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US Dollars or Canadian Dollars in Canada

leicester
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US Dollars or Canadian Dollars in Canada

Pretty quick and easy question here, travelling over to the US in May for a month and having a couple of days in Niagara Falls (New York side). Will be going over to the canadian side for a day and night out, will we need a bit of canadian dollars or will they accept US dollars?

Thanks

Niagara Falls, ON
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1. Re: US Dollars or Canadian Dollars in Canada

Everywhere will accept U.S. currency, but most places, other than casinos and some businesses, will not give good exchange rates. Right now, you would get about $1.25CDN for $1.00US at banks or casinos, but most businesses will only give much less than that, even nothing. It is perfectly legal as there are no laws regarding currency exchange, so it is up to the individual to get the best they can. If you charge your purchase, the exchange rate will be whatever you credit card charges (which is usually pretty fair) and not whatever the establishment is giving.

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: US Dollars or Canadian Dollars in Canada

Hi Swiggy-UK,

FALLSDUDE is right... you'll want some Canadian Currency (be it via cash or plastic)... you'll get ripped off BIG TIME if you only have American Money (as being Canadian and having our own currency, retailers have no obligation to accept it... and certainly not at fair value).

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

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3. Re: US Dollars or Canadian Dollars in Canada

Maybe by May the Canadian dollar will be at a better rate. The US dollar has been dropping the last few days. If you use plastic you will only be paying one exchange rate from UK rather than UK to US to Cdn for cash.

West Grey, Ontario
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4. Re: US Dollars or Canadian Dollars in Canada

Hi swiggy uk;

For some money saving tips, read the traveler article “Canada – Banks & Money” here on TA.

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

Best Regards

London, Ontario
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5. Re: US Dollars or Canadian Dollars in Canada

It sounds as though you are crossing over to Canada for about 12 hours. Thus you are not likely to be spending that much money. You can afford to 'take a hit' on using the American greenback here. I wouldn't bother

getting any Canadian dollars at all, or using your card in a Canadian ATM (hole in the wall) either. Just bring the American dollars with you. So many people worry about this. You are fretting over a few cents, that's all. One thing though that really upsets you...they take your American dollars and...give you back your change in...wait for it...Canadian money...eh. So, you'll have some of that funny coloured money to take home as a souvenir!

Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: US Dollars or Canadian Dollars in Canada

TO TRPTLD,

With all due respect, but I hardly think that 10, 15 or 25% (outside of par) is a few pennies... American Greenbacks do not have to be accepted at fair market value and it is very common for Canadian Retailers to gouge as much as they can from the unsuspecting tourists (mostly Americans) who think that the Canadian Retailer "close" to the the Border is being nice (wouldn't you smile if you were making this kind of FREE and clear profit).

As I said, SWIGGY-UK should either get some Canadian Cash before visiting or use plastic... the rates will ALWAYS be better than the local fast food joint etc.

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

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7. Re: US Dollars or Canadian Dollars in Canada

Trptld - it's not unusual for a country to give the change in their own currency. I'd say it's to be expected. We were in Hong Kong airport and wanted a coffee and had to use plastic, or we'd have got Hong Kong change for either our US or Cdn money. There are some border towns that will keep US or Cdn change to give if they have frequent customers.

Niagara Falls, ON
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8. Re: US Dollars or Canadian Dollars in Canada

The reason for this is very simple:

When you pay for something (in Canada) with U.S. currency, you are giving exchange (whether it be fair or not) for the total amount that you give, not just for the total of the purchase. To give U.S. change would be giving double exchange.

For example, your purchase comes to $6.28CDN and you pay with $10US. If they are offering 20% exchange, then they say that you have paid with the equivalent of $12CDN, and give you $5.72CDN in change.

Ottawa, Canada
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9. Re: US Dollars or Canadian Dollars in Canada

To All,

FALLSDUDE's Example is an excellent one... for also explaining how the concept of "fair" exchange vs "non-fair" exchange works.

Let's say that the actual Currency Exchange for that particular day is 20%... so as per FALLSDUDE's Example:

"Your purchase comes to $6.28CDN and you pay with $10US. If they are offering 20% exchange, then they say that you have paid with the equivalent of $12CDN, and give you $5.72CDN in change."

However, if a Retailer only chooses to give 10% Exchange on US Money (as per their perogative), when paying with $ 10 US... the amount becomes valued at $ 11 CDN... and for that same $ 6.28 CDN Purchase, the Retailer now is only giving you $ 4.72 CDN in change. You have lost out on one whole dollar... this nickel & diming (and dollaring) can really add up. It is why it is most prudent to exchange US Money into Canadian (or use plastic).

In this example, I am only using a purchase of $ 6.28 CDN... imagine now if that was a $ 100 Dinner, or a $ 200 Hotel bill.

No wonder Canadian Retailers are so very happy to accept American Money... it is a real "money maker" for them!

Don't be fooled by their "generosity".

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

Canada
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10. Re: US Dollars or Canadian Dollars in Canada

On the flip side (or the US side..) last summer when our dollar was at par +/ over par, we went to a small US border town known for keeping Cdn on hand to use rather than dealing with exchange. Apparently. I paid for our lunch with Cdn and the girl proceeded to calculate the exchange as though the Cdn was less than par and then gave me Cdn change on the newly calculated rate. Ouch. It wasn't an expensive lunch but the point is, the gouging happens both sides.