Ixtapa Zihuatanejo - Currency, Money exchange, Credit cards, Traveler cheques

For local Banks listing see "Community" in menu

Our Currency

The official currency of Mexico is the MEXICAN PESO which is also referred as M.N. that stands for "Moneda Nacional" (National Currency)

You will see that documents, invoices, etc. when the monetary amount in written in letters it will end with M.N. to state that said amount is in National Currency.

Bills: $20, $50, $100, $200, $500 and $1000 pesos.

$20 and $50 pesos bills are made of polymer (plastic fiber). $100, $200, $500 and $1000 pesos are printed on new high security cotton paper.


New $500 pesos bill that gradually will replace the old design (see above). In circulation since September 2018. Printed on very high security cotton paper. Bills
Commemorative $100 and $200 pesos bills. Limited edition. In circulation since September 2009. $100 pesos made of polymer and $200 printed on high security cotton paper.
Presently very few in circulation.
Commemorative $100 pesos bill. Limited edition. In circulation since February 2017. Printed on high security cotton paper.
Presently very few in circulation.
Old $10, $20, $50, $100, $200, $500 and $1000 pesos bills printed on security paper are still legal tender and can be used. Same for early $20 pesos bill made of polymer (plastic fiber) that was replaced after the first year.

Old Bills

Transition from old to new design bills may take a few years because it is usually done by the banks when the bills gets to them but sometimes they do not have sufficient stock of the new design so the old ones are put back in circulation. Only when the Bank of Mexico issues a notice stating the date of revocation of a type of bill, that it's called "demonetization" is when a bill looses its monetary value. This happens very seldom and with a very advance previous notice

Prices in Mexican Pesos are posted with only the peso sign "$" in front. Some businesses use MX$5.00, MXP$5.00, MN$5.00 or $5.00MN to make it more clear for foreigners. For prices in U.S. Dollars usually as US$5.00, $5.00US or $5.00USD

Coin values: 10¢, 20¢, 50¢, $1, $2, $5 and $10

10¢, 20¢ and 50¢ coins are being slowly replaced with new ones. New design shown below old design. Both types are presently in circulation. Be careful, new 50¢ coin looks similar in appearance and size to the old 10¢ design.


Not actual size

There are hardly any 10¢ and 20¢ coins in circulation in our destination. For payment purposes, if the amount is less than 25¢ the lowest unit will be charged; if it is between 25¢ and 75¢ the charge will be 50¢; if it is above 75¢ it will go to the next high unit (e.g.: $9.20 will be charged as $9.00; $9.35 as $9.50; $9.60 as $9.50; $9.80 as $10.00). Some businesses may not abide by this rule and they will charge you to the half unit or next high unit (e.g.: $9.20 will be charged as $9.50; $9.60 as $10.00)

As of August 2013 and on subsequent dates, new $20 coins were put into circulation. There are several designs that are similar but that commemorate different events in our history, personalities and institutions. Not shown in actual size. $20 coin

Money Exchange

The Peso floats freely so the offer and demand sets its equivalency with others currencies.

Average at local banks. Bank buy at...
Exchange rate may differ slightly from bank to bank
For other currencies we suggest a visit to
Click on logo. Courtesy www.oanda.com
For information purposes only. Local exchange rate may
be lower or not available at banks and exchange houses

U.S. Dollars are widely accepted by hotels, restaurants, shops, taxis, etc. Canadian Dollars are also accepted but in less places. For other currencies, we suggest to exchange them at banks or money exchange houses to avoid inconveniences.

Many foreign currencies can be exchanged at our local banks. If the currency is not very common in our destination, it may take a full day before the transaction can be completed because the bank needs to get the approval from its main office.

Nowadays most banks don't honor money exchange other than USA and Canadian dollars or Euros. You have to inquire at bank.

Banks regular business hours are Mondays through Fridays, 9:00a.m. until 4:00p.m. and Saturdays until 2:00p.m. For money exchange purposes, usually from 9:00a.m. until 12:00p.m. (noon) only. Long lines can be expected in high seasons. Banks are closed on holidays.


