A reader writes:
Planning a trip to MX. Last time in CanCun had a devil of a time cashing traveler’s checks. No credit card. Do most accept debit card from US banks? What about prepaid or reloadable debit cards with Visa logo?
I feel your pain about trying to cash traveler’s checks in Mexico. It’s difficult to find anyone who will do it anymore, and I gave up on the enterprise about ten years ago. I don’t have a credit card either, but last time I was in Mexico (last spring) I was amazed by how many places now take debit cards. However, I wouldn’t rely wholly on debit cards, as many smaller establishments still don’t take them. Luckily the number of ATMs has skyrocketed in the last couple of years. I have never personally tried a prepaid debit card, but I’m assuming it would work, provided that it’s Visa. It so happens that our correspondent El Codo has just sent me a long epistle on dealing with money in Mexico. I’ll post that shortly and ask him what he thinks about the prepaid cards. Stay tuned!
Saludos desde Oregon, Churpa
p.s. Don’t forget to notify your bank that you will be out of the country! Otherwise they may freeze your account if they see activity happening in another country.