No More Paying With Dollars at Mexican Resort Areas

Americans traveling in the Mexican Riviera may find themselves having to visit local ATMs to get pesos. That's because not everyone is going to take your dollars anymore.

A new law says businesses such as restaurants and stores can no longer accept more than $100 in cash per transaction. And some businesses may respond by not taking U.S. dollars at all, reports USA Today.

Many U.S. travelers to Mexico have gotten used to paying in dollars for things like meals and souvenirs, including those visiting for a day on cruise ships. Dollars have been widely accepted by merchants in tourist areas, some even encouraging U.S. currency over pesos.

But now as part of an effort to stem drug-related money laundering, several Mexican states including Quintana Roo - where Cancun, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen are located – have adopted the $100 limit. The new rules became effective last month.

The amount of dollars foreigners can trade for pesos at banks and money exchangers is also now capped at $1,500 per month.

The new measures do not affect credit card or debit card purchases, and travelers can still draw as many pesos as they want from Mexican ATM machines.

Among other changes, the newspaper quotes an American Airlines spokesman as saying airlines at Mexican airports can no longer accept U.S. cash for check bag fees and other last-minute charges.

For its part, the Mexican tourist is board is recommending travelers buy pesos before they leave the U.S., to "eliminate any inconvenience" the changes may cause.

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