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re the dollar

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re the dollar

hi my travel agent has advised me that mexico does not accept american dollars in any form of currancy or travellers cheques canany one tell me what currancy they take other than pasos thank you

Davie, Florida
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1. Re: re the dollar

USD is still widely accepted in Mexico, tour travel agent is ignorant. Use pesos you will get the best exchange rate. Can I use pesos in the UK? Its like that.

Dana Point...
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2. Re: re the dollar

The travel agent is not ignorant. It's now the law in Mexico and is stated as such on restaurant menus, for example ("only pesos accepted as cash currency by law"). We just returned two days ago and if we used cash instead of a credit card, we needed pesos. We converted dollars to pesos at the hotel and using ATMs.

Steamboat Springs...
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3. Re: re the dollar

Huh! The fishing guides, diving and snorkel trips, and accommodations have all asked to be payed in US$. They quote their prices that way, and prefer to be payed that way. So I plan on accommodating them.

Use pesos for all the daily life expenses. Food and drink, petrol, taxi, etc.

Livingston, Scotland
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4. Re: re the dollar

Susan - coming from the UK it make sense to bring pesos as we have to change our money anyway and it is the currency of the country. You may end up paying 10-20% more paying in dollars and get change back in pesos so will end up juggling 2 foreign currencies.

If you book any excursions through your UK travel rep you will not be able to pay in dollars and the Departure Tax is only sometimes payable in dollars - sterling or pesos and usually slightly cheaper in pesos.

If you do not want to carry cash with you (which should be kept in the room safe) check with your bank about withdrawal charges abroad and work out if that's what you would rather do. Traveller Cheques are pretty difficult to cash but you could check direct with your resort to see if they will cash them for you - not usually at a brilliant rate though. I wouldn't advise the pre-loaded Visa/Mastercards as there have been many stories about these being near useless to use in Mexico.

Check out the travel section of www.moneysavingexpert.com for details on goods cards to use abroad and www.travelmoneymax.com for detail of peso rates for loads of companies.

Hope this helps a little!!

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5. Re: re the dollar

While I suggest using pesos, you will find almost (not all) places will take US dollars. There is no law in Mexico prohibiting the US dollar for normal expenses. The reason why you want to use pesos is you will normally get the best rate (cost) going that way.

Cancun, Mexico
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6. Re: re the dollar

I recommend checking with one's individual Resort as to whether or not they will exchange your currency, especially USD, for pesos. We were in Cancun from Jan 6 to Mar 7, 2012 and had friends staying at both the Casa Maya and the Riu Caribe. Neither place would exchange USD for pesos for them.

There is LAW that limits how much USD can be exchanged for pesos and it seems that more and more places are adhering to the new law.

So, check to see if your resort will exchange, or how far your resort is from a "Casa de Cambio", or plan on using an ATM or bringing pesos from home.

Also, kindly keep in mind that while your USD's will be graciously accepted as TIPS by the Resort's workers, it may be harder than hell and getting even harder for them to get USD tips converted to PESOS.

Bolton, England
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7. Re: re the dollar

Coming from the UK you should really only need Peso's. There is nothing stopping you taking dollars, but why have the hassle of two foreign currencies.

Departure tax is now usually only payable in Sterling or Peso's. I have been watching exchange rates for a couple of months, If was to pay the departure tax in dollars it would cost me £10 more than Peso's (based on M&S rates).

Dana Point...
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166 posts
38 reviews
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8. Re: re the dollar

None of the restaurants at the JW Marriott or the Casa Magna will accept dollars as cash currency to pay for meals. That was our experience last week. It was printed on all of the menus. It was also printed on the menu at Cenacolo restaurant in the Kulkulkan(sp?) Plaza. We exchanged dollars for pesos at the hotel reception desk almost daily. Compared to our previous trips, there is a much stronger preference for pesos now. If you google the law, which went into effect in 2010, you can get more info. The airport, however, took dollars for everything regardless of the size of the transaction. Pretty confusing -- just sharing our own experience.

Edited: 23 March 2012, 13:20
Atlantic City, New...
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10 posts
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9. Re: re the dollar

You can use US dollars but what the government is trying to do is prevent money laundering so they have put limits on everyone as the amounts that you can exchange at your hotel etc. Walmart has stop taking dollars and most taxis do not want to take them because it cost them to exchange it to pesos. All restaurants etc. will take dollars but prefer credit cards. When you come bring cash and exchange it at the hotel. Its the safest place to exchange. Airports can be dangerous can lead to robbery. Also if you use pesos alot of times you can get a discount at stores like mom and pop places. The hotel limit to exchange is 1,500 dollars per person per day. Dont use atms here because you will be very overcharged by your bank and by the banks here.

Destination Expert
for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Cancun
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10. Re: re the dollar

I'm not sure that Walmart has stopped taking dollars. I know there was talk about it but I *think* I saw posts from Playamaya, a forum regular who lives and works in Playa del Carmen, indicating that Walmart are still accepting dollars. I stand to be corrected on that though; I'll PM him and see if I can't find out.

Credit cards charge vendors a percentage, so I'm not sure it's true that they "prefer" credit cards. They may prefer them to dollars but whether or not they prefer them to pesos, I don't know. (FWIW, in Puerto Vallarta, they dislike credit cards so much that many places will actually charge you extra for using them. That said, this is Cancun and not PV.)

I don't know that changing your money at an airport can lead to robbery any more than withdrawing cash from an ATM can. Sure, if an unscrupulous person is really paying attention maybe but airports are usually crowded, busy places and not the ideal spot for a mugging. However, airport exchanges the world over are notorious for giving really bad rates, so I wouldn't recommend them for that reason - not because of a safety issue.

Changing your money at the hotel may or may not be a bad idea. Some hotels give a very good exchange rate; others not so much. Of course, even if your particular hotel doesn't give a good rate, by the time you've taken a taxi into town to find the nearest bank or cambio, it may well be that you'd have broken even by exchanging at the hotel and saved yourself some hassle into the bargain.

As for not using ATMs, you may be overcharged by your own bank but it you use a BANK AFFILIATED ATM and withdraw pesos (NOT dollars), the fees are, IMHO, very reasonable. You have to check with your own bank - mine charges a mere $3.50 per foreign withdrawal, add that to the small charge from the Mexican bank and I think it's well worth it to avoid the hassle of taking a large wad of cash on vacation. Please note that I am referring specifically to BANK AFFLIATED ATM machines and withdrawing PESOS; if you use an independent, stand-alone machine and/or withdraw US dollars, all bets are off. There's one of those at a gas station near my house and they charge $8.50 per withdrawal, so it's not a Mexico thing, it's a stand-alone ATM thing. If you withdraw US dollars from any Mexican ATM, you're going to get hit with multiple exchange fees, just don't do it!

When you spend in dollars, you are at the mercy of the vendor accepting them when it comes to exchange rate. Just like hotel exchange rates, some are good, others not so much. Taxis in particular give a rate of 10:1 (the actual rate is currently around 12.7). It's not so much that you are getting a discount by paying in pesos, you're just not being scorched on the exchange rate. A 100 peso item is a 100 peso item but if you pay in dollars, it could be costing you the equivalent of 127 pesos.

Edited: 24 March 2012, 16:00