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Cash and ATMs in Mexico: All info you need for ATMs, fees, limits, exchange, cards

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cash currency exchange atms in mexico

Travelling through Mexico, a nation abundant with history, culture, and breathtaking landscapes, will expose you to a diverse range of experiences. Mexico is a diverse and fascinating country, with everything from the vibrant streets of Oaxaca and the ancient ruins of Teotihuacan to the beautiful beaches of Cancun and the pulsating energy of Mexico City. To get around this ever-changing nation, you gotta know how to use the cash, how ATMs in Mexico work, and what other payment methods are available. A journey filled with unforgettable moments and flavours awaits you as you explore Mexico’s rich heritage and stunning landscapes. This guide will provide you the financial insights you need to navigate with ease and confidence.

Can I just use my card in Mexico, or do I need cash?

Travellers use a combination of cash and cards, with small purchases typically involving 60–70% cash. Although the use of credit and debit cards is on the rise, particularly in more populated regions, the vast majority of purchases are still made with cash.

Payment in cash is required for:
Museums, historical sites, and archaeological sites
Tips and gratuities
Tour operators on a smaller or more regional scale
Local taxis
Regional trains
Local marketplaces and bazaars
Mass transportation vehicles
Small purchases
Mobile food vendors in smaller cities
Neighbourhood eateries, particularly in less travelled regions
Hostels

Card can be used for:
Trips, flights, and hotels can all be reserved online.
Servicing major cities with tailors
Hot springs in big cities
Costs to enter certain amusement parks and tourist hotspots in large cities
Expert taxi booking platforms (like Uber)
Pricey tour companies
Posh eateries in the city
Buying at branded stores and malls in big cities
Expensive motels
Vehicle leasing
Coffee shops in big cities

Currency in Mexico? Is it ok to use US dollar, Euro, or British pound?

The Mexican peso, abbreviated MXN or M$, is the currency most commonly used in Mexico. There are 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 M$ notes. 

Additionally, touristic areas accept USD. Travel and lodging can be paid for with US dollars.

Methods for acquiring Mexican pesos

You can get your hands on the cash in Mexico in two primary ways. These are:

ATMs, currency exchange, transfer, and pickup services.

Where can I locate ATMs in Mexico?

In Mexico, you can find more than 70,000 ATMs. Fifteen or more commercial and specialised banks, including a few international banks, run most of these. If you need to withdraw money in Mexico, you can locate them in larger towns and even in some smaller ones (at least one or two ATMs).

ATMs are present at:
Important airports
Central plazas and markets
Main thoroughfares of all big cities
Commuter shopping centres
Food routes
Financial institution branches
A few office buildings

You may have trouble locating ATMs in the following locations:
Mini airports
Uninhabited Seas
Bus stops serving various regions
The rural interior
Outside of main thoroughfares in smaller towns
Places of worship
Escapes to secluded resorts

Where are the currency exchanges in Mexico?

You can find authorised currency exchange centres, also called Casa de Cambios, at any tourist attraction that offers currency exchange services.
Alternatively, you can visit any branch of a bank and have your currency converted to dong. This is particularly true for currencies such as the US dollar, Euro, British pound, Japanese yen, and Singapore dollar. The commission you can anticipate is between 0.5% and 2% for every sale.
There are plenty of places to exchange money, including hotels, airports, and even some boat piers. This is true for all major airports. However, the currency rates are not favourable. 

Advice from the experts:
Stay away from airport exchanges – Poor rates
Avoid the black market – Be wary of being conned.
Include fresh remarks – If your notes are damaged or dirty, you can expect to pay more or less.
Rates for larger bills of US dollars are higher.

Currency exchanges and ATMs in Mexico operate anytime?

ATMs in most cases, yes, they are open around the clock, every day of the year. ATMs inside bank branches typically between 9 am to 3 pm, onces inside supermarkets open longer.
Not all currency exchanges are open at all times. With the exception of airports, their normal business hours are 9 am to 7 pm. You should therefore pay attention to the times if you want to exchange money in Mexico.

Can I use my debit or card from outside Mexico at an ATM? Currency exchanges?

Of course! You can use your foreign card at Mexican ATMs with usually no issues.
Most legitimate currency exchanges also take major debit and cards. But usually there are hefty costs associated with this.

In Mexico, which cards are accepted?

Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, Plus, Maestro, and UnionPay are the most commonly accepted forms of payment at ATMs in Mexico. You won’t find many ATM that take major cards like American Express, Diners, JCB, Discover, or Rupay.
Swipe payment options include Visa and Mastercard. There might be very few establishments that accept American Express.
When exchanging currencies, it is best to use hard cash. Many places accept Visa, and Mastercard will follow.
Also read: Why won’t my card work at ATMs in foreign countries? And what can I do about it?

So, how do ATMs in Mexico compare to those in other countries?

With their user-friendly interface, ATMs in Mexico are similar to their counterparts in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and India. After using these ATMs to withdraw cash, be sure to take your card with you because some of them fully insert it during the transaction.

