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Airport -Exchange US dollars or withdraw from ATM

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Atlanta, Georgia
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90 posts
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Airport -Exchange US dollars or withdraw from ATM

I am arriving in Mexico City tomorrow. My plan is to exchange US dollars at the airport then use ATM's later in the trip if necessary. Just curious, is the exchange rate about the same at the currency exchange as at an ATM? My MasterCard will add 3% or $10 every time I use an ATM, so it seems like the airport currency exchange would be more cost effective, but I am not sure.

Texas Gulf Coast...
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1. Re: Airport -Exchange US dollars or withdraw from ATM


I think you will find that the ATM will give you a slightly better exchange rate (say ~ 40 - 60 Centavos better to the USD {e.g. ~ 12.6 Mxn : 1 USD vs. 12.1 Mxn : 1 USD}), so not really too much of a difference unless you are exchanging a significant amount of money; then this could be a huge factor. The key is the ATM service fee that your bank may impose.

Generally speaking you will do much better exchanging your money at a 'Casa de Cambio' while out and about vs. the airport exchange booths (just my personal experience). So I'd exchange enough at the airport (if you must) to get you started, and then while out and about exchange some more as needed.

Just a thought; IF you want to exchange money at a bank in Mexico, you will need your Passport (and maybe a few copies of it). Therefore if you can, make the copies now (4 -6??) so that you can just give it to the bank when they ask instead of having to find a copy store to make them then and there). Safe travels.

Que se diviertan!

London, United...
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2. Re: Airport -Exchange US dollars or withdraw from ATM


As the poster above says, I don't think that it makes much difference unless you are taking out a lot of money. When I use a British card here (and I think I get worse rates than you guys do!) the exchange rate isn't very good if I withdraw smaller sums (less than 500 pesos) however once I start withdrawing 1000-2000 pesos or more I find that I get a much better exchange rate on the money I take out. Hope than makes sense!

Queretaro City...
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3. Re: Airport -Exchange US dollars or withdraw from ATM

In Mexico City the airport exchange rates are actually better than the ones in town (including the banks) - it's unusual but true! I agree there's really not much difference in using ATMs compared to exchanging cash. Bear in mind that you are limited in the amount of U.S. cash you can exchange in any one month (used to be 1,500 USD - may have gone up).

San Miguel de...
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4. Re: Airport -Exchange US dollars or withdraw from ATM

Credit card advance at an ATM is always a killer. Better to use debit or a true ATM card, although that's a bit late now. Yesterday I got 12.8 at an ATM.

5. Re: Airport -Exchange US dollars or withdraw from ATM

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