Cash or Credit Card in Mexico

In Mexico, cash in paper and coins are preferred, even though in many of the Western countries in North America and in Europe cash is becoming more obsolete. Cash is the most preferred and popular payment when you are purchasing foods, goods, and for services in Mexico. If you are considering making Mexico your home, you should bear in mind that cash is still king here.

Cash or Credit Cards in Mexico?

Although cash is king in Mexico, credit and debit cards are accepting in many establishments and are slowly rising in popularity. The working-class citizens of Mexico are slowly beginning to use plastic cards more and more, while the middle-class and upper social classes predominately use plastic cards. The reason that cash is still king in Mexico is because nearly half of the households in Mexico don’t have a bank account and count on a cash-based economy for all their purchases. Gradually, online banking is being used, but many still depend on using cash and it is their main preference. The Bank of Mexico did a study, which revealed that the majority of Mexican citizens that have a debit card will only use them to draw out their paychecks from an ATM for cash.

Payments with Credit and Debit Cards

All of the major department stores and supermarkets, shopping malls merchants, many restaurants in the larger cities and towns, large car dealerships, furniture stores, electrical stores, coffee chains (Starbucks), travel agencies, doctors, dentists, attorneys, and just about all the businesses that cater to the middle and upper classes accept credit and debit cards for payment, and many of these establishments will also accept payment done with a smart phone too. Many of the phone company providers will let you pay a prepay phone with a credit or debit card and you can make this payment in the store or online, and by using your cell phone.

Payments with Cash Only

In Mexico, there are many places that will only accept cash as payment. Independently owned convenience stores, open-air markets, street taxicabs that are independently owned, shoe shiners, street vendors, newspaper corner men, small boutique and shops, personal gardeners, housekeepers, and pool maintenance are establishments and people that only accept cash payments. Some of the electricians, plumbers, and carpenters will accept payments that are large that is a money transfer to their bank, but if they are doing a routine job such as fixing a leak, then they expect to be paid with cash and cash only.

Souvenirs: When you are on vacation, then cash is a must, especially if you are using local transportation and if you are purchasing souvenirs from street vendors and traders.

If you are going to be tipping while you are in Mexico, then you will need to tip in cash, and the cash should be done in Mexican pesos only. If you are vacationing in Mexico on a tour package and your vacation will be done at a resort, then you may not have to have much cash, but there are times and occasions when you will need to have cash on hand as it is only accepted and is a necessity.

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