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Old 07-31-2018, 12:15 AM   #1
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Purchasing Canadian Currency

I searched and haven't found an answer to this....I'm headed to Canada in a few weeks. Where do you go (which banks?) to buy CAD? I need a pocket of cash before I head north.

Thank you in advance for your help.

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Old 07-31-2018, 12:43 AM   #2
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If you have a relationship with a bank, you will likely get the best rate from your own bank. Otherwise, you would compare rates at currency exchanges near you.
Some credit cards offer advantageous rates ( and hopefully someone with experience will post ).

In any event, you don't have to use CAD in Canada. Most retailers will accept USD although you probably won't get the best rate that way.

It will be to your advantage to have as little CAD in your pocket as possible when you return to the US.

If you are talking a significant amount of money, you must declare if you possess more than $10,000 CAD. There is no penalty, unless you don't declare what you are carrying. A movie producer crossed the border with $400,000 for payroll, but he declared it, as required, so no problem.

If you do encounter a problem, you can just give it to me.

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Old 07-31-2018, 12:53 AM   #3
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We called around our hometown and found a bank that had some bills (they didn't have coins) and we exchanged USD for all the CAD they had (less than $500). We didn't search for any more as we could use ATMs also and eat the ATM fee. You probably know that US debit cards cannot get cash back at supermarkets, home centers, etc.. as in the US but we didn't our first trip

Be careful if you do use your ATM card in Canada, we also found out the hard way that not only did we have to pay the fee to the ATM owner, Wells Fargo also charged us $5 per use for the privilege of accessing our money in their bank. That hit us for $60 and cost them a customer for life. Our credit union does not charge a flat fee like that but do charge a foreign transaction fee.
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:04 AM   #4
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You don't really have to have any Canadian currency when you cross into Canada. Just go to the first bank you see and get some. Canadian banks are all used to converting one currency to the other. It's not the same as in the US where some Southern banks might not have much in Canadian currency.

You can use greenbacks in Canada but it does have a somewhat negative connotation in addition to the always poorer exchange rate.

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Old 07-31-2018, 07:42 AM   #5
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We're visiting Canada now. The first bank I went into seemed shocked that I would even ask since I was not a customer. Can't remember the name of the bank. Turns out that Scotia Bank is partnered in some way with Bank of America. We went to one of their branches and was able to use ATM.
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Old 07-31-2018, 07:53 AM   #6
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I typically hit an ATM (watch the fees, check with your bank first). I then use my credit card for everything.

Before I leave Canada, (if I am thinking at the time), I count all the remaining money I have and fill up the gas tank. Yes, gas is more expensive in Canada than USA but left over currency is a PITA and any coins, even more so. Invariably, I mess up and have left over currency for the next trip.... I've got a bag full for the trip coming next week.
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:03 AM   #7
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Canadian currency

The first couple times before we went to Canada after we got the Escape I called around locally and found banks with Canadian currency. The exchange rate included a fee for the transaction which amounted to a few percent. I still have some Canadian money that I take along now but usually I just use the Visa card I have. Their fee is very minimal and they recognize the exchange rate at the time the transaction is made. My advice would be not to go too nuts on loading up on Canadian cash unless you know you’ll be making transactions where credit cards can’t be used. We buy our fresh groceries and whiskey in Canada.
( redundant)
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:39 AM   #8
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I live in a small town of less than 800 people and I have no problem getting Canadian money from our local bank . I don’t care what exchange rate my local bank uses cause it’s still better than the one to one exchange rate we get in Canada . Remember not every business accepts credit cards , where we go fishing in Canada they deal in CASH !!
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:23 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by NCBill View Post
...left over currency is a PITA and any coins, even more so...
What to do with left-over foreign coins?

Some years ago I had quite a pile of foreign coins left over from trips my late husband, my son, and I had taken. I decided to do something with them so I hot-glued them to a log pole at my cabin. They are grouped by country. It is a wonderful reminder of the great times we had. It is also somewhat of a museum of no-longer-available coins such as East German marks and individual European currencies.

My original plan had been to use my Dremel to make the coins flush with the wood but that would have added another twenty years to the project on top of the twenty it took me to do it.

Edited: Many credit cards, including Capital One and the Costco Visa, do not charge foreign transaction fees.
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File Type: jpg Coin Pole.jpg (227.3 KB, 16 views)
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:24 AM   #10
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We buy our fresh groceries and whiskey in Canada.

Iowa Dave[/QUOTE]

Hi Dave
Just some trivia here. In Canada whiskey is spelled whisky. (See you at Niagara)


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