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What is the best currency to use in Cancun Supermarket?

sungandjudy

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Hi all,

We are leaving for Cancun in 3 wks. :cheer:
We will be grocery shopping once there, probably at walmart or costco. (or other large chain supermarket.)
I have a few questions.
1. I have a costco membership in Canada. Can I use this in Cancun?
2. what is the most safe, hassle free way of paying for goods in cancun? Is it credit cards, Canadian or US dollar, or Mexican peso?
3. if I use resort's taxi service (at Westin Laguanamar) to goto supermarket, and decide to bring whole family (there are 5 of us) do they charge more to bring my family?
Thanks for your help.

Peter
 

siesta

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Use pesos for best exchange rate. With US dollars locals often use an exchange rate of 10 to 1, when it is in fact better than that. You get skimmed using US dollars. Credit cards give you the actual exchange rate, but depending on if your card has the typical currency conversion rate (usually 3%) and the obvious possibility of fraud, its not worth it unless your at a reputable establishment.
 

Passepartout

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Use your debit card. (Costco doesn't accept Credit) You can also pick up some pesos on top of your grocery bill for no bank ATM charges.

It'll be cozy, but most taxis can take 5.

Jim
 

alfie

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Your Canadian Costco card works in Mexico, the cashier has to punch in a special code. No problem. We actually bought a Mexican Costco membership and use it in Canada..it was much cheaper. The price of a taxi in Mexico is based on a fare, not the number of people in the car, but the taxi is usually a small Nissan or VW. You may not be able to put 5 people in it...but, you can get a bigger suburban taxi which will cost you more. Establish the fare before you get in the taxi, most hotels have the fare posted at the door, but, ask the driver just to be sure...
 

PigsDad

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Use your debit card. (Costco doesn't accept Credit) You can also pick up some pesos on top of your grocery bill for no bank ATM charges.

It'll be cozy, but most taxis can take 5.
Are you saying Costco in Cancun doesn't accept AMEX credit cards like they do here in the states?

Kurt
 

Passepartout

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Are you saying Costco in Cancun doesn't accept AMEX credit cards like they do here in the states?

Kurt
OK,OK, they accept AMEX, just not VISA, MC, Disc, DC, and any other CCs you can name. I may be showing my age, but to me AMEX is a CHARGE card (mine was green), not a credit card. I forgot they changed.

Oh, and OP, the currency to use is pesos. If you try to use U.S. or Canadian currency, you'll pay a huge penalty in exchange fees. Get your pesos with an ATM card at a bank- during banking hours in case there is an ATM malfunction. Use Credit card for major purchases.

Jim
 
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PigsDad

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OK,OK, they accept AMEX, just not VISA, MC, Disc, DC, and any other CCs you can name. I may be showing my age, but to me AMEX is a CHARGE card (mine was green), not a credit card. I forgot they changed.
No reason to get all excited here -- I was just asking an honest question. We are heading to Mexico later this year and we always use our AMEX at Costco here; just wondering if I needed to pull out a debit card in Mexico. AMEX has always been a credit card for me; I guess it was a "charge" card at one time? What the heck is "DC"?

That is one thing I hate about the warehouse places: Sam's only takes Discover or MC, Costco only takes AMEX, etc.

Kurt
 

Passepartout

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What the heck is "DC"?
Kurt
One of the first credit cards. Diner's Club. First issued in 1950. BofA came with BankAmericard (now Visa) in '58. More than you wanted to know, huh?

Jim
 

Davidr

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When we went to the Costco in Mexico City a few years ago I think they also took Visa and MC. Also they had lower cost atm machine by cash registers.
 

bobpark56

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Starwood Amex exchange fee

The Starwood Amex card (SBP) charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.

I agree with those who advise withdrawing pesos at a **bank** ATM and using those pesos for your Mexican purchases...unless you can use a credit card like Marriott Rewards that charges no foreign transaction fee. (Chase Bank and the Pentagon Federal Credit Union also have such cards.)

We usually get a supply of pesos at the airport on arrival.

Always pay for taxis with pesos...it's cheaper (taxis have set fares in pesos).
 

pittle

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Pesos

We use pesos for all purchases in Mexico. It is less confusing and you are less likely to be ripped off everywhere in Mexico with Pesos. When you come to the US, you do not get to use Pesos at Costco, so you should plan to use the currency of the country you are in.

We tend to get 6000 pesos at a time and then keep most in the safe in our unit. We always take about 3000 pesos home with us so that we have enough for a taxi, tips and trip to Costco, Sam's, Walmart, or Mega before hitting an ATM. We get the best exchange rates and lowest fees using the ATM.
 

lll1929

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I am going to Cancun in may and was considering ordering Peso's in advance from my bank in the US. Anyone have experience doing this? If so, did you find the exchange rate to be worse than waiting to arrive in Cancun?
 

ilene13

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I am going to Cancun in may and was considering ordering Peso's in advance from my bank in the US. Anyone have experience doing this? If so, did you find the exchange rate to be worse than waiting to arrive in Cancun?
We always change our travelers checks at the front desk of the Royal resorts. The rate is better than the cambio places.
 

