money exchange Canada USA border

Discussion in 'Americas' started by orbiker, May 29, 2011.

  1. orbiker

    orbiker Been here awhile

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    What or where is the best place to exchange USA dollars to Canadian dollars? We will be crossing the border near Oliver, BC Canada.
    Using the credit card will give us a charge of at least 2.7% charge for each transaction.
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  2. The Raven

    The Raven Banned

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    Any bank...though your debit card in ATMs may be a better bet as it does give a true exchange rate. I tend to like RBC
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  3. TripodTriple

    TripodTriple Adventurer

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    Howdy Orb. To my knowledge there is no way to totally eliminate what is termed "the spread". In other words the differance between the rate that you buy foreign currency at and the rate they, the institution doing the deal, purchase the currency you are selling to them at. In my experience, credit cards will have the highest spread. When I sell USD in my business, I use a currency trading firm who stays in business, by beating the major banks rates. You might have one of those specialists in the area near you, to inquire with. You might also find someone or a bank to exhange, in Oroville, WA. before crossing the border.

    In Canada there are some major banks you will find on various street corners. BMO, CIBC, Scotia Bank, TD/Canada Trust, HSBC and RBC as mentioned earlier. They used to have words attached to all of those letters, before the world decided to become so upbeat and modern. Anyway they all have ATM's. As well there are the usual places where ATM's are located, ie: Gas stations, C-stores. etc.

    BTW it might be a good idea to notify your credit card company (s) that you will be in a far off foreign land, for a certain period. They get worried about fraud and stolen cards these days. I have had them call and check because my useage suddenly showed up in the US while travelling. Last winter we toured forty days in MX and had no glitches with banking, however I did notify them of my intentions.
    So have a great trip and ride safe and enjoy the sights in our "foreign" land. :)
    #3
  4. orbiker

    orbiker Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the tips Adam and Triple.
    With the difference only being 2 or 3 cents, the banks are making out with the exchange better then anyone else.
    I guess we will just see what banks are open when we get close to the border on Saturday.
    #4
  5. Uglyprimate

    Uglyprimate UglyPirate

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    I've always got them from my local bank prior to leaving. There may not be a large supply of cash on hand, but they always seem to have some. The rates have always been higher, perhaps because they just want to be rid of them?
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  6. Noone

    Noone Long timer

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    For what it is worth: I rode through Canada last summer. Every place I stopped would take dollars (the US type). Most traded on a one-for-one basis but last summer 1CDN was $0.97 US so I didn't mind the even up trade. Mickey D's even gave me some change back.
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  7. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    You're worrying about how to split a penny.
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  8. orbiker

    orbiker Been here awhile

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    It's not just a few pennies.

    Last time I was up in Canada (just a couple days) the bank charges were $3 to $5 every time I used the debit card. I don't need extra charges for something I'm not getting.

    I stopped in my bank (Well Fargo) today here in Oregon and asked them about getting some Canadian Dollars. They said; all I have to do is call and do an order for however much I want. They will deduct the amount from my account with the correct exchange rate and no fees. And then pick up the money at the bank in a few days.
    Works for me!
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  9. orbiker

    orbiker Been here awhile

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    The Wells Fargo teller was full of it.
    I can get Canadian money, but have to pay extra fees for it. I wanted to get $450.00 and they wanted $492.00 to exchange and ship to a local bank.
    WHY does everyone try to get their hand in our pockets?
    Whatever happened to service with a smile?
    #9
  10. Tail Gunner

    Tail Gunner Life is Good !!! Enjoy the Ride

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    I have done the same. I was in Canada a few months ago and the Canada dollar was worth more then the US dollar. They went $ to $ so I made money.

    #10
  11. BMW Kurt

    BMW Kurt Philosopher

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    Everytime I go to Canada (about once a year) I just stop at the first ATM and get what I need. Of course, my bank at home is told in advance that I will be travelling to Canada.
    #11
  12. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    This is pretty much what it comes down to.

    Get your Canadian dollars at whatever no-extra -fees your bank may promise-- if you can, most likely at a bank where you have your account.And get one of their banking card programs which guarantees no-fee money withdrawals at theirs and hopefully all foreign banking machines (if you can find such an offer) However every business which offers to exchange money must make a profit and so they Must charge for their service one way or another.That is why banks post a BUY rate and a SELL rate, the "spread".This is not a scam, it is business. If they say they are not charging you then they are hiding the fees in this spread and the spread varies from day to day, from hour to hour, so there is lots of room to confuse you.
    But you can minimize the extra fees by using your bank card at an automatic teller and withdrawing the maximum amount you are allowed. The service fee will be the same whether you take out $5 or $50 or $500 or more in one action, so the cost per dollar to you will be better if you extract the larger amount.
    Do NOT, use your credit cards to extract dollars from banking machines .Visa ,Mastercard et al charge very high interest rates for such a loan from the moment you get your cash in hand until you pay back that debt.
    Comparisons of what the exchange rate was a year or two ago are now invalid. The Canadian dollar is now actually a little bit more valuable than the US dollar so if sombody offers to exchange "at par" it is already making them a few cents.
    As noted many Canadian businesses will readily accept US$ at par
    since it is no big hassel to exchange them at the bank when they make a deposit.Butas a courtesy to visiting another country it is more se=nsiblke to use the national currency and avoid the stigma of being a dumb tourist. How would you feel if sombody wanted to buy something from you but insisted on paying in Bhats ? ?
    Now that you have your Canadian dollars and you have some left over at the end of your trip, hang onto them,.They wont spoil and it will be a good excuse to make another trip there.
    #12
  13. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    Why do you think you can buy a commodity (yes, currency is a commodity) and not pay a fee for it ?
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  14. orbiker

    orbiker Been here awhile

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    NO it is not a commodity. It is money.
    You should be able to go to a bank that has Canadian money and exchange at the current exchange rate which is 0.968073. Cash for cash.
    #14
  15. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    Check the financial pages in your newspaper. It's a commodity all right. People make money trading money every day.
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  16. Slowphil

    Slowphil Big Man in a very very small pond

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    Sorry, no matter where you exchange currency you will pay a fee for it. Same the world over.
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  17. scottdc

    scottdc Been here awhile

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    I travel there fairly often and just hit an ATM in Canada and take out most of what I need at once so I only pay the $2-3 ATM fee one time, big deal, and or use credit cards for purchases. I'd have to spend a lot of money for the couple percent intl. transaction fee to amount to anything.
    #17
  18. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    My wife and I travel south the states quite frequently, so we've actually opened a US Funds account at our CIBC branch. This enables us to transfer money between CDN and USD at our convenience when the rates are best... then we just go into the branch and withdraw US cash prior to leaving for the states.

    That kind of idea might not be of much use to you if you don't come to Canada often, but it never hurts to check it out.
    #18