Foreign Exchange Guide to Mexico
In this guide we review :
- Mexican peso info - general info about the Mexican peso
- Mexican peso in the markets - recent MXN moves and predictions from the FX markets
- Travelling in Mexico - currency & money saving tips
- Buying Mexican peso cash online - travel money for Mexico
- Sending money to Mexico - save on Mexican peso bank transfers to Mexico
- Mexican peso exchange rates - latest info & charts.
Mexican peso (MXN) general currency information
Contributing to a little more than 2% of the foreign exchange market’s daily turnover, the Mexican peso is the world’s second most traded emerging market currency, behind only the Chinese yuan. The peso is subdivided into 100 centavos.
The peso’s value is heavily influenced by commodities prices, particularly oil.
As an emerging market currency, the peso is considered riskier than currencies from major developed nations, which means that its value will fall against those currencies (especially JPY, CHF, USD, GBP and EUR) during periods of economic uncertainty or when global geopolitical risk is elevated, or during bouts of high market volatility.
Mexicans are mostly concerned with the value of their currency against the US dollar, since more than 80% of Mexican exports go to the US, with whom Mexico shares a free trade agreement.
The peso has consistently depreciated against the dollar since its all-time high in 1972, when USD/MXN traded at just 0.01. By 1990, USD/MXN was at 2.7; at the end of 1994, after the currency was devalued by Mexico’s government, USD/MXN stood at 5.7; by the year 2000, the USD/MXN was meandering around 9.5; in 2009, the rate reached 15.6; and in January 2017, the peso reached an all-time low when USD/MXN traded as high as 22.03.
Mexican peso (MXN) in the markets
In mid-October, USD/MXN rose to a five-month high of 19.512, marking the Mexican peso’s weakest level against the dollar in five months.
The peso was one of the stars of the first half of 2017, having strengthened by 17% against the dollar between January and mid-July. From that point, the currency lost value and went on to give back more than a third of its gains by mid-October after dollar sentiment took a turn for the better and on the back of concerns that NAFTA negotiations with the US and Canada may unravel. In October, NAFTA trade talks continued to dominate peso news flow.
A favourable “NAFTA 2.0” agreement is seen as vital to the outlook for the Mexican economy and, consequently, to the Mexican peso, given that nearly 80% of Mexico’s exports go to the US.
The chart below shows the MXN to USD exchange rate for the previous 3 months with rate alerts for days when the exchange rate moved up or down significantly or for 30 day highs and lows.
Currency and money saving tips for Mexico
Mexico is a fascinating and vibrant country to travel in, though like many other great spots there are also areas where there is crime, and tourists can be targeted for theft and pickpocketing. So some convenient tips are to photocopy your passport, and the front and back of your credit cards, so you have copies of their details. It may be a good idea to travel with a Prepaid Travel Card to avoid having to carry your credit card on you at all times. You can then leave your credit cards and passport in the hotel safe.
At the airport and bus stations in Mexico City and other major cities there are official taxis (Taxis Autorizados) that you should take. Avoid hailing taxis on the street, hotels will always be willing to organise this for you. For a long time flights within Mexico have been expensive and most travelers went by the good bus system or by train. Now however, depending on your preference, flights are very affordable and convenient, and can save a lot of time seeing more of the country. Doing a bit of looking around online can save you a lot of money on flights.
Mexico Trip Checklist
Travel money for Mexico
Save money and time by Ordering your Mexican peso online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the MXN cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.
Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.
For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in Mexican peso otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.
Travel Money for Mexico
Sending money to Mexico
When sending money to Mexico it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 3 simple steps :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or Mexican peso amount you want to transfer
- Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
- Once your funds are received by the provider the converted MXN amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Mexico.
Bank Transfers to Mexico
By comparing the rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Mexican peso deposited into the recipient bank account in Mexico and less margins and fees kept by the banks!