “CFE near me” on Google maps and you will see how many branches are there in your current city.

There are two ways to pay your bill at the CFE branch: the first one is falling in line to pay at the counter and the second option is to pay via CFE’s machines where no one will assist you. The machine is user-friendly. It’s just like using an ATM machine.

The CFE machines accept credit cards and cash although sometimes it doesn’t work. It’s still best to bring cash for paying your CFE bill. The machine is also very picky with crumpled bank notes and won’t accept faulty bills.

Not all cities in Mexico has the CFE ATM so in order to know if there’s one in your area, use the Spanish term CFE cajero or CFE matico. Cajero means ATM machine in English.

✨ Local tip: If you are paying way past deadline (see ‘fecha del corte’ in your bill), the only way you can pay is to go to a CFE office. Banks and partner establishments don’t accept late payments for CFE.

cfe mexico

#2: Pay CFE bill through a Mexican bank

Just like #1, you will fall in line (and I have no idea for how long) if you want to pay your CFE bill through Mexican banks. All you have to do is to go to the partner banks of CFE all over the country, bring your CFE bill, and pay at the counter. You can pay via credit card and cash.

The Mexican banks that accept CFE payments (before the deadline) are Afirme, Banco Ahoro Famsa, Banco Azteca, Banco de Mexico, BBVA Bancomer, Banbajio, Banjercito, Banorte, Bansefi, HSBC, Inbursa, IXE, and Santander. You don’t need to have a bank account in these banks to be able to pay your CFE bill.

cfe mexico

#3: Pay CFE bill using your bank mobile app

Now this CFE Mexico online payment method does not work but you can try. The CFE’s mobile app is somehow always faulty (the same as the Telmex app). It will let you register with a username and password then after that, you will be asked the confirm the registration via e-mail but no e-mail will come.

In my experience in paying via CFE app in Sayulita, the landlord told me that I couldn’t register with the app because he already registered an account using his e-mail address. Many of my Mexican friends said it’s not the case and that I should try it again so I just gave up! I always pay my CFE bill online using #4 (below).

cfe mexico

#4: CFE Mexico online payment (desktop computer)

Now, this is my preferred mode of payment for CFE bills. The website actually works well and it’s really fast. Payment via credit card is also secure. There is an option to charge your credit cards for automatic payments and you will be charged every two months.

The only issue on the CFE Mexico website is that they don’t have the option to translate it into English so you may need translation help in order to create your account.

CFE Mexico online payment

Below are the steps to sign up for an account:

  • Step 1: Go to the CFE website by clicking here
  • Step 2: Click “mi espacio” at the upper right hand corner
  • Step 3: Fill out your personal details (name and e-mail address)
  • Step 4: Confirm your e-mail address
  • Step 5: Click ‘administrar mis recibos’  and add your CFE account name and number. You can add multiple CFE accounts under one e-mail address if you have several accounts (home bill, office bill, rental homes bill, etc)
  • Step 6: Pay your CFE bill online right away!

Now the payment will be easy one you add the account but once you go back to the platform, it will be a little bit confusing. To pay your CFE bills online, follow the steps below. Please note you can only do this if you already have an account so create a profile first.

cfe mexico
  • Step 1: Click “Mi Espacio” on the upper right-hand corner of the CFE website
  • Step 2: Click “pagar”
  • Step 3: You will be asked to choose the bank. CFE accepts American Express credit cards. If your bank is not on the list, click “other” at the bottom part.
  • Step 4: Select the CFE account you want to pay for. Again, you can add multiple accounts on your dashboard.
  • Step 5: Pay your bills using a debit/credit card

✨ Tip: In order to set automatic online CFE payments, you have to click “cargo recurrente”  (recurring payments) on your profile and add your credit card details there.

I never had issues with the recurring payment at CFE since I have a Mexican credit card. Some expat friends who have International credit cards encountered problems in the past but it all depends on your bank. FYI, only foreigners and expats with a Mexican residency card (FM) can apply for a bank account or credit card in Mexico.

