Card is not accepted almost anywhere in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Just to let you know guys that if you are going to Isla Mujeres in Mexico, take cash!!
My card has been declines almost everywhere by merchant, but the money still would be taken out of my account. Sometimes it would be automatically refunded in 2 minutes , but sometimes not.
Monzo helped me to refund one, still waiting on another one.
I don’t know how is in the rest of Mexico, but not island.
Exchange rate is excellent, but useless.

There is some helpful advice in this topic too… more towards the end because it is quite old.

I’m currently staying at Isla mujeres and my card has been declined almost everywhere, only worked to buy ferry tickets to mainland. But in shops and restaurants didn’t work.
Cheapest withdrawals are at CI Banco, 17.40 persons.
Keep all your receipts just in case and take cash.

Are any other cards working?

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Do you have a backup? Starling/Revolut/Weswap for example? Credit cards? I’m interested as we’d like to go back to Cancun one of these summers.

Many on the other thread had no issues.
Was it working in the UK before you tried in Mexico?

I haven’t used any other card here tbh. Just took the cash out to spend. Definitely better take straight Mexican pesos out, because of the rate.
I have also seen that not many people had issues in Mexico, but I am staying on the island, so maybe it has something to do with it.

Hi. I haven’t used any other card here.

may I ask if these were at ‘offline’ outlets? the card needs to report back to the bank for the majority of transactions as they can be shown in your app and give you a clearer view of your balance. :slight_smile:

Do you get declined transactions in the app, or does your card straight up not work? Do you know if any other cards work? Could it be a network difference, eg. the shops only accept VISA or a local payment scheme?

I’m a payments engineer, so I’m always looking for things we can do to make our cards accepted in more places. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I haven’t tried any other card.
But I tried to use monzo at the shops where Mastercard is accepted. The transaction would be declined by merchant (the PDQ receipt would come up with the message), but money would be taken off the account. In 2 cases it was refunded automatically 2 minutes later, but in other 2 cases I had to contact monzon with pictures of declined receipts to get refund. I was advised to use mag stripe, which I haven’t tried yet.


Well… there is most likely your problem?

Mag stripe does not work either, pin is required.
Luckily the shop accepted contactless payment. But I guess it was the only shop that does.

yes, Clarity Credit Card works perfect in Isla Mujeres :star_struck:

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I went to Isla Mujeres last December and I must confess that I would not use Debit Cards there.
There are no Ubers and you must take cash for taxis. However on the beach my Halifax Credit Card worked perfectly. I strongly advice to use credit card. I hope this helps. :sunglasses:

Cancun is easier for debit and credit card.

Just got back from Mexico, specifically Playa Del Carmen. Some of the transactions have taken the money out and not refunded, so chasing that with Monzo. Card doesn’t work in most places, listed below.

Forever 21
Airport Duty Free
Johnny Rockets (Airport)

After this I gave up and used my Natwest debit card, so currently chasing Monzo for a reimbursement for the 3% fee I had on ever transaction.

Monzo don’t charge a 3% fee on transactions. That’s for any money withdrawn from an ATM over your £200 allowance.

I think he may mean the 3% he was charged by Natwest for using their card (due to Monzo being patchy) albeit I’m not certain Monzo will reimburse that anyway. :man_shrugging:t2:

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Ohhh. Didn’t think of that.

Correct, the fees Natwest charge. My sole purpose for Monzo was for the free purchases abroad.

Out of interest, is the Natwest Card you used VISA or MasterCard?