Is there an online tool where can I find the current bank exchange rates in IM? So I know whether to get them in IM or bring from my bank.
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I just posted this question and didn't ask for it to be removed. What am I missing? Just got an email that it was removed at my request.
It's not you Teresa, it's me. I wrote an answer, wanted to edit it, missed the deadline, so deleted my own post. Now I've got internet issues. Arrrgh!!
Oanda is an official currency site. Today peso, MXN, is trading at 18.9
So a bank on Isla is likely to offer about 17.5
They offer a nice printable cheat sheet
Thanks much everyone. I think I have a clear picture now of where to go.
Teresa we do the same as if we were in Spokane as we quite often are. We go to a BANK AFFILIATED ATM at a bank or inside a big grocery store with less chance of tampering and withdraw funds. A bank affiliated ATM's limit will be your personal daily withdrawal limit and not top out at a few hundred dollars like other ATMs. There are three parts to the total cost. The foreign exchange rate, the service fee in Mexico and your banks service fee which may be the same or more for a foreign ATM. I like XE currency exchange to check rates but all services work. It has been my experience that ATM withdrawals will be .5 to .7 less than that theoretical number that no one actually gets. There is a buying and selling cost and that quoted value in between. So today's 18.9 might be 18.4 or 18.2.
In the big picture the cost difference is not that much depending on how many pesos you will use. We pay ALL costs in pesos by choice and the ATM is the best value although some people worry about tampering quite a lot.
Pesos from home, your bank decides the exchange rate which is typically worse than the Mexican ATM but each Mexican bank has their own fees and as above your bank's fee can be more for foreign transactions.
Long story short, the ATM over time has proven to be the best total exchange cost but you don't always know this until you get home and crunch some numbers.
The bonus of pesos from home is that you already have that chore taken care of. You should order a larger number of small denomination notes than you would going elsewhere because many things are very low priced and vendors run out of change with many tourists breaking huge notes for small purchases.
Which phrase is more commonly used to request smaller bills? Mas pequenas billetes or mas pequenas facturas? I always thought it was billetes but googling it I get facturas. Anyone know what is more commonly used there?
I just smile and say “más pequeña por favor” as I hand the teller the $500’s. Works every time.
I recommend our family get pesos from their bank at home especially if the exchange is favorable which recently it has been. When exchanging US dollars on the Island, you must have your passport and are limited to the amount per day. Try to go when the bank first opens so you do not need to waste vacation time standing in line. I would not recommend using ATMS. Seven of our visiting family members have had their cards compromised 3 months after they left in the last year. They all live in different states. Credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) are more widely accepted. If you bank does not charge international transaction fees, this is usually your best exchange. Do alert your banks and credit card companies, you will be traveling out of the country.