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Any advantage to pay with pesos or just pay with usd? I would assume most places take usd in Mexican Riviera? Thanks 

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Our first cruise we took Pesos, but every cruise since we have just used our Card or paid USD. The advantage of using Pesos is that the exchange rate is better. For example a Maragrita would be 50 pesos which is $2.70 and they would say $3. If you plan on purchasing a lot, it could add up but for us it's not worth the hassle of exchanging. 

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Take pesos, it's a hassle for them to have to deal with a foreign currency.  Prices and attitudes will be better with pesos.  Many banks in the US can get pesos for you.

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Peso's are always best (you are showing respect to their country). But that said - American dollars will work just fine. You will loose a little on the transaction on both sides (what you pay and the change you receive back). Most small businesses will not track the daily exchange rate to benefit you. They will track it to benefit themselves. Say the daily rate is 18.90 pesos to the dollar. Most businesses will offer an exchange rate of 18.50 or 18 to the dollar. So they will skim a few pesos when you pay your bill in dollars and then when they give you change in pesos (don't try to argue this), they will skim a few more using that same exchange rate. Generally not a big deal if you aren't spending that much (only there for a day).

 

Example - sample exchange rate 18.90 -- $100 U.S. Dollars = 1,890 pesos

 

Value of $100 vs. official exchange rate of 18.90, if you conduct transactions in dollars at 18.50 = 1,850 (you loose $2.11)

Value of $100 vs. official exchange rate of 18.90, if you conduct transactions in dollars at 18 = 1800 (you loose $4.76)

 

So not a huge deal, but it would add up if you were there for a week or two. But don't sweat $5 while you are ON VACATION.

 

Credit cards are useful in larger business's, if your card doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee (NEVER EVER USE DEBIT CARDS). But you do have to be aware of the potential to have your credit card data skimmed in a foreign country. I always tell my credit card company of my travel plans in advance so that they can be on the lookout for fraudulent activity, plus I watch my credit card transactions like a hawk for a week or two once I return home.

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18 minutes ago, Laurie S. said:

Take pesos, it's a hassle for them to have to deal with a foreign currency.  Prices and attitudes will be better with pesos.  Many banks in the US can get pesos for you.

 

Many banks in the U.S. charge a pretty healthy service fee to get those pesos (or any other foreign currency) for you.

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And, a number of them don't.  Use the ATM in Mexico and you will pay a fee, also.

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Depends on the bank ATM. Pretty sure B of A and Santander Bank in Mexico are still linked so no fee. There are others but can't remember. Again - not really worth the hassle for a one day stop.

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AAA in Washington State will get pesos for you --- if you purchase over $200 USD worth, there is no fee.

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17 minutes ago, 57redbird said:

AAA in Washington State will get pesos for you --- if you purchase over $200 USD worth, there is no fee.

But, as frequently mentioned, the exchange rate might not be the best. They cover their costs one way or another.

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Also, AAA will have the foreign currency delivered to your door, so no need to schlep to a bank. 

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Padres' fan hit the nail on the head.  The stores will charge a poor exchange rate, but that barely covers their cost and hassle in dealing with US $.

 

I find that the store cashiers like it when I pay in pesos -- I think it shows respect to the fact that Mexico is THEIR country and that I am not treating it as a poor relation.

 

I travel the Mex Riv frequently, so I accumulate pesos and keep them to future visits.  I probably have about US$200 worth at home -- with interest at virtually zero, all it costs me is any deflation of the peso visa-a-vis the dollar. 

 

Sometimes, it is much better to pay in pesos -- 10 peso bus fare (55 cents) vs. $1 bus fare.  The ferry to Stone Island is one where I want to pay pesos instead of dollars.

 

I take advantage of the (decent/poor) exchange rate at OXXO to change dollars into pesos.  I'll buy a few sodas and chips and pay with a US$20 and tell the girl that I'll take my change in pesos.  As Padres pointed out, it costs me under a dollar to do this with a US$20 -- I won't sweat it.

 

I do not use an ATM card in Mexico, and I will use a credit card only in upscale places.  I am concerned about credit card skimming.

 

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If you are with Scotiabank (Canada) they are part of the Global ATM Alliance and you can bank without fees at partner bank ATM's in over 40 different countries (+44,000 ATM's.)  You can just debit your account as normal and exchange is quite favorable.  We use our debit cards on the Visa system, still protected from illegal use/skimming.

https://www.scotiabank.com/ca/en/personal/ways-to-bank/manage-accounts/global-atm-alliance.html

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We have been using Santander ATMs for the past month in Mexico.  No ATM fee. 
 

If you are not a scotiabank customer do not use their ATMs.  They are a ripoff.  Scotia and BVDA charge about 85 pesos for an ATM withdrawal.  Most other banks are 20-30 pesos.

 

Edited by iancal

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On 2/18/2020 at 11:27 AM, canadjineh said:

If you are with Scotiabank (Canada) they are part of the Global ATM Alliance and you can bank without fees at partner bank ATM's in over 40 different countries (+44,000 ATM's.)  You can just debit your account as normal and exchange is quite favorable.  We use our debit cards on the Visa system, still protected from illegal use/skimming.

https://www.scotiabank.com/ca/en/personal/ways-to-bank/manage-accounts/global-atm-alliance.html

What are the fees to convert pesos back to US $?

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6 hours ago, fstuff1 said:

What are the fees to convert pesos back to US $?

I'm not sure about that as we just put any leftover USD in our Scotia USD account for next time, and keep extra pesos in an envelope at home for the next trip.  The less often you flip funds back and forth between currencies the better.  Banks always edge exchanges in their favour in both directions, buy and sell.

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13 hours ago, canadjineh said:

we just …  keep extra pesos in an envelope at home for the next trip.  The less often you flip funds back and forth between currencies the better.  Banks always edge exchanges in their favour in both directions, buy and sell.

Excellent advice!  I might take a loss when currency rates change, but I always keep my pesos for the next trip.  (I do the Mex Riv cruise at least once a year.)

 

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