How to tell if your Mexican banknotes are counterfeit

18 11 2006

How to tell if your Mexican banknotes are counterfeit.

The handling of foreign currency creates a whole new set of challenges for the business or vacation traveller.

The Bank of Mexico has a webpage dedicated to explaining the security features of the Mexican coins and banknotes so you don’t get bamboozled. Verifying Mexican banknote authenticity

Learn about the security features in Mexican banknotes to eliminate the possibility of receiving “funny money” during your travels.

Security features in manufactured Mexican banknotes – A quick chart to help identify the security features in the current banknotes in circulation in Mexico.

Security features in the 20 Peso polymer banknote

Security features in the 50 Peso paper banknote

Security features in the 100 Peso banknote

Security features in the 200 Peso banknote

Security features in the 500 Peso banknote

Security features in the 1000 Peso banknote

If you believe you have counterfeit Mexican currency, bring it to the attention of a Mexican bank for verification. If the banknote is counterfeit you will not be reimbursed for it’s value, but you might avoid going to jail. Passing counterfeit currency is illegal in Mexico.

The US Department of State Consular information sheet for Mexico states A number of Americans have been arrested for passing on counterfeit currency they had earlier received in change. If you receive what you believe to be a counterfeit bank note, bring it to the attention of Mexican law enforcement.”

Related Links

Mexican currency, monetary policy and financial systems – BANXICO

Banco de Mexico – BANXICO – Bank of Mexico





The definitive guide on how to dial to Mexico

4 11 2006

Starting today, November 4, 2006 there are changes on how to dial to cellular phones in Mexico.

The program called “El que llama paga”, which means “whoever calls, pays for the call”, allows you to call any cellular phone in Mexico and the recipient of the call does not have to pay. Previously the cost of the call was shared between both parties.

If calling Mexico from out of the country (International long distance):

  • To a fixed landline phone: the exit code of the country (in the USA – “011”) + 52 + area code + telephone number
  • To a Mexican cellular phone: the exit code of the country (in the USA – “011”) + 52 + 1 + area code + telephone number

If in Mexico, calling from a fixed landline phone to a Mexican cellular phone

  • To a cellular phone in the same city: 044 + area code + telephone number
  • To a cellular phone in another city: 045 + area code + telephone number
  • To a Nextel of the same city: telephone number
  • To a Nextel of another city: 01 + area code + telephone number
  • From a fixed landline that is NOT Telmex to a cellular phone of another city:  01 + area code + telephone number

If in Mexico, dialing from a cellular phone

  • To a fixed landline in the same city: telephone number
  • To a fixed landline in another city: 01 + area code + telephone number
  • To a cellular telephone in the same city: area code + telephone number
  • To a cellular telephone in another city: 045 + area code + telephone number
  • To a NEXTEL: telephone number
  • To a NEXTEL in another city: 01 + area code + telephone number

Related Links

How to call Mexico from the USA

Changes for dialing long distance to cellular phones in Mexico





Tipping guidelines for Mexico

13 09 2006

Tipping is always a concern for travellers. In Mexico, tipping is very common and expected, but there are no fixed rules for the amount of the tip. If someone is providing an extra service or favor for you, a tip would be expected and welcome.

You should always have loose change and low denomination bills with you in order to make the transaction effortless.

You should tip with the quantity that you feel comfortable with. I’ve provided some tip guidelines that should help get you started.

Basic guidelines for tipping in Mexico.

  • Restaurants – the normal tip amount is 10% -15% of the bill. There is a national value added tax (IVA) of 15% included on all restaurant bills, this is not the tip, this is a tax.  Many people leave a tip equal to the IVA, 15%, or leave 10% of the total bill that has the IVA tax included.
  • Bellhops and luggage handlers – $ 10 – $ 20 pesos per bag.
  • Hotel maids – $ 20 – $ 50 pesos per day.
  • Taxis – Depends upon the city, type of taxi (meter or negotiated price). If a metered cab, a tip would be expected perhaps 10% of the total. If the taxi is a negotiated price no tip would be expected. If a fixed rate to destination cab (for example airport cabs) a tip would be appreciated $ 10 – $ 20 pesos.
  • Gas station attendants – $5 – $ 10 pesos depending on the level of service
  • Bars – 10% of the total bill
  • Valet parking – $ 10 – $20
  • Grocery store baggers – $ 5

Related Links

How to do business in Mexico

Mexican official (and unofficial) holidays

Advice on what to expect when doing business with Mexico

Tip: How to call Mexico from the US