Planning a trip to Mexico or another country that uses pesos? Understanding the pesos to dollars conversion rate is essential for budgeting and avoiding excessive exchange fees. This comprehensive guide breaks down everything you need to know about converting pesos to dollars and dollars to pesos.
An Outline for Mastering Pesos to Dollars Conversions
- Introduction to the Mexican Peso
- Current Pesos to Dollars Exchange Rate
- Factors That Influence the Pesos to Dollars Exchange Rate
- How to Check the Latest Pesos to Dollars Rate
- Pesos to Dollars Conversion Formula and Calculator
- Converting Pesos to Dollars Before Your Trip
- Exchanging Pesos for Dollars at the Airport
- Using ATMs to Withdraw Dollars in Mexico
- Tips for Getting the Best Exchange Rate
- Avoiding Hidden Fees and Scams
- Shopping Tips to Save Money in Mexico
- Do You Need to Convert Back to Dollars After Your Trip?
- Funds Transfer Options from Dollars to Pesos
- Opening a Bank Account in Mexico
- Using Traveler’s Checks in Mexico
- Understanding Pesos Pricing and Bargaining
- Budgeting in Pesos vs Dollars on Your Trip
- FAQ on Pesos to Dollars Conversions
Introduction to the Mexican Peso
The Mexican peso (MXN) is the official currency of Mexico and the 13th most traded currency in the world. The peso is subdivided into 100 centavos. Banknote denominations come in 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 pesos. Coin denominations are 10, 20 and 50 centavos along with 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 peso coins.
Since the 1990s, the peso has been free floating against the US dollar. This means the exchange rate fluctuates daily based on supply and demand. Understanding the current pesos to dollars rate is key for travelers headed to Mexico.
Current Pesos to Dollars Exchange Rate
As of October 2023, the current exchange rate is approximately 20 Mexican pesos to 1 US dollar. However, this fluctuates on a daily basis.
Here is an overview of the current pesos to dollars exchange rate:
- 20 Mexican pesos = 1 US dollar
- 1 Mexican peso = 0.050 US dollars
So if you had 500 Mexican pesos, this would convert to around 25 US dollars at the current rate.
Always check the most up-to-date rate before exchanging currency. The pesos to dollars rate can change frequently.
Factors That Influence the Pesos to Dollars Exchange Rate
What makes the pesos to dollars exchange rate go up or down? Here are some of the key factors:
- Relative strength of the Mexican and US economies – If the US economy is doing well compared to Mexico’s, demand for dollars may rise while demand for pesos falls. This appreciates the dollar and depreciates the peso.
- Interest rates set by central banks – Higher interest rates in the US compared to Mexico can increase demand for US dollars.
- Inflation rates – Higher inflation in Mexico vs the US can weaken the purchasing power of the peso.
- Trade flows between the countries – More exports from Mexico to the US increases supply of pesos and raises demand for dollars.
- Political and economic stability – Instability and uncertainty in Mexico can reduce investment and weaken the peso.
- Speculation and intervention – Traders and central banks buying and selling currencies can impact exchange rates.
These factors combine to cause daily fluctuations in the pesos to dollars rate.
How to Check the Latest Pesos to Dollars Rate
With the exchange rate constantly shifting, how can you find the most current pesos to dollars conversion rate? Here are some options:
- Currency exchange websites – Sites like Oanda, XE, and Travelex show live exchange rates that are updated frequently throughout the day.
- Bank websites – Many major banks list their current exchange rates online. However, these may not be as up-to-date as currency sites.
- Google’s currency converter – Just search for “20 MXN to USD” or any currency pair and you’ll see the live rate.
- Mobile apps – Download a currency app like XE Currency or Currency to get the latest rates on your phone.
- Newspapers and websites – Major financial sites and newspapers list exchange rates, but these are often not as current as online currency tools.
Checking the rate online just before your trip ensures you have the most accurate pesos to dollars conversion figure. Rates at the airport can be less favorable.
Pesos to Dollars Conversion Formula and Calculator
Converting pesos to dollars involves a simple formula:
(Pesos amount) ÷ (Current exchange rate) = Dollars amount
For example, if you have 500 pesos and the current rate is 20 pesos per dollar:
500 pesos ÷ 20 pesos/dollar = 25 dollars
To make conversions easy, use an online currency converter or mobile app. You can enter any amount of pesos and it will automatically calculate the dollar value at the latest exchange rate.
Here’s a handy table showing some common pesos to dollars conversions at a rate of 20:1 for reference:
| Pesos | Dollars |
| 500 | 25 |
| 1,000 | 50 |
| 2,000 | 100 |
| 5,000 | 250 |
| 10,000 | 500 |
Knowing the formula helps you double check conversion rates you are quoted.
