Money and duty free for Mexico

Currency and Money

Currency information

Mexican Peso (MXN; symbol M$) = 100 centavos. Notes are in denominations of M$1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20. Coins are in denominations of M$10, 5, 2 and 1, and 50 and 20 centavos.

Note: The M$1,000 and M$500 notes can be difficult to change and are sometimes not accepted.

Credit cards

Mastercard, Visa and American Express cards are generally accepted by businesses catering to tourists, such as car rental agencies, airlines, some bus lines and higher-end hotels, shops and restaurants. (Credit companies add a surcharge of around 5% for foreign transactions.) At humbler establishments you'll need pesos to make purchases.


ATMs on the Cirrus and Plus networks are easily found in cities and towns throughout Mexico, dispensing pesos for holders of both debit and credit cards.

Travellers cheques

ATMs and credit cards mean traveller's cheques are less necessary as a means of carrying money than they used to be and not necessarily recommended. However, traveller's cheques issued by well-known brands can be cashed in exchange houses. Traveller's cheques in Pounds Sterling and Euros are now as readily accepted as those in US Dollars.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0900-1600; some banks are open longer hours and others are open on Saturday mornings.

Currency restrictions

There are no limits on the import and export of local currency and foreign currency. Amounts equivalent to US$10,000 and higher must be declared. Local and foreign currency can be exported up to the amount declared on the import. 

Currency exchange

The US dollar is widely accepted; indeed in some instances it can be difficult to pay in pesos. Currency exchange houses give a preferable rate of exchange to hotels and a much quicker service than banks. Not all banks in Mexico exchange money.

Mexico duty free


The following goods may be brought into Mexico by travellers over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:

• 10 packs of cigarettes or 25 cigars or 200g of tobacco.
• 3L of spirits and 6L of wine.
• Other goods to the value of US$500 (if arriving by air) or US$300 (if arriving by land). Mexican nationals may bring goods to the value of US$500 if arriving by land during holiday periods such as Easter week.

Banned Imports

Prohibited or restricted items include narcotics, images depicting childhood in a degrading manner, live species of predatory fish, firearms and ammunition, and used clothing that is not part of your personal luggage.

Banned Exports

Archaeological artefacts.

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