Currency Exchange

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Mexican Riviera
Includes: Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, Loreto, Manzanillo, Mazatlan, Pichilingue/La Paz, Puerto Vallarta, Topolobampo & Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, Mexico

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South Bend, IN
318 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
What's the best way to handle money in port? I don't see us spending much and I think those type places have credit cards.

Where can I exchange cash for pesos?
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North County San Diego
1,875 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
A true bank ATM is usually the best in my opinion - Banamex, Bancomer, Santander, Scotiabank, Banorte, ... Changing cash in some "casa de cambio" in a tourist area might give you a worse rate. Of course if your bank fees are high and your not getting many pesos the cambios may be better.
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san fernando valley
5,824 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
When we are at restaurants in the tourist areas, we will often pay in US dollars. If we are buying a paleta or agua fresca from a small store or eating out of the tourist area, we will use pesos.

Last time I ate at a restaurant in Cabo, the difference was $0.50 more paying in dollars rather than pesos.

We have exchanged money at cambios. The rate is about 1-2 pesos off the official rate. You will need a passport to change money at a cambio. You can get money from ATM's, but check with bank/credit card to see what the service fee is.
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Point Richmond CA
4,649 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Some local US banks have excellent exchange rates and very small, if any, transaction fees. If you're in Northern California, check out Mechanics Bank.
Buy enough to have enough pocket money to get to a port's similar bank ATM.

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Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
22,596 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Last month we paid 17:1 at dockside PV restaurant, official rate was 18.7:1. Walmart was giving par.
We use pesos at the smaller places, mercados, street vendors etc. We'll pay USD in the more touristy places.
FWIW $ is used for both Dollars and Pesos. You might see $Dllrs for USD.

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New Cumberland,PA, USA
27,696 Posts
Joined May 2000
First off, you are wrong regarding credit cards. Many Mexican shops and quite a few restaurants accept Visa/MC. So if you have a Visa or MC with zero (or low) foreign exchange fees...its a good option. Otherwise, US Dollars are normally accepted in the Mexican ports...although you will often get screwed on the exchange rate. The best way to get Pesos is to simply use ATMs.

619 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
I always get about $500 US in Pesos at the Wells Fargo before we leave. I don't like spending any kind of time looking for where to exchange. You lose about 1 - 1.50 on the exchange rate but I'm ok with that and can pay for a cab when we get these in pesos. Your home bank may offer an exchange, check it out.

I have saved a lot by using pesos even when asking to be charged in pesos on the credit card. One place in Cabo at the marina said the tab in US was about $37 but when I got them to charge my card in pesos, it was about $25. At some places there is a huge difference and you can save a lot by having the pesos or a credit card if you trust the place not to skim you!