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Montrealfan
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Hello All,

 

Just a quick question for those who may have travelled to Montreal recently. Do you think its better to change money into Canadian dollars before I leave or wait until I get to Montreal. Are the exchnage rates better in Montreal or are they about the same?

 

Thanks for any input.:-)

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Wait until you get into Montreal. Your local

bank will charge a high percentage for buying

Canadian currency before you leave. Also, after

you land in Montreal DO NOT approach the currency

exchange counter. They will do the same thing and

will rip you off. Find an ATM for cash withdrawals

and use your credit card for everything else.

 

Most Canadian bank ATMs will only charge a couple

of dollars at the ATM for withdrawals and your bank

will likely add a small fee to that on your

statement. My bank adds $3 for ATM checking

withdrawals made outside the US. I will take

$5 per ATM transaction over a huge 5% fee

anyday!

 

Also, don't worry there are plenty of ATMs in

Downtown Montreal and the Village. The primary

bank ATMs are RBC Royal Bank, Bank of Montreal,

Scotiabank, HSBC, and TD Bank (Canada Trust).

They all have ATM locators online.

 

Lookin4hotties

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There are some variables here. One: Are you driving, flying, going by bus? If you are driving, for example along Route 87 (Northway) there is a place just over the Canadian/Quebec border where you can change money at a more reasonable rate than you can in Montreal. I have never changed money in the US before crossing the border, but I suspect the same applies there.

Two: If you have a debit card with a bank or credit union that does NOT charge fees for international exchange, that may be a better bet. I know my credit union allows four withdrawals from the ATMS in Montreal without any fee---and I can withdraw up to $400 each time---so 4 X $400 is usually enough for spending money ;))

If you are staying at the Gouverneur or any hotel near the gay village, you can exchange money for a relatively small fee at the bank on the corner of St. Catherine and St. Hubert. I would recommend if you do that, to withdraw in one lump sum so you don't have to pay the fee more than once.

Have fun and let us know about your journey.

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RE: Exchanging money

 

Here a couple of other things to look out for in addition to the good points already made (use an ATM in Canada, have your US account at a bank which does not charge for the use of an ATM that doesn't belong to them):

 

1. While the ATMs of most Montreal banks (not, however, strip club ATMs and the like!) do not charge you, with your foreign ATM card, for using their machine, the exchange rate you get at the Montreal ATM can vary a lot from bank to bank. As I learned from a Montreal friend, the Caisses Desjardins ATMs have very good rates.

 

You can find Caisses Desjardins ATMs all over the city, including one across the street and a little west of L'Adonis, and a whole slew of them in the Complexe Desjardins under the Hyatt.

 

2. Some US banks add their own percentage commission to the commission taken by the network (Cirrus, etc.) on ATM transactions. So to maximize your yield, you should find a US bank with no charge for usage at a foreign machine and no additional commission of their own.

 

Sad point: it used to be that my bank's per transaction limit (US$500/day) exceeded what I could get at one time from a Montreal ATM (CDN$500/transaction). Now it's the opposite!

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I had to use the ATM inside Club Taboo last April and was pleasantly surprised. I was only charged the $1.50 fee by Taboo's ATM and my credit union charged me nothing. At that time, I withdrew my maximum daily limit of $300 USD, which was $360 Canadian.

 

I also read not to use the ATM's at the Montreal Airport; however, I read somewhere that Canada law requires all ATM's to charge the same rate.

 

I could be wrong, but I wil find out next week! :)

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Twinkboylover28:

Bank machines all charge the same rate of $1.50 per transaction, however you have to be carefull about using machines that you find in malls or businesses. If they are not "bank machines" by that I mean machines placed by banks, lile CIBC, TD Canada Trust, Bank of Montreal for example, you will more than likely be charged more. The people who own and service independant ATM's will probably charge around $3.00. I was going though a small town a couple of years back and was charged $3.00. There were no bank machines in that town execpt for the one at the gas station, so I ended up having to pay more for the service.

By the way if you kept your Canadian money, you would now be able to purchase around 378 US dollars. A pretty good investment for 300 dollars. You can imagine people buying Canadian currency when it was worth around 65 cents US, and keeping the money, it would be worth around 425 dollars US. If only we knew.

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Guest zipperzone

>I read somewhere that Canada law requires all ATM's

>to charge the same rate.

 

You could be right but I had never heard that. I find it unlikely as it would fly in the face of the governments own anti price fixing regulations. What I could see is a law requiring the ATM to display a sign that states their fees - but that also is not the case (so far).

 

Interesting though - I think I'll check it out - you have generated my curiosity.

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Thanks everyone for all of the information. I will check with my bank to see what fees it charges. Depending on what the fees are, I may use one of the ATMs in the Complexe DeJardin. I will be staying in the village so changing money at a bank there would be fine too.

