If you feel safer using your greenbacks to pay for your purchases in Mexico, you're paying a hefty premium for your imagined security.While many stores, restaurants and bars in all but the smallest towns generally accept U.S. currency in payment, you can be sure that little shopkeeper is smiling as you walk out his door!.You just gave him a bonus ? as much as ten percent ? just because you paid in U.S.
dollars.The International Monetary Fund currency exchange rate between the U.S. dollar (USD) and the Mexican Peso (MXN) is about 10.50 pesos to the dollar as of this writing, but that's not what you get from that nice little shopkeeper or sexy waitress.Most establishments set their exchange rates 10% lower than the bank's rate to accommodate natural fluctuations in the currency foreign exchange market.
So, while the bank rate might be 10.50 pesos to the dollar, it's not uncommon for local businesses to give only 9.50 pesos to the dollar.The result: you end up paying 10 percent more for your purchases. If that doesn't sound like much, consider this. If the average traveler to Mexico spends $2,000 USD during a one-week visit, that visitor could be paying an extra $200 USD if everything is paid in dollars.
For reference purposes, the average Mexican worker is lucky to make $100 a week, so the extra $200 you paid would cover the wages of a Mexican worker for two weeks!.The moral of this story? When in Mexico, ALWAYS pay in pesos, and you'll get the cheapest price and save money..James Truett, a former Associated Press reporter, is a writer and Internet marketing consultant living in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
He is author of the Mexico Travel book, "50 Things You Must Know Before You Travel to Mexico.".
By: James Truett