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Currency exchange

Columbia, South...
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75 posts
74 reviews
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Currency exchange

I will be traveling in the area later this month and wondered about exchanging USD for CAD. Should I exchange money BEFORE I get to the area? If not, where would I get the best exchange rate? My AAA agent said that the Calgary airport gives a very good exchange rate, but I'm a little leary of that.

Calgary, Canada
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for Calgary
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1. Re: Currency exchange

I don't blame you - currency exchanges don't generally give the best exchange rate. You can pay for a lot of things by credit card (the exchange rate given by credit cards isn't supposed to be too horrible), but some cash is good to have as well. You could just use your debit card to draw Canadian currency from any ATM, or find a bank in Calgary, Banff, or Jasper to exchange your USD for CAD.

Calgary
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2. Re: Currency exchange

Airport exchanges / cambios are always a rip off. If you're going to be in the downtown area of Calgary, I would recommend the Calforex Exchange that is located on the corner of 8th avenue and 2nd street southwest. Whenever I shop around for good rates, they always seem to beat the banks.

Phone: 403-290-0330

Email: calgary@calforex.com

Of course, if you have a decent bank, their credit or debit exchange rate might be better than external agencies.

Just another thing to check before you go....

Bottom line, unless you're talking about 000's of $, will the savings on fractions of percentages justify chewing up vacation time ?

NJ
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1,629 posts
55 reviews
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3. Re: Currency exchange

definately check with your bank, some partner with canadian banks. for example bank of america is also scotia i believe (but check the website) and commerce bank is TD North - their green machine atms do not charge you for taking cash out and they do adjust for the daily exchange rate. Jasper has one of these on patricia street. i don't think there is one in banff....

i withdrew more than i would need and used the excess to pay part of my hotel bill, bought lunch at the airport and a snack and came home with 27cents canadian!

Columbia, South...
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74 reviews
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4. Re: Currency exchange

Using an ATM definitely sounds convenient. Does anyone know about fees charged? Are they all the same or should I look for a specific company's ATM?

Thanks for the great advice.

Calgary, Canada
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for Calgary
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5. Re: Currency exchange

If you bank with Bank of America at home, you can use Bank of Nova Scotia ATMs for no fee, as both belong to the Global ATM Alliance:

scotiabank.com/cda/…00.html

Jasper, Canada
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20 posts
72 reviews
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6. Re: Currency exchange

If you are planning the travel to JNP, you will find that many outfitters are actually taking the usd at par. so use your credit card for the hotels, but for eating out and activities, most are taking at par at time of writing. I work up here in Jasper for a rafting company and it is taking usd at par.

Edmonton, Canada
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221 posts
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7. Re: Currency exchange

All good advice... Just one thing to watch out for: I don't know if this has started in Canada yet, but in Europe recently, we noticed the large chain hotels offering to bill us in Canadian dollars. I did this without thinking at one location, and found their conversion rate was insanely high. Just put as much as you can on credit cards, in your own currency, and take cash out of ATMs. You won't get ripped-off that way. I don't know if that's the absolute best deal, but if it isn't, it will be close to it.

8. Re: Currency exchange

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