Mexico Money

Currency

The currency of Mexico is the peso (MXN). Coins are of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 peso denominations. Notes are produced in MXN20, MXN50, MXN100, MXN200, MXN500, and MXN1000 denominations. Ten-peso notes and coins valued at more than 10 pesos are very rare.

US dollars are widely accepted in cities in the northern border zone and in tourist locales elsewhere. Euros are generally not accepted by merchants, and even banks headquartered in Europe may refuse to accept euros for exchange. On the other hand, most banks and exchange offices will widely accept them. If you have brought cash in US dollars or euro, the best places to change your money are at your arrival airport. If you would like to wait until later to obtain Mexican currency, you can find money exchanges, and not to change at your hotel, as the rates there tend to be extremely disadvantageous for tourists.

ATMs are ubiquitous and are often bilingual with English menus available. Bank of America customers can avoid ATM fees by using Santander Serfin ATMs. ATMs in smaller towns often run out of currency. Check with the bank or locals about the best time to use the ATM and never wait until the last minute to get cash.

Visa and MasterCard are universally accepted in Mexico and American Express is less widely accepted. You can use them at ATMs as well as in most department stores, bigger restaurants and gas stations. While many Pemex stations accept credit cards, however, you should always ask the attendant if their card is accepted before the attendant starts the gas pump.

Be sure that outside cities you always carry sufficient cash in pesos in your pocket, and try to avoid paying with overly large denominations. Also, you cannot get a lower price if you haggle, unless you pay cash.

Tipping

Generally, restaurants add around 10-15% service to the bill. Some restaurants and bars include the tip in the final bill, so be sure to check this first.

Tax Refund

Make sure your purchases at businesses affiliated with the tax refund program and spend at least 200 Mexican pesos on Mexican goods. On the day you leave, you should visit one of the tax refund kiosks located at certain airports with form, plane ticket, purchase receipts and the merchandise. You will receive a refund of 50% in cash and the other 50% will be transferred to you account within the next 40 days.