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  #1  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 05:30 PM
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Default Canadian currency

Should I bother getting Canadian currency for our upcoming Maasdam cruise ahead of time? Will be using a credit card for the majority of things but will need some cash for a few incidentals like soft drinks, taxis etc.
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  #2  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 06:15 PM
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You won't have any problem spending US money at most Canadian stores. Can't vouch for the fair exchange rate you might get, as the real exchange rate most people get at the banks is still a touch under par, but you won't get ripped off to the point of it being a better idea to spend the time buying Canadian money, I don't think. Especially since you plan to use a credit card for most things anyway.
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 07:10 PM
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You will be fine with a credit card for taxis. You can withdraw money from an ATM using your ATM card. For the most part, US cash will be accepted. Expect to get 90 cents on the dollar.
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  #4  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 07:29 PM
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Just remember if you pay in US cash you will get CDN dollars in change. I'd withdraw some cash from an ATM once in Canada just to avoid the hassle, that's what we do when we go to the US.
Don't forget that we have coins for one and two dollar denominations
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  #5  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 08:26 PM
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At a store I worked in we would not accept U.S. currancy. We only accepted Canadian money. I guess just like any store in the U.S. only accepts U.S. money down to the penny.
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  #6  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 09:37 PM
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I'm Canadian. My advice is to bring some $CDN with you or get some from an ATM as suggested. It doesn't make me proud to say this, but there's a good chance you will get cheated on the exchange if you pay directly with $US for taxis, snacks, small purchases, etc. The two dollars are very close in value these days, but the earlier poster is correct. Most small entrepreneurs will treat your US$ as if they are worth only 90 cents.
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  #7  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 11:12 PM
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Just like traveling to any other country, I'd recommend you take advantage of ATMs - you'll probably get a better exchange rate than buying the currency in advance. Be sure to warn your bank ahead of time that you'll be using Canadian ATMs.
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  #8  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigercat View Post
At a store I worked in we would not accept U.S. currancy. We only accepted Canadian money. I guess just like any store in the U.S. only accepts U.S. money down to the penny.
tigercat
I agree
we never can use any CAD across the border not even with a lousy exchange rate
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  #9  
Old May 4th, 2012, 07:08 AM
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Finding an ATM and withdrawing $20 Canadian isn't all that hard. ATM's are everywhere these days, and certainly throughout Canada! We'll be withdrawing some cash ourselves when we get to Victoria on our cruise.
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  #10  
Old May 4th, 2012, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LHT28 View Post
I agree
we never can use any CAD across the border not even with a lousy exchange rate
Back in the days when a Canadian dollar was worth about 70 cents US, I had no trouble spending them in Detroit. Stores typically gave me 65 cents. Now my local bank has an ATM that gives US money, so it's quite easy to take the correct currency.

The other thing not suggested so far is most stores, and even many of the larger taxi companies have debit machines here, and the network is, for the most part, connected to the US system. Some mom-and-pop type variety stores will tack on a service fee if you are only spending a couple dollars.
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  #11  
Old May 4th, 2012, 08:02 AM
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You could also stop by a currency exchange or bank prior to your trip and exchange a little US for Canadian $ so you don't have to worry about it. I find Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted, American Express, not so much but it is getting more popular.
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  #12  
Old May 4th, 2012, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanJ View Post
Back in the days when a Canadian dollar was worth about 70 cents US, I had no trouble spending them in Detroit. Stores typically gave me 65 cents. Now my local bank has an ATM that gives US money, so it's quite easy to take the correct currency.
Dating myself here but back in the day I remember getting $1.10-$1.20 across the border
I have no problem getting USD from my local bank & even have a USD account
But for some reason American banks do not really stock CAD for their customers they have to order them in advance ...maybe the border towns are different
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  #13  
Old May 4th, 2012, 12:49 PM
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Also be sure to check with your credit card company. Many will charge a "foreign transaction fee" of up to 3% on top of the exchange rate.

If yours does, try applying for a Capital One card; there are no foreign transaction fees.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dread_pirate View Post
If yours does, try applying for a Capital One card; there are no foreign transaction fees.
I know that Capital One advertises that they do not charge a foreign transaction fee...but like others that don't, do they inflate the exchange rate?
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  #15  
Old May 4th, 2012, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Putterdude View Post
I know that Capital One advertises that they do not charge a foreign transaction fee...but like others that don't, do they inflate the exchange rate?
Not to my knowledge or in my experience. I would calculate the exchange in my head, and it was approximately what appeared on my bill (off by a few cents). And in places like Canada where the exchange rate is pretty close to even, and Bermuda, where it's 1:1, there's little inflated exchange rate. (For Bermuda, there was none.)
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  #16  
Old May 4th, 2012, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dread_pirate View Post
Not to my knowledge or in my experience. I would calculate the exchange in my head, and it was approximately what appeared on my bill (off by a few cents). And in places like Canada where the exchange rate is pretty close to even, and Bermuda, where it's 1:1, there's little inflated exchange rate. (For Bermuda, there was none.)
Interesting because as seasonal resident of AZ I use a B of A card while in the US but they are notorious for their transaction fees outside of the US. In Canada I use RBC who don't charge a fee however in recent weeks I have pressed them on this topic & they do add an extra .25% to the exchange rate, this is small enough not to be noticed but does add up.
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  #17  
Old May 4th, 2012, 02:12 PM
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DW and I will be cruising out of Vancouver, BC for the first time in September, so I've been watching all the threads that deal with Vancouver to be as prepared as possible.

Since we will be arriving two days prior to our cruise, I have concluded that bringing CAD$ is best for us.

My research indicates that B of A has an acceptable exchange rate and fee for obtaining cash. While I have not done so yet, currency can be ordered through their website at: https://www5.bankofamerica.com/globa...y/index.action

Visa also has a currency converter website to determine their exchange rate at:
http://corporate.visa.com/pd/consume...r_ex_rates.jsp
Their converter allows for adding any additional bank foreign transaction fees. I believe my bank Visa card charges a foreign transaction fee of 3% on top of the Visa exchange rate.
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  #18  
Old May 4th, 2012, 02:28 PM
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Canadian cards charge a FTF it is hidden in the exchange rate
has been for years
See your terms & conditions for you specific Canadian CC ..it is spelled out there
I now have a TD USD VISA card
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  #19  
Old May 5th, 2012, 09:03 AM
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If you have a Bank of America ATM card, you can use it at Scotiabank in Canada without paying an "out of network" fee. There are quite a few in Vancouver.
https://www6.bankofamerica.com/searc...w&locale=en_US
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  #20  
Old May 5th, 2012, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boulders View Post
You will be fine with a credit card for taxis. You can withdraw money from an ATM using your ATM card. For the most part, US cash will be accepted. Expect to get 90 cents on the dollar.
And change will be given in Canadian currency ... At least this is what occurred when I traveled to Victoria, BC ...
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