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Canadian currency

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Reading, PA
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Canadian currency

For an overnight visit to Niagara Falls should we have Canadian currency? If we should where should we get it? At a bank before we leave home? Do banks even have it? Would AAA have it? Or should we stop at that Duty Free place before entering Canada? Are there places in Canada?

Gee I feel so stupid.

Niagara Falls, ON
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1. Re: Canadian currency

Others will tell you that it would be the polite thing to do to use Canadian currency while in Canada however, for an overnight trip, and with the currencies so close in value these days, I would say not to worry about it. Every place in Niagara Falls, ON will accept U.S. money and, while the exchange rate at places will be a cent or two on the dollar less than a bank, probably not worth changing back and forth for such a short visit. It you really want to exchange, banks and casinos are the best places.

gxp
Niagara
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2. Re: Canadian currency

Or you could go to a bank ATM and withdraw some money.

Reading, PA
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3. Re: Canadian currency

thanks!

San Diego...
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4. Re: Canadian currency

I am no expert on this in Can. However we spent 5 days in Quebec City and I was told that merchants can charge their own exchange value on a purchase. Here and in other places we have travelled I find it best to use a charge care when ever possible and take small amounts of cash from an ATM. Usually no exchange charge and you get local money for such things as cabs. I also found that in QC that if the price was a $1.00 and you paid in US Dll. they took the Dll. If you paid in C. Dll you saved maybe >10/.20 cts. on each Dll. You may also get change in Can. Dlls' if you use US. I think it best to use the country's currency but only when you can get it though an ATM. I would not buy or sell any countrys Dlls. at a US bank you get killed.

Loved QC and Vanc. Isl. Hope we get to NF Ont. in 9/10.

And the real answer is????????

Mississauga, Canada
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5. Re: Canadian currency

There is no reason for the U. S. banks to be killing you on foreign exchange...you guys have enough banks (those that are still solvent anyway) that you should be able to find one that does it at a reasonable rate...for that matter try looking at the Candian banks that now have branches in the States...not sure about your area though...I wouldn't dream of going to another country without i) having that country's currency or ii) a solid plan to get said currency...

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Canadian currency

Please, trust me on this. I have held bank accounts at several American banks and dealt with way too much Canada-US foreign exchange.

US banks do not do foreign exchange for personal banking customers anywhere nearly as well as Canadian banks. It's an "exotic" service which is buried on their web sites (if mentioned at all) or considered a "commercial" service, and is unfamiliar to front-line branch staff. Even TDBank.com, the US TD site, doesn't post rates anywhere on their site (while the Canadian TDCanadaTrust.com has them linked from the main page) and I'm quite sure TD hasn't replaced all the bank tellers with Canadians!

There may be a lot of American banks, but there (sadly) isn't enough demand for foreign currency services for individuals to generate the competition that delivers low rates. And sometimes having lots of banks is a drawback: a bank with three branches (yes, they do exist) doesn't have the resources to hold a bunch of foreign currencies.

You can ask at your bank what the rate and availability will be, but I bet it'll be 5% or more off the midpoint rate (the one everyone quotes online) and as a result you'd do better at an ATM as long as you don't rack up per-transaction fees by making lots of little withdrawals.

Mississauga, Canada
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7. Re: Canadian currency

I was thinking more RBC...not sure of the relationship currency wise from U.S. to Canada but right now they seem to offer the best rates/terms/convenience regarding currency going the other way...contemplating moving my business over to them as a result...

I suppose the U.S. banks attitude is a result of the greenback being accepted anywhere in years gone by...not sure if that same sentiment is still prevalent like it was...

For the record, I have no problem/quibble with the OP in this particular situation NOT obtaining Canadian $...

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: Canadian currency

Yeah -- I had an RBC Centura account back when it was Security First Network Bank. The American bank deals only in US dollars (you can't have a Canadian dollar account at the American bank the same way you can have a US dollar account at any Canadian bank). They do offer a link to your Canadian RBC account that's simpler than wire transfers, but as I recall (and this was a while ago), the currency conversion was done in Canada before the money was moved to Centura.

It's really set up for Canadian snowbirds, not Americans travelling north. I tried finding foreign exchange info on the RBC Centura site, but other than the special account for Canadians, it only had info for commercial customers and you needed to be exchanging $500K or more per year to get a rate quote! They also only have locations in the southeast, so no branches near PA.

Mississauga, Canada
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9. Re: Canadian currency

Thanks for the info Matt...I suppose the American consumer should start to flex their muscle a bit...surely there is a market for a bank in the U.S. to offer decent exchange rates...

Ottawa, Canada
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10. Re: Canadian currency

Hi Dee1Dee,

Welcome to the NIAGARA FALLS TRAVEL FORUM.

First off... NEVER any stupid Questions on TA... as we say "KNOW BEFORE YOU GO"... otherwise you could feel stupid for not asking beforehand once you arrive at your Destination.

Anyways... Canadian Currency....

Surprised no one yet has referred you to the TA CANADA TRAVELLER ARTICLE entitled *Banks & Money* = tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g153339-s601/Canada:Ba…

That article written by many regular CANADA FORUMS TA Advisors is extremely comprehensive.

Actually you'll find a wealth of info in the TRAVELLER ARTICLES... and a whole wack in the CANADA FOR FOREIGN VISITORS Section... to get there just click on TRAVEL GUIDE to the left of this screen.

When it comes to money, with a one day visit... you'll be best using your Credit Card or an ATM for your needs... best to have some small currency on you.

=== === ===

TO SANDIEGORETIREDGUY,

You are absolutely right about Foreign Exchange in Canada... outside of a Bank (where rates are standardized / regulated) a Merchant if he chooses to accept Foreign Currency can do so at whatever rate he wishes... And as is your experience that tends to be somewhere in the 10 to 25 % beyond the actual rate of exchange (so not fair exchange at all).

Which is why whenever an "unsuspecting American Tourist" says "Do you take American Cash" the Merchant will smile broadly and say "Of course we do"... and as noted, you'll pay in American Money, and get your change back in Canadian Currency. Of course most folks don't have a mindset for all this Currency Exchange info... so it is only long after that they realize they've been taken.

Which is why here on the CANADA FORUMS we usually advise Travellers to make sure they have some Canadian Currency... and as noted ATMs make that process very easy now-adays... you put in plastic out comes cash... all the calculations going on behind the scenes and recorded in your Monthly Bank Statement (but as noted... there could be Transaction Fees / Foreign Usage Fees... these can be diminished by making larger withdrawls vs many small ones).

Cheers!

Wine-4-2