What Do I Need to Know About Exchanging Money in Cabo?
By: Jayme Portilla
ASK A CABO EXPERT
I am going to be visiting Cabo over the summer and was wondering if you could please give me some information on exchanging money in Los Cabos. Is it better to have dollars or pesos? Whatever you can tell me will be helpful.
ALL ABOUT CABO ANSWER
Exchanging money is really easy in Cabo and does not need to be a hassle. Below, is everything you should need to know about exchanging money.
BEST PLACES TO EXCHANGE MONEY
In my experience the best places to exchange money are at a bank or a bank ATM. If you go to a bank you can exchange $300 USD at a time. You will need to bring your passport and a copy of your passport. The exchange rate is dictated by the bank, but is usually very fair. If you know the exchange rate in advance, you can look for the bank that most closely matches this rate.
Another option, which I used to always do before I moved to Los Cabos permanently, is to go to an ATM located inside of a bank. Here you can use your debit card and take out $3,000 pesos at a time (currently this is about $250 USD). Just like the bank, the interest rate is always fair. You will most likely be charged a small commission but, you can also do research to find out which Mexican bank partners with your bank in the states. My U.S. account is with Bank of America, so I always go to Santander since no commission is charged.
You will pay a much higher exchange rate if you exchange your money at an airport, at ATM´s outside of banks (this includes anything geared towards tourists such as hotels and ATM´s located in the marina or touristic locations, and at Casas de Cambio (Money Exchange Houses).
WHERE DOLLARS ARE ACCEPTED
Dollars are pretty much accepted everywhere in Los Cabos. However, if you plan on spending a large quantity of dollars at a time, it would be better to bring the dollars with you since you can only exchange $300 a day or to pay in credit card. For example, don´t plan on taking out cash in Cabo to pay for your hotel stay.
PESOS VERSUS DOLLARS
You almost always will get a better exchange rate if you pay with pesos. Nearly all places will charge a higher exchange rate for dollars. I recommend to get pesos out of a bank or a bank ATM and pay with those.
CREDIT CARDS VERSUS CASH
Most of the touristic businesses such as hotels, restaurants, and tour companies in Los Cabos accept credit cards, however if you venture out it is always best to have some cash on you. Some of the local stores and restaurants only accept cash. If you are making a big purchase, using a credit card is the easiest, however for all of the small purchases it is always good to have cash.
Always make sure that you inform your credit card company about a week in advance to let them know that you will be in Mexico. This will allow you to be able to use your credit card in Cabo with no problems.
Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are accepted at most locations, although some do not accept American Express. Discover is not accepted.
If you have any additional questions or need clarification, please let me know!
Jayme moved to Los Cabos to be with her husband last year. He grew up in Los Cabos and and they chose to start their life together there. Jayme loves living there and being able to meet all of the locals and tourists from all around the world.
If you have any questions, you can email Jayme directly.