Welcome to the QUEBEC (La-Belle-Province) TRAVEL FORUM.
And I see that you are also a Brand NEW Member to TripAdvisor… so a BIG Welcome Aboard as well !!
As the saying goes… “When in Rome…”
Canada is an independent country… and a member of the G-8… infact we have one of the “most stable” economies in the world right now in these uncertain times…
So YES of course you will need to use Canadian Currency… just like I’d need to use US Currency in the USA… I cannot imagine showing up in California with ONLY Canadian Money in hand !!
Because we do see a lot of US Travellers…
You will find that some Merchants may advertise that they “take / accept” American Currency… BUT to be certain it will most likely not be at a favourable rate to you the Traveller… it is merely a convenience that you could pay dearly for (FAIR EXCHANGE plus somewhere UP TO 25% mark-up for Currency Exchange Fees).
Canadian Currency is the ONLY Legal Tender in Canada… so any Merchants who accept US Dollars can set their own rates
Protect yourself from the chance of being ripped off… use Canadian Currency.
Is to use Plastic as much as you can (lowest Currency Exchange Fees = 0 to 3% depending on your Financial Institution / Credit Card Issuer)… so Credit Cards for large purchases, and whatever you put into an ATM at home to get cash for smaller purchases. In both cases your Financial Institution / Credit Card Company will do the FAIR EXCHANGE and any Currency Exchange Fees behind the scenes… and you’ll find them on your Statements when you get home.
Financial Institutions (Banks) & Credit Card Companies are able to offer the lowest rates BECAUSE of the amount of Currency that they Buy - Sell - Trade daily
When you withdraw cash from a Canadian ATM, it’ll be just like home… except you’ll get the funds in Canadian Dollars. You will certainly need some cash to manage small purchases and have some change. US and Canadian Coins are pretty similar (except for our Loonies & Twoonies)… and when it comes to pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters both are usually accepted… EXCEPT for any sort of coin operated machines… Canadian Coins have different metal properties (percentages) so US Coins are usually rejected… the machines believing that they may tokens / plugs.
For more info on Canadian Currency… see the TA - CANADA – TRAVELLER ARTICLE entitled *Banks & Money* = tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g153339-s601/Canada:Ba…
TA TRAVELLER ARTICLES are written by fellow TA Members… Local Advisors & Destination Experts who know an area best.
And if this is your first trip to Canada, you might also want to check out some other great TA TRAVELLER ARTICLES… they can be found in the TA TRAVEL PAGES (those buttons to the left side of this screen)… and in the TRAVEL GUIDE Section…
Look for the series entitled CANADA FOR FOREIGN VISITORS… here you’ll find topics like *Crossing the Border* - *Taxes* - *Tipping & Etiquette* - *Important Phrases* etc.
Hope this is helpful,
Thanks for asking about this. The concise answer:
(1) You'll typically get the best deal on currency exchange by using your credit card, or by withdrawing Canadian cash directly from your US account using your bank card in an ATM at any major Canadian bank. (Just don't make a lot of small withdrawals, because the ATM fees add up that way. Get a few hundred dollars at a time.)
(2) Spending US dollars in Canada may be perceived as disrespectful by some people you encounter. Unlike some developing countries where US dollars can be preferred to local currency, here it's nothing but a hassle for the merchant to track US currency separately, and ultimately convert it at their own expense. Some merchants will happily take US cash -- either because they're that eager for your business, or because they're going to make money by giving you a poor rate. But if you want to avoid imposing upon your hosts, or hope to blend in as much with the locals as possible, you'll want to avoid spending US cash north of the border.
Thank you so much for your information. I was misinformed by my travel agent, that's why I asked the question. I've got my Canadian money in my hand as we speak and we're ready to go. I hope I didn't sound disrespectful. Thank you again. Hope to see some fall colors if all goes well on our cruise.
You are very welcome... glad to help.
I hope you have a wonderful cruise and visit... and *fingers crossed* that the weather holds so you can see and enjoy a lot of the Autumn Leaves & Colours.
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Hope you enjoy your trip.
Perhaps you might mention this thread to your travel agent, and advise him/her to acquaint themselves with the ins & outs of foreign currency. Kudo's to you for getting advice from the real experts!
Platipus you crack me up!!! Great answer!!
You bring up a good point.
Lol... Ya that is one Travel Agent... I'd be "Firing" pronto... if they can't get this simple fact straight... lord only knows what other info they've provided that is "off the rails"
Ha! Platipus...give it a go! :)
Unfortunately, many people do not appreciate my albeit dry sense of humor. Like Nero, I feel underappreciated.