The monetary system in Canada is based on dollars and cents, as in the United States. Due to monetary exchange rates, there is a fluctuating difference in value between the Canadian dollar and the American dollar. Although US Dollars are generally accepted in Canada at the current rate of exchange, it is always best to change your money at a recognized financial institution, bank, or a foreign currency exchange outlet, where you will receive the prevailing exchange rate. A nominal handling fee will be charged for this service. Stores, hotels and restaurants will also exchange currency, but the rate will not be as favourable as that at a financial institution.
Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Travellers Cheques are widely accepted in Canada. You can use any bank card for the Interac system with just about every automatic banking machine in Canada. Banking machines are conveniently located at banks and other locations throughout most cities and airports. Banking hours are generally 10:00am to 4:00pm, Monday to Friday. Some banks are open on Saturday.
It is recommended that visitors carry travellers’ cheques as well as a small amount of Canadian cash. While not impossible to cash personal cheques drawn on foreign accounts, it can be an expensive and time-consuming process to clear the cheque.
Most U.S. credit cards are honoured in Canada. Any charge to a credit card will reflect the applicable exchange rate.
To check current exchange rates online, go to www.xe.com