Money in Mexico

If you have trouble doing the exchange rate conversion mentally, I suggest installing a currency converter on your cell phone. There are several applications on the market for converting exchange rates. Most apps have their pros and cons. For my part, I use the application: Currency plus. There are ads on this app. I do not want to be disturbed by an advertisement when I am negotiating the purchase of an item. So I bought the Pro version for a few dollars. You are free to decide what suits you.
Credit cards: You should know that as of December 1, 2022, it was not possible to withdraw more than $500 USD per day at the cash dispenser. However, for purchases from merchants, you will be able to obtain as much as your credit limit allows. I suggest you bring 2 credit cards in case one doesn’t work and you get stuck.
Debit Cards: Just as if you were in your own country, you will be able to withdraw the allowed limit from your card. Whether for a purchase or for a withdrawal! Notify your financial institution of your trip so that it does not block your card thinking it is a fraud. Some counters have management fees. These charges will be calculated within your available debit or credit limit.
For cash withdrawals, there are not only financial institutions, you will also find cash dispensers in Chedraoui supermarkets.It is better to arrive in Mexico with pesos in your pockets or change money at the airport. The equivalent of $200 USD should be adequate to pay for expenses such as taxi or lunch. Make sure you have mainly denominations of $200 and $500 pesos.

Be aware that in some places between Cancun and Tulum, debit and credit cards are not accepted.

Travel tip


Always have some cash on you. In my case, I always keep around $3,000 pesos on me. I put $1,000 pesos in my right pants pocket and $2,000 pesos in my left pocket. I always pay for my purchases with money from the right pocket. When the right pocket is almost empty, I go to the toilets and put again the sum of $1000 pesos in my right pocket.
It is now easy to check on your cell phone the money withdrawals you have made. A good way to make sure no one hacks into your debit or credit card is to always take the same amount each time you withdraw from an ATM. For example most people will make withdrawals of $500 or $1000 pesos and there is a good chance that a criminal will do the same thing. You could choose an amount like $650 or $1100 pesos. In the event that an amount does not correspond to your withdrawal, you can contact your banking institution and follow the procedures they will give you.

As in all countries in the world, there are  pickpockets in Mexico . Avoid putting your wallet in the back pocket of your pants or shorts. Also do not take out a wad of cash in front of everyone.
If you have rented a car and you are filling up with gas , you will notice that there is always an attendant to serve you. Some smart guys have worked out a scheme to extract money from you. While an attendant fills your vehicle with gas, another attendant washes your windows while chatting with you. What they do is they don’t reset the meter and charge you for gas you didn’t receive. Make sure the attendant resets the counter to zero and keep an eye on the attendant who is filling up gas at all times. Usually, if you pay by credit card, the attendant will have to go inside the gas station with your credit card to make the payment. In this way, the amount billed on your credit card will correspond to the number of liters you put in your car since the attendant can tamper with the numbers on the gas pump outside but not on the terminal inside. If you have filled up and the amount of gasoline received seems abnormal, ask for a receipt while keeping a smile. This requires the attendant to go to the counter inside to get the receipt. The last time this happened to me the attendant was asking me for $250 pesos more than he filled in. I told him that the gas was paid by my employer and that I needed a receipt. If you don’t speak Spanish use a translator on your cell phone or write down the appropriate phrases in a notebook.
Did you know that in many stores and even in some large chain stores the price will be different if you pay by credit card than if you pay cash. In North America and Europe, the merchant absorbs the fees incurred by using a credit card. This usually represents about 3% of the purchase amount. When we shopped for furniture in Playa Del Carmen, in one of the stores there were 2 price tags, one for the cash price and one for the credit card price. This is not always the case, so ask the seller if the price is the same if you pay by credit card. If you want to negotiate, it is better to pay cash.

Regarding tips, many restaurant workers have a very low base salary. So they need tips to live. As a general rule if you have received excellent service in the restaurant you add a tip of 20% and otherwise a tip of 10%. It is also customary to tip 10% to people who give you a service, such as the packer at the supermarket or the attendant at the gas station.

Have a good trip

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