What currency is used in Mexico and how do you exchange money?

What currency is used in Mexico and how do you exchange money?

Have you ever wanted to explore the world, but felt intimidated by the prospect of using a foreign currency? Look no further; Mexico is one of the easiest countries in which to exchange money. From ATMs and credit cards to traveler’s checks and paper money, this guide will help decode the monetary mysteries of Mexico so that you can make your transactions with ease and confidence—all while keeping more pesos in your pocket.

What Currency is Used in Mexico?

When traveling to Mexico, it’s important to understand the currency of the country. The official currency of Mexico is the Mexican Peso (MXN), which comes in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 pesos.

Banknotes also exist in 5, 10 and 20 centavos – one hundredth parts of a single peso.

How to Exchange Money in Mexico

Before traveling to Mexico, it’s important to compare exchange rates for the U. S.

dollar with the MXN. As of 2019, the yearly average exchange rate from the IRS was 19.02 MXN per 1 USD, however this can vary by location or even day-to-day.

There are several ways to exchange your money while in Mexico. Banks tend to be the most reliable option for exchanging foreign currency into pesos; however they may not offer the best rates.

Exchange houses are another popular option – these are often located at airports, hotels and other convenient locations throughout cities in Mexico.

Tip 1: Always compare rates from different banks or exchange houses before committing to any transaction. This helps you get the best value for your money and avoid being overcharged.


Tip 2: Consider avoiding airport exchanges since they usually have higher fees or worse exchange rates than other places.

Tip 3: Reliable exchange houses such as HSBC offer programs that make it easier to monitor transactions and avoid hidden fees.

Tip 4: Use Wise (formerly TransferWise) instead of using your bank for international transfers.

() Where to Exchange Money

    • Banks: Financial institutions like banks provide a secure location to exchange money with large denomination banknotes usually accepted without questions asked.


    • Currency Exchange Houses: Airport kiosks, casinos, hotel receptions and currency exchange houses are some of the available options where travelers can convert their cash into Mexican Pesos. Some people may opt to visit branches and offices scattered across major cities in Mexico. Most charge a fee that is generally higher than most other places mentioned here but offer convenience due to their widespread presence throughout the country.


    • Retail Shops & Stores: A variety of retail outlets such as supermarkets, convenience stores, department stores etc., accept U.S dollars and make a market rate exchange on spot. It’s worth checking out Playa Carmen if you’re looking for a tourist destination that specializes in this type of service.


Other Options for Obtaining Mexican Pesos

(a). Using ATMs

ATMs are a popular way of obtaining Mexican Pesos as they allow you withdraw cash on demand from your own bank account or credit card account with minimal charges applied (usually per withdrawal). Amongst others , major banks operating ATMs across Mexico include Banorte , Santander , Banamex and HSBC .

Tip : Be aware of the possible ATM withdrawal fees and limits applied by your own financial institution , as well as the ATM itself . When using an ATM , always take extra precaution to ensure that you are in a safe environment and use a PIN known only to you.

(b). Using Credit & Debit Cards

Tip 1 : Before traveling to Mexico , notify your bank or credit card company of your plans and ask about the fees associated with purchases made with their cards while abroad .

Tip 2 : Verify with merchants if they accept major credit cards for payment before trying to pay with them – some places may only accept cash or debit cards .

Tip 3: If possible, opt for using a credit card for payments instead of a debit card, since credit cards usually come with more consumer protection.

(c). Traveler’s Checks

Travelers’ checks can offer some peace of mind in terms of safety; however, you should also be aware of acceptance and fees associated with them in Mexico. Many banks and tourist shops accept travelers’ checks but there may be processing charges per check involved.

(d). Currency Exchange Services

    • Transfer

    • Xoom by PayPal: Xoom provides an online platform where people from over 200 countries can send money quickly and securely. They have a pickup option available through its network of partners which includes convenience stores such as Elektra, OXXO and SORIANA. The process is straightforward – all you need is the recipient’s name, phone number and address along with the amount you wish to send. There are no exchange rate markups or hidden fees charged.


    • Elektra: Elektra is Mexico’s largest retail chain offering money transfer services with a presence in 26 states and 1,500 locations throughout the country. It has become an increasingly popular way for Mexicans living abroad to send money back home due to its convenient location in many parts of Mexico.


    • Transfer

    • Other Pickup Locations: Furthermore, there are many other companies like MoneyGram or Western Union who offer pick up options at various locations throughout Mexico.




Exchanging money is certainly an important consideration when visiting Mexico. Whether it’s at an airport or hotel kiosk, bank branch or exchange houses located across cities in Mexico, always compare rates before deciding where to exchange your foreign currency into pesos.

Other options for obtaining Mexican Pesos include using ATMs, credit/debit cards, traveler’s checks or even currency exchange services such as Xoom by PayPal. Never forget to research on current exchange rates and verify any applicable service charges prior to committing any transaction.

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