A new effort in the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime in Mexico is set to take affect in September of this year, and understanding the new regulations should help you make the most of your future travels to Mexico. These new regulations only affect CASH transactions – all other forms of payment will remain unaffected by the new law.
As of September 14th, 2010:
- Hotels, money exchange booths, and local banks are permitted to exchange a maximum of $1,500 USD cash per person, per month into Mexican Pesos. (Previously, there was no limit).
- Businesses (including restaurants, shops, and tour and travel companies) are permitted to accept a maximum of $100 USD cash per transaction; however, there are no restrictions on the number of transactions an individual can make. IE: If a vacationer wants to purchase a snorkeling tour (for example) that costs $150 USD, the individual will only be permitted to pay $100 of the amount owed in USD – the remainder must be paid with another form of payment such as a credit card, Mexican Pesos or wire transfer.
- Certain businesses may not accept USD cash at all, only Mexican Pesos (we do not have specifics as to what types of businesses will be restricted in this manner at this time).
Airlines are advising future passengers that within Mexico after Sept. 14th, they will only accept Mexican Pesos and credit cards for any and all fees including but not limtited to the purchase of new tickets, baggage fees, and change fees.
The new regulations will help in the fight to reduce money laundering and the illegal trafficking of drugs, arms, people and other contraband that has been the cornerstone of President Felipe Calderon’s administration. It is important to take the appropriate measures to ensure that your travel in Mexico is as enjoyable as possible. Journey Mexico recommends that you check with your credit card company and banks that your credit cards will work while aborad and that you are able to withdraw cash from Mexican automated tellers (in our opinion the easiest and cheapest way to secure Mexican Pesos). In addition, you can find out from your bank if there are any partner banks that charge less or no fees for automated teller transactions.