Life in Mexico: Discovering Hidden Discounts

When I lived in Florida, I rarely encountered a business that would give a discount just for living locally. The only exception was when one of the theme parks had a special deal for Florida residents. Perhaps there were more discounts out there — I just never thought to ask.

This is a sharp contrast to what we found when we moved to the Riviera Maya in Mexico. Once we transitioned from tourists to local residents, we discovered a world of discounts — several of them in some very unexpected places.

Hospitals and Clinics

This one surprised me the most when we first arrived. We have received discounts ranging from 30%-50% at private hospitals and clinics. We usually ask what the price is first and then ask if there is a discount for locals.

Medical Laboratories

Lab work is relatively inexpensive but we have been able to save an additional 30% by asking for a locals discount.

Restaurants

This one shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Probably 90% of the restaurants that we frequent offer a locals discount of between 10%-20%.

Transportation

You can get discounts on everything from buses to the ferry to Cozumel if you can prove that you live locally. The savings ranges from 20%-50%.

Hotels and Resorts

During the low season in the Riviera Maya, many hotels will offer discounts for locals. You will have to contact the hotel directly to ask about the dates and conditions. One chain that does this in our area is Iberostar. The requirement was proof that the person resides in the state of Quintana Roo.

Let’s Wrap This Up

Businesses rarely advertise that they offer these types of discounts, so it falls on you to ask. The worst thing that can happen is they tell you no — and that doesn’t happen that often.

If you do ask, be prepared to show them some form of proof. We usually use our local driver’s licenses for this because they have a local address. Some businesses will accept a temporary or permanent resident card, even though there is no address on it.

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About the Author

Q-Roo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) is a former lieutenant from the Polk County Sheriff's Office in Florida. During his 25-year career, he received numerous commendations to include two of the agency's top honors: a Meritorious Service Medal and a Medal of Valor. In 2015, Paul retired and moved to Mexico with his wife. He now spends his days enjoying the Riviera Maya and blogging from the beach.

12 Comments on "Life in Mexico: Discovering Hidden Discounts"

  1. Thanks for this one. Been here almost 7 years and didn’t know most of this. I knew about the discounts for the parks like Xcaret etc…but not the other discounts. Inapam for the likes of us…60 and more get 50% on ADO and the ferries.
    Have posted this on FB.

  2. I noticed that you can receive as discounted price by buying ADO bus tickets in advance on the website but you must pay with a Mexican issued credit card. I suppose that way it is Mexican residents who are eligible for the cheaper fare.

  3. I just found your site today and what an excellent, detailed and current site it is! It really addresses so many aspects of expat Mexico living. Very impressive and much appreciated. Thanks for your great work.

    • Thank you very much for taking the time to comment. It’s nice to hear that people find the site useful. 🙂

  4. We found your Blog about a week ago on Facebook and have been following you ever since, we are Canadians and looking into the possibility of purchasing a condo in Mexico.
    We find your Blogs very informative and look forward to reading them.
    Thank you

  5. Steve Martinez | January 13, 2017 at 8:09 am | Reply

    Thanks again Paul for some very good advice.

  6. Frank Dougherty | January 13, 2017 at 3:38 pm | Reply

    Did you ever go to Paamul.Any info on it.

    • Yes, we have been there several times. It’s great place to go for a few hours. There’s a nice restaurant there and it’s very pretty. There are quite a few expats that live there.

  7. If one is over 60 then he INAPAM card is an easy way to receive discounts. ADO 50% off on bus tickets (only a given number of seats set aside on each bus at the discounted price), most drug stores (even Sams Club, Chedraui pharmacy areas). We always ask. Once we were traveling in Merida and needed a part for our VW. We found that part at the VW dealership and asked about INAPAM discount and got 15% off the parts. I agree, always ask! Getting the INAPAM cars is one of the easier processes. Best yet is that at least here on Isla Mujeres you gets a 50% discount on property taxes up to a certain value of the property.

  8. Thomas Geronimo | January 15, 2017 at 11:51 am | Reply

    Paul, Is there such a thing as a list of the discounts offered by using the INAPAM card?

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