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Best place to exchange US dollars for pesos?


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#1 Yelsdrab

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 12:54 AM

I'm landing in Cancun on Monday then heading as quickly as possible in a rented car to Merida. Where is the best place to exchange dollars for pesos? By best I mean easy, safe and a decent exchange rate. I know the airport is a bad idea. Should I just stop by the first bank I see? Should I try to get pesos ahead of time somehow in the states? I think I did read that was hard or not a good idea. Sorry if this was addressed already.  I did a bit of digging but didn't seem to find a discussion focused on this subject.



#2 lizard

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 07:16 AM

Actually, my experience has been the airport is one of the best places to exchange. I typically get a better rate in Mexico airports than I do in US airports and it is often difficult to find a place that will exchange USD for Pesos unless you have an account. You can exchange at Electra in Progreso but the rate is not great. Many of the cambios in Cancun ve good rates

#3 wiz1

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 07:44 AM

As you drive through Cancun check out banks.  Various banks give reasonable exchange rates:  HSBC and Santander seem good, with lower fees in the past ($0.15-$0.2 pesos per dollar).   I noticed Bancomer has higher fees of $0.3 peosos per dollar from the central exchange value.
e.g. =>    for a $13.00 peso exchange rate    Bancomer gave only $12.7 pesos  and  required $13.3    versus     HSBC's  $12.85 / $13.15 combination.   Or maybe a few pesos is really no big deal.

You can also use bank ATMs with good rates,  as long as your home bank does not hit you with some unusual foreign fee.

Lizard,
Do you remember the Cancun airport exchange's fees?   Are they like good banks:  +/- $0.2    or   are they steeper:  +/- $0.5  ?     


#4 whazzoo

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 11:59 AM

I'm landing in Cancun on Monday then heading as quickly as possible in a rented car to Merida. Where is the best place to exchange dollars for pesos? By best I mean easy, safe and a decent exchange rate. I know the airport is a bad idea. Should I just stop by the first bank I see? Should I try to get pesos ahead of time somehow in the states? I think I did read that was hard or not a good idea. Sorry if this was addressed already.  I did a bit of digging but didn't seem to find a discussion focused on this subject.

 

Don't bring USD with you, use your bank card at any of the local machines, HSBC has a good rate as does Banamex. Makes it a lot easier than doing the exchange thing

 

Whazzoo



#5 el_toloc

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 07:05 PM

Whether things have changed or not, last September (when I was in Merida) I was unable to change money at the bank (something about banks not taking dollars anymore for whatever reason), does anyone know anything different now?

Whenever I am in Merida I usually change dollars into pesos at either of the 2 "casas de cambio" at the Fiesta Americana hotel (I think they have the best rates in Merida), but then that is my opinion.



#6 wiz1

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 10:00 PM

El Toloc,
Because there are relatively few tourists in Merida, many of the branch banks in Merida have been told not to exchange USD/Pesos - I suspect it is because the number of transactions are so small,  their overhead costs are just too high for the small number of $$$.        This is why I proposed that Yelsdrab stop at banks in Cancun  before he leaves town.

What rate differences does the Casa de Cambio in Fiesta Americana offer?  +/- $.2 pesos?  or higher?
steve



#7 el_toloc

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 06:47 PM

Steve,

I really don't remember what the rate differences are/were between the Fiesta Americana and "others" in (downtown) Merida, but I do know they pay a bit more per dollar.

Since the Fiesta Americana is a short walk away from centro to me is well worth the walk to get a better rate exchange.



#8 lizard

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 08:51 PM

I don't recall the difference in rates between Cancun airport & cambios in Cancun but I think Cambios were better. The cambio in Merida is Santander and rates were good. But bottom line alll cambios in all airports I have used in Mexico are better exchange rates tan the money exchange in US airports

#9 melblossom

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 08:59 PM

I had money wired to me through Walmart- it only cost me $10 & I got the actual exchange rate. I actually ended up with 200 pesos more than I was expecting. If you can wire yourself money (or have someone else do it once you get here) I had a great experience with doing it that way & didn't have to deal with bank fees- crappy exchange rates- etc.





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