I called a small hotel in Mexico and tried to book a room. They didn't speak English, and I don't speak Spanish that well but I had Google Translate open. Everything went fine until I tried to pay the deposit, and they said they didn't take credit cards. I'm not sure but I think they were saying I would need to use my bank account. I have no idea how that would even work, especially since nobody at my bank speaks Spanish. Does anybody have any idea what they might have been trying to explain to me?

  • 2
    I would try to find out if they have an e-mail address.
    – phoog
    Feb 9, 2016 at 17:03
  • 3
    Why would anybody at your bank need to speak Spanish? International bank transfers are a thing.
    – CMaster
    Feb 9, 2016 at 17:05
  • What city are you trying to book a room in, and for when? If it's not a high tourist season, it's probably easier to just arrive and hope they still have a room available, rather than fight with bank transfers.
    – krubo
    Sep 9, 2018 at 16:33

1 Answer 1


It sounds as if they wanted you to make a direct bank transfer - a "wire" payment directly from your account to theirs. For this you would need some details of their bank account, and to know what reference they expect you to attach to the payment. You may be able to do this via your online banking site (if you have one), or failing that a phone call or in person visit to your bank. Transferring internationally may involve recourse to a system like CHAPS or SWIFT (neither the US nor Mexico participate in the IBAN or SWIFT system though apparently).

Before doing this you should assure yourself that the person you are dealing with does genuinley represent the hotel, and that the hotel does exist. There is normally no consumer protection at all on bank transfers - if the person receiving takes the payment and runs, there is very little you can do to get it back.

  • 1
    There are 54 pages of US banks with SWIFT access (theswiftcodes.com/united-states/1) and SWIFT has 2 offices in the US and 1 in Mexico. Unless what you mean is that US and Mexican banks will not allow to use their SWIFT access without an account.
    – Walter
    Sep 25, 2016 at 3:35
  • @Walter looks like I may have misread something somewhere.
    – CMaster
    Sep 25, 2016 at 10:35
  • @Walter But not all banks participate in these systems, unlike in Europe, for example.
    – glglgl
    Sep 7, 2017 at 8:00
  • @glglgl I don't see the relevance of your comment to my comment. The answer said that the US and Mexico don't participate in SWIFT. That is not correct. Both the US and Mexico are members. What does the fact that some countries not part of the question or the answer have anything to do with the subject hand? Is this an attempt at hyper-correction?
    – Walter
    Sep 8, 2017 at 17:37
  • @Walter My point is that there is a chance that you have an account at a bank not taking part in these systems. In this case it is not so easy as it could be. That's all – no point to be upset.
    – glglgl
    Sep 9, 2017 at 10:10

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