41 Mexican Money Facts That Will Surprise You!

Everything to know about Mexican Money Facts.

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A beach resort destination, Mexico, has always been a favorite place for many traveling buffs.

But before setting your foot in this country, getting familiarized with the peso coin, the Mexican currency, is essential. The Mexican pesos are the national currency that allows you to make transactions easily.

Many travelers do not know that this currency is used as a legal tender in Canada, the United States, and some Asian nations. This currency is not only about banknotes and coins, but it also serves as a link with the Americas or American history. After the Canadian and US Dollar, the Mexican pesos are America's third most popular currency. It was the first currency introduced to avoid counterfeiting, and its roots trace back to Spain. 

MXN is the currency code and the abbreviations and symbols used are Mex$ or $, and for centavos, it is ¢. The coins are denoted as 5¢, 50¢, 10¢, $1, $50, $20 and some of the banknotes are $200, $50, $1000, $50, etc. A 1,000 pesos banknote is not so common, but it exists. Plastic composite is now used to make the newest notes tough to replicate. It was done to avoid fraud as the original peso was sold to tourists illegally.

History Of The Mexican Peso

The Mexican pesos have many local names like lana, lucas, money, marimba, papiros, varos, and morlacos. This currency is minted by the Bank of Mexico, the national central bank. Please continue reading to learn about its history.

The peso coins were imported from Europe during colonization. It came from the Spanish dollar.

A piece of eight was another name given to the Spanish dollar, and one real equals eight pesos.

In 1821, the Spanish monetary unit was used by the government. However, in the mid-1800s, the Spanish Dollar fell out.

In 1866, the first minting of the peso coins took place that went up to 100 centavos. Reales were issued till the late 1800s.

Eventually, silver and gold coins were replaced by affordable metals. There was a reduction of 50% in the gold content around 1905, followed by silver.

The fineness and weight of silver coins declined from 1918 to 1977, till the last silver weights were issued.

The peso coins became the most stable currency throughout the 19th century in Latin America. But the late 19th century was difficult for these metal coins. It happened because of the oil crisis that occurred in the '70s.

The country underwent a national debt during the oil crisis, and the old peso suffered from inflation.

The government created an economic strategy named the Stability and Economic Growth Pact.

To recover the country's economy and combat the devaluation, the new peso, nuevo peso, was introduced. It happened in 1993, and the value of a single peso is equal to 1000 old pesos.

In 1996, the old coins, paper money, and notes were out of circulation, following which the term nuevo was dropped.

To adjust the inflation, three zeros were dropped from the new pesos.

The value of the old ones is less than the new ones.

The Mexican public no longer accepts old coins and bills, but they can be encashed at the Bank of Mexico.

To date, the Bank of Mexico has accepted the old form.

The last change happened in 2019 and it is a $200 note featuring José María Morelos y Pavón with Miguel Hidalgo.

The $ symbol was first used in the Mexican peso. It has originated from ps, denoted as Spanish pesos. Sharing the same sign is that they share a common history. That's why the peso and US Dollar were considered the same coin.

Another fact is the first peso banknotes were not printed in Mexico. From 1925 to 1934, it was done by the American Bank Note Company of New York (ABNC).

The Mexican hero, Miguel Hidalgo, features on the 1000 pesos bill known for initiating Mexico's independence.

José María Morelos y Pavón who fought for Mexico’s independence features on the 200 peso bill.

Mexican revolutionary and Roman Catholic priest José María Morelos features on the 50 pesos bill.

Many people do not know that peso means weight and is a Spanish word. It is linked to the Latin pensum, which implies something weighed.

This precious metal was earlier used to make silver and gold, which indicates that it is valued by weight.

Not only was this currency introduced before the American Dollar, but also its design was inspiring. During the 19th century, the anti-counterfeit fact has made it extremely famous.

Currencies of many countries have inspired this currency, including the Japanese Yen, the Hong Kong Dollar, and the Chinese Yuan.

Currency Exchange Rate

Before making transactions in Mexico, you have to know the currency exchange rate. Take a look here to understand the concept better.

Individuals looking for the US dollar exchange rate charts to the MXN have hovered around MXN 20 per USD 1. However, the value is higher compared to the past.

Now, it has become a stable currency in America, and that's why Mexico is considered an emerging market. Due to this, the country's economy has taken a beating in recent years.

However, due to the pandemic in 2020, the silver peso experienced a drop of five points.

Also, the value has been affected by rising interest rates and falling crude oil prices.

Tourists looking forward to the best rate of exchange can convert their currencies to pesos at ATMs, credit cards, airport kiosks, currency exchange offices, or approach the bank of Mexico.

Additionally, before leaving home, you can order MXN from the bank. The best fees can be gained from credit cards or an ATM. But before that, you have to inform your card issuer that you will be out of your country of origin. If you do not notify, the bank that has issued the card might think that your card has been stolen and block it.

The rate of exchange of this silver dollar keeps on changing. For an accurate value, you can open Google and type: convert USD to MXN. Enter the value which will give you the result, and then proceed.

People living abroad who wishes to send money to their loved ones in Mexico often find it expensive. It happens because of the hidden fees and high markups.

Remember that smaller and medium stores do not accept credit cards. That's why you have to keep some cash in hand to make transactions.

Travelers must check the current exchange rate for Mexican currency before every visit.

Mexican Coin Values

After learning about the exchange rate, the Mexican coin value will help you understand it better if you are stuck with it.

For example, in Columbia and the US, you can see pesos oro and US Dollars; similarly, it is centavos (cents) and pesos in Mexico. Like 100 cents will give you one dollar per US currency, 100 cents will give one peso in Mexican currency.

To understand the concept better, consider 20 Mexican pesos is equal to one USD. Then the coins in Mexico will give: $0.10 MXN (10 centavos) = $0.005 USD, $0.50 MXN (50 centavos) = $0.02 USD, $0.20 MXN (20 centavos) = $0.01 USD

This country also has many peso coins and every whole peso equals 100 centavos. It means: $5.00 MXN (5 pesos) = $0.25 USD, $1.00 MXN (1 pesos) = $0.05 USD, $20.00 MXN (20 pesos) = $1.00 USD

All these conversion rates consider USD 1 = MXN 20 as the rough value.

It works perfectly well when calculating the value of small items. But the actual rate may vary daily.

This currency is the first coin to use $ in the world.

Also, it is said that a banknote that you get from the Bank of Mexico has an average lifespan of 32-39 months.

Before proceeding with your travel plans to Mexico, you should look for the exchange rate.


Q: Is $100 in Mexico a lot?

A: As per the exchange rate, $100 (USD) equals $1900-2000 (MXN). Also, it is said that MXN 1900 is a week's worth of salary for manual labor jobs. So, for many locals, it is a decent amount. Also, the overall cost of living in this country is less than in the US. That's why this amount could be sufficient for many.


Q: How much is 1 USD in Mexico?

A: The 1 USD in Mexico is $20.38 in MXN.


Q: How can you easily tell pesos apart?

A: Pesos are round in shape and come with a bar of bronze or golden circle bar at the center. Also, it has an image of the Mexican Coat of Arms (Eagle) in the middle. It is easy to differentiate the currency from the rest with these features.


Q: What is the current Mexican peso exchange rate?

A: The current Mexican peso exchange rate of $1 USD equals MXN 20.38.


Q: What does the government say about the Mexican peso?

A: The government said that the Mexican peso sparked the sudden devaluation against the USD in December 1994. It has become the third most popular stable currency in America.


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