#5: Pay via partner establishments

If you don’t want to fall in line in a bank or at the CFE office, you can pay your CFE bill in partner establishments: Calimax, Chedraui, Ley, Commercial Mexicana, Coppel, Oxxo, Sam’s, Soriana, Suburbia, Telecomm, and Walmart.

There are no special CFE counters at the supermarkets but just go to the payment counter and tell them you want to pay your CFE bill. I also do this sometimes as supermarket lines are shorter and I can also combine it with a market trip!

cfe mexico

⁉️ CFE Mexico FAQ

CFE means Comision Federal de Electricidad (Federal Commission of Electricity). It is the company that handles electricity in all of Mexico.

Yes! The best way to do a CFE Mexico online payment is through CFE’s website using the web browser. The mobile app is unfortunately not well done and is always sending/receiving errors.

You can only pay your CFE bill at Oxxo only if your bill is not expired. Paying your CFE bill at the Oxxo should be done at least 2-3 days before the due date. It is not up to the cashier to accept delayed payments but the systems in Oxxo will not let them process bills past the due date.

You can easily pay CFE bills through Xoom by going to their “Pay Bills in Mexico” page. It is very easy when you already have a Xoom account. In Xoom, you can also pay bills for Telmex, Telcel, Telnor, Izzi (Wifi), Gas Natural Fenosa, and cable bills like Sky and Dish.

When you’re doing adult stuff such as getting your tax forms, opening a bank account, applying for wifi in Mexico, they will ask you for a comprobante de domicilio (proof of address) to be able to do what you have to do. The only comprobantes accepted in Mexico are CFE and Telmex.

In order to access your bill online, you have to have an existing CFE account that you have access to. From your dashboard, click either “consulta tu recibo” or “administrar mis recibos”. You can download it in PDF format.

Yes, you can! Once you already have a CFE Mexico account, you can add as many accounts as you want under one login details/email address. To do this, go to “administrar mis recibos” and add all the details per the CFE account that you are managing.

The reconnection fee for CFE varies but is usually under US$7. You can pay this online and/or at the CFE maticos/ATMS.

Yes, you can! Some banks in Mexico won’t allow you to open a bank account as a foreigner if the CFE bill is not under your name. It is very easy to change account names but you have to ask your landlord if they agree. Most CFE account names are under your home owner’s name. If you own a home in Mexico, then you should have the CFE bill under your name.

Just dial ‘071’ on your mobile phone and you will be directed to a CFE operator. From there, you can report power outages, request reconnection, and ask for any information you may need. However, this may only work if you have a working Mexican sim card. Although US and Canadian sim cards work in Mexico, we have not tried to call this CFE hotline with North American providers (Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile.

 ✈️ Ready to move to Mexico? If you need more information about CFE Mexico, 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!
  • 📰 Latest Mexico News: subscribe to our newsletter and get honest and transparent updates about Mexico. You will love our monthly news in your inbox! NO SPAM. NEVER.
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Tom Bowers

Sunday 16th of October 2022

Can anyone confirm that American Express works for paying CFE online? I'll get a card if it does. Somewhere I heard there might be issues with this.

Alex Mh

Thursday 6th of October 2022

Dozens of thousands of gringos wintering here in their homes don't and can't have RFC. I wonder what's going to happen to their CFE accounts now, will they be forced to become residents or sell they homes?

Dave

Friday 30th of September 2022

It would be helpful for all to know that payment of bills like CFE at stores and outlets like OXXO and Kiosko require only "efectivo" cash. They do not accept debit or credit cards. This can be a problem for those who are not comfortable carrying a lot of cash with them.

Dave

Thursday 20th of October 2022

@Dave, Hola Trisha, sorry not responding sooner. My computer had the virus and was not able to function. Just to respond about using the credit/debit card. Oxxo does it. Kiosko does not, only cash.

Trisha Velarmino

Friday 30th of September 2022

Hola, Dave! I think it depends on the state. I've paid CFE bills with my credit card at the Oxxo and they accepted it. But I am also a foreigner that has a Mexican bank account so maybe they only accept local credit cards? It would be nice to hear your experience! Thanks for swinging by!

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