We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Is is best to exchange US currency for Canadian currency?

Which Niagara Falls hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
PA/USA
posts: 144
Is is best to exchange US currency for Canadian currency?

I was wondering which is better. Should we exchange currency or just bring US dollars? I get conflicting answers as to whether just to charge everything on a charge card. I am not expecting them to be perfect when it comes to the exchange rate if we pay by with US dollars but do you find that the exchange is fare at most places.

Calgary, Alberta...
posts: 3,861
reviews: 3
1. Re: Is is best to exchange US currency for Canadian currency?

Your best bet is to pay for major expenses, such as hotels, rental cars and restaurant meals, by credit card.

As soon as possible after entering Canada, use an ATM to withdraw local cash to cover incidental expenses.

When I've been in Niagara Falls, I've never paid attention to whether or not local merchants accept US dollars and, if so, what exchange rate they offer.

However, I am somewhat familiar with your situation in that I live close to Banff, which also receives a lot of American visitors. Many merchants in Banff and also in my home town of Calgary do accept US cash. But the exchange rate they offer is NOT favourable to the customer.

You are much better going the credit card and ATM route.

By the way, if you just happen to have a debit card issued by Bank of America, you can use it at a Scotiabank (Bank of Nova Scotia) ATM in Canada and you will not incur an International ATM Access Fee. That is because the two banks belong to a global alliance whose member banks have agreed to waive that fee for each other's customers.

However, even if you are not able to take advantage of the BOA - Scotiabank alliance, you still are better off getting Canadian cash from an ATM.

Jersey, United...
posts: 3,297
reviews: 52
2. Re: Is is best to exchange US currency for Canadian currency?

Everywhere/Just about everywhere, in Niagara Falls takes US but the exchange rate may not be the best.

Pittsburgh...
posts: 786
reviews: 46
3. Re: Is is best to exchange US currency for Canadian currency?

if you don't want to use a credit card, go to a local bank and for a small fee they will exchange your money at the day's going rate

Toronto ON
posts: 671
4. Re: Is is best to exchange US currency for Canadian currency?

or you can exchange money at your local bank before you leave the US

PA/USA
posts: 144
5. Re: Is is best to exchange US currency for Canadian currency?

Thanks everyone for responding. I think we will get half of our money exchanged and then take the rest in US. I appreciate all the responses.

Buffalo
posts: 562
reviews: 2
6. Re: Is is best to exchange US currency for Canadian currency?

if you use your credit card you get the most up-to-date exchange rate. prices are labeled in CND and USD or just in USD for the most part. but despite being a stones throw (literally) away from the us, ur still in canada and its a common practice to exchange money beofre going to canada. any local bank in the buffalo area will be glad to do this for you.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 95
reviews: 2
7. Re: Is is best to exchange US currency for Canadian currency?

Try exchanging your money at one of the casinos in Niagara. Last I checked, they had better rates than the banks, although depending on how much you will be exchanging, it will not be a big difference in the grand scheme of things.

posts: 2,028
reviews: 148
8. Re: Is is best to exchange US currency for Canadian currency?

Etown

Tony's correct - the Cdn casinos offer great exchange rates. They can afford to!

Toronto ON
posts: 671
9. Re: Is is best to exchange US currency for Canadian currency?

I don't know where Danny is referring to but I have lived and worked in Niagara Falls and I have never seen prices only in USD, it is rare to find places that have both CDN and USD on the price tag. The vast majority only have CDN prices, think about what country you are in.

Bloomington, IN
posts: 32
reviews: 64
10. Re: Is is best to exchange US currency for Canadian currency?

We went to the casinos to exchange US to canadian currency once we got there and got a really good rate $1.22 CA for every $1 US (the "official" rate was like $1.24 CA for every $1 US, so we only lost .02 cents for every dollar we exchanged). There are little currency exchanges along Clifton Hill, but the exchange rates are pretty crappy compared to the casinos ($1.16 CA for every $1 US when I was there last week).

We used our credit card for the hotel and a couple of restaurants and they gave us a great exchange rate, BUT!!! They also charged us an "international fee" of some sort. It wasn't more than a buck and a half or so, but it was a surprise. The casinos are pretty conveniently located to most of the hotels, so you can easily exchange cash there. I'd highly recommend carrying *some* Canadian cash on you. Most businesses accept US cash, but the exchange rates are not very good at retail stores.

Most establishments that I visited around Clifton Hill and the Fallsview area had prices listed in US and CA currency, but there were some that only had prices in Canadian (though it looks EXACTLY like the way US prices are listed. I always double-checked that it was in Canadian dollars to be sure I paid them with the right kind of cash). It wasn't that big of a deal really. We simply tried to keep Canadian cash on us at all times and used credit cards for major purchases.