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Recommendation to get Pesos prior to Cozumel Trip versus using US Currency

Discussion in 'Mexico Timesharing' started by MULTIZ321, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. pittle

    pittle TUG Member

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    We have a Capital One checking account that we use just for vacations. They do not charge a foreign transfer fee when we use the Debit Card. So, the only cost for our Pesos is the small amount that the Mexico bank charges. We always use Pesos in Mexico and try to bring some home for our next trip. I tend to bring back as many as I took.
     
  2. cubigbird

    cubigbird Tug Review Crew Veteran TUG Member

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    Does anyone know of any banks such as HSBC that you can access or deposit cash in US AND Mexico for no fee? Essentially using them in either country?
     
  3. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    Check out Bank of America, HSBC, and Santander to see if they meet your needs.

    Richard
     
  4. pianoetudes

    pianoetudes TUG Member

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    It used to be Santander bank which is more convenient because they are more Santander ATMs in Mexico. But since Bank of America (BOA) switched to Scotia, I don't like it. PV airport has Scotia ATM, but not Cancun airport. I have to go to Playa del Carmen to find Scotia ATM.

    I did use BOA foreign currency exchange service when traveling to Asia. The $10 shipping is an extra cost but I can exchange multiple currencies all in one shot (Thai Baht, Malaysian Ringgit, Indonesian Rupiah, and Singapore dollar). For Mexican Peso, getting the money from airport ATM is easier.

    Yes. Charge everything to CC. You'll get the reward points and best currency exchange (better than ATM).
     
  5. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Check Charles Schwab Bank. They refund all ATM fees, anywhere.
     
  6. T_R_Oglodyte

    T_R_Oglodyte TUG Lifetime Member

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    We travel to PV annually, and Scotia is more convenient than Santander.
    Our Alaska Airlines VISA also does not charge foreign transaction fees. No reason not to use CC as long as you are comfortable giving the credit card to the vendor.
     
  7. Phydeaux

    Phydeaux TUG Member

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    I monitor exchange rates throughout the entire year, and buy them from my local bank here at home before we leave. I come out ahead nearly every time.

    Oh, and remember to remove your hat before entering a bank in Mexico. ;)
     
  8. easyrider

    easyrider TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    We buy pesos at Bank of America before we head to Mexico. For us, our credit card pays for most items such as resort charges which often include activities , groceries and rental car. Pesos are used mainly at the local businesses and for tips.

    A few years back the Mexican Government, God bless them, decided to limit the amount of pesos you can exchange each day. They also decided to require a passport. The limit was about $300 if I remember correctly. The ATM's didn't require the passport to get pesos but you had to find one and the transaction had a limit. I don't like looking for the ATM because the only safe ATM in Mexico is at the bank. All other ATM's are hackable and these ATM hacks are happening at many places tourist frequent.

    Buying pesos at our Bank of America is pretty easy but they do need to order the pesos for us and it does take a few days. There is no fee on orders of $1000. Bank of America will buy the pesos back but we save the left overs for the next Mexican trip.

    https://www.bankofamerica.com/foreign-exchange/buying-foreign-currency-faq.go

    Bill
     
  9. Helios

    Helios TUG Member

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    Use the nearest ATM upon arrival and bring small USD bills.
     
  10. LannyPC

    LannyPC TUG Member

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    What would be the best option for paying a cab to get from CZM to anywhere on the island? US dollars? Credit card? Pesos?
     
  11. PigsDad

    PigsDad TUG Member

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    Pesos. When we were there 1.5 years ago, I think the exchange rate was about 17:1, but when I asked what the cab fare was in pesos and then USD, the cabbie quoted me a 10:1 exchange rate for USD (probably because it was just easier). I don't think credit card was an option.

    We got pesos from an ATM in the airport when we arrived -- the screens were in both Spanish and English so it was no problem.

    Kurt
     
  12. PigsDad

    PigsDad TUG Member

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    BTW, you cannot take a taxi from the CZM airport -- they are not allowed to pick up there, only drop off. Instead, they have group vans, where you purchase a ticket at a counter inside the airport right by the exit door, and then they load you up w/ other people going the same general area. I read that sometimes it can take a while to get to your place because they make other stops.

    The other option is to just walk out of the airport and across the street from the main entrance to a little taco stand there (less than a 1000' walk), and from there you can catch a cab. It was an easy walk and the food at the stand was quite tasty as well!

