I will be travelling to Mexico from Canada next month in an "all included" formula. I've been told that I should only bring US dollars as the people down there are used to it and prefer it to pesos.

So I am planning on exchanging something like 600USD as I we will be two people there for a week and we are planning on doing some activities and stuff.

How can I get the lowest exchange rate? I guess that using my credit card down there will give me pesos so I don't think it is an option. The exchange rates at my bank look horrible to me (something like 5.5%). I can't believe there is not a way to get lower exchange rates.

I guess that some online service like PayPal could help me but then how can I get my bills?

We have accounts in two local (Canadian) banks and two Visa credit cards.

  • 3
    You should take neither CDN nor USD... take an ATM card and make a cash withdrawal.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 20:00
  • @Flimzy Will you be able to withdraw USD from an ATM in Mexico though?
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Apr 12, 2014 at 3:07
  • 2
    The question title a verb! Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 6:41
  • What do you? You I to a verb in the title?
    – Johnride
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 10:40

1 Answer 1


You have to shop around. Royal Bank had the best rate last time I had to change a relatively large amount and wire transfer it, most of the other banks were clustered together, and significantly worse.

The actual amount charged on top of the interbank rate should be around 2-3%, not 5.5%. The spread (buy-sell) might be 5.5, because you're looking at two exchanges.

If you just want money in a hurry (1% of $600 is only $6, after all), you can go to certain (there's only a few) CIBC ATMs 24/7 and withdraw US dollars cash using your ATM card.

I don't think Paypal has anything useful to offer.

An even better option than the other two is to go to one of the South Asian money transfer shops. There's one near Pearson airport that has good rates. Chinatown places are a bit better than banks.

  • All right I don't think I can get much more help than that! I'll do my homework and your advice will help for sure. Thanks!
    – Johnride
    Commented Apr 12, 2014 at 4:19
  • Even if this answer helps, i still hope that I will get a more detailed answer. It is unlikely but still possible.
    – Johnride
    Commented Apr 13, 2014 at 10:48

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