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Money? Should we get Canadian currency before our trip?

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We're headed on a cruise with stops in Saint John, New Brunswick and Halifax. St John, we're pretty set on doing a private tour. Will need to buy lunch that day. Halifax I think we plan to explore on our own. We have credit cards with no foreign transaction fee, will we have any needs for cash? We may take a taxi in Halifax, do they take credit cards? Is it worth it to get Canadian currency ahead of time, or just hit up an ATM once we are there? Or just wing it with American Dollars. 

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Posted (edited)

Do you have anything booked that make sense to use cash?  

 

I booked one excursion that takes cash only and the price in CAD is much better than USD so I will get some Canadian dollars for that at least.  And I will get some $1cad coins just in case. 

 

Otherwise I think use credit cards is much more convenient.  

Edited by Sailor Taylor

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14 minutes ago, Sailor Taylor said:

And I will get some $1cad coins just in case. 

 

Otherwise I think use credit cards is much more convenient.  

The problem is that you can't get coins from a money exchange before you go; they only deal in bills. The same is obviously true of ATMs; they give out only bills. Loonies and Toonies (what we Canadians call $1 and $2 coins) are very useful, but collecting them isn't so easy. My suggestion is to break a bill as soon as you can, and ask for some coins in change.

 

Credit cards are definitely more convenient, but aren't accepted everywhere, and sometimes are limited if the amount is small.

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Posted (edited)

If you do not need to pay cash for your private tour then just take out $20 or so dollars from an ATM. Make sure it is a bank ATM and not a stand alone as they charge extra fees. 

 

I am not sure about cabs and credit cards. I think some will take them.

Edit: https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g154976-i327-k5617809-Taxi_payment-Halifax_Halifax_Regional_Municipality_Nova_Scotia.html

Edited by maryann ns

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i check our credit cards before leaving to any country and use the one that does not charge an exchange fee. You get the best rate on the conversion. 

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Hello I went last year and you are fine using U.S. dollars- the only thing is they give you change in Canadian currency; just be sure to put a travel alert on your cards beforehand to let your issuer know you are using it there.

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1 hour ago, HowardK said:

Hello I went last year and you are fine using U.S. dollars- the only thing is they give you change in Canadian currency; 

You make that sound like something unusual; why would you expect a Canadian vendor to have U.S. currency to give you change? They calculate a value for your money in Canadian dollars, and give you change in their normal currency. 😊

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2 hours ago, gnome12 said:

You make that sound like something unusual; why would you expect a Canadian vendor to have U.S. currency to give you change? They calculate a value for your money in Canadian dollars, and give you change in their normal currency. 😊

I was simply trying to assist the original poster. Enjoy your evening.

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I would bring some Canadian cash.  You can spend USD but you will get burned on the exchange as they will typically be at least 10% or so off what the current rate is.  Having said that, for the amount you may pay in cash, you aren't really losing much.  Doesn't hurt to hit up your bank and go grab some Canadian currency before just to have.  Whatever country I travel to I always have that currency on hand just in case there is an issue with a CC or you want something small, etc... like a bottle of water, ice cream, and so on.

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On 7/6/2019 at 2:47 PM, gnome12 said:

You make that sound like something unusual; why would you expect a Canadian vendor to have U.S. currency to give you change? They calculate a value for your money in Canadian dollars, and give you change in their normal currency. 😊

We were recently on an Alaska cruise and stopped at Tutshi Suspension bridge in Yukon - we paid in cash and received US$ in change - cashier adjusted change to match currency offered.

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