Why is that?
Because how much your dollar or Euro or other currency is worth is discretionary to an large extent, on the part of the facility making the transaction. Walmart and some of the other more well known companies will usually give you a fair shake on the exchange rate. But many other local places in Mexico will not give you the true value of your dollar, Euro or other.
It’s a good idea to exchange your dollars or other currency for pesos shortly after arrival. More on this in a moment. Don’t make your exchange at the airport, the rate is not good. Until you can make an exchange, it’s helpful to have small denominations for tipping purposes however. If you don’t have small denominations, make a small exchange at the airport, like $20 and ask for small bills back. You can say to the person, “Me puede dar una combinación de monedas de diez pesos y veinte billetes de peso por favor? Then the clerk will understand you want a combination of $20 peso bills and $10 peso coins in the exchange.
Is the chart at the top what we can expect the exchange rate to be in Cancun?
No, the exchange rates shown on any web site do not include the money that gets deducted from the exchangers and/or money bank wire transfers. Suffice to say that the rate you see in Cancun will be approximately 3/4 of a point less than what you see on any given day on the chart above. You can use this chart as a guide. As an example, you’ll notice the exchange rate at the Cancun airport is much less than the chart shows, 2 points or more as of this writing.
I heard you can get pesos from banks here in the US before you go to Cancun. Is that true and why not do that?
Yes, it is true, however US banks typically give you a much less favorable rate than you can get in Cancun.
Can we make the exchange at the resort?
Most condo resorts don’t offer this service. The resort will allow you to make exchanges. However, the rate is likely going to be about the same as the airport, so you are better off not doing so.
How do we find a place to get a decent rate and how do we get there?
My manager in Cancun can help you with the nearest location to make an exchange. If you request this, he will give you a ride over there. Please give him a tip for this. Tips are very customary in Cancun. There are decent exchange rates within about a mile of where you are staying.
Where is the very best place to go for the best exchange rate?
To a bank. There is an bank in Plaza Flamingo . It’s located at kilometer 11 in the hotel zone. It’s about 5 miles North of the resort. That is as of this writing, there may be several others by the time you read this.
Are the savings substantial?
If you are exchanging $500 or more it’s probably worth going. I would go when you are going to be heading in that direction anyway rather than making a special trip. However, do go between the hours of about 10am-4pm Monday-Friday to be sure they are open.
Is the rate good if we pay by credit card for something?
It depends. Ask for the exchange rate the vendor is giving in dollars. Use your calculator on your phone to see what the rate works out to. To do so, take the amount in pesos and divide it by the amount you would be spending in dollars. Vendors will normally tell you what the cost is in dollars if you ask. It’s important you also know that the credit card companies will charge you 3.5% on every purchase you make (International purchases). It will show right on your statement. The credit card companies have always been charging the 3.5%. The difference is that now they are required by law to show the charges on your statement properly.
Real Time Exchange Rates
Why should we exchange dollars, Euros, etc at all, don’t they except other money anyway?
Almost any transaction made anywhere in Mexico will allow you to pay with dollars or Mexican pesos, but usually not other forms of currency. Your change will always be in pesos. The point is that you will do better on the whole of your stay if you make an exchange for pesos and get a good exchange rate. Also, foreign coins are not accepted, only paper money.