Urgent currency question

Jun 9th, 2001, 08:38 AM
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Urgent currency question

We are leaving for Victoria in 3 days (from the U.S.) and suddenly remembered we haven't thought about currency. Is it best to change currency in the U.S. (we're flying to Seattle, so I guess we could do it there), or should we wait until we get to Victoria (we're arriving via Victoria Clipper)? Thanks for your help!
Jun 9th, 2001, 08:56 AM
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I would change a couple of hundred dollars at your bank - you will get the best rate there and then just rely on ATM's - they are everywhere. Your US $'s will be welcome just about anywhere here but the stores don't give the same rates as the banks as they also have to pay bank charges to convert.
Jun 9th, 2001, 10:39 AM
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Currency exchanges actually give better rates than banks which charge around 1.5% vigorish compared to currency exchange's less than 1% and much lower on larger transactions.
While it's true that most tourist places are happy to take US dollars it's the rare place that gives as good exchange as even the banks. Besides, since all prices are in Canadian, (trust me you shouldn't ask - if it's US$ it would say so), it makes your transactions much easier.

By the way credit cards and ATM's also charge about 2% vigorish on the exchange rate so while we're only talking pennies if that's important to you use cash when possible.

As to exchanging your money in the US I have never had good experiences changing Canadian to US at US banks so I assume the same would work in reverse but maybe others have had different experiances. My suggestion would be to go to a currency exchange or bank as soon as you arrive in Victoria and change a few dollars each day as you need it.
Jun 9th, 2001, 03:51 PM
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I travel to Canada from the US frequently and find that when I use my Visa card for purchases I get a fairly good exchange rate.
Jun 10th, 2001, 03:21 PM
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Find out from your hotel how much the taxi will be,and then triple that amount.Thats all the cash you'll need to buy in the U.S.
Also,I don't know where the 1% for currency exchange shops came from,I just got back and the average was2.50%to3.0%fee and a lower exchange rate than you can get at an ATM!Use the ATMs when you need cash and your credit cards for lodging and for goods.
Jun 10th, 2001, 05:14 PM
Carl Z
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Haven't heard that one for a while.
I can't disagree with the context Gary's used it in though.
Jun 11th, 2001, 09:55 PM
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Thanks to everyone for your replies. We leave tomorrow morning, and we'll take your advice!
Jun 11th, 2001, 10:51 PM
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Have fun Lisa and let us know how your trip was.

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