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Canadian Currency

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Myrtle Beach, South...
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121 posts
14 reviews
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Canadian Currency

I posted this on another board and got few responses so thought I would try here. My question is should we use our credit card and charge everything possible, or bring Canadian currency with us and use that. Because the exchange rate is rising, I have been told to do "both" of the above. I am not sure what is the correct thing to do in order to save the most money. I hate carrying around a lot of cash, and have been told that visa or amex will always be the lowest rates. Others said no,no get your Canadian dollars now before you go (we are leaving in a week) before the rates rise even higher and use the cash. Anyone have real experience either way?

Thanks

Ellie

Roswell, New Mexico
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718 posts
51 reviews
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1. Re: Canadian Currency

Get some cash for places that don't take plastic, and use AMEX/Visa for most transactions. It's much easier than becoming having to fool with different coins/bills. I usually carry $20-40 Canadian, and almost never use it except on the subway, etc....

IThe rates won't rise that much, and they might even go down. The differenence will certauinly be less than %2-3. Unless your friends are global currency traders, and have inside info, you can relax.

Myrtle Beach, South...
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121 posts
14 reviews
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2. Re: Canadian Currency

Thanks, I really prefer the credit card! When I made our hotel reservations the exchange rate was under 85% and is now over 90%. Only 5-6% but not sure how/when the credit card rate is determined. Also, I hate to have to worry about carrying the money.

Thanks again

Ellie

Delhi, New York
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212 posts
100 reviews
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3. Re: Canadian Currency

I remember 4-5 years ago or sometime like that (maybe a little longer) when we went up and got like 1.70 per US dollar. Now it's like 1.10 per US dollar.

I'm just hoping it doesn't drop too much more by the time we come in late June!

Montreal
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1,433 posts
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4. Re: Canadian Currency

Softball yeah

the current bid rate is 1.1092

the current offered rate is 1.1096

i.e. 1 US$ = 1.1092 CAD

But, that is a bank to bank transaction rate or for very large amounts and traders never give you the rate appearing on the screen, they always add up a few pips and then quote the rate even for very large amounts.

For their retail branches, the banks prepare a rate by keeping a good cushion for the daily movement. If there is a drastic move they immediately inform the branches to cancel the rate and apply the new one. They do this only when it is against their interest, i.e., when they are loosing and if they are making profit because of the movement, then they don't.

On top of the exchange rate difference they also add commission and some even add a nominal transaction fees. Bureau de Change add between 2-4% commission thats depending on the transaction.

For small touristic transactions under $100 it doesn't really matter that much. If the amount is big then yes, its wise to use credit card. At least you can be sure that the rate your bank will apply would be better than a foreign bank or a Bureau de Change!

Myrtle Beach, South...
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121 posts
14 reviews
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5. Re: Canadian Currency

Thanks everyone for the information. Probably isn't going to make a lot of difference either way from what I am reading. So, we just got $200 cash for incidentals and will charge everything else. If we have any CAD left over, will just cash it in when we get home, I guess. Unless it is better to cash in at a bank in Quebec before we leave there, instead of waiting until we get home. Will it matter much, do you think?

Ellie

Montreal
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1,433 posts
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6. Re: Canadian Currency

no

Roswell, New Mexico
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718 posts
51 reviews
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7. Re: Canadian Currency

Just changed some cash yesterday at the tourist center just north of the Champlain NY/Lacolle QC crossing, and the lady there waived the transaction fee since the exchange rate is so awful.

Montreal
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1,433 posts
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8. Re: Canadian Currency

WT

that must be due to your magic, charisma and your charm! :-)

United States
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10 posts
6 reviews
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9. Re: Canadian Currency

I have been visiting Canada every Summer for the past 20 years or so and I have noticed that some establishments offer their own good exchange rate for US dollars (I guess to encourage tourist spending). This will usually be posted. I always bring some US currency for these situations.

Paul

Montréal, La Belle...
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47 posts
1 review
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10. Re: Canadian Currency

whenever I go on vacation outside the country I just use travellers cheques- easier than carrying around cash and safer too.