US Exchange

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GAM
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US Exchange

Post by GAM » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:11 pm

Is there a "reasonable " place to get US funds for a trip, or is it just the banks service charge that you need to pay?

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danlatimer
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Re: US Exchange

Post by danlatimer » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:06 pm

Hmm, my VISA card apparently charges a 2.5% fee and then does the exchange. What is good in your opinion?
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Re: US Exchange

Post by GAM » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:48 pm

I may be simple but I want to pay exchange rate.

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Celiacbrew
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Re: US Exchange

Post by Celiacbrew » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:19 pm

There is always a spread on exchange. The posted exchange rate you see on financial websites is the middle of that spread. My bank is currently buying USD for 1.22 Canadian and selling them at 1.27. The spread for less common currencies is much wider. The fee a credit card company charges is usually a little bigger but you get the convenience of not having to hold the cash or of returning with a bunch of American change that goes into a jar on your dresser. The difference in cost when I went to the states this summer was less than a dollar per hundred dollars so we did most purchases with the credit cards because it was easier than dealing with cash.
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Re: US Exchange

Post by KMcK » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:03 pm

2.5% foreign exchange fee on top of the exchange rate seems to be the norm for banks and credit cards. I've had credit cards in the past that waived the foreign exchange fee as a perk but sadly they're no longer available.
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Re: US Exchange

Post by mthibodeau » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:49 am

Sadly that's about it, if you want some cash get it from the bank before you leave. Otherwise just use your visa, which do add on their own fee.

No fee foreign exchange credit cards only seek to be available through US banks the last time I looked.

One thing to look up before you go is if your bank has an agreement with any us ones to waive fees. For example Scotiabank waives fees with WestPac (new Zealand bank but still, the point is the same), also does it with some US ones, just haven't been there lately.

So I can use their atm for cash without paying a $5 fee

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GAM
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Re: US Exchange

Post by GAM » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:01 am

We are gone for 2 weeks. I usually get 1-2 hundred for tolls, coffee, street food etc. San Fran is an expensive part of the world (that I will be getting to) so I wanted $200 each and was surprised at the "extra" cost.

I'll just suck it up.

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Re: US Exchange

Post by mthibodeau » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:02 am

It's even worse when they don't normally stock the currency, then they tack an extra $8 fee on top of the regular ones

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Re: US Exchange

Post by Swine » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:14 am

I have heard lately that if you open a US Savings account at your bank, you can then transfer from your Canadian savings/checking to the US and you save some sort of fee and only pay the exchange.
I have not done this myself, so can't confirm, but a friend looking to head to the US soon had been asking around and that is what a number of people told him.
Not sure if you could then set your ATM card to withdraw from that when in the US, or use as depit.

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