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Florida Property Buyer interviewed by the Toronto Star
“You can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars”
Calgary-based financial planner who specializes in cross-border financial issues.
“KnightsbridgeFX is an online currency exchange company that seeks to undercut foreign exchange rates offered by larger financial institutions”
columnist, for the Globe and Mail
“KnightsbridgeFX is “the costco’s of foreign exchange”
Financial Advisor quoted in the Globe and Mail
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When looking to exchange large amounts of US dollars in St Catharines, where is the first place you think to go? More often than not, most people’s answer is the bank. Considering that the banks already look after the majority of your financial needs, it makes sense that they would be the first to come to mind when looking to exchange foreign currency. Although seemingly convenient, did you know that there may be other options for you to save money? Banks often charge inflated rates and have surcharges and fees hidden in to their prices. With such high administrative and overhead costs, the banks use high foreign exchange rates and fees to cover their expenses. What this means for you is that you might be paying more money than necessary when buying or selling US dollars in St Catharines.
At Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange we do things differently. We take pride in offering our customers the best exchange rate on US dollars in St Catharines. In fact, we even guarantee a better than bank rate. If you happen to find a more competitive rate, let us know and we will be more than happy to match it for you. On average our exchange rates are up to 2% better than what you will receive at the bank.
KBFX has emerged as one of the most trusted names in foreign currency exchange, and have been featured on networks such as BNN, The Globe And Mail, Bloomberg and the Toronto star, just to name a few. Our customer testimonials speak for themselves as our service is secure, quick and simple. Call us today and receive a free, no obligation quote.
As part of the Niagara region and situated right by the Canada-United States border, there is a high demand for buying and selling US dollars. Luckily, there are a number of different options for money exchange in the city. Let’s take a look at some of these different options.
One of the most popular locations for exchanging currency in the Niagara region is at The Pen Centre. The Pen Centre is the largest retail and commercial shopping centre in St. Catharines and the entire Niagara region. It is located at 221 Glendale Avenue, just off of Highway 406. For currency exchange services, there are two options. The first place to exchange currency is through the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) which has a branch located on level one. CIBC provides international foreign exchange providing a number of different and exotic currencies that may be hard to find elsewhere. If you’re an existing CIBC customer, you can subscribe to certain cross-border services that may allow you to get preferential exchange rates. The good thing with exchanging at banks is that instead of getting cash you can also get the funds transferred directly to another account especially if you have a US dollar account with CIBC.
If you don’t bank with CIBC and or prefer to use your own bank or another bank, there are several other banking options located in the surrounding areas of the Pen Centre. There is a TD Canada Trust and a Bank of Montreal branch located right across the street at Tremont drive. A couple of blocks east are an RBC and a Scotia Bank branch. If you prefer credit unions, there is a Meridian Credit Union on Tremont Drive right beside the BMO branch. Typically banks are not the best places to exchange currencies since their markups can be anywhere from 2-3% on the mid-market rate. They are however convenient options and should have most global currencies, if not then they can always order the currencies for you.
The other non-banking option for money exchange is through Continental Currency Pen Centre. This currency exchange retailer has a number of different branches throughout Southern Ontario. The store is located on the first level near the Bay entrance. As a cash currency retailer, they usually have a number of different currencies in stock and can also wire the funds internationally if you want. Usually their rates are quite good and should at least be a little bit better than the banks.
Another popular area for exchanging foreign currency is on Geneva Street which is a major commercial and retail hub within the downtown core of St. Catharines. This area has a number of different options for money exchange including banks as well as retail cash and currency exchange operations. There are a couple of banks that are located at the Geneva and Carlton area including President’s Choice Financial, Scotia Bank, CIBC and a Caisse Populaire Welland Limitee.
Besides the banks, there is also a Cash Money branch located at 260 Geneva Street that can provide money exchange. Cash Money primarily specializes in payday loans but those provide exchanges for a number of currencies including US dollars, British pounds, Euros, and the Japanese Yen. As typically with cash currency exchange retailers, their rates are amongst the worst for foreign exchange. So it is best to avoid these cash operations unless you have limited options.
