Find currency conversion rates for Canadian and U.S. dollars by visiting a bank or a number of online sources, such as the Bank of Canada or Bloomberg. Many newspapers also print currency conversion information, although the market fluctuates, so it may change after going to print.
Many airports, train stations and other tourist centers also feature retail kiosks from companies like Travelex that convert money for customers, and these centers clearly post their conversion rates. Rates offered at such places may be as much as 10 cents lower than the current market exchange rate, though, because such optimally-located businesses can offer poor rates and still attract customers as a matter of convenience.
ATM machines may also convert money automatically because, for instance, a debit or credit card issued by a U.S. bank withdraws Canadian dollars when used in a Canadian ATM, or vice versa. The machine automatically calculates the rate. A potential downfall is that the owner of the ATM, the card issuer's bank or both may charge fees for foreign transactions.
Traveler's checks may be useful for international travel as they can be purchased prior to traveling and then redeemed in the foreign currency upon arrival. Traveler's checks offer an added level of security because they can usually be replaced if lost or stolen.