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Author Topic: Credit Card in Canada  (Read 2638 times)

clockdrfla

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Credit Card in Canada
« on: May 24, 2019, 01:34:16 PM »
First time trip to Canada.  Be there for 17 days.  My bank charges 3% for every VISA credit card purchase after conversion to US dollars.  Should I just take US dollars and convert to Canadian?  Will Canadian businesses accept US dollars?  Do I need to convert Canadian dollars back to US dollars before reentering the US?

Tom

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Re: Credit Card in Canada
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2019, 01:57:04 PM »
You can change $US to $CN at any bank in Canada, or for that matter in the US. You can also access ATMs with your debit card while there. I've used credit cards around the world for over 45 years, and prefer that to carrying cash. For many years, it used to be that the exchange rate you got using a credit card was better than at any bank or any currency exchange booth/store.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 02:58:36 PM by Tom »
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docj

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Re: Credit Card in Canada
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2019, 02:43:58 PM »
We go to Canada fairly frequently and have several credit cards that don't charge for international transactions.  When we want cash we use our US debit cards in a Canadian ATM; our bank (Wells Fargo) charges only a $5 fee for the withdrawal regardless of how much money we convert.  We even opened a checking account at a Canadian bank into which we deposit the money we withdraw using our debit cards at the ATM.  That way we have Canadian debit cards to use without any fees associated with transactions.

A few things to keep in mind:
1.  US VISA and MC debit cards will work in "credit card mode" in stores but they won't work as debit cards.
2. US debit and ATM cards will work fine at ATMs located at banks but may not function at the ATMs found in grocery stores and gas stations.
Sandie & Joel

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ClassyC

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Re: Credit Card in Canada
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2019, 05:46:34 PM »
Check with all your credit card companies to see what they charge.  I travel to canada occasionally.  My 2% cash-back card charges 1% for foreign exchange fees - so I only get 1% back....

jhskick

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Re: Credit Card in Canada
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2019, 05:57:37 PM »
I used my TD Bank cards, debit and credit, last year in Europe. No foreign transaction fees and they refund any ATM charges. Credit to purchase debit for cash. Best exchange rate. Will be in Canada in two weeks for G P race and plan on doing same there.
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glen54737

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Re: Credit Card in Canada
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2019, 08:25:43 PM »
Some places will take US but they will give a terrible rate (most of the time) the same goes for changing back to US.

My credit union charges .8%

Also they are a little different about accepting cards they aren't allowed to take the card and will bring over the machine so you can do it yourself they even hand it out of the drive through window.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 08:28:20 PM by glen54737 »
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WILDEBILL308

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Re: Credit Card in Canada
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2019, 09:48:55 PM »
My experience is to do this. Clear it with your credit card company that you will be in Canada so they don't shut off/cancel your card when they see foreign transactions.
Never use your debit card. The reason is if your bill is $50.00 canadian it will pay $50.00 US. If you use the credit card it would pay $50.00 Canadian and bill your account at the exchange rate or about $37.50 US. Yes the cc company dings you for a small fee but it is better than what the currency conversion places charge. I would just get a small amount of cash for incidentals.
Make shure you set up your phone before you get to close to the border. It can pick up a canadian tower and you won't  know it. All those little updates it does behind the scene can realey add up, international roaming charges are seriously expensive.
Have fun
Bill
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docj

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Re: Credit Card in Canada
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2019, 10:21:10 PM »

Never use your debit card. The reason is if your bill is $50.00 canadian it will pay $50.00 US. If you use the credit card it would pay $50.00 Canadian and bill your account at the exchange rate or about $37.50 US. Yes the cc company dings you for a small fee but it is better than what the currency conversion places charge. I would just get a small amount of cash for incidentals.

With all due respect this is totally incorrect!  We use our VISA debit card to pay each month for a FIDO (Rogers) modem which we keep alive even when we're not in Canada. Each month the bill is rendered as $10 Canadian and every time the charge is adjusted to the appropriate amount of US dollars.   

