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Do we need to get Canadian Cash?

Leesburg, Virginia
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65 posts
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Do we need to get Canadian Cash?

Will be on Vancouver Island and primarily in Victoria for 3 nights visiting from USA. Is there any need to get cash in Canadian dollars? Or are we ok with US credit cards and US cash?

vancouver
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for Vancouver
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1. Re: Do we need to get Canadian Cash?

Think about it, what makes the most sense when visiting a foreign country with its own currency no less (thats pretty much at par even )

Edited: 29 July 2013, 05:28
2. Re: Do we need to get Canadian Cash?

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Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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for British Columbia
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3. Re: Do we need to get Canadian Cash?

Fact-Canadians Love Shiny Things!!

Vancouver, Canada
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208 posts
21 reviews
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4. Re: Do we need to get Canadian Cash?

U.S. credit cards are fine. Most major businesses accept American cash, but you may get stiffed on the exchange rate.

seattle
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for Seattle
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5. Re: Do we need to get Canadian Cash?

since you'll be there for a few days using Cdn will make more sense. Go to an ATM and get Cdn $$. Butchart Gardens for one normally gives pretty fair exchange on USD however some merchants won't. Before you leave go to

oanda.com

and print out their travelers cheat sheet so you know what the 'real' exhchange is.

Leesburg, Virginia
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65 posts
117 reviews
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6. Re: Do we need to get Canadian Cash?

Sorry, I haven't travelled outside the US in many years, so just looking for advice. We hardly ever use cash at home; usually credit cards.

The hotel at which we are staying said that most establishments in the Victoria area take US credit cards.

We have not yet planned an itinerary for Vancouver Island/Victoria.

Vancouver, Canada
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60 reviews
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7. Re: Do we need to get Canadian Cash?

Yes, credit cards will be fine for most things. You should be able to spend USD most places, but as mentioned, you will get a less than ideal exchange rate and you will get your change in CAD. For 3 days with most large expenses charged to credit, you won't need a lot of cash, so just make a single withdrawal from an ATM to get all the cash you will need for the duration of your stay. Check your bank's fees for foreign ATM withdrawal fees and which banks they may be affiliated with. Usually there is a one time fee + a percentage charge, so by making a single withdrawal of around $300 you will minimize those fees.

Toronto, Canada
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15,154 posts
768 reviews
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8. Re: Do we need to get Canadian Cash?

You definitely want some cash...also check with your credit card company to see if they charge a premium on foreign transactions, it may add an extra 2-4% on purchases which may make it worth bringing additional CAD's....

Toronto, Canada
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6,858 posts
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9. Re: Do we need to get Canadian Cash?

Credit cards are great for most purchases and roughly speaking are as widely accepted as in the US. However, you'll probably want a bit of cash for small purchases. (E.g. a convenience store might not accept a credit card if all you're buying is a bottle of water.)

Yes, your US credit card will probably add a foreign transaction fee of 1-3%, but no, this does not mean you should be reluctant to use it. Foreign exchange is never free, it's just a case of where the fees or margins are hiding. If you get Canadian cash at a US bank, you'll pay 5%-8% (often plus a fee) for this "exotic" service. Using your US ATM card in a Canadian bank branch ATM is the easiest way to get Canadian cash at a good rate. (There are foreign exchange kiosks that offer better rates, but you have to know where to look.)

SE Ontario
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20,108 posts
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10. Re: Do we need to get Canadian Cash?

VISA, MasterCard and Amex cards are all regularly accepted. However the US credit card Discover is rarely accepted anywhere.

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