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How to get the most favorable exchange rate when shopping?

How to get the most favorable exchange rate when shopping?

Oct 31st, 2002, 03:57 PM
  #1  
Vicki
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How to get the most favorable exchange rate when shopping?

Hello!

I am going to Montreal in two weeks, and plan on taking advantage of the favorable currency exchange for Americans by doing tons of shopping.

Will I get the best exchange rate if I use my credit card, or if I take out CAD from the ATM and pay cash? (Can I do that with my own ATM card by the way?)

Thanks so much for your help!!
 
Oct 31st, 2002, 04:15 PM
  #2  
Jim Rosenberg
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Use your credit card for purchases and draw cash from ATMs for what you will need. There is much discussion here about conversion fees, but you're not talking about huge amounts of money for this. ATMs outside your card's network will generally charge a per-use fee, so it makes sense to make fewer transactions. Again, you're not talking about big money on these fees. Credit cards and ATMs generally give the best exchange rates. (I will now plug my ears as the people who highly object to the fees chime in on this thread).
 
Oct 31st, 2002, 04:19 PM
  #3  
kate
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Hi,Vickie,
I can get back to you next week, we are leaving for Montreal tomorrow morning! In the past we take money out of the ATM as soon as we get into town. But since I am planning on doing some major shopping this trip, the charge card will be used too. Usually we charge shopping and use cash for restaurants,etc. I will let you know if I find any bargains
 
Oct 31st, 2002, 04:23 PM
  #4  
sue
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YOu will get the best rate if you use your credit card. But you will do very well with your ATM card too. There may be a fee, as was already mentioned but it will be convenient.
Oh and by the way, You'll have to use your own card. I'll already be using mine. DUH???
So, not at all sure what you meant. Of course you'd use your own. I've used mine all over the world.
Enjoy..
 
Oct 31st, 2002, 05:33 PM
  #5  
Vicki
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Thanks so much for the help jim and kate!! I will look forward to hearing back!!

One last silly question - if I am looking for some luxury goods, like name brand handbags, etc. will I be getting a good deal, or will the prices be inflated to match u.s. price standards?

Thank you again!!
 
Oct 31st, 2002, 06:27 PM
  #6  
Donna
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You MUST check with your credit/debit card providers to determine whether or not they assess that peskly "foreign exchange conversion" fee (2-3% or MORE). Some do, other's to not. As of the last time we visited, there was no such extra ridiculous charge on our credit OR debit card(s). But, YOURS could be otherwise. You should also educate yourself regarding the refund of sales taxes by visiting the official CCRA website. Don't forget that you must consider declaring your purchases upon re-entering the US.
 
Nov 1st, 2002, 02:38 AM
  #7  
Dee
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Donna's advice to check with your credit card company is very valid. The card we most often use does not charge this fee. However, some friends returned from Toronto a couple of weeks ago where they did some major shopping. When they got thier credit card bill there was a $100 charge. Interestingly, when we traveled with them to Europe 3 years ago they used the same card and were not charged a currency exchange fee. Their cc company must have initiated this charge recently. We exchange our cash at the kiosks just accross the boarder.
 
Nov 1st, 2002, 12:58 PM
  #8  
Donna
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Until sometime last year or the year before, you could have both the GST and PST refunded on qualifying purchases and hotel taxes. You can still get the GST refunded. See http://www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/....html#P25_1178 for details
 
Nov 3rd, 2002, 08:01 PM
  #9  
jim
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Why dont you just exchange a bunch of american cash for canadian cash at your own bank before you go and use that? Your bank will always give you the best exchange rate.
 
Nov 4th, 2002, 06:04 PM
  #10  
Donna
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Surely "jim" is being facetious! Call "your own bank" and ask for today's rate of exchange, then go to http://www.xe.net/currency/ and compare. Typically, you'll receive the WORST rate of exchange at "your own bank".
 
Nov 4th, 2002, 06:31 PM
  #11  
Jim Rosenberg
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I agree with Donna. The most hideous currency exchange spreads I've seen are offered by local banks. They can be right up there with the currency exchange booths at some international airports.
 

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