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How To Exchange Dollars At Cancun International Airport

Updated on March 04, 2022 12:55 pm
money exchange cancun

As soon as you land at the Cancun International Airport, exchanging your US dollars for Mexican Peso is the first thing you need to do - of course! You'll need money in Cancun in order to enjoy your time there. It is a wise decision to have some Pesos before you arrive in Cancun.

You may be wondering, does Cancun take American money? The answer is, it depends. Some places may accept US dollars, and some others may not. That is why exchanging money in Cancun is the safest bet. This vital step makes your entire trip hassle-free and gives you access to hotels, transportation, food, and other miscellaneous expenses without any obstructions. For medical emergencies, it is best to get yourself an international travel insurance plan with good coverage.

While most payments can be made online, it seems we have not quite figured out how to make our money cross borders as efficiently as we can. So depending on where you exchange your dollars for Mexican pesos, the Mexican peso USD exchange rate can be high enough to eat up on your budget. 

Let's find out the best place to exchange money in Cancun when you have already landed at Cancun International Airport.

What Are The Best Ways To Exchange Your US Dollars For A Mexican Peso?

If you have a Mexican bank account, the cheapest way to exchange your USD for MXN is by sending money online from the United States to Mexico through an online money transfer service provider. The Cancun money conversion rate may vary from one place to another. So always compare your MXN USD exchange rate options based on exchange rates and fees before initiating a transfer on CompareRemit.

If exchanging a physical currency is your only option, it's best to go through a reliable source to know the exact rate. There are several channels you can access to exchange money in Cancun. Let's look at the best options you have when determining where to exchange money in Cancun.

Where to Exchange US Dollars for Mexican Pesos:

1. Money Exchange at Cancun Airport

When you land at the Cancun International Airport, there are Cancun money exchange centers available at different terminals in the airport. Prominent centers to exchange currencies in Cancun Airport are located at Terminals 2, 3, and 4. They are easily accessible and are safe outlets for you to make transactions.

However, exchanging your currency at the airport gives bad exchange rates and charges high fees.

The general rule of exchanging currencies at the airport kiosks is to exchange just enough to get to the hotel or the nearest currency exchange provider because Cancun airport money exchange rates are notoriously high and include additional currency conversion fees.

2. Withdraw From An ATM

ATMs are a savior for switching currencies. Look for a local ATM either at the airport or in the city to withdraw money for your trip. There are minimal commission charges, low risk of fake currencies, and the process is smooth. Make sure that you withdraw as much money as possible in one visit because multiple ATM use may become expensive.

Some of the trustable ATMs are Scotiabank, Inbursa, and Santander. Furthermore, Bank of America has a partnership with Scotiabank, so if you transact from their ATM, then you won't be charged any fee. Make sure you inform your bank beforehand of any international transactions so that they do not freeze the card.

Most prepaid travel cards and multi-currency cards also allow you to withdraw money from local ATMs that have the same payment network.

3. Exchange It With The Home Bank

The bank with which you have an account already is most likely to charge minimal exchange rates from you. It is the best way to gain Mexican Pesos because it is reliable as well as pocket-friendly.

Find out if a branch of your bank exists in the region, and approach them to take the process ahead. You need to carry your passport for identity verification. 

Alternatively, you can exchange the money before boarding the flight at your home state itself. Therefore, upon landing, all you have to do is move on with your itinerary.

4. Pay Through Credit Cards

Credit and debit cards are widely accepted modes of payment. Every hotel, restaurant, and other shop would accept money through these cards. If you are carrying your international card, you can directly transact through it.

Moreover, you can get credit card points too if you are lucky. Transacting through the card can help you keep track of your expenses. Some of the cards that are accepted are Mastercard, VISA, and American Express.

Top U.S. credit cards for international travels are:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
  • Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

5. Through A Local Bank

Local banks welcome tourists to exchange their currencies. These banks charge an affordable rate for exchange and provide money right away. However, this depends from one bank to another based on their policies. HSBC, Scotiabank, and Banco Azteca are some of the banks you can visit.

But, the funds are solely dependent on the demand and supply chain. Generally, there is also a limit on how much you can exchange. Some banks have only USD 300.00 per person and USD 1,500.00 in one month that can be exchanged.

6. Exchange At Hotels

Hotels are one of the most convenient and easiest ways to change the bills. Almost every hotel offers this facility to visitors. The exchange rates might be high here, but none of the above exchange options work out for you. This is where you can get your dollars exchanged for pesos.

The amount of Pesos available would be based on the availability of the hotel funds. So, wherever you are staying, you can approach the manager and ask for the change.

Understanding The Mexican Peso

The Mexican Peso's authentic currency code is MXN. This code is recognized throughout Mexico and is considered the prime legal tender.

The Denominations of Mexican coins that are currently in circulation are 1 peso, 2 pesos, 5 pesos, 10 pesos, and 20 pesos. In addition, 20 centavos and 50 Cenvatos are also commonly used. These coins are called centavos in Mexico; 100 centavos make up 1 peso. Coins are super convenient for small expenses.

The Mexican bill or paper money denominations accepted are 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 pesos.

These denominations are traded and accepted in every place in the city. It is important to understand these denominations to evaluate how much and what denominations you need.

How Much Money Do I Need for Cancun?

How much money to take to Cancun will depend upon your individual plans. It is best to take a look at the current exchange rate, and calculate your basic need costs such as food, activities, toiletries, and such. If you haven't paid for your hotel yet, be sure to keep this in mind as well. You may also need funds to travel from the airport to your hotel, and for taxis. On average, travelers spends about $100 USD a day in Cancun.


These are some of the easiest and safe channels to exchange your US dollars for Mexican Peso. With minimal exchange rates, you can be assured of safe transactions too. The exchange money Cancun process should be quick and hassle-free. The last thing you want is detouring due to a money scuffle. Utilize any of our Cancun money exchange tips and trade your dollars for a relaxing trip ahead. If you're wondering what the best exchange rate for Mexican pesos is, you can always use our USD to MXN peso currency exchange rate comparison tool for more insight.

To ensure a relaxing trip, make sure you get a good international travel insurance plan. International travel insurance plans are available for U.S. and non-U.S. citizens taking short international trips or living abroad temporarily.

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