As I noted in my previous post US debit cards cannot be used in the Canadian debit system.  They are treated as VISA or MasterCard charge cards which, of course, can also be done in the US.  In fact, if you use a debit card in an online transaction it is processed as a VISA or MC transaction.
Sandie & Joel

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WILDEBILL308

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Re: Credit Card in Canada
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2019, 08:01:23 AM »
With all due respect this is totally incorrect!  We use our VISA debit card to pay each month for a FIDO (Rogers) modem which we keep alive even when we're not in Canada. Each month the bill is rendered as $10 Canadian and every time the charge is adjusted to the appropriate amount of US dollars.   

As I noted in my previous post US debit cards cannot be used in the Canadian debit system.  They are treated as VISA or MasterCard charge cards which, of course, can also be done in the US.  In fact, if you use a debit card in an online transaction it is processed as a VISA or MC transaction.
"With all due respect this is totally incorrect!" Is it realey!!! Please explain that to my bank so they can refund my money. This was not a online transaction. I used my debit card to pay at the pump when I got gas. You can do whatever you want." With all due respect"
Bill
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

jhskick

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Re: Credit Card in Canada
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2019, 08:42:40 AM »
OK no sense in getting your knickers in a twist.  The point is all banks are different. If you read my post my bank never charges and that is why I dumped Bank America  because of fees. So lets agree there is no right or wrong just different bank policies.
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aysstephanie

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Re: Credit Card in Canada
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2019, 02:45:36 PM »
Most tourist areas (Niagara Falls, major cities/attractions) will accept US cash but you will get a better rate if you convert your currency at the bank or airport. I'm Canadian and just got dinged for major fees and exchange converting to US funds for our vacation ... but it was worth it! Enjoy your trip!

Alfa38User

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Re: Credit Card in Canada
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2019, 09:29:13 AM »
As a Canadian, when I worked temporarily in the US, I often had to use my Canadian debit card in USA to obtain US$ in cash.This worked fine, the Canadian bank did the US$ to Canadian$ conversion and the machine in USA dispensed the US$ requested as expected. The debit card had to have the "Interac" symbol on it as did the cash machine. (This was long before RBC and other Canadian banks had there own affiliates in USA  and credit cards could not be used as debit cards etc so today it may be a bit different. No comments intended on the exchange rates obtained though.)

The Canadian banking system is considerably different to that found in USA with much fewer big name banks here.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2019, 09:53:08 AM by Alfa38User »
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docj

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Re: Credit Card in Canada
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2019, 10:39:23 AM »
We have been in Canada for 10 days and have used our Wells Fargo VISA debit cards successfully to get Canadian cash at ATMs belonging to two different Canadian banks.  In each case the current exchange rate was used to calculate the withdrawal with a couple of dollars of fees added by both the Canadian bank and Wells which happens to charge only $5 for each withdrawal regardless of amount.

FWIW we maintain checking accounts at ScotiaBank which provides them free to seniors.  We opened ours ~4 years ago on a previous trip and found it quite useful for making small purchases.  Having a Canadian debit card allows us to go to Costco (and elsewhere) without having to pay in cash.  There's nothing illegal or improper about US citizens having foreign bank accounts and they don't have to be reported as long as the balance remains below $10k which ours surely does!
Sandie & Joel

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caboash

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Re: Credit Card in Canada
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2019, 05:29:51 PM »
We are currently in Canada and are using the Transferwise Currency Debit card. You load it from your bank in USD and then convert to Canadian dollars as you go via the phone app (you can convert to other currency's as well). Works fine when used in stores, restaurants and online and simply takes the Canadian dollar amount out of your Canadian 'bank' at Transferwise (so no per-transaction fees). The exchange rates are pretty good and fees fairly low.

When using it in stores you have to say that it is a Credit Card (not Debit) then it will work in the Canadian machines.

Not A Clue

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Re: Credit Card in Canada
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2019, 05:54:10 PM »
We have used Capitol One when in Canada. No fees.  Pay it off online every nonth
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