Converting Pesos to Dollars Before Your Trip
One option for getting dollars in Mexico is to convert your money before you leave home. Here are the pros and cons:
- Avoid airport exchange rates which are often higher
- Convenient to get cash you need beforehand
- No need to carry lots of pesos and find exchanges in Mexico
- You must estimate how much you will need upfront
- Exchange rates could improve while you are in Mexico
- Carrying cash has risks like theft and loss
Exchanging some pesos to dollars before your trip can be a good way to get your initial spending money at a fair rate. Just don’t convert all your funds in case you need more later on.
Exchanging Pesos for Dollars at the Airport
Many travelers exchange pesos for dollars after arriving at the airport in Mexico. Here are the features of airport currency exchanges:
- Availability – Airport exchanges stay open to align with flight schedules.
- Convenience – Easy to exchange money right after you land.
- Higher rates – Exchange rates at airports are often not as competitive.
- Fees – Airport kiosks frequently charge higher fees and commissions.
- Limited options – You may not be able to exchange pesos back to dollars at the airport when leaving Mexico.
For small amounts needed right away, airport kiosks can be worthwhile for the convenience despite the higher rates. But it’s best to limit use of the airport exchanges when possible.
Using ATMs to Withdraw Dollars in Mexico
One of the most convenient ways to get US dollars in Mexico is by using your debit card at ATMs (ATM is referred to as a cajero automatico in Mexico). Here are some tips:
- Find major bank ATMs – Look for machines affiliated with major Mexican banks like BBVA or Santander where possible.
- Check for fees – Some ATMs charge withdrawal fees while others don’t. Look for fee-free options.
- Stay aware of limits – Many ATMs have caps on withdrawals like $300 to $500 per transaction.
- Notify your bank – Alert your bank you are traveling internationally to avoid suspended transactions.
- Select “withdrawal from checking” – This ensures the money comes out of your bank account vs running it as a cash advance.
Withdrawing dollars as needed during your trip is often the most cost-effective way to get US currency in Mexico.
Tips for Getting the Best Exchange Rate
To make the most of your money, here are some top tips for getting optimal pesos to dollars exchange rates:
- Shop around – Check rates from major banks and currency exchange companies online and in person.
- Use ATMs – Withdrawing dollars from Mexican ATMs can provide fair rates if your bank refunds fees.
- Pay with credit cards – Cards generally give competitive rates. Use ones with no foreign transaction fees.
- Avoid airport exchanges – Rates are consistently less favorable at airport kiosks.
- Exchange in bigger cities – Financial centers like Mexico City, Guadalajara and Cancun tend to offer better rates.
- Watch out for “0% commission” – This can hide wider bid-ask spreads in the actual rate.
Exchanging smaller amounts throughout your trip can help you take advantage of any upward swings in the rate.
Avoiding Hidden Fees and Scams
When exchanging pesos to dollars, watch out for hidden fees and exchange scams:
- Transaction fees – Exchange offices often charge an added transaction fee on top of the base rate.
- Commission fees – Some places build their commission directly into the exchange rate rather than charging it separately.
- Bid-ask spread – The difference between the bid and ask rates that exchange companies offer.
- Zero commission claims – Be wary if places advertise “0% commission” which could indicate a wider spread.
- Dynamic currency conversion – When merchants or ATMs offer to convert your bill to dollars at a poor rate without your consent.
- Rigged scales – Dishonest exchanges may rig their scales to reflect a lower dollar amount. Count your money carefully.
Exchanging small amounts at different places can help you detect bad rates. Pay attention to any extra fees listed on receipts as well.
Shopping Tips to Save Money in Mexico
Shopping in Mexico? Here are some tips to get great deals:
- Learn pesos pricing – Check tags and determine average costs for budgeting.
- Search markets for deals – Street markets and shops away from resorts often have lower prices.
- Ask about tax refunds – Inquire if bigger stores offer tax refunds for foreign shoppers.
- Pay in pesos not dollars – If quoted prices in dollars, pay the pesos equivalent based on a fair exchange rate.
- Use credit cards – Cards often provide better rates on purchases versus paying cash.
- Bring small bills – $1, $5, $10 and $20 are best for transactions, taxis and tips.
- Bargain respectfully – Haggle prices especially at markets but stay polite.
Knowing approximate pesos pricing helps you assess if quoted dollar amounts represent a good conversion rate.
Do You Need to Convert Back to Dollars After Your Trip?
At the end of your travels, you may be left with some unused Mexican pesos. Should you convert them back to US dollars before heading home? Here are some factors to consider:
Reasons to convert pesos to dollars:
- You aren’t planning any upcoming trips to Mexico.
- The exchange rate is favorable relative to when you bought pesos.
- You want to recoup your leftover cash.
Reasons to keep pesos:
- You travel to Mexico often and can use them again.
- The exchange rate is currently unfavorable.
- You only have a small amount left.
