Mexico’s national currency is the peso. The spelling is similar to one of the dollar and therefore easy to confuse, because the dollar has two vertical lines and the peso only one. So be careful, it is often used as a tourist trap!
It is best to find out exactly what the current exchange rate is before you travel. It is often a lot cheaper to exchange dollars / pounds here in Mexico or to simply withdraw from an ATM. There are also numerous exchange offices called “Casas de cambio”. Or you can buy travelers checks before departure, which you can easily redeem at any bank. But you can also pay almost everywhere with US dollars, which we do not recommend, because as a tourist you always pay a nice “dollar surcharge”.
ATMs are plentiful and most accept Visa and Mastercard. However, one should find out in advance about the fees that the domestic bank charges when using abroad. The best known Mexican banks are Banamex and Bancomer. In addition, there are numerous internationally known banks such as HSBC, Santander, Scotiabank etc. Credit cards such as American Express, Mastercard or Visa are a common method of payment in Mexico and are accepted in almost all major shops, car rental companies, hotels and restaurants. In order to avoid misuse, you should definitely make sure that the credit card is not accessible to anyone else and you should not lose sight of it when paying so that no second receipt is created.
In Mexico, people in the tourism and catering industry live from the income from tips. Therefore, the rule applies to restaurants and bars with a tip of at least 10% of the total amount. This is not mandatory, but if you were particularly happy with the service and you ate with more than 6 people, you are welcome to give 15%.
If the hotel offers a bellboy service, you can plan about 20 pesos per person or suitcase. In the hotels it is customary, depending on satisfaction, to deposit around 20-30 pesos per person per night for the housekeeping staff.
Tips for tours and transfers are also common in Mexico. We recommend 50 to 100 pesos per person per day, depending on the satisfaction of the tour.Taxi drivers usually do not have to pay an extra tip.
When shopping in supermarkets, you will quickly find that there are those at the checkout who pack your purchases in plastic bags. These are mostly older people who don’t earn much, so tip them 3-10 pesos depending on the number of your purchases.
If you are traveling by rental car, there are often people in large parking lots and when there is a shortage of parking spaces in small streets, who will allocate free spaces to you and help you park. These usually offer to wash and take care of the car during absence. Even if you don’t have the car washed, you can tip about 5-10 pesos to the person after you come back. However, make sure that it is the same person as in the beginning. Young people and children often come to your parked car and ask for a small tip, because you “took care of the car”, you do not have to give them any money. If you have your windscreen washed at a traffic light intersection, you should give a tip of around 5-8 pesos. If the window is washed despite a clear NO, you do not have to tip.