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Cancun Mexico Currency

The Mexican currency is the Mexican Peso (MXN).

The US Dollar is widely accepted in Cancun, mostly in the tourist areas and the hotel zone. In fact, you can just use USD for everything from tips to purchases. Even buses in the hotel zone accepts USD. Note: When receiving a bill, always check to see if the bill is in USD or MXN.

USDs or Pesos? USD is very convenience to use since you don't have to exchange your money. However, often when purchasing items (i.e. grocery store), you will be better off paying in Pesos because if you pay in USD, don't be surprised at the higher exchange rates used. If you plan to travel outside the hotel zone to explore the "real" Mexico, it's a good idea to travel with Pesos because Pesos is accepted anywhere in Mexico. In addition, large USD bills ($50's and $100's) will be hard to exchange unless at a bank. Remember that exchange rates fluctuate daily so check out the current exchange rates below.

Credit Cards: Most establishments such as restaurants, hotels and rentals all accept credit cards. Most places accept Visa and Mastercard and some of the larger companies take all different types of credit cards.

Cash or Credit: Cash tends to have more purchasing power especially when bartering and bargain hunting. Stores will sometimes charge a higher rate for credit card purchases. However, for restaurants, car rentals, tours, hotels, etc., the cost is the same whether you pay in cash or credit. However, most places in Cancun, the credit card is charged in Pesos and then your credit card company uses an exchange rate (normally higher than the bank) and converts it into USD. The exchange rate differences will depend on current exchange rates and your financial institution. Also, some smaller market places don't even take credit cards.

Traveler's Checks: Most tour operators, hotels and restaurants will take traveler's checks but ensure that your signature is exactly the same when signing. Otherwise, you will have a hard time to use them. When cashing traveler's checks, legal form of ID will be required.

ATM Machines: There are ATM machines available at banks, downtown and even at hotels. It's just like using it at home but the machine only gives out the equivalent amount in Pesos.

Where to Exchange Money: Your local bank at home, Cancun airport, hotels, banks, exchange booths. You'll get the best exchange rates at the banks but it's not very convenient to locate. The exchange booths around town and along the hotel strip also tend to have competitive exchange rates and it's very convenient. Generally, hotels tend to have the worst exchange rates. For other non USD currencies, exchange rates tend to be lower than expected.

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