The Foreign Dollar: 4 Money Exchange Options to Get a Good Deal

  • Michael Grant
  • October 13, 2017

Every country has its own currency and if you want to travel or buy something in that country you will need either cash or credit in that currency. For most of us that means getting some American dollars for our winter vacation in Florida, but others regularly travel to the United States or other countries around the world for business or pleasure. In all of these cases one will need currency or credit in the foreign denomination in question.

There are options when it comes to exchanging money and buying foreign currency. You can wait until you get to another country, but it is often much more difficult and expensive to exchange Canadian dollars in another location. The best way might be to visit a money exchange in Canada in order to get the best exchange rate and to ensure that the money transfer is handled in a confidential and secure fashion.

1. Before you go

Getting your money before you go is almost always cheaper and easier. Exchanging your Canadian money into foreign currencies in Canada is also safer and more secure than any other option. It is also much more convenient since there are currency exchanges located within shopping malls and in downtown business areas. One advantage is that you can check all of the currencies they offer even before you step into the store or up to the wicket.

2. Visit a money exchange

Canadian money exchanges will post the rates that they will buy and sell all the different types of foreign currency and you can comparison shop with the rates that the banks are offering. This is the one of the most popular ways to get your money for foreign travel and to exchange your extra foreign money when you get back home. If you just want to enjoy your trip and not be gouged when you exchange your hard-earned Canadian money, visit a Canadian money exchange before you go.

3. Banking on another option

You can also visit any Canadian bank to get the foreign currency you need for your travel requirements. One thing to note is that unless you are a preferred customer, their rates are not always the best that are available on the market. Banks won’t normally give you the rate that you often see quoted in the newspaper for example. That’s because rate, sometimes called a mid-market rate is reserved for dealings with other banks. They use it to trade different currencies between each other, sometimes in the tens of millions of dollars.

If you show up at the teller’s counter at the bank to get American money for your visit to the States, you will get charged between 2½ to 3 percent higher because all the banks tack on a fee. There is no good reason why the banks make this extra charge, it’s just another way for them to make money. That’s why they have some much of it.

4. Wait until you get there

You could wait until your reach the other country to exchange your money. But if you do, then do your homework first. Find out the best places to get the best rates and whatever you do, do not engage in money exchanging on the street. It is dangerous and illegal. But you can get American cash for your Canadian money easily in the United States. For a hefty fee…

In other countries, you may have to visit the bank or post office or sometimes there are money exchanges at the hotels where you are staying. Be especially careful with countries that have any form of currency restrictions, and know the rules about how much money you can bring in and how much you can take out. It may be convenient in some cases to get your money in the other country, but it will almost always be more expensive as well.

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Hello, my name is Michael and I'm a cancer survivor. I'm also a home entrepreneur and stay-at-home grandfather. In the past thirty years, I've dabbled in the the financial sector, the technology industry, as well as a little business consulting. I guess you can call me a jack of all trades!


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