Do Canadian Banks Accept American Currency?


Quick Answer

Canadian banks accept American and other foreign currency for exchange. Branches of the Big Five banks typically give the best rates, and branches for these establishments are typically available in most cities in Canada. These banks are the Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Canada Trust, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

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Full Answer

Credit unions typically partner with the big banks for foreign exchange and therefore tend to have less-than-favorable rates of exchange. Travelers can also use their hotel front desk as an exchange option, but they tend to give much less favorable rates versus a big bank. Big banks often post the day's current exchange rate near the entrance, especially in tourist-heavy cities.

Airport kiosks specifically for foreign exchange tend to offer less-favorable rates due to paying a premium for rent at the airport. Retailers sometimes offer exchange of American currency as a courtesy. Travelers paying with American money can expect to receive Canadian money in return. Many retailers and restaurants offer an equivalent exchange, such as one American dollar for one Canadian.

Credit cards present another exchange opportunity and often offer current rates; however, they often balance it out with a foreign currency exchange fee.

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