British Columbia

Currency exchange tips: Getting more for the low Canadian dollar

Planning a trip to the U.S.? These tips can help you get the most out of your loonies when trading them for greenbacks.

Going south? These tips can help you get the most for your loonie

Feeling the pinch of the low Canadian dollar? These exchange tips should help. (CBC)

Planning a trip to the U.S. and already grieving about how little the Canadian dollar will get you across the border?

CBC News spoke with Steve Brown with the Vancouver Bullion and Currency Exchange for tips on how to get the most out of your loonies when trading them for greenbacks. 

Where you buy matters

Specialty currency exchange services usually offer the best exchange rates, followed by banks. Beware of the exchange kiosks at airports: they often charge five to 10 per cent more than the best rate you could get. 

Buy bulk

Amounts more than $5,000 are likely to get a better rate than the one that's posted. 

Look at the broader trend

The Canadian dollar follows oil prices quite closely. For example, oil prices have risen about 20 per cent in the last few days, and the Canadian dollar has gone up accordingly. 

Buy during dips

Most banks are predicting the Canadian dollar will climb its way back up later this year. So if you're planning on going south, you may want to wait a few months.

Get a U.S. dollar account

Credit cards and accounts in U.S. dollars can go a long way the next time you find yourself south of the border. Put money into the account when the Canadian dollar is high and keep it there for your next trip to the U.S.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.