Cash in Mexico

Is it Safe to Carry Cash in Mexico?

Many travelers are concerned about carrying a substantial amount of cash on them no matter where they’re traveling. Carrying too much cash can make them feel like a target. Even so, it’s helpful to carry a certain amount of cash on you when driving in Mexico.

Although many people in the U.S. are used to paying with credit and debit cards, cash is still the main mode of currency for many vendors in Mexico.

Mexican Toll Booth
Toll booth Cash

Be Sure to Have Cash When Driving in Mexico

If you’re planning a road trip to Mexico, you’ll want to have cash. You’ll need it to pay for tolls and gas. Many gas stations in Mexico only accept cash payments. While many of Mexico’s larger cities like Mexico City and Guadalajara do accept credit card payments, many do not. Street food vendors are also unlikely to accept credit card payments. Many upscale eateries will often accept credit cards, but cash is always acceptable.

Pesos instead of Dollars

Many vendors throughout Mexico will happily accept your American dollars; however, there’s a strong likelihood that you’ll pay more for items than if you stick to pesos. When you drive to Mexico, you might want to convert your cash to pesos before entering the country. You’ll be able to convert your dollars into pesos at banks or at money exchanges. Keep in mind that these places will charge you a fee to convert your dollars to pesos. It may be less expensive to make the conversion while you’re still in the U.S.

How Much Cash?


Travel experts suggest that $30 in cash per day is a fair amount of cash to carry, but if you’re on a road the trip, you might find it necessary to carry more on you in the case of an emergency like a car breakdown. If you’re concerned about your vehicle breaking down during your travels, consider adding roadside assistance to your Mexican car insurance policy.

When heading to Mexico for a road trip, be sure to have a reliable amount of cash to pay for tolls, gas, and convenience store items like water or snacks. You’ll also need to have your Mexican car insurance policy with you as well.

3 Responses to Cash in Mexico

  1. […] It’s a good idea to have access to your money in a few different ways when traveling to Mexico.  Have a combination of Mexican and U.S. currency.  Find out if anywhere you plan to visit accepts your credit cards of choice or if travelers’ checks will be helpful.  Avoid carrying around an abundance of cash if possible and certainly don’t allow onlookers to see large amounts of cash either. See this article on Cash in Mexico […]

  2. […] U.S. cash works quite well for most of Mexico’s dentists, especially for those near the border who do a lot of business with Americans. Credit cards, too, are generally welcome, and some dentists may even accept a check. It’s a good idea to obtain all the information you need regarding dental care in advance. Find out about the costs of treatments you need so you know how much cash you’ll need upfront. […]

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