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The Mexican Currency

Mexican Money

Mexican Money. If you plan travelling to Mexico or learning Spanish in Mexico, here you get some information about the Mexican Peso!

Mexican Pesos

The Mexican Peso is the monetary unit of Mexico and is made up of 100 centavos (cents); it is the most traded currency in Latin America. Mexican people use the symbols $ and ¢ in the same way that American people in written text with the only difference is that in Mexico, $ stands for pesos and ¢ stands for centavos. To avoid confusion with US Dollars in international markets, the banking code is MXN while US Dollars is USD. While the official code for the Peso is MXN, in daily life it is mostly represented as MX$, especially in large stores, hotels or online.

Mexican bank notes are printed in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000. However, the most commonly used bills are the 50, 100 and 200. Mexican centavos are minted in denominations of .05, .10, .20, .50, 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20. In Mexico, there are special coins worth 20 or more Pesos but are rarely seen since they are minted for collectors.

In 2014 the exchange rate for the Peso was $1 USD= MX$13.44 and 1€ Euro= MX$18.38

The word Peso means weight in English and refers to the weight of the Gold and Silver that were the materials used in the currency back then. The Mexican peso was the name given to the Spanish eight-real coins that were in circulation throughout the Spanish Empire and were also known as Spanish dollars. Curiously, the United States dollar's value was pegged to the peso when the US started printing its own money. The peso was also accepted as legal tender in the US late into the 19th century. After gaining independence from Spain, Mexico began minting centavos which were worth one hundredth of a peso or one silver eight-real coin.

The Peso that exists today is the result of a market crash that occurred at the start of the 90's. Because hyperflation of the late 1980's meant that the Peso los considerable amount of value and the money was increasingly more worthless. The President, Salinas de Gortari, decided to remove three zeroes from the old Peso (MXP) and created the New Peso (MXN). This devaluation required all Mexicans to turn in their old currency and receive the new one. Overnight the old MX$1000 Peso banknote became the MX$1 banknote. This transition would last 3 years, ending in 1996.

Higher Value Notes and Change

Like their North American neighbor, it is customary in Mexico to leave a tip if you are pleased with the service that you have received. Although a tip is not required, it is always appreciated especially by people who work in the service in the service sector where salaries are usually very modest.

Taxi drivers don’t expect you to tip them unless they do you a favor, like carrying your bags for you perhaps or serving as your driver for the day shuttling you around town. In these instances a tip would be graciously accepted. It is important to note that, taxi drivers do not accept bills larger than 100 and 200 Pesos; nor do bus drivers and convenience store owners. Therefore, it is a good idea to use your higher value bank notes in supermarkets and restaurants. People often leave their loose change for making small purchases, making donations at checkout counters and tips for service.

In 2010, the Bank of Mexico created a new 500-peso bill featuring the faces of two of Mexico’s most well known artists. Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo would now be among presidents, war heroes and indigenous legends; representing their country on their currency. Previously, the face of the 500-peso bill belonged to Ignacio Zaragoza, a Mexican army general, famous for defeating the French at the Battle of Puebla in May 1862.