If you do choose to convert pesos back to dollars, you may need to do so before departing the country as options are limited at the airport.
Funds Transfer Options from Dollars to Pesos
In addition to exchanging cash, you can also use wire transfers and remittance services to move funds from dollars to pesos in advance of your trip if needed:
- Wire transfers via your bank account – Slowest option but low fees for larger transfers.
- Remittance companies like Western Union or MoneyGram – Quick but charge higher fees.
- Peer-to-peer payments via PayPal or similar apps – Convenient for smaller amounts to contacts.
- Debit card use – Withdrawing pesos at an ATM can effectively exchange dollars to pesos.
Evaluate the fees and speed of each service based on your timeline and transfer amount. Having pesos in advance can be helpful on arrival.
Opening a Bank Account in Mexico
If you are spending an extended time in Mexico or will be frequently traveling there, opening a local bank account can be beneficial for accessing both dollars and pesos conveniently:
- Withdraw dollars or pesos at better rates via ATMs
- Eliminates carrying large amounts of cash
- Easier to exchange currencies using the account
- Safer than relying solely on cash
- No fees for in-country transactions
- Requirements for proof of residency
- Language barriers if you don’t speak Spanish
- Limitations for foreigners in some banks
- Minimum deposits and account fees may apply
Major banks like BBVA, Santander and HSBC offer accounts for expats and foreigners. Just be sure to compare terms, fees and convenience.
Using Traveler’s Checks in Mexico
Can you still use old-fashioned traveler’s checks for your trip to Mexico? Here’s an overview:
- Avoid ATM fees to get needed pesos or dollars
- Offer protection if checks are lost or stolen
- Easily exchanged at banks and some businesses
- Increasingly difficult to find places that accept them
- Often charge purchase fees and exchange commission
- Inefficient for getting small amounts of currency
While traveler’s checks can provide useful backup cash in some cases, higher fees and declining acceptance make debit/credit cards and ATM use better choices overall for most Mexico travelers today.
Understanding Pesos Pricing and Bargaining
When shopping in markets, taxis and other places in Mexico, you’ll need a sense of typical pricing in pesos. Here are some current approximate costs in MXN:
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- Bottle of water – $12
- Street food meal – $50
- Museum admission – $75
- 1 hour taxi ride – $200
- Hotel room per night – $500 and up
Pricing can be very flexible for souvenirs, produce and textiles at markets. Know that bargaining is both common and expected:
- Start at 50% of asking price and negotiate up slowly.
- Stay friendly and don’t offer an amount you wouldn’t pay.
- Walking away often results in the seller agreeing to your last price.
- Pay in pesos and have small bills for deals requiring cash.
Understanding approximate pesos pricing helps you judge the reasonability of costs and negotiate successfully.
Budgeting in Pesos vs Dollars on Your Trip
Should you budget for your trip to Mexico using US dollars or the local pesos? Here are some tips:
When dollars may work better:
- For pre-trip planning and upfront costs like airfare and hotels
- If your dollars spending limit is already fixed
- You will primarily pay by credit card rather than cash
When pesos may be better:
- If you need to strictly limit pesos cash for daily expenses
- To understand prices for activities, meals, transportation within Mexico
- If the exchange rate fluctuates a lot and the dollar value changes
In most cases, a mix is ideal – budgeting totals and larger expenses in dollars while being aware of pesos costs for outings, shopping and last-minute needs.
FAQ on Pesos to Dollars Conversions
What is the best way to exchange pesos to dollars in Mexico?
Using your debit card to withdraw dollars at major bank ATMs generally provides the most favorable rates and lowest fees. Airport exchanges and foreign exchange kiosks often charge higher fees and offer poorer rates.
Should I pay with pesos or US dollars in Mexico?
Paying in pesos is best whenever possible. Vendors will often quote inflated dollar prices if given the choice, so pay the pesos equivalent based on a fair market exchange rate instead.
How much does it cost to exchange pesos to dollars at the airport?
Airport currency exchange booths frequently charge commissions of 5% to 10% to exchange pesos to dollars on top of their base exchange rate. This can add significantly to your currency conversion costs.
Can I exchange pesos back to dollars when leaving Mexico?
It’s typically recommended to convert your leftover pesos to dollars before departing Mexico. The airport currency exchanges often don’t support converting pesos back to dollars.
Are there fees for using US dollars at ATMs in Mexico?
Many ATMs in Mexico do not charge fees for withdrawing dollars with a US debit card. However, your own bank may add international transaction fees, so check your account terms. Asking your bank to refund fees can offset this cost.
Understanding the ins and outs of the pesos to dollars exchange rate is key for budgeting wisely and getting the most for your money in Mexico. By knowing current rates, fees, and utilizing the best exchange options, you can simplify payments and transactions during your travels. With these pesos conversion tips, you’ll return home with extra savings and great memories.