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U S currency and debit card

Ponte Vedra Beach...
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U S currency and debit card

We will be in Vancouver for 1 1/2 days prior to cruise. Questions: Do taxis take US cash and/ or debit cards? Do most restaurants take debit cards?

I'm trying to keep the add-ons down to a minimum. Credit cards to add-on beside exchange rate. Debit cards do not.

thanks,

janines

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: U S currency and debit card

Most places here will take US$ but will give you change in Canadian.

Your debit card may not work in businesses here as they subscribe to bank networks and your bank would probably not be included in that network, but it would work in ATMs.

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: U S currency and debit card

Although many stores etc. will take US cash, they'll usually give you a terrible exchange rate for it -- far worse than the small surcharge you'd incur with your credit card.

Your debit card will work for withdrawing money at an ATM, though (unless you're a Bank of America customer at a Scotiabank ATM) you'll typically pay a per-transaction flat fee. With a big withdrawal it works out OK; lots of small withdrawals get very expensive.

As for making purchases, the Canadian debit card system (Interac) is, as far as I know, incompatible with all US debit cards. But, if like most US debit card yours carries the Visa or Mastercard logo, you can make purchases by using like as a credit card (signing the receipt instead of entering a PIN). Canadian debit cards don't work that way, so to avoid confusion when making a purchase it's best not to refer to it as a debit card. I don't know if using your debit card that way changes the exchange fees you'll pay -- you'd have to ask your bank.

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3. Re: U S currency and debit card

janines

You'll also want to view Before You Go: http://www.tripadvisor.com/TravelHome for money saving exchange tips.

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4. Re: U S currency and debit card

oops

Here's the full link

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

seattle
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5. Re: U S currency and debit card

most canadian atms will take US debit cards and many are on Cirrus or other US companies. Look at Oanda.com

for the traveler cheat sheet before you leave. For $20-40 purchases a credit card is no big deal but when paying hotel bills or high dollar purchases the 3-5% do add up. Consider getting a Capitol one cc as they charge no fees for foreign transactions.

Ponte Vedra Beach...
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6. Re: U S currency and debit card

We have the RBC Visa credit card. I'm sure it will work in Vancouver. I'll check the websites.

thanks,

janines

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: U S currency and debit card

The "C" in RBC stands for Canada -- it's a major Canadian bank with a small US subsidiary. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like you'd get any break on ATM fees for using Royal Bank ATMs in Canada (at least, no such deal mentioned on the RBC web site) -- something worth complaining about the next time you're in a branch.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: U S currency and debit card

Remember that withdrawing cash from ATMs with a credit card is considered a cash advance rather than a purchase and starts earning interest from the moment of withdrawal.

Canada
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9. Re: U S currency and debit card

I just recently learned that where Canada has both an actual debit and a credit card, the US debit cards are not the same. They typically will have either the M/C or Visa logo attached, which is a problem for Canadian debit machines that are not affiliated with either M/C or Visa, but a direct debit from a bank account. I don't claim to understand this at all, I was simply told about it by a clerk in a sporting good store when I querried why they had a sign saying BC fishing licenses can not be purchased with an American debit card.

I'd buy some Canadian money for the incidentals you refer to.

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: U S currency and debit card

You can always pre-pay on your credit card, so the cash withdrawals aren't charged interest. I did this when I backpacked around Europe (split my money into thirds: travellers cheques, pre-paid credit card, ATM withdrawals from banks), and it worked well.