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The local currency in Mexico is the Mexican peso and there are a few ways you spend it. Here we compare prepaid travel cards, credit cards and debit cards to help you determine which option is best for your trip to Mexico.
ATM’s are widely available in Mexico and are compatible with debit cards, credit cards and prepaid travel cards.
A combination of a travel credit card, travel debit card and a prepaid travel card that allows you to preload the Mexican peso may be your ideal option for your next trip to Mexico. Don’t forget about having cash either, as it can always come in handy if want to shop at a street market or if a business doesn’t accept credit cards.
There is no single best travel money strategy, as the right one will ultimately depend on how an where you’re traveling. If you’re going to be making a lot of cash withdrawals, consider a debit card with an ATM alliance or a prepaid card with low withdrawal fees over a credit card. A credit card will make the most sense for larger purchases and you’ll likely need one for hotels.
You’ll always need cash to make everyday purchases. Withdrawing a substantial amount of cash for when you arrive can be an ideal option to ensure a smooth transition into your destination country. Consider your financial situation, your travel plans and how you’ll be spending your money to determine which combination of travel money options is the right one for you.
Whether you’re splurging on tacos, margaritas or are sticking strictly to business, here’s how you can pay for things in Mexico:
Travel cards are generally a good way to take your funds overseas and spend in multiple currencies. Merchants in major tourist destinations like Tijuana, Cancun and Acapulco will accept US dollar as well as pesos preload onto a card.
Like a credit card, using a debit card in Mexico has both benefits and drawbacks. Consider cards that have no foreign transaction and ATM fees when looking at cards. Some debit cards are designed to be used overseas, so they don’t charge foreign transaction fees on foreign transactions.
You can use your credit card almost everywhere, but they won’t be accepted accepted for buses, most taxis, tour guides, corner stores and taquerías.
To beat foreign transaction fees, use a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card® credit card. As for the ATM fee, that will be the least of your concerns when you calculate the interest you’ll be subject to for a cash advance transaction.
You can use USD in Mexico, especially in the major tourist spots. Some merchants give you the option of paying in pesos or dollars and the vendor can give you an “over the counter exchange rate” between the two. The price of the goods can be inflated by as much as 30% if you pay with dollars in Mexico, as vendors generally use an exchange rate of 10 pesos to $1. Use Mexican pesos to make your money go further.
Unfortunately, as credit card and debit cards have become more secure and offer more protections, traveler’s check have become a dated form of travel money.
Be sure to compare loading fees, currency conversion fees, ATM withdrawal fees and potential rewards before choosing a prepaid travel card.
There are a number of places you can get cash exchanged in Mexico, including Banco de Mexico (the national bank) and at casa de cambio’s (exchange bureaus). You can visit a bank during business hours between Monday and Friday.
You can also get money changed at bureaux de change and casa de cambio outlets. These exchange offices are common and they can offer the same rate, if not better, than banks.
Refreshing in: 60s | Mon, Jan 17, 01:15AM GMT
Mexican Pesos are widely available at most currency exchange offices including Travelex and major banks. Exchanging at your bank can be a good idea to avoid extra fees and charges.
Dating back to Spanish colonisation, Mexican pesos come in denominations of 10c, 20c, 50c, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $200, $500 and $1000. $20 is the lowest value banknote. MXN is the currency code for Mexican peso and Mexico uses the dollar sign ($) as the currency symbol.
Depending on how much you’ll be traveling around Mexico — and your appetite for expensive cuisine — you could need anywhere from $20 to $150 a day in Mexico — not including accommodations. While it tends to be cheaper than the US, you should still plan on spending about $10 for every meal (at least) and more for activities and transportation.
Here’s a cheat sheet to help while you budget your trip:
|Mexico City||Budget (Cheap)||Midrange||Luxury (High-end)|
|Meals||Lunch in economical restaurant|
|Dinner with drinks|
|Uxmal Entrance for two|
|Personalized day tour|
|Accommodation||Hostel dorm bed|
|Luxurious hotel double room|
Prices are approximate and are subject to change.Back to top
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