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Am I Old School With Dollar Exchange?


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#1 WildBill

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 04:53 PM

On previous trips to Coz I have always used dollars to pay taxi's, buy drinks and food. But with the exchange up I want to not give up so much in exchange to who I buy from. So, I am wondering if technology has marched on with money exchanges? Used to walk into the bank in whatever country I was in and exchange my dollars for Pesos, or Riyals, or Pounds or whatever. Everyone today apparently uses ATM cards, is that the way it to go now???? Is using an ATM card abroad the smartest thing??? I know it sounds like its the easiest. Don't banks exchange money now? And the big question, is there a bank (NOT ATM) that will exchange dollars to pesos on the main square??? Or is it customary to now walk into the bank and use an ATM inside the bank to get pesos???

 

Thanks in advance.


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#2 mstevens

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 07:05 PM

You have always been giving up a lot when you paid in dollars, irrespective of what the exchange rate has been at the time.

 

Yes, an ATM is the way to go. It's convenient, you don't have to stand in line for a teller or pay attention to the bank's hours of operation, it's quick, and you'll get the exchange rate YOUR bank or card issuer gives. For us, that's quite close to the interbank rate.

 

Most banks aren't really in the currency exchange business. They're in the banking business. They also have limits to how much they'll exchange and will probably want you to have your passport with you.

 

If you want to swap paper notes for paper (-like plastic) notes with a person, there are casas de cambio. You'll usually overall exchange rate inclusive of fees at an ATM, though.


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#3 Kandy

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 08:47 AM

The last time I exchanged paper money at a bank, they required a photocopy of my passport that they kept. They will not make a copy for you. Is this still the case?


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#4 VideoVern

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 09:05 AM

I have been doing my exchanges at the 'Lectra near Mega.  They want to see my passport.  A couple of years ago. they issued me an ID card that was supposed to eliminate the need for bringing the passport with me.  That lasted for only the one trip and they no longer have that program.

 

VideoVern (aka: Skip)


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#5 Carey

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 10:03 AM

A swipe card machine ATM is your best bet for getting a relatively fair exchange rate. I've been using ATM's at the Chedraui, Mega and Banamex on 30 for 12 years. Literally more than $300,000 USD has been  exchanged for MXN in this manner.  First 6 years I used my Wachovia ATM card.  Then I got a Banamex account and now use their ATM card.  The only problem I've ever had in all this time is that once the downtown machine 'ate' my ATM card and they wouldn't give it back to me because it was in my husband's name and he wasn't on the island at the time to claim it.  Since then I just make it my policy to only use swipe machines and only Banamex machines.  My favs are at the front of the Mega (between the two little restaurant areas) and the Banamex bank on the 30 Avenida with Calle 1.

 

The rate is pretty fair. Far better than at any of the casas de cambio and hugely less of a hassle than going to a cajera window in a bank.

 

However, check to see if your US bank will be charging you a foreign transaction fee.  Also be sure your bank back home knows you'll be using your card in Mexico or they will tend to cut you off like a light after the first transaction you put through and until you contact them. 


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