Best Way to Pay in Cancun/PDC/Cozumel

Old Mar 8th, 2004, 12:45 PM
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Best Way to Pay in Cancun/PDC/Cozumel

I am going to spend a little over a week in Cancun/PDC/Cozumel next month and I am wondering what the best way to finance meals/activities is. I have never been to this part of the world so I am wondering if I should bring a large amount of cash, traveler's checks, or just use ATM's/Credit Cards as needed. I have read many establishments charge a sometimes-stiff fee to pay with a credit card. Is the same true for using an ATM (a fee above the normal $2-3)? Any thoughts or suggestions for a young inexperienced traveler?
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Old Mar 9th, 2004, 05:32 AM
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You will get many opinions of this but here is mine. (I am in Mexico most every month)
First, I would use pesos--not dollars. They will accept dollars, of course, but they will get the advantage, not you. Then, I always get my pesos from an ATM, when possible. You will get the bank rate here and the fee is about the same as in the U.S.
Hope this helps! enjoy!

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Old Mar 9th, 2004, 03:36 PM
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We usually bring little cash and either get pesos from the ATM or use our credit card. Check with your credit card company before you go to see what they charge. I think AMEX might charge 2% but not really sure.
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Old Mar 10th, 2004, 06:00 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions guys. I guess I will bring a little cash and supplement as needed with ATM's and a credit card.
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Old Mar 10th, 2004, 10:07 AM
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We go to Cozumel every winter and use pesos from the ATM machines. Second choice is to use a credit card for larger purchases. Even with the added fee from CC bank, the discounted exchange rate makes up most of the difference. We do start out with a bit of cash from home for the first day or so of the trip. Have fun.
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Old Mar 11th, 2004, 04:04 AM
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Hi
Here's my free advice; I would suggest traveler's checks. They are safer than large amounts of cash, are accepted everywhere and are easy enough to change to pesos.
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Old Mar 11th, 2004, 06:09 AM
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Will most restaurants accept traveler's checks? I am a little ignorant on this subject so bear with me but I assume a traveler's check would be issued here in US dollars. Then when I redeem it, will they provide change in dollars or pesos? If pesos, do restaurants/stores give a decent exchange rate? Also, what are the typical fees associated with getting traveler's checks?

Again, thanks for everyone's help.
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Old Mar 11th, 2004, 10:31 AM
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IMHO: Travelers checks aren't nearly as easy to use as they once were. We've run into LOTS of places that do not want to accept them in countries outside the US. Its a hassle for a restaurant or small shop to take the US travelers checks to their bank for exchange. I think they are often charged a fee by their bank to do this. We have been told many times to take the travelers checks to a bank ourselves for cashing - which isn't always easy. Most Intl. banks will charge you a fee to cash a travelers check also. I still think the ATMs are the way to go - especially in Mexico. Its just so easy to get pesos from the machines. Some places in Mexico will add on a fee to take a credit card charge - it is most likely to be your rental car company or on a large shop purchase, not restaurants. However, I don't think its worthwhile to make a lot of small charges on credit cards. You will pay a transaction fee to the credit card bank for each charge. So, again IMHO, use your card once a week to pull money from an ATM.
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Old Mar 11th, 2004, 10:39 AM
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Answers to your other questions; the current exchange rate in Mexico is about 10 x 1 (10 pesos to 1 US dollar), some days a bit more. Most shops are giving this rate. You could get a "slightly" (few cents) better rate if you go to a bank, but they are open very infrequently in Mexico and you will stand in line to cash the checks. We never find this time worth the money. In the locations you mention, shops and restaurants will take and give either pesos or dollars. It just depends on what you or they have on hand. As far as the cost of travelers checks, it depends on what kind you get and where you get them as to the fee. We get ours for free because we have a preferred account at our bank and an AM EX Gold card.
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Old Mar 11th, 2004, 02:16 PM
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Thanks for the advice guys. I think I'll try using ATM's.
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