As a tourist, it is required to present your passport so that the bank can exchange the currency. If you don't show it, the bank's cashier won't be able to accept the transaction.
Other places are Casas de Cambio (Exchange House), most of them open from 9:00a.m. until 8:00p.m. daily, including Sundays and Holidays. They are located in downtown Zihuatanejo and in the shopping centers in Ixtapa and they exchange most foreign currencies. Operation hours of Casa de Cambio at Airport may vary according to schedules of flights arriving and departing.


Many hotels from three stars and up in Ixtapa and in Zihuatanejo will exchange your USA and Canadian Dollars bills if you are their guest but check at the front desk to be sure.

Banks offer the best rates but the difference may just be a few cents on the dollar, so check around a little before changing your money, the time you may lose waiting in line might not be worthy.

The vast majority of businesses and services that accept foreign currencies for payment, will honor bills but not coins. Same policy applies for Banks and Money Exchange Houses.

Hotels, restaurants and shops that accept foreign currency for payment of services or articles usually post their exchange rate near the cashier. If in doubt, ask the room clerk, waiter or salesperson.

Exchange rates may change daily due to the Peso's fluctuation. Normally its variation is under ten cents up or down, but it is not always the case due to changes in the behavior of the world and local economies.

To view a listing of local banks, see "Community" in menu. Their locations can be seen in "City Maps"

Credit Cards
Major Credit Cards and Debit Cards such as VISA and MASTERCARD are widely accepted within Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo. AMERICAN EXPRESS, DINERS CLUB, DISCOVER and others are also welcome but in a lot less establishments. Usually five stars and boutique hotels will honor them, same for high class restaurants.

Credit Cards

Be sure to check for Credit/Debit Card acceptance before you buy or order a service, some places may have credit card ads posted in their windows but actually they do not longer honor them. It is wise to ask in advance.

Most banks have Automatic Teller Machines (ATM's) open 24 hours where you can use your Credit or Debit Card to draw cash. The cash received will be in Mexican Pesos even for foreign cards.

With foreign cards transactions sometimes it may take a little longer to get the approval due to heavy traffic in the communication lines between the local bank's ATM and the main processing center located at Mexico City, Guadalajara or Monterrey.


During high seasons, if you plan to use an ATM try to do it as early as possible because sometimes these machines run out of cash due to heavy demand. This may be more notorious on weekends because banks usually do not resupply ATMs cash on Saturdays evening, Sundays and Holidays.

When you purchase something the voucher you will sign for the charge will have the due amount in PESOS (M.N.) because it is required by our laws, of course, you'll get your statement back home in your own country's currency if it's a foreign card. Signing won't be necessary if your card requires to enter your PIN. You should receive a copy of the charge (standard voucher or terminal' slip).

Credit Cards

As a preventive measure against possible frauds, when you pay with a Credit/Debit Card some businesses will ask to see an official I.D. with your photo so they can match the name and/or signature. Take one along to prevent inconveniences.

Travelers Cheques

Many businesses in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo accept Travelers Checks in U.S. Dollars as payment for purchases and services. Most hotels from three stars and up will also exchange them if you are their guest. The exchange rate may be slightly lower that at banks.

Most hotels, regardless of classification, will honor them to settle your lodging account but ask in advance to be sure and prevent inconveniences or unnecessary delays at check-out time. A few will also accept Travelers Checks in Canadian Dollars or Euros.


Due to changes in the bank laws of our country, many hotels and businesses do not longer accept Travelers Checks of any kind since 2015.

You will be required to sign it in front of the clerk or salesperson and also you might be asked to show an I.D. with your picture for security purposes, so have one handy. Most banks will ask for your passport or they won't cash it. 

If the business honor travelers checks, it's recommended that you previously ask in whose name it has to be drawn because many businesses are registered under the owner's name and not the store's name, so the check has to have the owner's name on it to be accepted.

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