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Mexican banks can exchange USD currency for non-customers [persons without a valid bank account, i.e.: tourist] but many banks have recently applied restrictions allowing only customers to exchange USD currency to pesos.
Banks are limiting the amount an individual customer can exchange on a monthly basis forcing some Mexican vendors to stop accepting USD. These vendors will only accept payment in pesos.
ATMs dispense pesos.
Money exchange stores [casa de cambio] are still offering USD exchange services. This could change at any time.
Exchange your currency before you leave for Mexico taking Mexican Pesos only with you or be prepared to use ATMs.
Banks in Playa del Carmen are pretty well the same as banks anywhere. Line-ups may be longer but they exchange money and provide other typical banking services as well.
Things to know are:
the maximum amount for exchange is $1,500 usd per month and will probably scan your passport the majority of tellers do not speak English some banks do not accept Travelers Checks ATMs are open to the public ATMs can run out of money you need an F3 to get a bank account.
If you are planning on traveling outside of Playa del Carmen and need to use a bank/ATM then know: Some communities do not allow banks in their jurisdiction Banks can become extremely crowded as early as 10:00 in the morning Many ATMs are guarded during the day by armed military.
AND like Playa del Carmen some banks will not accept Travelers Checks and the ATMs can run out of money later in the day.
Note to Canadians…
There can be a fee up to $3.00 cad per transaction to access the PLUS system (it depends on your banking plan). It can get costly to make small withdrawals if your plan does not cover PLUS fees.
BANK ATM LOCATIONS
Banorte Bank/ATM Money exchange and other bank services. Location: Plaza Pelicanos, 10th Ave. between Calle 8 and 10 Banamex Bank/ATM Money exchange and other bank services. Location: 30th Ave and 16th street HSBC Bank/ATM Money exchange and other bank services. Location: 30th Ave. between Calle 16 and 18 Scotiabank Bank/ATM Money exchange and other bank services. Location: The corner of 10th Ave. and Constituyentes
The maximum amount per day is $5,000 usd, they will keep a copy of your passport and typically the exchange rate is a little bit lower than in the bank
Money Five Group Money Exchange Location: 10th Ave. between 6th and 10th CB Bank Money Exchange/ATM Location: 10th Ave. and 1st South (Plaza Antigua) Monex Money Exchange/ATM Location: Av Avicion at the corner of 30th street in Playacar Phase II San Jorge Money Exchange Location: 30th Ave and Juarez
For more information on traveling with money, what to bring etc, see: Mexican Money.