Currency exchange

Feb 13th, 1999, 01:59 PM
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Currency exchange

First of all...thanks to all who have replied to previous questions.
Does anyone have any tips for maximizing the Canadian Dollar while staying in Mexico...Playa del Carmen more specifically. THANKS
Feb 16th, 1999, 03:56 PM
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Hi Emma. Two tips for you. When you are there, if you charge something on a credit card, make them charge it in pesos, not in US dollars. That way when it comes through on your credit card, it will be converted using the real exchange rate, and not the one that they use at the exchange houses or hotels and shops.It's a better deal.

We normally buy our travellers cheques at home in Canada in US dollars then convert them to pesos as we need them. It is a better deal to convert them at a CAMBIO which is an exchange place. They are usually little kiosks. They give a better rate than the hotels. Also if there are 2 cambios right across the street from each other, check the rate with both as they are often different.
If you travel by taxi, it is normally a better deal if you get the price in pesos and pay them in pesos. When it is in US dollars the price is usually more.
Also, if you are staying in Playa make sure they know you are not from a cruise ship and the prices are usually better. They treat the people who spend a week with them much fairer than the cruise ship folks.Better advice, don't shop when the cruise ships are in port.
Enjoy your trip, you will love it. The people are very hospitable and really nice.
Enjy your trip, you will love
Feb 18th, 1999, 06:50 AM
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Hi Emma! I was in Playa del Carmen this
past Christmas - we took Canadian Travellers Cheques and cashed them in at the money exchange booths in town. Got
the same rate as the bank which was 6 pesos per dollar, you would get 10 pesos
per U.S. dollar. The rate changes daily.
As per the previous message, check the exchange rates at each booth as they are different, we found one on a side street that nobody seemed to use and they gave us the best rate of 6 pesos. We also used our credit card at the bank machine, again the rate was no better - when I got my statement it was 6 pesos per dollar. Hope this helps!
Feb 18th, 1999, 08:56 AM
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Just got back from PDC after two glorious weeks at the RIU Yucatan. Ditto everything said above, and:

- my husband and both agree that next time, we won't even bother taking U.S. travellers cheques, as any hotel, bank or money exchange place will exchange Cdn travellers cheques into pesos. What is the point of paying for U.S. dollars here and then paying another exchange into pesos

- we bought some pesos here in Canada before we went down and got 6 pesos to the dollar which is almost the same as what you are getting in PDC (as mentioned above, the rates vary from 5.70 at the hotels to 6. at the banks)

- also once you are dealing in pesos, you only have to know to divide by 6 to know what it's costing in Cdn $

To maximize your pesos - PAY CASH and barter, barter, barter. If you are using credit card, there's not much room for bartering because they have to surcharge, so use your credit card only when you desparately want something and you don't have enough pesos to last the trip (for cabs and such) (which always happens to me, but Anne's right as I just got my statement & the conversion from pesos to Cdn dollar directly was better!)

I'm a little shy at that bartering thing so my husband helped me on one particular purchase he got the price on a silver cuff bracelet inset with lapis down to 600 pesos ($100 Cdn) from 1,250 pesos! Apparently, it's expected and if you are having trouble getting the price down to 40% or 50% of the original asking price, the trick is to put the item down, and walk out of the store - they will come after you and your deal is done!

Lastly, my best tip for maximizing that beaten dollar of ours - stay at an all-inclusive and pay in pesos for excursions, cabs, etc!
Have fun!
Feb 18th, 1999, 09:18 PM
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Staying at an all inclusive is not a very wise thing to do. The extra cost for "all inclusive" will far exceed the price of eating out unless you are a very heavy drinker. You will also miss out on the opportunity to try the many wonderful restaurants in Mexico. Just exchange for more pesos. You can also pay in US dollars or most restarants will accept credit cards.

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