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money exchange

San Diego
Level Contributor
69 posts
33 reviews
money exchange

Do I need any Canadian money? Travelling from US- San Diego

and found in Quebec City last year, US currency widely accepted...

Should I get just a bit of Canadian $ for cabs etc?

Also, best transport into Old Montreal (Hotel Augerge Bonaparte) from airport.... how long? Any specific walking areas not to miss... Have six nites so plenty of time to roam around. Love shopping, people watching, wine here and there. Single traveler out to explore the sites and sounds of a never been to area...

West Grey, Canada
Destination Expert
for Toronto
Level Contributor
84,069 posts
103 reviews
1. Re: money exchange

>>"Do I need any Canadian money?"<<

Hi advidtravler;

To be respectful to your host country, when in Rome...

Many businesses will accept American currency as a courtesy to American tourists. Businesses that choose to accept US dollars set their own exchange rate, so you may find the rate different from store to store, and the rate will NOT be in your favour.

Best Regards

Massachusetts
Destination Expert
for Quebec City, Block Island
Level Contributor
4,990 posts
41 reviews
2. Re: money exchange

I totally agree with Rescue Team. Actually I think more places are excepting US as the exchange rate is now in their favor, especially if they simply take your money at par, rather than try to give you change at the correct exchange. I always get some Canadian for tips, small purchases, while using the credit card for larger items, the hotel or meals. In the US we won't except Canadian so I think it is only polite to use their currency.

Enjoy your visit. The Bonaparte is a great spot!!

JDP

Quebec
Destination Expert
for Mont Tremblant
Level Contributor
13,111 posts
34 reviews
3. Re: money exchange

Last time i was in QC I noticed some places taking Us $'s, but not in the favor of the US or at par. The funicular was charging $1.75Cad or $2 USD. So it is not necessarily in your interest to use your money there.

I also agree with respecting the country you are in.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
68,095 posts
66 reviews
4. Re: money exchange

I do hope you will think enough of us to use our money. When I go to the USA I change to your money.

Massachusetts
Destination Expert
for Quebec City, Block Island
Level Contributor
4,990 posts
41 reviews
5. Re: money exchange

bogwoppit, I agree about the funicular in QC as I was just there last week. They were charging a US price but I still used Canadian money. I just don't feel right not. Now that I reread what I posted previously I meant to say they are charging a higher US fee if using US currency. I never use US currency in Canada so I got my rates confused. There was a day when they didn't exchange properly sometimes when it was in the US favor. The bottom line, exchange your money!!

JDP

Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
1,906 posts
287 reviews
6. Re: money exchange

You can certainly use US funds for the most part, just don't expect that you will be given a fair exchange rate. It's a hassle for businesses to deal with US funds because the banks take 3%, plus $2 to $3 per deposit, they have to pass on that loss to you.

Certain businesses will NOT take US funds no matter what. Legally speaking, USD are not legal tender, so no government agencies can take them. Montreal's city buses won't accept them at all. (Metro will take bills, but buses are coin only (per person) and no change is given.)

There may also be a difference with courtesy as well. The message *some* Canadians get when you won't use our currency is that you don't respect us, because you can't be bothered to use our currency when we use yours when visiting. It's not a general feeling, but it is something you may see when repeatedly using USD in Canada.

Also be aware that change will be given in CAD, hardly anyone keeps US cash around for change, it's a pain... we don't use it, so we convert it at the bank to CAD.

San Diego
Level Contributor
69 posts
33 reviews
7. Re: money exchange

thanks for the advice re: using Canadian dollar rather than U S. To tell the truth, respect never entered my mind. I just felt that whatever means of exchange was ok with me --Euro,peso, dollar-- matters little to me. BUT now that I have been advised I will certainly exchange my U S for Canadian.

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
13,856 posts
47 reviews
8. Re: money exchange

Hi AvidTraveler,

Welcome to the MONTREAL TRAVEL FORUM

Great advice as always here from my great colleagues… let me add some more.

All Summer long the US & Canadian Dollars have only been a few cents apart… indeed some places are taking American Money at Par ($ 1 US = $ 1 CDN) but you can’t count on that being the norm… nor can any one tell how long it will be case.

Money markets literally change every day… Up, Down all Over… and these days the world markets are highly unpredictable.

As the others have said it is best to just use Canadian Money when here… and indeed it is the respectful thing to do… some see not exchanging currency as an age-old belief that in someway America thinks it can “BUY” its way everywhere, no matter the situation… and that the rest of the world just isn’t good enough (sorry, but that is what some folks feel… what is sometimes referred to as the stereotyped Arrogant American Tourist).

Although us Canadians are a laid-back bunch… we are also very proud of our country and our achievements… we are a first world country… and in good economic shape and have a secure banking system… to be treated as anything less well… it is insulting.

Fortunately you are a TA Member… use TripAdivsor for your Trip Planning needs… so you know these things up-front… and won’t make this major faux pas.

Exchanging Money is easy enough… just use plastic… Credit Cards for large purchases, and whatever you put into an ATM to get CA$H at home… the details will be on your Bank Statement back home. You will be charged FAIR EXCHANGE… PLUS a Currency Exchange Fee … there is a FEE for the act of changing money… (it is usually 0% to 3%... depending on who your Financial Institution / Credit Card Company is). Some Banks also charge an ATM Transaction Fee… or a Foreign Usage Fee… (some don’t) check with your Bank / Credit Card BEFORE you leave… and also let them know you’ll be out of the country and the dates, so they don’t flag your card for “unusual use”… that can prove to be a hassle (and an embarrassment if you find yourself in a situation where the card won’t work abroad)

Canadian Currency is the ONLY Legal Tender in Canada… US Money can be accepted by some Merchants but they can set their own rates for Exchange / Currency Exchange Fees… that can range from PAR thru to horror stories of 25%.

The idea is they are providing you with a “convenience”… so they are going to charge for that… I hesitate to use the words that you’ll be in a position to be “ripped off” (but at 25%... I’d be hard-pressed to explain it otherwise).

For more info on this topic, check out the TA – CANADA - TRAVELLER ARTICLE* entitled *Banks and Money*… there is lots of great info in there… tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g153339-s601/Canada:Ba…

My best piece of advice… PLAN & PREPARE to use Canadian Currency… if you happen upon someplace that actually will take US Dollars at PAR then consider it a BONUS. Otherwise using Canadian Money means you’ll come out ahead overall.

*NOTE - TA TRAVELLER ARTICLES are WIKIS written cooperatively by TA Members who know a Destination Best. You can find them by looking to the TRAVEL PAGES (buttons to the left of this screen) in the TRAVEL GUIDE Section. IF this is your first visit to Canada, then you might benefit from the ones listed specifically under the section CANADA such as… *Crossing The Border* - *Taxes* - *Tipping & Etiquette* - *Important Phrases*

--- --- ---

As for the Funicular in Quebec City… Mr Wine & I were there mid-August… and the signage on-site said $ 2.00 CDN or $ 2.25 US… that works out to be 12.5% (made up of both the FAIR EXCHANGE RATE and a Currency Exchange Fee)... at the time the US Dollar was probably only a cent or two behind the Canadian Dollar... so a BIG MARK-UP !! (Probably 2% for Exchange and 10% for the Convenience… OUCH !!)

Hope this is helpful,

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

9. Re: money exchange

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Removed on: 22 October 2012, 17:17