 

I am very happy to be visiting Montreal again. I love visiting the Stockbar and Campus and with all of the Christmas festivities going on downtown as well, this coming weekend should be fun.

 

Thanks again :-)

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Think again Zip. The Canadian banking industry is a highly government regulated industry and is not subject to usual anti-trust rules. It plays by its own rules (the Canada Bank Act), which are highly protectionist and designed to protect Canadian banks from too much competition from non-Canadian banks. That's why you don't see many foreign banks operating in Canada apart from some restricted commercial operations.

 

I am not familiar with the regulation governing ATM fees but I would not be surprised in the least that it was pegged at $1.50 for every bank and Caisse operating in the country. Canadians seem to be happy with this state of affairs. If anything, from time to time you will see a campaign, usually led by the NDP (our "socialist" party) to have even tighter regulations on the banks about what fees they can charge for their various services. These campaigns attract a lot of support and the banks have to mount a counteroffensive to convince the government to leave them alone.

 

Have you looked at these banks' profits recently. Unlike their American counterparts, they are making more money today than ever!

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>Bank machines all charge the same rate of $1.50 per

>transaction

 

Certainly for the last several years and at least until this past June, all the bank ATMs in Montreal that I used charged no fee at all for withdrawals when I used my US ATM card. This includes the upstairs (departure level) ATMs at Dorval airport (IIRC, at least one ATM downstairs did have a fee), as well as some of the bank-owned ATMs underground in Place Bonaventure as you walk to the Metro.

 

By this I mean a direct fee, stated as such when you used the machine. As I wrote above, some banks did have a worse exchange rate, which one might view as effectively a fee.

 

In fact, the US seems to be an exception in this regard. I can't right now recall any European country where the local bank charged a fee for withdrawals from their ATMs.

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"What I could see is a law requiring the ATM to display a sign that states their fees - but that also is not the case (so far)."

The bank machines do tell you how much you are being charged before you make the transaction. I us CIBC for example, and have a given number of free uses. If I go across the street, and use my bank card on a TD Canada Trust maching, a message will come up on the screen telling me I am being charged 1.50 for the transaction. If I use a TC Canada Trust bank card, then its the same rules as the CIBC bank. The odd time I may get cash, using my credit card to make a purchase so I can take advantage of cash coupons, so I go across the street from my usual bank and make the transaction there. If I decide I want to get cash from my credit card from my bank, then I have to explain to the teller why I want the cash. So its just easier to go across the street.

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Canadian dollar takes biggest one-day dive in 36 years

 

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/financialpost/story.html?id=3632e3d4-d7a5-4caf-b528-0eab382e948c

 

 

 

Canadian dollar takes biggest one-day dive in 36 years

Tumbling more than 2 cents as greenback rallies

Reuters

Published: Monday, November 12, 2007

TORONTO -- The Canadian dollar plunged almost 3% against the U.S. dollar on Monday, its biggest one-day fall since January 1971, as risk aversion and the unwinding of carry trades knocked the currency well down from its recent modern-day high.

 

The Canadian dollar unofficially closed at US$1.0307, valuing each U.S. dollar at 97.02 Canadian cents, down 2.9% from Friday's close of US$1.0606, or 94.28 Canadian cents. It was fourth straight session that the Canadian unit dropped versus the greenback.

 

North American bond markets were closed on Monday for Veterans' Day in the United States and the Remembrance Day holiday in Canada. This meant thinner trading, which amplified the currency's moves, analysts said.

 

"It's been difficult to get your head around what's going on when you've seen the Canadian dollar rally so much in the past four or five months," said David Bradley, director of foreign exchange trading at Scotia Capital. "To see this reversal is quite something."

 

 

View Larger Image

The quick rise of the Canadian dollar made it vulnerable to profit-taking.

Photo: Getty Images

 

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Font:****The Canadian currency has plunged more than 7 U.S. cents, or 6.6%, since Wednesday, when it touched US$1.1039, its highest level against the greenback since the 1870s.

 

Since Wednesday, risk aversion been the main theme in the financial markets, after several large U S. financial institutions announced big subprime mortgage-related writedowns. Some investors fear this may be just the tip of the iceberg.

 

The market jitters are causing investors to unwind risky carry trades, said Gareth Sylvester, senior currency strategist at HIFX Plc, in San Francisco.

 

In carry trades, investors borrow low-yielding currencies, such as the Japanese yen, to fund the purchase of higher-yielding currencies such as the Australian or New Zealand dollars.

 

While Canada's dollar is not a high-yielder, with the Bank of Canada's key overnight rate at 4.50%, the currency often gets lumped in with carry-trade currencies, which like the Canadian dollar are often commodity-driven.

 

Investors tend to unwind carry trades in times of risk, as market volatility or a rally in the yen can easily wipe out carry-trade profits.

