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Using Travelers Checks in Mexico

Travelers Checks are not recommended in Mexico - Nobody accepts them!

OK, here's the quick and dirty on travelers checks in Mexico. Unless you're absolutely against carrying a credit card or ATM card, forget about traveler's checks.

But don't forget to buy Mexican car insurance before you make the drive to Mexico. Auto insurance for Mexico is required by law. And the easiest way to purchase your Mexican insurance policy is by taking care of it online before you leave home.

Debit Cards and Credit Cards are the recommended choice for money in Mexico

The reason ATMS and credit cards are a better bet in Mexico than traveler's checks is because there've been so many traveler's checks scams over the years that many merchants in Mexico simply won't accept them. Even banks may balk at traveler's checks or require you to stand in line after line to get authorization from a head teller or manager. In fact, you may just end up carrying those traveler's checks home and cashing them at your own bank. So, if you're going to have to go through this kind of grief to get more cash, why not just use your ATM or credit card in Mexico instead?

We recommend that you carry enough cash to tide you over for 3 or 4 days, then replenish that cash at a bank or ATM kiosk as you travel. Kiosks are springing up left and right, especially in airports, bus terminals, supermarkets and shopping malls. See our tips to make sure you're using a safe ATM while you're in Mexico.

Last resort while you're at the resort

If all else fails you financially, the U.S. embassy can help you arrange a funds transfer from someone in the US. It's unlikely you'll find yourself in this position, but it's always nice to know that if you're driving to Mexico, you won't have to trade your auto for pesos just to get back home.