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Best place to exchange US $ for Canadian $?

Best place to exchange US $ for Canadian $?

Old May 24th, 2007, 08:26 AM
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Best place to exchange US $ for Canadian $?

Where is the best place to exchange US $ for Canadian $? A teller at my bank said the best exchange rate is actually at the airport (LAX or YYZ), but I'm not sure this is true. Since I don't want to spend my time looking for a bank with a good exchange rate, and I'll probably need Canadian $ to get from the airport to my hotel, I thought I'd ask here... Anyone know the best place to exchange $? Would it be easier for me to exchange in the US?
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Old May 24th, 2007, 08:37 AM
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If I need cash on arrival. I usually use an ATM in the airport. That way, there is no exchange rate, only whatever fees your bank charges for foreiign ATM use.

Another tip I use for Canada, because I go back fairly often, is at the end of a trip, I bundle up what Canadian cash I have left. I put it in an envelope and into my safe deposit box with my passport. That way, I always have a starter fund on arrival and don't have to be in a rush to find an ATM. I try to make sure I have at least $100 in the envelope each time.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 10:30 AM
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I hate to disagree with the prior poster but there is an exchange rate when using an ATM in a different country from your bank. Good news is that it is usually a good rate and is the easiest way to get cash. The Vancouver airport has several ATM machines.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 11:41 AM
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Just make sure that your bank will not sock you with a big fee for off net transactions!

Dear Bank of America will pop you with a $5.00 add-on for an off net transction. Fortunately Scotia Bank is an affiliate of BOA and you can use your BOA ATM there safely.

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Old May 24th, 2007, 08:41 PM
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Sory to disappoint, but the US dollar has declined so badly it is practically worthless against any foreign currencies at the moment. The rate is CAN$.92 to US $1. which is no savings at all. I was hoping to at least offset the ridiculous GST. So don't use any ATM which will hit you with a big transaction fee!
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Old May 25th, 2007, 07:46 AM
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I used the ATM at the Vancouver airport. It is near Burger King--well isn't everything. Try to use an ATM and don't go through a teller inside the bank. You will save money that way.
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Old May 25th, 2007, 06:11 PM
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Depending on how much cash you need, you may not have to convert any currency at all. Toronto retail establishments generally accept US$ at a very poor exchange rate, but if you aren't spending a lot then it won't matter. Taxi drivers will take US$ cash as well as credit cards.
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Old Jun 1st, 2007, 01:43 PM
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Banco Popular charges only 1.50 US for transaction however the accepting bank in Montreal might also have a charge.
Has anyone had this experience of a double charge? If so it would be better to take maximum cash at one shot.
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Old Jun 1st, 2007, 02:15 PM
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When using an ATM, there is usually a fee charged by the ATM card's issuing bank AND a fee charged by the ATM machine's bank - usually between $1 and $3 (some as high as $5) per withdrawal.

Sometimes if the banks have an agreement (i.e., BofA and ScotiaBank), they will waive one of the fees.

It makes sense to withdraw as much money as practical each time to reduce the fees. I usually withdraw between $200 and $500 per transaction.

For hotels, gas, and whenever possible, I use the "visa ability" (i.e., run it through as a credit card versus as a debit card) of my Visa debit card - my credit union doesn't charge any extra fees that way.
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