Banks in Mexico that offer ATMs

Banamex
Banorte
Inbursa
Banco Azteca
Bancoppel

Additionally, Mexico is home to ATMs from the following international banks:

Scotiabank
HSBC and Santander

Customers of participating banks around the world are able to withdraw cash from any of these ATMs in the Global ATM Alliance network at no cost to them. Joining the Global ATM Alliance are numerous financial institutions from the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and Latin America. Among these institutions are Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, and Barclays. This network includes Scotiabank in Mexico.

What is the name of ATMs in Mexico?

“Cajero” or “ATM” is commonly used, or you will simply see the name of the bank.

In Mexico, how do ATMs and PINs work?

The majority of ATMs in Mexico require a 4-digit PIN. Most people will not accept PINs that are too long.

For swiping, many stores still use antiquated technology that can’t process modern chip-and-pin cards without also reading the magnetic stripe.

Languages at Mexican ATMs and Currency Exchanges

By default, ATMs in Mexico offer two language options: English and Spanish.

If you cannot understand, get real-time translations of your phone’s menu options by using Google Translate’s camera feature. Please take your time and not rush through the transaction because these translations are not always 100% accurate.

To get your cash in Mexico, you can also interact in the two languages mentioned above at currency exchange places.

Mexican ATM fees and withdrawal limits

Limit on withdrawals: Most ATMs have a cap of between M$4,000 and M$11,000 per transaction.

There are no ATMs in Mexico that do not charge fees. It costs anywhere from M$20 to M$109. Some cardholders (those who are members of the Global ATM Alliance) are eligible for only one free. 

Also read: ATM Fees abroad: All charges detailed

With ATM Fee Saver, you can locate free ATMs, exchange currencies in Mexico.

Find fee-free ATMs, currency exchanges, and money transfer services in Mexico with the help of the ATM Fee Saver app or website. You can see the limits and fees for using your foreign card at Mexican ATMs right on the app. You can find out the exact fees for particular withdrawals in Mexico with its user-friendly calculator. The app’s navigator will lead you to the selected ATM. Information for fifty countries is included, Mexico included.

Some of the best ways to save money when using Mexican ATMs and currency exchanges are:

Use ATMs that do not charge a fee.
During ATM transactions, choose Decline Conversion.
Look into obtaining cards that do not charge you from your native country.
When dealing with Mexican currency, stay away from no-fee exchange offices – If they don’t mention a fee, it implies that they factor it into the exchange rate. In currency exchanges, nothing is ever given for free.
Do not make direct purchases using a credit or debit card.
In your home country, you shouldn’t purchase Dong – Poor exchange rates are to be expected because this currency is not widely used.
Again, the exchange rate to sell will be poor, so don’t bring a lot of Dong back home. Even currency exchanges outside of Mexico will have a hard time repurchasing it.

Also read: Withdrawing cash abroad? 9 best ways to save foreign ATM fees.

Is it safe to use ATMs and currency exchanges in Mexico?

Several factors determine the level of safety when using ATMs in Mexico:
You can be safer with these tricks:
Where I can find the ATM
Duration spent at the ATM
Users near the ATM
There have been numerous reports of people being mugged for their cash while waiting outside ATMs, particularly at night, on deserted streets, or even in busy areas. Mexico does have frequent incidents of people threatening tourists and locals with knives and guns in order to steal money and valuables, but generally speaking, as long as you take precautions, you should be fine.

Read more here:
Avoid these 8 pitfalls on your international trip.
Eight major faux pas to avoid while travelling internationally.

It is safe to travel in Mexico with cash?

Typically, no. Carrying a large sum of cash in Mexico while travelling is not a safe idea. While it’s true that some urban areas are safer than others, it’s still wise to bring along just enough cash to cover your expenses for the day or a few hours at most. Here are some ways to protect the cash you’ll need while visiting Mexico, since you’ll likely need it on hand:
Do not keep all of your cash in one place, such as your wallet. Disperse it.
A fanny pack or safety belt could be a good place to keep some cash.
Stay out of the spotlight when you have a lot of cash on hand.
You shouldn’t show off all your cash at once when making a payment.
If at all feasible, always carry your valuables in the front pockets of your trousers.
Keep your valuables close to you and in a secure handhold when you’re on public transport or in a busy street.

FAQs

Am I able to make a free cash withdrawal in Mexico?

Unfortunately, no, there are no fee-free ATMs in all of Mexico. Some cardholders (those who are members of the Global ATM Alliance) are eligible for only one free. It is worthwhile to use those, though, because some of them have substantially lower fees than others.

Are they able to accept cards from the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and other countries?

Without a doubt! Most ATMs in Mexico accept cards issued by the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Australia.

Does Mexico have any Bitcoin ATMs?

Indeed, Mexico is home to approximately 15 Bitcoin ATMs.

If Mexico had any ATMs from Bank of America?

In Mexico, you won’t find any ATMs belonging to Bank of America.

Any Citibank ATMs?

Indeed, Mexico is home to a plethora of Citibank ATMs, which go by the name Banamex.

Any Mexican branches of Barclays Bank?

Sorry, but no, Barclays Bank ATMs are not available in Mexico.

Mexican HSBC ATMs?

Yes, Mexico does have a large number of HSBC ATMs.

Mexican branches of Standard Chartered?

Sorry, but no, Standard Chartered ATMs are not available in Mexico.

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