currency exchange

May 20th, 2004, 04:06 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 60
currency exchange

Will be going to canada in mid June. I would expect to use my DISCOVER card for almost all my expenses. Is anyone aware, is DISCOVER widely used in Canada? Also, what other credit cards seem to have wide use there?
How is the rate of exchange handled?
Thanks for any help George Stern
gandb7 is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 05:08 AM
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The most common card used in Canada are Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, and all thier varriations. I know I have seen "Discover Card" signs at many merchants, but you might be wise to check with the company directly before leaving, as it is not an extremely common card here.
The exchange rate is added onto your monthly statement. Most credit card companies do not give you the best rate-I think they take a cut for thenselves. When I travel, I usually take cash for the first couple of days and then use my bank card to access cash while at my destination. You get the official exchange rate which is updated minute to minute.Bank machines in Canada work exactly like anywhere else. You even get your current balance converted to the local currency.
As far as you question about insurance, no you dont need any special riders. However, all motorists must be insured by law, and failure to produce proof of insurance to a police officer can lead to your vehicle being confiscated and a hefty fine to get it back.
jimmoi is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 06:19 AM
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I don't believe that Discover is as widely used as Visa or Master Card. As for fees, different cards charge different surcharges for non US transactions. For example, my Master Card charges a 2% fee, and my Visa charges 1%. There may also be a small fee for using your ATM. Check with each card to make sure.
zootsi is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 08:05 AM
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My advice is to get a standard credit card like Visa or Master Charge.

I use one issued by MBNA becauseit does not add on any extra charges beyond the standard 1% fee by Visa.

For paper money, use an ATM card. Find out from your bank if there is a correspondent bank in Canada that you can use and have your transactions treated as "on net" so you don't get stuck with ATM fees. For example Scotia Bank is affiliated with the Bank of America and Scotial ATM machines are regarded by BOA as being "on net."

The fee for using your ATM is 1%, but it is important to know that you are also getting thw wholesale bank rate of exchange that is in effect that day.
The rate fluctuates continually, so you could make two transactions on the same day and not get the same exchange rate.

I would leave the Discover card in my pocket, but you may discover that itis not much good to you. Be sure with a major bank card that has global recognition and wide acceptance.

And be sure you know the difference between sticking a credit card in a bank machine and using an ATM card!
Using Credit cards to obtain paper money results in a cash advance with lofty interest charges the banks just love.
If you charge in he usual way,of course ite is not a cash advance.
brookwood is offline  
May 24th, 2004, 02:14 AM
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anyone know of any credit cards that do not charge a 1% or so premium for purchases made in canada??
gandb7 is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 02:37 PM
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The lowest fee you will pay to convert currency on an ATM/Credit card is 1% over the interbank rate.This is the fee that Visa and Mastercaed charge their member banks for this service.Amex charges 2%.
Lovejoy is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 03:11 PM
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I never see any places that take Discover Card here in Canada, not that I look for such places. You need a Visa or Mastercard. Amex also widely accepted but not so much as Visa and MC.
Gavin is offline  
May 26th, 2004, 02:20 PM
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I am posting to make a liar of myself. As of yesterday I had never seen any shop that takes Discover Card. While walking down Yonge St. in Toronto today I saw a Discover logo on the door of Sears.
Gavin is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 09:51 AM
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Does Visa charge the 1% fee if you use your debit card as a Visa. I'd assume so. Do most places take debit cards? Here in the states it's only about 1/2 of smaller independent stores (like cafes).
jenjunum is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 10:13 AM
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>>>>>>Do most places take debit cards? Here in the states it's only about 1/2 of smaller independent stores (like cafes).<<<<<<

In Calgary at least, debit cards are very widely accepted, even by small stores. In my suburban neighbourhood, the Mom & Pop style video store, the convenience store, the pizza joint, the dry cleaner, the hair dresser, the photo developer, the bakery, the pharmacy (drug store), the florist, the coffee shop, and the Chinese take-away restaurant all accept debit cards.

In the trips that I've done to Toronto and Vancouver since the inception of debit cards, I cannot remember encountering a business (other than a mobile hot dog stand or something like that) that did not accept a debit card.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
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