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US currency acceptance?

St. Clair Shores, MI
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915 posts
80 reviews
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US currency acceptance?

This fall, two of us will be traveling from Port Huron, MI. thru Sarnia, then across the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island; up to the Canadian Soo.

Should we plan on buying Canadian currency before making this drive? Or is US currency accepted nearly everywhere?

West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
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71,071 posts
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1. Re: US currency acceptance?

Hi jimmyk64;

To be respectful to your host country, when in Rome...

Many businesses will accept American currency as a courtesy to American tourists. Businesses that choose to accept US dollars set their own exchange rate, so you may find the rate different from store to store, and the rate will NOT be in your favour. You will receive your change in Canadian funds. Coins, as a general rule, are accepted at face value…at par.

Automated equipment, i.e. vending machines, public transit machines, parking meters, etc - basically anything where you insert coins / bills... will only accept Canadian currency.

Most places will take credit cards, however there may be fees over and above the exchange rate charged by the credit card issuer. Some credit cards have a Foreign Usage Fee tacked on for usage outside of the issuing country. Check with your card issuer for exact details.

You could always use your bank card to withdraw money from an ATM. Check with your bank to find which Canadian banks they have an agreement with and then utilize that Canadian bank’s ATM for the fewest / cheapest fees & surcharges.

For some money saving tips, have a look at the traveller article “Canada – Banks & Money” here on TA.

tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g153339-s601/Canada:Ba…

Best Regards

St. Clair Shores, MI
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915 posts
80 reviews
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2. Re: US currency acceptance?

Thank you for your inclusive reply, Rescue Team. We won't have any problem ordering Canadian currency from our bank prior to our trip. So that is what we'll do.

Toronto, Canada
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15,154 posts
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3. Re: US currency acceptance?

I'd have some Canadian cash on me for sure, you could easily lose 10-20% on the dollar...

West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
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85 reviews
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4. Re: US currency acceptance?

You're Welcome, jimmyk64 !

toronto
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287 posts
14 reviews
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5. Re: US currency acceptance?

Most of the Canadians I know use Debit Cards at ATM's when visiting the U.S. and I think the reverse would also be generally true. Most ATM/Banking machines will accept your card (it's the Network that has to be compatible e.g. my card is good at any ATM which uses either the "Interac" or the "PLUS" network. You will pay whatever the ATM fee is, but the money will just come out of your account plus whatever exchange rate your own bank charges.

Most businesses also accept Visa and Mastercharge. When we use our credit cards in the U.S. the charge that shows up on our monthly bill includes whatever the going exchange rate is that the Credit Card company is applying at that time, but we've never noted it to be exorbitant (i.e. in line with the Bank rate).

Chicago's North...
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for Illinois, Chicago
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6. Re: US currency acceptance?

we just did the exact opposite of your trip---we went clockwise, vs counter clockwise... anyway, all businesses we encountered accepted us currency... the exchange rate was just about 1 to 1, give or take.... we used credit cards (for motels, big purchases)......

check my trip report in the michigan forum....

Edited: 9:04 am, August 16, 2012
7. Re: US currency acceptance?

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