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Why don't you use Credit Card on Isla?

Indianapolis...
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Why don't you use Credit Card on Isla?

So, I have been reading on this and other forums and everyone says to use Pesos (cash) on the Island vs a credit card. Is this a personal preference that you all prefer cash, or is there a good reason to not use credit cards for food, golf cart rental, dolphin encounter, etc?

At home, we use our credit card for everything and just pay if off when we get the bill. I'm really just not used to carrying or using cash for very much. thanks.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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1. Re: Why don't you use Credit Card on Isla?

For much of Isla, it is small businesses - they don't accept credit cards, so that is one reason for not using them. It costs more for them to use them, so not cost effective for their business. As well, Mexico is one of the worst countries for credit card fraud - I always bring a credit card (for emergency purposes). I use the ATM for pesos. :)

I do however, book somethings online with my credit card before I leave home - like Best Day transport, etc.

Edited: 15 November 2012, 18:59
Chicago, Illinois
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for Isla Mujeres
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2. Re: Why don't you use Credit Card on Isla?

I use credit cards for high ticket items like scuba diving, whale shark tours, golf cart rentals, etc. But as coalminer says, you'll find that many Isla businesses do not take credit cards. Very few restaurants, for example, take credit cards.

Illinois
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3. Re: Why don't you use Credit Card on Isla?

We use CC's at home too, almost everywhere but on Isla we get pesos from the ATM. We mostly patronize the smaller businesses on Isla and they either don't take CC's or if they take them, the business passes the cc fee on to us so it's not worth it.

San Diego
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for San Diego
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4. Re: Why don't you use Credit Card on Isla?

I also use my credit card at home for everything but NOT when I travel outside the USA. Visa often charges 3% for currency conversion and on top of that many small businesses outside the USA(not just in Mexico) don't accept credit cards!! Sometimes even small hotels don't accept credit cards soooo it is always a good idea to have cash!!

Houston, Texas
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5. Re: Why don't you use Credit Card on Isla?

The HSBC swallowed my debit card on one of my trips, so I am reluctant to use ATM's that take in your card instead of swipe. Use swipe machines if possible.

Saskatoon, Canada
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for Riviera Maya
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6. Re: Why don't you use Credit Card on Isla?

We use cash exclusively. We try to here at home as well. For the reasons mentioned already, and also I was the victim of cc fraud in PV once, so I just try to avoid using them.

Fort Worth, Texas
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for Cancun
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7. Re: Why don't you use Credit Card on Isla?

I use my debit card at most restaurants or stores.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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8. Re: Why don't you use Credit Card on Isla?

That is one thing I like about travel in Mexico - takes me about a day to wrap my mind around the peso usage, but then it is fun . . . like many of you, I tend to use my credit card while traveling in USA, but there is something fun about the Mexican Pesos - I love the colors and variety . . . really feels like fun $$ when I am there. :)

Edmonton
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9. Re: Why don't you use Credit Card on Isla?

I use my cc where I can as long as there are no fees incurred (my bank does not charge the currency fee on my kind of card). I use it here all the time for airmiles and pay it off monthly.

I use pesos mostly though.

I have never had credit card fraud in mexico in my 20 plus trips, but have had it this September on our family trip to Disney in LA. What a pain:(

Isla Mujeres
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10. Re: Why don't you use Credit Card on Isla?

We live on Isla & use our credit cards regularly. We do have a credit card that does not charge international transaction fees. Thise can add up fast if you are charged. I also recommend you let your credit card company know you are traveling out of the country. We have to do the opposite & let them know when we are traveling in the States so they do not see irregular activity & out a fraud alert on your card. We have never had a problem down here with credit cards (I have lived here 11 years, my husband 15 years). We have had issues with our card number being stolen in the States & when ordering online.

There are some businesses that accept credit cards...Jax, Rolandis, Angelos, Arte de Galleria, SuperExpress, Chedraui, Privilege Aluxes' restaurants, Dolphin Discovery, Ciro's, etc.

Enjoy your vacation.