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Best way to take money to Canada

Aylesbury, United...
posts: 46
reviews: 26
Best way to take money to Canada

Hi, we are coming to Canada from uk in June and travelling for 3 weeks across the Rockies ending up at the Calgary Stampede. Which is the best way to take money we are trying to avoid the charges of transaction fees every time we use a debit/credit card, is there a particular pre paid card that anyone recommends,or is it best to use the ATM and incur charges?

posts: 1,687
reviews: 3
1. Re: Best way to take money to Canada

When I travel to the UK or Europe, I just use my ATM realizing that the bank charges are part of travelling; must more convenient than carrying cash or travellers cheques. Check with your bank to find out which ATM's you should be using.

Banff, Canada
Destination Expert
for Banff, Lake Louise
posts: 2,689
2. Re: Best way to take money to Canada

I would agree with 'cruiseryyc', as the transaction fees are not usually more than 2-3% and there are ATM's in an array of convenient locations. A prepaid card may not be a good idea in the event of loss while traveling.

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
posts: 13,143
reviews: 87
3. Re: Best way to take money to Canada

No matter how you obtain/spend foreign currency, there are charges associated with it. Just find out what they are, and pick the option that has the least of them. YMMV depending on your own banking situation, but I find ATM use and credit cards to be the cheapest way. The rates are better than retail exchange rates, and I have a full-service account where I don't pay my own bank a fee when I use my card out-of-country (but I may have to pay the bank whose ATM I am using), and my VISA card does not have a dedicated f/x fee, although there is 2.5% (iirc) built into the rate of exchange (but it's still better than over the counter). Currency exchange offices, or even when I get cash over the counter at my own bank, has service fees built into the transactions too, usually both an actual fee as well as some built into the rate of exchange.

I am not very familiar with the prepaid cards, but there has been discussion about them on the forums in the past, and the comments usually indicate that they are not an inexpensive way to deal with foreign currency. But again, you need to check with YOUR bank in regards to your banking products.

VISA and MasterCard are accepted almost everywhere here. I live my daily life and hardly ever handle actual money. ;-)

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 37,871
reviews: 54
4. Re: Best way to take money to Canada

Out of interest only, the following chart indicates the kind of and amount of charges made to a bank debit card when using an ATM:


And credit card comparison: money.co.uk/credit-cards/credit-cards-with-n…

However, I think your question would be a good one to post on a UK forum, with an explanation of why you are doing so (as we usually post on a destination forum, not a departure forum). This way your question will be seen by others in the UK who will have travelled to Canada and will have experience with bank cards and credit cards.

Do check with your bank for how they charge both their per transaction fee and their fee for foreign currency purchases.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 11,722
reviews: 597
5. Re: Best way to take money to Canada

I'd have a bit of Cash on hand, but then be prepared as the others have said to use credit etc...

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 16,321
reviews: 53
6. Re: Best way to take money to Canada

I think you can reduce your fees slightly by taking large amounts of cash from the ATMs. Usually the withdrawal limit is $400 per day, so make a $400 withdrawal and then just spend that down until you make your next withdrawal. Don't take $100 at a time, it will cost more.

So far as I can tell, then exchange rates on the credit cards is pretty good.

posts: 362
reviews: 1
7. Re: Best way to take money to Canada

Do some research and try and get a credit card with low/zero fees on foreign currency transactions. Use this whenever you can (which is pretty much all the time).

You will need some cash. I usually get a couple of hundred dollars before I leave home, somewhere like the Post Office. It may be possible to do better, but at worst you've lost a couple of pounds, and you've one less thing to worry about when you arrive.

If you do need more cash when you're there use your normal debit card in an ATM. Do not use your credit card for this - that will cost you.

Aylesbury, United...
posts: 46
reviews: 26
8. Re: Best way to take money to Canada

Thank you all for your help and ideas,I think the pre paid card isn't worth using in Canada from research,as you all say card and cash seem to be the best options


9. Re: Best way to take money to Canada

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