    If you didn't want to do the walk, I'm sure the vans would be fine.

    Kurt
     
  13. LannyPC

    LannyPC TUG Member

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    Thanks, that's good to know.
     
  14. bobpark56

    bobpark56 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Our local Costco has an ATM that does not charge a fee. Are there others?
     
  15. bobpark56

    bobpark56 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Wrong advice. Use the nearest *BANK* ATM upon arrival. Santander is a good one. Transaction fees at bank ATMs in Mexico are less that half of the going rates in the US. Do not be put off if it says the fee is $30 or so. That's pesos. Beware non-bank ATMs. Fees there can be high. Bringing some small US bills to tide you over is not a bad idea. But keep in mind that the folks you give them to will just have to take them to a money changer, who will charge them a fee to convert to pesos.
     
  16. pittle

    pittle TUG Member

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    Always use a Bank ATM - Sandanter, BBVA/Bancomer, Banamex, HSB, Scotia are the ones you will most like see. We just got back and would generally get 6000 pesos at a time. That was $318.30 in US Dollars. Many places posted 15 pesos to the $1, ($400 US for the 6000 pesos) but the bank gave us 18.84 pesos per $1.

    We brought back enough for taxi & Mega shopping trip at Riviera Maya in April. :) We always bring home $250-$300 in USD equivalent for our next trip.
     
  17. Helios

    Helios TUG Member

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    Wrong? I guess if you din’t specify bank ATM in the advice that makes it wrong. I get it, Mexico is dangerous...The US is safe and you can use random ATMs without fear of your card info getting stolen...like my CCs and debit cards number have been stolen in the US and never in MX...

    I travel 10+ times to Mexico per year and have NEVER had an issue with ANY ATMs...Same thing with 12+ international trips per year in addition to Mexico...but, what do I know...Just a lucky guy living on the edge recklessly...

    As a side note, beware of CCs that charge international fees...@bobpark56 please feel to correct my advice as you see fit.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    PigsDad likes this.
  18. PigsDad

    PigsDad TUG Member

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    Another note about credit cards -- some merchants and hotels will convert your purchase to USD and then charge your CC in USD. Don't let them do this -- have them charge in Pesos, as you will get the bank exchange rate, not the rate the merchant uses.

    When we checked out of NV Grand Mayan a couple of weeks ago, they initially presented the bill and had converted the total to USD and wanted to charge that. I told them to run it as Pesos and they did. When I got home, I checked my CC account online to see the actual conversion rate I got, and the charge would have been over $50 more if charged in USD! This was on a ~$1,100 bill.

    Kurt
     
  19. Helios

    Helios TUG Member

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    I agree, I always check the charge is in pesos.
     
  20. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    AND - if your from Canada , UK etc : ALWAYS have the resort charge it in Pesos ( or you will have 2 currency conversion charges)

    I have a Chase Canada Marriott card that charges no foreign transaction fee , and gives a decent currency conversion rate .
    I try to put all our significant charges on that card while in Mexico .
     
    travs2, LannyPC and PigsDad like this.
  21. LannyPC

    LannyPC TUG Member

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    That's excellent to know!
     
  22. bobpark56

    bobpark56 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I agree with everything you say here. But your initial advice could have led folks bit astray, as non-bank ATMs in Mexico can charge rather high fees. Your advice as to credit cards and foreign exchange fees is on point. There are many good cards that do not charge card fees for foreign exchanges. But there is still the ATM fee to keep one's eye on.
     
  23. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Yes, there is, but it's generally quite small. Even though in Mexico, they use the 'dollar' sign($) to denote pesos, so that screen on the ATM where you agree to the fee, it might say that its $15 or $20- or even $30, but it's PESOS and amounts to under 2 US dollars. So if you are following Phyllis' example and getting 6,000 pesos (over $300 USD) the bank fee as a very reasonable 0.5%

    Jim
     
  24. byeloe

    byeloe TUG Member

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    And also for Canadians, you can get the Amazon Visa(Chase) which has no annual fee and does not charge the foreign fees.

    I am pretty sure that the Marriott card and Amazon are the only no foreign transaction fee options for us Canucks
     
  25. Helios

    Helios TUG Member

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    Also, depending on your bank and account, you may get the fees reimbursed. Mine reimburses ATM unlimited fees.
     

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