Banking Information/Currency Converter
Naturally, the exchange rate varies daily. The chart below shows how the US and Canadian Dollars fared against the Mexican Peso for the 12 months ending January 28, 2018.
On January 28, 2018 the US Dollar closed @ $18.49 vs. the Mexican Peso. The 52 week range was between $17.49 and $20.89.
On January 28, 2018 the Canadian Dollar closed @ $15.02 vs. the Mexican Peso. The 52-week range was between $13.47 and $15.96.
Click on the XE.com currency conversion link (above) to see today’s current value of the Mexican peso against other currencies.
It is worth noting that in the entire modern era of Mexico, it has experienced few, if any, bank failures. Also noteworthy, is the higher rate of interest available here.
There are several full-service banks in the Ajijic, Lake Chapala area, including Bancomer, Banamex (affiliated with Citibank) and Banca Santander-Serfin (affiliated with Bank of America). All the banks at Lakeside have some English-speaking personnel.
Scotiabank also has a presence at Lakeside, as well as in Guadalajara. There’s an ATM on the Carretera in the strip mall near Domino’s, across from Tobolandía. However, Canadian cash is very difficult to exchange, and most businesses will not accept Canadian traveler’s checks.
Non-banks offering financial services include investment firms such as Actinver Lloyd (Ajijic & Chapala) and Multivalores in Ajijic.
Automated Teller Machine’s (Cajeros Automáticos) Instructions for operating an ATM in Mexico
ATM’s are available at all of the banks, at the Guadalajara International Airport, Walmart in Ajijic, and in serveral other convenient locations throughout the area. The best exchange rates are available at the ATM’s, and it’s possible to withdraw up to $8,000 pesos (about $433 USD) in one transaction from certain banks. Some machines offer instructions in both English and Spanish, but if you find yourself at one that has only Español, click on the above link for the English translation, which you can print and take with you.
Exchanging Money – (Casa de Cambio)
Currency Exchanges will also cash travelers checks, and are available at the Guadalajara International Airport, as well as at many convenient locations throughout the area.
Foreign personal checks are very difficult to cash, even if you have a Mexican bank account; American Express Travelers Checks are the easiest. Note: you will be required to show your Passport.
Although a few shops and restaurants in the Ajijic, Lake Chapala area are now accepting credit cards, in general, this is a cash economy. Credit cards are widely accepted in nearby Guadalajara at shopping malls, department stores, shops and restaurants.
As a US citizen retiring in Mexico, you may still receive your Social Security check. Many retirees in Mexico prefer using a direct deposit system to avoid having to wait for a check to arrive in the mail.
Ask your bank teller for the necessary paperwork to arrange to have your check deposited directly into your bank account each month. Bilingual ATMs are available at almost any Mexican bank and withdrawals are easy and safe.