As part of the Niagara region and with it being a major tourist destination, it is no wonder that St. Catharines has its fair shares of hotels and accommodations with many of them providing an on-site currency exchange. While the best hotels are actually situated in Niagara Falls, St. Catharines does boast a handful of three star hotels that do provide currency exchange services including the Four Points by Sheraton, the Best Western, the Holiday Inn. Exchanging money is always a convenient option at hotels especially the one that you are staying at. While they don’t have the best rates, it should be better than the rates at the airport or other retail currency exchanges.
St. Catharines doesn’t have its own airport, but Niagara region does have Niagara International Airport which is actually located on the American side of Niagara Falls. The airport is located about 32 KM away from downtown St. Catharines. Most people in the region will use this airport as oppose to Pearson. Canadians flying out may look to purchase US dollars or Americans looking to enter Canada may purchase Canadian dollars. While it is convenient to purchase your currencies at the airport, airports are notorious for having amongst the worst exchange rates. The high overhead costs and the high volume of travelers mean that these locations can usually markup with obscene amounts. Avoid exchanging your money at airports if you can by making sure you exchange it before you travel.
Banks are amongst the popular choices for international currency exchange in St. Catharines and the Niagara region. The Big Five Banks of Canada comprising of BMO, TD Canada Trust, Scotia Bank, RBC, and CIBC have a large presence with branches located throughout the city but also heavily concentrated within the downtown core as well around the Pen Centre Shopping area. Besides the Big Five Banks, there is also a National Bank which is located at 40 King Street as well as a Business Development Bank of Canada.
Credit Unions are also another financial institution that can provide currency exchange and in some cases, their exchange rates may be better than the banks. St. Catharines has a number of credit unions and these include Meridian Credit Union, PenFinancial Credit Union, Ukrainian St. Catharines Credit Union, Credit Union of Central Ontario, FirstOntario Credit Union, and Thorold Community Credit Union.
Although banks are a popular choice because of their perceived legitimacy, they markup their exchange rates anywhere from 2-3%. While 1 or 2 percent may not seem like a lot, on higher volumes of exchanges this can accumulate into hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
While St. Catharines boasts a plethora of options for exchanging money, getting the best exchange rate means you might have to look outside of St. Catharines. Niagara Falls is situated close by and has even more options with the casinos possibly providing the best exchange rates in the Niagara region. As someone in St.Catharines, you don’t have to limit your options to just the Niagara region. More specialized currency exchange providers can be found in other cities around Canada and can work with you electronically by sending funds straight to your doorsteps or directly to your bank account. Consider using these companies on higher volume transactions in order to maximize your savings.
If you are insistent on using a local provider, banks and the continental currency branch at the Pen Centre are adequate choices. If you use a bank and regularly exchange money, it might be beneficial to talk to a banking cross-border specialist who can provide you with preferential exchange rates.
St. Catharines is the largest city in Canada’s Niagara Region, with a history that can be traced back to Loyalist settlers in the 1780s. Geographically, the city is located in an area conducive to growing fruits, including grapes, which has led to the establishment of several wineries in the St. Catharines area. The city has earned the nickname “The Garden City”, due to its plethora of parks. St. Catharines also offers over 90km of accessible trail systems, where patrons can walk, jog, hike, or cycle. The Welland Canal is a 43km long ships canal the passes through the city.
St. Catharines is home to the Niagara Ice Dogs of the Ontario Hockey League, who play out of the cities newly built Meridian Centre. Culturally, the city features a wide variety of art galleries, festivals, museums, musical theatre, and theatres. Additionally, Brock University is located in St. Catharines, a university with over 15,000 students, boasting Canada’s fifth-largest co-op program.
To find other cities serviced by Knightsbridge please visit the Currency Exchange in Canada page.