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How Much Cash To Bring For Jan 25Th Move?


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#1 BettyfromToronto

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 06:25 PM

We are flying in late Sat Jan 25th and renting a place in Corpus Christi for 2 months. Rent can be paid in US$ or Pesos and we need to pay 2 moths up front.  Plus we will need money for other things like for our lawyer's visit on the Monday morning.  And probably a lot more after that.

 

How much cash should we bring?  I have a US $$ savings account here and plan on closing it out but it only has about $1500 so I know I will need a lot more.  So I want to bring some Pesos but how much?  I usually only get $100P bills but that could be a huge stack of them if I want to bring in the equivalent of $3-4K.  Or are $200 & $500P bills commonly used?  Or is that not necessary because we can use our debit card and withdraw money from our CDN bank?  Obliviously at a secure place and what are the limits per day?  or is that set by my bank here?

 

I am told we cannot open until a bank in Mexico and transfer money into it until we have our PR which could take a few weeks.

 

Any advice would be muchly appreciated as we don't want to run out.

 

Betty


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#2 Steve

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 07:56 PM

I'll be coming down in February and will usually stay for a few months. I will be bringing down the $650 pesos I have left from last trip along with $250 Belize dollars and maybe $4 in US currency. That will be enough to get me to the island. Once on Cozumel I will go to an ATM and take out $6000 pesos. More than enough to last me for over a week. I don't know what the limits are with your bank but they might be higher than the limits of the ATM you are trying to get the money out of. Sometimes you need to use more than one to get the money you need for a big purchase. It took my friends most of the day to get $6000 US dollars  in pesos out to purchase a car.

 

Just talk to your bank and have them raise the limits on your card. Really the only time you need to worry about taking money out is if ther is a hurricane and the power and interet are down.

 

It's cheaper and easier to use your ATM than to try to convert your money into pesos. $200 peso bills are easy to use but sometimes trying to cas a $500 peso bill can be a little more difficult. If you have a few large bills to pay bring the larger currency and let the person you are paying worry about getting change. No one will turn down your money.


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#3 Freezin' Canuck

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 06:42 AM

Steve's correct. But if you need more info, pm. Not comfortable talking about banking info and amounts on a public blog.
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#4 Carey

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 07:15 AM

You are allowed to bring in up to $10,000 USD I believe.  More than that you would need to declare.  However, bringing dollars isn't the best way to go.  You sometimes lose on the exchange rate for example, if you choose the dollar instead of pesos option when purchasing goods or services.  And smaller places may not even take them.

 

As Steve says, you are better off talking to your bank, telling them you are going to be in Mexico for a long time and plan to make frequent withdrawals from from your account.  This keeps the alarm bells from going off when they see your debit card suddenly starting to be used in Mexico.  Also get the limit raised as high as possible.  That is the amount you can take out from the bank in a 24 hour period.

 

My limit is $6000 on one bank account and if I have to stockpile cash fast (something that happens often as this is a country where Cash is Truly King) I have another bank and debit card.  So in a pinch, I can withdraw $12,000 pesos in a 24 hour period.  There is a fee from both the ATM local bank and your bank back home.  But its worth it for the convenience.

 

I only use the Banamex machines which are swipes.  There are several in the Banamex office on the 30 Avenida between Salas and Calle 1 Sur.  There is one in the Mega.  Mega has the option to have everything in English which is nice if you are new to the 'chines and don't speak any espanol as yet.

 

I used to advise against using credit cards here and I still don't like the idea for restaurants, rental cars and other tourist service oriented stuff.  But I have had no problem using my US card at Mega, Ched and Sam's Club and am not charged a credit card fee at any of these stores.  I also use it for my dentist and probably would use it for other medical services at Clinica San Miguel.  So you can pay for groceries and medical services with a US or Canadian credit card and that cuts Waaaaay down on the amount of cash you need to keep around.  

 

Again, you'll want to let your credit card company know you are going to be using the card in Mexico.  And check your account statements monthly just to be on the safe side.  There is a lot of credit card theft in these parts.  But as I said, no problem in the last two years at the stores and medical services mentioned.


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#5 Coz2wonder

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 08:13 AM

it's 10K per person, and if you both have an ATM card, it would be maximum withdrawal per person in 24 hours.  (although, some machines are slow, and I have been able to pull out the same amt, within a min of the first transaction).

 

So, if you each have an ATM card you each can swipe for cash, giving you double the funds per transaction, per day.


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#6 BettyfromToronto

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 08:52 AM

Thanks everyone.  I guess I will bring the US $$ just because I have them...plus my left over Pesos from the November trip.  I had read somewhere that is is also good to have one bank account with a separate debit card so if it gets lost, stolen or scanned an an ATM machine; they can only clean out that one account - not all of them. I might just do that - both both Joe & I.  We then can move money into it on-line as required.

 

That would then give us the ability to get fast cash from 4 sources.  More than enough and if not; we can do a wire transfer once we get our local bank account.  Looking at Scotiabank (being Canadian eh?)

 

And I agree Cary about using credit cards.  In my past 5 trips to Cozumel I have only used my cc at Scuba Club Cozumel for both hotel & dive shop.  I use cash every where else.  Last year was US $$ and this year was pesos so I can get familiar with them.

 

Thanks guys

Betty


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#7 Jim912

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 09:47 PM

Donna and I both have ATM's cards same account but different PIN numbers. So we can draw 6,000 pesos each so we can draw a total of $12,000 pesos if we needed to. I'm headed down Monday for 12 days and will make a run by the ATM. Exchange rate was at 13 or so yesterday. I'm like Steve 6000 pesos will last me a good while unless I have a major building project. Then it's to the bank ATM early each morning.


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