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
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.