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Dollars, or Dollars?

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Pacifica, California
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Dollars, or Dollars?

Coming in from the US in August for a short family trip. Can we (should we) change USD to Canadian dollars before leaving? Can we use USD in Montreal?


Old Montreal
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for Montreal
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1. Re: Dollars, or Dollars?

Yes, you can use them for all sorts of things, like setting a fire, wiping your nose, or a small paper airplane!

Seriously, you should have at least some C$. Some hotels and restaurants and tourist shops will accept US$ but, obviously, if you care about getting a good exchange rate, that's not the way to go.

N.B. few merchants, compared with the US, accept Amex. Bring a Visa or MC.

Lunenburg, Canada
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for Saint John, Foz do Iguacu, Iguazu National Park
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2. Re: Dollars, or Dollars?

Hi Hazel!

You'll never have any problem spending US dollars in Montreal. No tourist operator, even small places, is going to refuse greenbacks.

The question will be, the exchange rate. Right now, a US dollar is worth CDN$1.06. The trouble for the little tourist operator is that by the time he runs to the bank and sells the US currency to his bank, after being clipped for this fee and that service charge your bucks will no longer be worth $1.06-Canadian to him. More than likely, he'll have little choice but to charge you accordingly.

Of course, you might not be mindful of his problems. When you pay, you'll just think you're being ripped off on the exchange.

The simplest thing to do is get cash at a banking machine (you'll find hundreds of them in Montreal) or use credit cards cards whenever you can. That's what I do when I go to the States, where Canadian bucks are not always well received.

But make no mistake! The Montrealer loves Americans, and your cash! No one will ever say no!

Happy travels, and let me know if I can help further!



Vancouver, Canada
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for Vancouver
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3. Re: Dollars, or Dollars?

It's worth noting that while you can pay for things initially with US dollars, you will always be given your change back in Canadian dollars/coins. Right now because the exchange rate is so close, a lot of businesses are taking US dollars at par. Basically, you lose more money by paying with US dollars than if you were to use your credit card, debit card, or Canadian cash.

This is because the US dollar is a foreign currency in Canada and it is not considered a secondary currency. American tourists are the only people that use American dollars in Canada, for example. Businesses that accept American dollars do so as a courtesy, not because it's mandatory.

Also worth knowing is that American coins are taken at par in Canada (they're the same denominations - pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, although we also have a dollar and 2 dollar coin in Canada). So while $1.00 dollar bill US should theoretically purchase $1.06 Canadian, four US quarters will only ever be $1.00 Canadian, regardless of the exchange rate.

What else...

It's handy having some Canadian cash because automated machines (parking meters, pop machines, automated ticket machines) will only accept Canadian currency.

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4. Re: Dollars, or Dollars?

For a few more suggestions, be sure to see Canada: For Foreign Visitors, Banks & Money tripadvisor.com/Travel-g155032-s1/Montreal:Q…

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5. Re: Dollars, or Dollars?

Hey Guys! I am here after a very long time, almost a year perhaps! I was travelling and had a good time. Also, its good to see that hold folks and old habits won't die that quickly, especially upon reading these comments <i>Yes, you can use them for all sorts of things, like setting a fire, wiping your nose, or a small paper airplane!</i>

I would like to add one more thing to that list.......that is wiping ur @$$ and throwing them in the bin and my friend who posted that list is a collector of these bills and he savour them and cherish them for posterity. :-)

Sorry, I can't help it, 'coz I haven't changed either ;-) take care.

Ps. don't bother replying 'coz I am travelling again and may not get to read the response........... au revoir.

6. Re: Dollars, or Dollars?

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