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Thread: Best Place for Currency Exchange

  1. #1

    Best Place for Currency Exchange

    I know a lot of people have different opinions and reasons for them when it comes to accessing their US money while in Canada. I bring cash and exchange it in the destination city. Does anyone have advice on where in downtown Montreal I can get the best exchange rate from my US$ to Canadian?

  2. #2
    It's a whole new ballgame
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    Exchanging cash is probably the worst way to exchange. If you go to an exchange joint, you'll lose as much as 10% in the transaction vs. the actual exchange rate. If you exchange cash at a bank, you'll lose in the vicinity of 2% vs. the actual exchange rate. If you put your debit card into an ATM machine at a bank, you'll be charged a $1.50 fee, but you will get the actual exchange rate as posted at the Yahoo Finance page or elsewhere.

    I live half-time in Montreal, though my business is in the US. I've wired large sums into my Canadian account at both Desjardins and RBC. I've lost 1.5% in these exchanges. I've deposited cash into my Canadian accounts. And I've used my ATM machine at various banks to draw cash.

    If anybody tells you there's a better way to exchange US for Canadian dollars than an ATM, they are, simply put, wrong. Do not bring cash; bring your ATM card.
    Last edited by Mod 11; 03-20-2012 at 10:59 PM.
    The mounties always get their man.

  3. #3
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    I agree with the above. For me, the best way to get cash in Montreal is have a Bank of America account in the states and you can withdraw money at any Scotia Bank without penalty. I do the same thing with my TD account.

  4. #4
    Lily from Montreal
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    Use it to pay an escort: I accept it on par loll

  5. #5
    I disagree with rumpleforeskiin.

    At the ATM, in addition to ATM surcharge between $2-$4, there is also a conversion rate applied by your bank. This can be anywhere between 2-4%.

    However if you go to the some currency exchanges, you can get away with 1-2% conversion rate and no fee. However you have to demand no fee and check the posted rates. Not all exchanges offer good rates so please check the rates first.

    That being said, based on todays rate I would gladly take LilyForYou's offer, especially that georgeous service to match her personality.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the advice. I am aware of all of this. My ATM card has failed me on several occasions while in Montreal. I cannot afford to take that chance again. Also, we are talking a couple thousand dollars at a time at most once a year. While I would hate to lose 10% I'm sure there is somewhere I can exchange for a better rate. Also there are no TD's or BOA's in the area I live. I acknowledge it probably isn't the best way to convert my money but it is the most logical in my situation.

    Lily- thanks for the offer but unfortunately our schedules won't match up

    So if anyone can help with where to get the best rate it would be greatly appreciated.

  7. #7
    poonyman, do you know anywhere that I can get away with a 1-2% rate and no fee?

  8. #8
    It's a whole new ballgame
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    Poonyman is, frankly, incorrect. Here's an example. Last month, I wired well over $100,000 to make a downpayment on a flat. I received .985 CDN per US Dollar. The same day, I went to the ATM and took out $500 CDN and received .996 per US Dollar. I know this because as soon as I got home, I checked my checking account. I was charged a $1.50 fee by the RBC. I also checked Yahoo Finance and for the current exchange rate. It was .996. I lost not one penny in the transaction beyond the $1.50 fee.

    I do not use my credit card in Canada as the exchange rate costs me in the vicinity of 2.5%, certainly not worth the miles that the card gives me. Because I have a mortgage, electric, phone, and cable bills and because I like to hobby, eat in restaurants and the like, I exchange between $3,000 and $4,000 every month. I use cash for everything. I've made a study of it. I use the ATM on a regular basis and I check my conversion every time, comparing what I got charged by my bank against the official exchange rate. It doesn't matter whether I use RBC, BOM, Scotia, TD, or Desjardins. For some reason, my card doesn't work at the Laurentian ATMs. The ATM is the only way to go.

    If you insist on bringing cash with you, a bank is the place to go. They will only cost you a couple of percent. It's the commercial exchange places like Cook's that will kill you.
    The mounties always get their man.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by rumpleforeskiin View Post
    If you insist on bringing cash with you, a bank is the place to go. They will only cost you a couple of percent. It's the commercial exchange places like Cook's that will kill you.
    Do you know of any banks that will exchange money for a non member?

  10. #10
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    go to montreal casino. they always give a better rate hoping you will spend all the money there.

  11. #11
    Arlington,

    I know some guys from the states use Calforex when they come here, but I can't tell you if the rates are similar with the banks, I assume they are about the same but you can try calling them for current rates. There are 2 Calforex locations in the downtown Montreal area with a 3rd opening soon in the Eaton Centre if not already open. Good luck.

    http://www.calforex.com/en/exchange-rates

  12. #12
    Thanks Iggy, that was the type of answer I was looking for.

  13. #13
    Sometimes this works as well, but not always... My buddy called them before and Calforex beat them by a percent or two, but it differs from time to time so just call around and pick whats best for you and your proximity.
    Quote Originally Posted by eman514 View Post
    go to montreal casino. they always give a better rate hoping you will spend all the money there.

  14. #14
    No problemo AC77, do us a favor and let us know what you find out will ya? Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by arlingtoncrush77 View Post
    Thanks Iggy, that was the type of answer I was looking for.

  15. #15
    Will do, and I should have some other reports as well.

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