Canada is a great travel destination. But when planning your visit to Canada , it would be a good idea to exchange your currency to Canadian dollars before leaving your home country, or soon after you arrive in Canada (or when traveling from Canada, exchange currency before departure). But if you can’t do that, you still have other ways to exchange your currency.
You have several options when it comes to the locations you can choose to make the exchange.
If you’re traveling by air, then exchanging at the airport represents your most convenient option. As with most international airports, there are booths that you will be able to exchange currencies easily, but they do charge a relatively high fee and the exchange rates aren’t favorable in comparison to other methods.
Probably the best way to exchange your money is to use banks. They are reliable and reputable and, many banks don’t charge any fees for this, but if they do, it is not as exorbitant as at the typical airport kiosks. Sometimes they will allow you to order currency either online or by phone, then pick your currency later at a branch.
Here are some recommended Canadian banks you may want to visit for the exchange:
They offer regular exchange services for inbound travelers. Also, for current customers planning to travel abroad and have online banking, they will let you order one of 65 foreign currencies and have it delivered to their CIBC banking center, your home, or to Toronto Pearson Airport. Delivery is free but will take 1 to 3 days to complete.
The RBC has the online ordering for 50 foreign currencies and has it delivered to their an RBC branch after you place the order. Then they will notify you within 3 days when it is ready for pickup. Delivery is free, but there is a maximum of $2,500/day, or $5,000/day if you are already a customer of RBC.
BMO has online ordering for 60 foreign currencies and will deliver to your home within 7 days, but do charge courier fees. The maximum order is $2,000, but that can be in USD, Canadian Dollars, Euros, or British Pounds Sterling.
Their walk-in exchange services are standard fare, but for ex-pats, they offer a foreign currency exchange app to help manage currency in their customer’s global account. It allows you to view exchange rates and make purchases with instant currency conversion.
They offer walk-in currency exchange at all branches.
The online exchange companies have been successful because this represents the most convenient way to order and can be done without and added fees and favorable exchange rates. If you are converting to Canadian dollars, this will be about the best value option.
This exchange service company has been around since 1976 and operates in 26 countries. They sell over 80 currencies online and won’t charge you a service charge or ordering fee, but will charge a shipping fee to your home for all orders under $1,000. They also can deliver it to select locations.
For travelers already located in Canada and want to exchange Canadian currency back another currency online, they will just charge a low flat fee of $3.75, with a minimum order of $250 CAD, with a daily limit of $2,500 CAD. They have reasonable exchange rates and have branches located all over Canada.
They have been in business for 16 years and offer very competitive rates. They don’t charge any fees and you can pick up your currency order at one of their locations. After you order online and complete the sale, the money will be available in 3 to 4 business days.
Whether you are traveling to or from Canada there are a lot of options to exchange your currency without getting stuck paying a lot of exorbitant fees or unfair exchange rates. But it starts with planning. Remember the best way to exchange is before you arrive in the foreign location you’re visiting, then you won’t run the risk of paying too much for convenience and so that you’ll be ready to make purchases right away.