My plan before going to Mexico was to exchange about $100 for pesos once I got there, and anything else I needed after that I would just use my debit card for. I thought that would be best since I didn’t want to have to exchange a lot of pesos back to the dollar, knowing it would cost me money. I touched down in Puerto Vallarta and exchanged my money right at the airport. A private car service took me to The Sunset Plaza Beach Resort and Spa and I was greeted with champagne and smiles. As I was waiting to get checked in, I noticed a man beside me paying over $1,000 in cash. I remember wondering why on earth this guy carried so much cash on himself and why would he pay cash when he could have easily put it on a card. By the time the clerk finished counting his money out loud, my clerk was ready to get me checked in. I paid with my credit card( shout out to the Chase Southwest Airlines Card, one of the best for airline rewards) and it was the only place and time I used my credit card during my stay in Mexico. Now with my debit card I used it earlier in the year in Costa Rica and didn’t have any problems then, so I didn’t think it would be an issue using my debit card at an ATM in Mexico. I WAS SO WRONG!!!!!!
As nice as The Sunset Plaza Beach Resort and Spa was…I mean it was so nice they almost talked me into buying a timeshare….I WILL NEVER EVER EVER EVER STAY THERE AGAIN! The only place I handed my credit card to during the trip was the hotel clerk. Exactly a week after that transaction, Chase bank called asking if I had authorized a couple transactions for MIOG DOCTORES, both for $281.05 each. I was so angry. Especially since the resort gave me a free 3 night stay for going to the timeshare presentation, and all I had to do was give a credit card deposit over the phone when booking the reservation..NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN! That future free trip is ruined, I won’t go back. I immediately thought of the guy at the desk handing over cash, almost as if he knew not to hand over his card in Mexico. I don’t know if it was just the hotel, if it is a common thing in Mexico, or if it can happen anywhere you travel abroad. I started wondering if it was common for them to steal credit card numbers of those who don’t purchase timeshares? I then remembered I didn’t give a card number when they tried to get me to put a card number down when I signed up for the timeshare presentation. Did they go in the computer and steal it because I didn’t buy? I was thinking all kinds of things. Just as I thought I learned my lesson and was moving on, I received another call from Chase, this time about my DEBIT card being compromised. Made me think people put skimmers in the ATMs in Mexico. I was so mad…Is this a Mexico thing or what? I mean I was told prior to visiting Puerto Vallarta to watch out for drug cartels..no one told me about credit card fraud!
For now on I will do my research about the currency of the country I’m visiting, whether or not they accept the US Dollar, and stay away from using any cards while traveling abroad.