Passepartout

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I am going to Cancun in may and was considering ordering Peso's in advance from my bank in the US. Anyone have experience doing this? If so, did you find the exchange rate to be worse than waiting to arrive in Cancun?
It is much cheaper to simply get what you need from a BANK ATM in Mexico. There are ATMs at the airport and are readily available in the town. You get the bank exchange rate, though will have to pay a couple % to your ATM card provider and about $1.50 equivalent for each transaction. So get enough to last a few days. You can also get extra pesos when you buy groceries on your card- at no extra cost.

Incidentally, the dollar is strengthening against the peso. Today's rate is just under 13 pesos per dollar. So $200 US (about the amount I like to exchange at a time) is just under 2600 pesos. Obviously the exchange will differ in May.

Jim
 

lll1929

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It is much cheaper to simply get what you need from a BANK ATM in Mexico. There are ATMs at the airport and are readily available in the town. You get the bank exchange rate, though will have to pay a couple % to your ATM card provider and about $1.50 equivalent for each transaction. So get enough to last a few days. You can also get extra pesos when you buy groceries on your card- at no extra cost.

Incidentally, the dollar is strengthening against the peso. Today's rate is just under 13 pesos per dollar. So $200 US (about the amount I like to exchange at a time) is just under 2600 pesos. Obviously the exchange will differ in May.

Jim
Thanks for the advice...
 

bobpark56

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Incidentally, the dollar is strengthening against the peso. Today's rate is just under 13 pesos per dollar.

Jim
??? Are you sure you have this right? It's 12.8 pesos to the dollar today. If I recall correctly, it was 13.9 back in early January.
 

Passepartout

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Jim, where are you gettin 13?? I am getting only 12 in Puerto Vallarta.
It should be 12 and some change. Here's the site I use for checking exchange rates. It also has a pocket guide you can print: http://www.oanda.com/currency/travel-exchange-rates You can specify bank rate, Credit card rate (+2%) or cash rate (+4%). It won't show the cambio rate or what you get at the front desk of the TS. Those will favor the local business (duh) If the official exchange is 12.88, don't be surprised to see 12 on the street.

Jim
 

Carta

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FYI... I told this story a couple times...Long story, short: 2 years ago I used cc at Walmart.. My cc info was stolen.. Someone charged $2600 to my card; within 2 days.. I will NEVER use a cc at Walmart (Cancun)..

ps..did not not have to pay bill......
 

Passepartout

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??? Are you sure you have this right? It's 12.8 pesos to the dollar today. If I recall correctly, it was 13.9 back in early January.
Of course I'm not sure. I wasn't there. And it wouldn't be the first time I was downside-up figuring exchange. Bottom line is that it is whatever it is when you are there. :)

Jim
 

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BobPark is "on the money." We just got back from Mexico last week, and I had been watching the exchange closely for the last couple months. The rate was around 14 at the beginning of the year, and crashed during January. The first week of February, we were getting about 12.65 net of ATM fees.
 

jules54

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I always always use my credit cards. I know some people have had credit card fraud happen, but I have had that happen in the states a few times. I want the miles or points and a record of every cent I spend and not to have to carry so much cash. All resorts and most places to eat take cc. Smaller quaint places not so much and there we use cash or pesos.
In Playa we shop at Walmart use cc and even with 3%transaction fee we save money from cash or pesos. Only place you lose a couple bucks is if they charge you in max pesos say 14 to dollar. Example is a Jelwrey store in Cabo that I spend hundreds of dollars at having some custom silver pieces made. They charge in 14-1.00 so when the charge comes across on cc with 3%transaction fee you don't get a break and it ends of costing literally a few bucks per hundred. But I get the points and don't have to carry large amounts of cash.
I love love Mexico oceanfront travel and part of the fun is the money thing. I tell friends and travel clients if you want evrything to be like the US then travel in the US right?
 

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Free ATM in Mexico

If you do not want to pay ATM fees in Mexico, use your Debit Card from Bank of America at Santandor Bank. B of A has agreements with Banks in Mexico, Europe etc. where no ATM fees are charged at participating banks. Santander Bank has branches all over Mexico and ATM machines at many of the timeshare resorts and big box stores. The Mayan resorts in Nuevo Vallarta where we stay every year has Santandor ATM's in each building. You can open a checking account online with B of A. There are no fees for the account as long as you bank online and do business (deposits etc) with their ATM machines in the US and participating member bank ATM's outside of the US. This Debit Card has been very handy for us all over Mexico and Europe. Go to www.bankofamerica.com for the list of no fee ATM Banks that participate in the program and to sign up.

The credit card we use with no foreign transaction fees all over the world is the Capital One Venture Card. Most banks charge foriegn transaction fees of as much as 3% on their credit cards. Don't use them but get a Venture Card instead and get airline miles too.

Hope this helps.
 
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