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USD or CAD - While visiting Banff

San Diego...
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USD or CAD - While visiting Banff

Hi,

I am based in US. When I booked flight tickets and checked credit card statements, there is some foreign traction fees also deducted (Flight charges 643 and foreign transection 19). Is it same, if I buy gas or anything with my card, when I will visit there ?

If this is the case, should I get USD converted into CAD before coming ? (Though I am not sure, what are conversion charges).

Thx

SE Ontario
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1. Re: USD or CAD - While visiting Banff

Yes it will ... in Canada we use Canadian dollars, not USD. For info on getting & using Canadian currency, see this TA article:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g153339-s601/Canada:B…

Hickory Creek, Texas
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2. Re: USD or CAD - While visiting Banff

The $19 charge you see is your Bank card's foreign transaction fee(3%) on your purchase. There are US bank cards that do not have a foreign transaction fee. If you use your current card for Canadian(or any other non-US charge this will apply). Consider getting a card with no fee.

Well be in Banff in a few weeks. Can't wait!

Blenheim, New...
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3. Re: USD or CAD - While visiting Banff

When you make purchases with a Credit Card the banks/CC Companies would do the conversion for you and charge a fee. The interbank conversion rate is normally much better then the rate which they offer when converting physical money. So using credit cards normally gives you the best exchange rates and lower overall fees.

Its also normally better value to get money via a ATM rather then converting paper money. Although when withdrawing money internationally these sometimes a international withdrawal fee. Also if you are withdrawing using credit there can be a cash advance fee, much better to withdraw money using eftpos/debit then credit.

Overall, these normally only a 1-3 percentage points difference in the cost... so maybe go for the method which is the most convenient for you.

Hickory Creek, Texas
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4. Re: USD or CAD - While visiting Banff

I addressed your first question the foreign 3% transaction fee. Best action on your part get a Bank/Credit Union card with no foreign transaction fee. Thmswalsh addressed your conversion question, use you your C.C. where ever accepted. If asked, do you want your charge in USD, decline. This is called dynamic conversion and will result in a higher conversion charge. Last, as Thmswalsh suggests, best way to get CAD is to use a debit card at the ATM. Try to get one(Bank or Credit Union) that will "rebate" the ATM withdrawal fee.

Edited: 29 June 2014, 23:29
San Diego...
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5. Re: USD or CAD - While visiting Banff

I will be coming in couple of weeks, so have less time to apply for a new card. I think, I wil stick to my usual card only :-)

Thanks

Blind Bay, BC
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6. Re: USD or CAD - While visiting Banff

Check with your bank to see if they have any associations with Canadian Banks. Cirrus system is the one I look for when traveling in the U.S. Withdraw Canadian cash ( I usually take out $500 at a time ) YES you will see a international banking fee ( $3.00 approx ).. Pay cash for most purchases and just using your credit card for major purchases.

Have fun with our loonies ( $1 coin ) toonies ( $2.00 coin ) and our coloured 5, 10, 20, 50, & 100's bills !!

San Diego...
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7. Re: USD or CAD - While visiting Banff

Few more questions. I have booking at Lake Louise CP, Wapiti Campground and Two Jack Campground.

1- All these 3 campgrounds have shower facility. How will I use showers there ? If shower machine will take quarters (like in US national park campgrounds), where should I convert from US dollars/quarters to canadian dollars/quarters ?

2- Is there any place, where I need to have Canadian dollar only (cash), instead of my US credit card.

3- Where can I charge my phone, camera battery in all these days ? Do I need to buy car converter or can I get power outlet somewhere to charge it for half an hour or so ?

Edited: 30 June 2014, 03:46
West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
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8. Re: USD or CAD - While visiting Banff

Hi c_delhi;

1) Automated equipment, i.e. vending machines, public transit machines, parking meters, etc - basically anything where you insert coins / bills... will only accept Canadian currency.

2) For smaller purchases, you will need Canadian cash.

3) Canada & the US have the same electrical system. No need for converters etc.

Best Regards

San Diego...
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9. Re: USD or CAD - While visiting Banff

1- Where can I get coins for vending machines ? At Airport ? Or should I get it changed from US only and then come ?

3- I am sorry, I should have asked it more clearly. Since, I will be camping and not staying in hotel, I will need to charge my phone, camera batterry and tablet. Where can I hook it to charge ? Does campground have facility of charging outlet ?

Calgary, Canada
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10. Re: USD or CAD - While visiting Banff

1. You could always pay for something at the airport and ask for your change to be all in loonies ($1 coins), toonies ($2 coins), and a few quarters ($0.25 coins.)

3. Unless you pay extra for a campsite with electricity (where available), your best bet is to use your car's power port and an inverter to charge your batteries as you drive. There will be a few electrical outlets in some campground bathrooms, but lots of other people will want to use those too, and you don't want to leave valuable electronic gear in such a public place.

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