 

"We've seen significant amounts of yen strength and I think that just points to traders sort of squaring-up their carry trade positions," Sylvester said.

 

On Monday, the yen climbed to its highest point against the greenback in 1-1/2 years, while the Australian and New Zealand dollars were down sharply, in line with the Canadian dollar.

 

PROFIT TAKING

 

The credit-related concerns along with the Canadian dollar's rapid ascent to modern-day highs have also created an environment ripe for profit-taking, said Scotia's Bradley.

 

"I wouldn't be surprised by the end of this week if you see quite a reversal in the speculative positions on the (International Monetary Market)."

 

Comments last week by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and various U.S. investment firms saying the Canadian dollar is overvalued have added downward pressure to the currency, Bradley said.

 

Also, oil and gold prices were off their recent highs, making the Canadian dollar less attractive to investors, as Canada is a major commodities producer and exporter, said Matthew Strauss, senior currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

 

But he said that commodities prices were a secondary story, and that risk aversion was the main cause of the Canadian dollar's fall.

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Guest zipperzone

>If I decide I

>want to get cash from my credit card from my bank, then I have

>to explain to the teller why I want the cash. So its just

>easier to go across the street.

 

Huh? Why in god's name would anyone have to explain to a teller why you want cash on your credit card? Like it's none of her fucking business!

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Very true, its not a teller's buisness...but they asked me a couple of times, so I only got cash that way twice, because as you say its none of their business. The other bank is directly across the street so its not a big deal. If I use cash for a Canadian Tire purchase I get coupons, so I got a few dollars worth of coupons when I bought my inflatable kayak.

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Guest zipperzone

>Very true, its not a teller's buisness...but they asked me a

>couple of times, so I only got cash that way twice, because as

>you say its none of their business.

 

OK Louis - but why wouldn't you tell her it was none of her business and if she persisted, talk to the manager. That would be enough for me to take my whole business to the bank across the street.

 

I hope you didn't tell her why you wanted the cash when she asked.

I know this is none of my business but this kind of shit just drives me wild. One more reason why I hate banks. I find credit unions much easier to deal with.

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  • 3 weeks later...

>Looks like everything is just about on par now, with the US

>dollar trending to go higher than the Canadian dollar on

>Monday.

 

 

I like to follow bloomberg.com for currency exchange rates and the factors affecting both currencies. Here's the background on why the CDN $ may take a tumble due to a slowing economy.

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=ax4gWtDdORGc

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You don't have to do an exchange of any kind, not for Canada, in Canada US dollars and coins are accepted as payment, though this is the case: you will usually get back as change, if any, Canadian bills or coins as applicable.

 

I have not been to Canada for many years, but when I did, the above was the case in both Montreal and Quebec City.

 

Bon voyage as to your upcoming trip (presuming of course you have not gone already).

 

KENNY

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While that is true, it is also true that if a person spends American money in Canada, then the retailer sets their own exchange rate. I have worked for a couple of businesses that set the rate about three percent higher than what the banks charge. In most cases a person is better of to change their US currency to Canadian currency either before arriving in Canada or at the border crossings.

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>While that is true, it is also true that if a person spends

>American money in Canada, then the retailer sets their own

>exchange rate. I have worked for a couple of businesses that

>set the rate about three percent higher than what the banks

>charge. In most cases a person is better of to change their US

>currency to Canadian currency either before arriving in Canada

>or at the border crossings.

 

When I travel to Canada, I use credit and ATM cards for most purchases since the exchange rates are much more accurate. Even with the 1% bank service charge it's much better than exchanging for local currency.

 

If I need walking-around-money then its to the nearest ATM for a few bucks Canadian. Most of the time I've got very little change left after tipping out hotel staff (and the occasional stripper ;)) which I either just save for my next trip or give to a Canadian buddy for his trips home.

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I couldn't agree more. I was just in Ontario and used my Visa card

for most purchases.

For "walk around money", I took out $300 from a no-fee ATM in

Canada with my checking account ATM card. With the exchange it

came to $301.92 on my bank statement. That is absolutely not a

bad deal, about 6/10th's of 1%. If I demanded Canadian dollars

from a local bank in my hometown, they charge over 5% and I

totally didn't even need cash the first day or so.

Every place accepted my credit card and the exchange rate

is already set...the rate is also not too bad, plus I have

the same protection using a charge card as I would have

in the States.

 

Travellers Tip: Notify your credit card companies and your bank

IN ADVANCE if you are going to use your ATM card and/or credit

cards outside the US. Its just a quick phone call.

These days, banks often will put a block on your account if you

withdraw money or make purchases abroad without letting them

know first, due to the large amount of international bank and

credit card fraud that is now become quite common.

 

Lookin4hotties

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