Is It Better to Exchange Money in U.S. or Canada?

If you’re wondering “is it better to exchange money in US or Canada” you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’re going to look at the differences between exchanging money in both countries. We’ll also discuss ways to reduce your costs.

We’ll also answer “how can a foreigner open a bank account in Canada?” which might end up being the best option if you can navigate the opening process.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to any sections that are immediately relevant to your search.

Table of Contents

  1. Exchange Money in the US or Canada?
  2. Is It Better to Exchange USD in Canada or the US?
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
  4. Ready to Explore Your Options?

Exchange Money in the US or Canada?

When it comes to exchanging money in the US or Canada, there is actually a wide range of options available to individuals. That said, the fees associated with each option and the exchange rates used can vary widely depending on their perceived convenience. But also, on the location in proximity to high tourist areas and the method for exchange.

With this in mind, let’s start by exploring the ways that you can reduce foreign exchange fees on your purchases. And, whether you decide to formally exchange cash or not.

How to Reduce Foreign Exchange Fees

When it comes to reducing foreign exchange fees, you may want to consider one of the alternative options available. These alternatives include opening accounts with Canadian banks as a foreign non-resident. Doing so can then give you the choice between both the US and Canadian rates, and the option to choose the best one possible at the time.

Another alternative is to use an international payment card, like an Amex platinum, while you are traveling. One of the benefits of this card during international travel is that you will not be charged foreign exchange fees on your purchase. In return, this can save you considerable amounts of money on your purchases.

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Is It Better to Exchange USD in Canada or the US?

Whether it is better to exchange USD in Canada or the US depends on a few different factors. We cover many of these factors in the Frequently Asked Questions section below. However, we want to focus on one factor in particular in this section which is the actual exchange rate that you will be charged.

In most cases, if you are coming from the United States, have existing US banking relationships, and can visit your branch before going to the US, then you will be able to secure better exchange rates in the US.

That said if you have USD but you are only visiting the US and you do not have banking relationships in the country, and you also do not have banking relationships in Canada, then the difference in your exchange rate may be negligible. With this in mind, you should consider which option is going to be the most convenient for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are three of the most common questions that we receive from people wondering whether it is better to exchange money in the US or Canada. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

Should I Exchange Money Before Going to Canada?

There are several factors that you should consider when determining whether you should exchange money before going to Canada or after arriving in the country. For most people, the main factor is the cost of exchanging money. Which in fact can be higher if you choose to exchange money after you arrive in the country. The reason for this is usually because you have existing banking relationships in your home country compared to non-existent banking relationships in Canada.

Is It Better to Convert Money In the US or Abroad?

Whether it is better to convert money in the US or abroad, often depends on where you have priority banking relationships and can access preferred exchange rates.

For example, if you have banking relationships in the United States but not Canada, you may receive better exchange rates directly from your bank than compared to visiting a bank in person while traveling where you do not have an existing account.

Will I Be Charged Credit Card Fees If I Use My US Credit Card in Canada?

Whether you will be charged credit card fees if you use your US credit card in Canada ultimately depends on the type of credit card you have.

For example, certain American Express credit cards do not charge foreign exchange fees on transactions in Canada (and elsewhere). However, other American Express cards do not offer this benefit, and exchange fees will be charged on foreign purchases.

The same is also true for other major credit card providers. So, it’s important to know what the rules are for your specific card. Especially before you start using it to make purchases overseas.

Ready to Explore Your Options?

If you would like assistance navigating your banking options at home or abroad, we can help.

You can access GlobalBanks IQ, our international banking intelligence platform, in just a few clicks. Unlock our bank database, individual bank profiles, account opening strategies and reports, banker scripts, and more.

But, if you want a 100% personalized account opening service that taps into our team’s expertise and provides direct banker introductions, you can get started with GlobalBanks Insider.

Of course, if you have any questions, please contact us directly.

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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