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Sending Money to the US for E2 Visa Investments: Banorte vs. Mifel Wire Transfer Services

In the journey to securing an E2 Visa through investment in the US, one pivotal step is transferring your funds safely, affordably, and efficiently. Mexican banks Banorte and Mifel both offer wire transfer services, but they differ significantly in terms of transparency, fees, and transfer speed. In this post, we delve into the details to help you make an informed choice.

Section 1: Banorte Wire Transfer Services

Subheading: Transparency and Exchange Rates

Banorte facilitates online wire transfers, providing a certain level of convenience.

Registration. This means that you don't need to go to the branch or fill papers, which looks convenient at first glance.

Register a recipient.

You can register an outgoing wire recipient. Once you do, you will need to wait 30 minutes before being able to wire any funds to that recipient.

Exchange rates transparency.

The Banorte interface will ask you how much you want to wire, in my example, (at the time of writing, I sent a wire from Mexico to the US on September 2023) I stated that I needed to wire US$2,000.-, Banorte's interface stated the equivalency in MXN and let me do the wire. There is a notable downside in the lack of transparency in currency exchange rates. Because by the time the funds were deposited in the Bank of America account, there was only US$1,988.- so US$12.- less than the amount. And make no mistakes, Banorte reps have no issue leaving you in the dark about the exact rates applied. They will offer obscure explanations as to fees from intermediaries and variations in the exchange rate during the transaction, they are champions at playing hot potato.

SWIFT Confusion

Banorte's online interface will suckerpunch you with a very long list of SWIFT codes with meaningless suffixes, such as: BOFAUS3NXXX, BOFAUS3N6N3, BOFAUS3N3FT, among many others. This will add a considerable amount of stress to the transaction, but don't fret, this is what you actually need to know to wire US Dollars from a Mexican Peso account:

  • You will need the SWIFT Code for your bank's recipient, choose the SWIFT code for USD wires, unless your US account is in a different currency, you can google the SWIFT number and find it in your bank's website and/or mobile app

  • Most banks will have a SWIFT Code specified as: "if you don't know", that's the one you need

  • Name of recipient's bank

  • Address of Recipient's bank (usually found next to the SWIFT code when you google it)

  • Name of account holder

  • Bank account number (recipient)

  • Wire routing number... Warning: US Bank accounts these days may feature 2 routing numbers: 2 for ACH, often known as direct deposit, and another one for incoming wires... Use the routing number labeled "Wire/Incoming Wire" or something equivalent.

  • Beneficiary's address

Subheading: Transfer Limit and Fees

While Banorte caps each wire transfer at $2000.-, the convenience comes at a cost - a charge of $40.- US per wire. This fee can quickly add up, especially if you intend to transfer a substantial sum divided into multiple wires. In total, I ended up paying US$52.- for a $2,000.- wire, which comes to a whopping 2.6% for the transaction, plus the obvious fact that $2,000.- won't do much for you in terms of business and/or investment.


Section 2: Mifel Wire Transfer Services

Subheading: Transparency and Exchange Rates

In contrast, Mifel champions transparency, offering a 100% clear view of the exchange rates applied to your transfer. Conducted on-branch, this process not only eliminates guesswork but ensures you receive the value you expect in the US account.

Subheading: Transfer Limit and Fees

Mifel stands out by charging no fees for wire transfers, a policy that could potentially save you a substantial amount in the long run. Though it requires in-branch visits, the savings and clarity might just be worth the extra effort. Not to mention that since Mifel is a boutique bank, you can establish a trust relationship with your Account Executive and therefore, speed things up, while still keeping everything 100% compliant and secure.

Exchange rates

When you show up at your Mifel branch, you will need to confirm your identity via your fingerprints, your debit card (do not forget this, or you won't accomplish a thing in any Mexican bank) and you INE or Passport. Next step will be for you to specify the amount that you intend to wire, which will lead to your Bank Executive to calling up their Exchange department to negotiate your Exchange Rate. And I mean negotiate, they will actually seek to get the best possible deal for you, let you know the rate, and once agreed, you have 30 minutes to complete the paperwork, right there.

Subheading: Speed of Transfer

Moreover, if initiated by 10 am Mexico time, the wired funds should reflect in the beneficiary's US account by the end of the same day, which is not promised in writing by Mifel, yet this is the common behavior, as I can attest, having wired substantial amounts repeatedly over months since 2020, without a single event where the funds were not deposited on time. A rapid service that doesn’t compromise on transparency or affordability.


Conclusion:

Choosing the right wire transfer service is a crucial step in your E2 Visa investment journey. While Banorte offers online convenience, its service is marred by hidden fees and unclear exchange rates. On the other hand, Mifel’s in-branch procedure stands out for its transparency, zero fees, and swift transfer process.

As you embark on your E2 Visa investment journey, knowing all the nuances of wire transferring services can safeguard you against unwanted surprises and ensure a smoother path to achieving your visa objectives.


Are you an E2 Visa investor with experiences to share? We’d love to hear your thoughts and tips in the comments below.

Sending Money to the US for E2 Visa Investments: Banorte vs. Mifel Wire Transfer Services

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