Are we better off buying our mexican pesos before we leave from AAA? Or are we better off (rate wise) exchanging in Cozumel?
Please read the "frequently asked questions" item on the right side of this page for some background info...
I use a separate travel account Visa Check card for withdrawing Pesos from bank ATMs when on Cozumel. It is the simplest method for me, with a decent exchange rate.
Tenth bullet point down on right hand side.
For years we have used ATM's without a problem. This normally gets you the best exchange rate. The machines are are located all over the square, at the Palacio, and at the grocery stores.
You can withdraw from $300 to $500 depending on machine. Just be sure and add a zero to amount withdrawn. The prompts are in English and Spanish so easy to follow. You get the current bank market rate plus the ATM fee. The machines have predetermined amounts or you can hit
other and type in the amount you want.
The next easiest way is to stop at one of the numerous money exchange booths. The rates are posted so know what the rate is when you walk in.
I would pass on getting pesos in the US. You will probably lose in the exchange plus whatever the bank charges.Edited: 03 February 2011, 21:09
Thanks! I didn't notice the points on the side! Appreciate the advice. AAA does not charge a rate to exchange your money to pesos.Edited: 03 February 2011, 22:34
exchange rate in usa isnt to good right now
I thought I was going to use an ATM when I went down to Mexico. I debated the same thing: pesos here or when I get down to Mexico.
I called my bank (Chase) to cofirm ATM fees. They told me they would charge me $3 plus a 3% transaction fee of whatever I withdrew. Then they told me they don't charge any fees to exchange pesos and I will get them at the current rate.
I'm thinking that I will now just get the pesos before I leave.
Check with your bank--Bank of America allows customers to withdraw pesos from their accounts at a competitive rate and with no fees, and will have them delivered to the branch of your choice. I did this last September, and the rate I got here at home was better than that of the ATMs in Mexico, which I also used after having too much fun with my initial stock of pesos. I'll do this every time.
Cat just be sure chase tells you what the current rate is.... then compare that to what people are currently reporting in mexico.
The worst exchange rate that I got was on the pesos I got here before we left.
I bank with a small local community bank (about 7-8 branches only) and not a biggie like Bank of America. I did stop into a Wells Fargo yesterday and asked if I could buy pesos but was told no. So I guess if I want any pesos before I leave it will be AAA for me ( will also be getting an ATM card). Usually I have a bunch left over but only about 800 pesos left over from last trip.
I was thinking about buying them for a trip to Isla Mujeres after finding out that all the cambios on the island have shut down. Our bank charges a fee which amounts to a 9-1 rate. Yuk.
This morning I realized that AAA does it and was about to look in to it when I saw this thread. They also do the preloaded cards. I have not checked to see what the rate is at AAA but it sounds like a good option.
And no matter how many times someone tells me it is OK to rely on ATMs, there is no way I am going to a foreign country without cash in hand. ATMs break down. Cards get damaged, lost and compromised. ATMs run out of money. The are useless during a power outage.
I still think traveler's checks are the best option if you are going to a resort that will cash them at the front desk.Edited: 04 February 2011, 22:07
But you gotta be a member of AAA yes?