Travelers should make sure they are familiar with the currency of the Mexican Caribbean, its exchange value and the establishments that accept credit cards.
The national currency of Mexico is the Mexican Nuevo Peso, also simply called a peso. The rate of exchange is floating and fluctuates frequently. U.S. dollars are widely accepted in Cancún and frequently accepted elsewhere. But it is best to use pesos, since locals will charge more - sometimes up to double - for goods and services paid for in dollars. U.S. dollars are relatively easy to change into pesos due to the stability of the U.S. economy and The States' geographic proximity to Mexico.
Money can be exchanged at local banks or casas de cambio ("exchange houses"). Casas de cambio and bank rates are usually close, and casas de cambio can be easier to find. However, it is important to make sure that the particular casa you are visiting will accept your specific currency or traveler's checks. Depending on what you are exchanging, you may have to go to a bank rather than a casa. Additionally, casas and banks located downtown will give better exchange rates than those in the hotel zone.
Larger stores and businesses, as well as those geared towards the massive tourism industry in Cancún, accept credit cards. Small businesses and locally owned restaurants usually do not accept credit cards. If possible, use a credit card when making large or expensive purchases; not only will you lock in a better exchange rate, but most credit card companies provide protection for buyers. That way, if you make a large purchase that turns out to be defective, your credit card company can help you pursue any rights you may have under warranty.
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.