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money in cancun

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money in cancun

last year we were vacationing in cancun, and one of the taxi drivers told me that this year (2012) the businesses in cancun would not be excepting dollar bills, only peso. is this true, we are going in may again.

Medina, Ohio
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1. Re: money in cancun

they said that the end of 2010 and we took peso's and the waiters said they like dollars better because they got more with the exchange rate.

Whittle-le-Woods
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2. Re: money in cancun

Hi, from what I understand it is mainly based on business transactions of large amounts, it's to help stop money laundering, holiday money as long as not excessive amounts are fine in $, and yes mexicans do prefer $ as tips.

Calgary
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Cancun
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3. Re: money in cancun

US dollars are widely accepted in the tourist areas but there is no regulation when it comes to the exchange rate - it's set by the individual business accepting your US cash. Some vendors give a reasonable rate, others (taxis in particular) are only giving a rate of 10 pesos to the dollar. Given that the current mid-market rate is 12.6795, that means you're paying around a 20% premium or more for the convenience of using those US dollars.

As far as tips are concerned, I don't agree with either of the previous posters. Regardless of the exchange rate, it's the quantum of the tip that counts. If you offer someone 10 pesos or US$1, of course they're going to prefer the dollar because it's worth more. If you offer them 15 pesos or US$1, I can guarantee you that they'll prefer the pesos.

Edited: 9:47 am, March 19, 2012
Prescott Ontario
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4. Re: money in cancun

I've never seen a business in Cancun or the Mayan not accept the US $ .... this includes the flea markets in Tulum and the stores on 5th Ave. in Playa.

I prefer to deal in US $ when I'm trying to make a deal with a vendor.

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5. Re: money in cancun

"I prefer to deal in US $ when I'm trying to make a deal with a vendor."

Why? (Don't mean to be rude, just wondering.)

Prescott Ontario
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6. Re: money in cancun

Because typically I've got a much better deal through my bank buying US money then I have purchasing pesos or buying it when I arrive in Mexico.

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7. Re: money in cancun

Perhaps Expo can try an ATM to get pesos in Mexico rather than lose in Exchange rates going from CND to US$ to spend in MX

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8. Re: money in cancun

Expos post made me curious, so I just checked with my own bank (CIBC). Based on their current rates (which we all know fluctuate constantly) Cdn$100 would get me $1,186.52 pesos or US$97.59.

So, if I wanted to buy something in Mexico that cost 1000 pesos, I'd have more than enough money but if I wanted to pay in US dollars and they converted at a rate of 10:1, I'd be pooched. Even if the vendor converted at 11:1, I'd still be better off using pesos.

Given that you typically get a better rate by withdrawing from an ATM in Mexico (although your own bank's fees may corrode that rate a bit), you'd be even better off if you got your pesos that way.

But hey, your money, your choice.

FWIW, I also checked the Cdn/Mexico rate with a forex place at a local mall - I was surprised to discover that they're actually giving a BETTER rate than my own bank; Cdn$100 would get me 1200 pesos.

Edited: 12:20 pm, March 19, 2012
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9. Re: money in cancun

Expo - if you are gettting a great peso rate, why pay in dollars? Im confused.

In my experience, if you pay in dollars, you get 10 to 1. If you pay in pesos you are getting a much better rate (12.65 now), so you overpay by about 25% on every purchase if you pay in dollars. That means a 1000 peso item would cost you $100 and me $79 (plus the 3% I pay my bank for currency transaction).

Also, when you're negotiating it is always a good idea to use pesos because it shows you're committed to the place and likely to visit again (translation - likely to buy from them again) and you will likely get better prices if you seem like more of a regular. You want to seem expert - the type of person who friends ask for travel advice - because if the vendor thinks it is likely that you will send friends because you got a great price, you will do better in negotiating.

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Pearland, Texas
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10. Re: money in cancun

I agree that using an ATM to withdraw money in peso's is the best way to go overall.

Some businesses are restricted from accepting USD, but not places that tourists will usually encounter. An example would be a utility company. My understanding is that local staff actually prefer being tipped in pesos as they don't have to convert USD and can use the pesos to pay their utilities or phone bill - which are often paid in person.

That said, tips are typically supposed to be pooled then they are paid out by check with wages, or as a separate check. Of course, not all tips will make it into the pool, which is where tipping in pesos can be handy if you give an especially large tip to a staff member for outstanding service.