Personal Finance

Canadian stores that accept US dollars

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[OP]
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Oct 13, 2004
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Canadian stores that accept US dollars

We have small amounts of US dollars at home because of gifts etc. My kids get $20 US at birthdays etc. But because the amounts are small, the banks don't give a good exchange rate.

There are stores in the GTA that accept US dollars at the till. McDonalds and the Jays shop at the Rogers stadium for example. Often their exchange rates are better than the banks.

Does anyone know of some other places that will accept USD at a good rate?
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Deal Expert
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Aug 18, 2005
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Not sure of the rate, but you could spend the money at T&T or Tim Horton's.
I think The Beer Store also takes USD.
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Sr. Member
Jul 15, 2003
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Toronto
Many large chain stores accept them. I'm pretty sure Zellers has a USD rate built into the POS system.
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Feb 16, 2008
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the bay accepts US Dollars. im also sure most stores in eaton centre should accept USD, as it is a heavy tourist attraction.
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Jun 20, 2008
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cambridge
A bank will give you a better rate than a retail store.

Just think, a retail store still has to take the money and exchange at a bank, so they will charge you a premium for that hassle.

The exception would be if the dollar swings in a short period of time and you luck out and fine some place that doesn't adjust their rate.
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Oct 20, 2007
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Lyrrad0 wrote: Many large chain stores accept them. I'm pretty sure Zellers has a USD rate built into the POS system.
yeah and so do Walmart.I am not sure if their rates are better than banks but you can always ask them the rate before paying.
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Member
Jun 2, 2008
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Vancouver
London Drugs does too. The rate is calculated at the POS system.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
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Toronto
Just change it at the bank.

1) The exchange rate is way, way better.
2) You don't have to spend your money at specific stores.
3) Even if you did want to spend your money at a store that takes US cash, often times the cashier is clueless enough that you're standing there for 5 minutes while they try to figure everything out.
Member
Sep 22, 2005
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Take it to a small money changer like in a Mall. They will usually do better than the bank.
[OP]
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Oct 13, 2004
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EnGros wrote: A bank will give you a better rate than a retail store.

Just think, a retail store still has to take the money and exchange at a bank, so they will charge you a premium for that hassle.

The exception would be if the dollar swings in a short period of time and you luck out and fine some place that doesn't adjust their rate.
I think the stores will do much better because at the end of the day, they'll deposit your USD into their US account or get a good conversion rate for such a large sum of money. If I take in $40-50, I'll get the worst rate the bank will offer.
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Feb 9, 2005
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Sandie5 wrote: I think the stores will do much better because at the end of the day, they'll deposit your USD into their US account or get a good conversion rate for such a large sum of money. If I take in $40-50, I'll get the worst rate the bank will offer.
Stores will most likely give you a worse rate than the bank. For starters, they don't update their rates very often, so they set it a fair bit lower than the banks. You might get lucky when the rates change quickly and the store hasn't updated their rate. I seem to recall that when the CAD was at par, T&T Supermarket's posted rate was only $.90 CAD for $1 USD. I think there was a brief period where their rate was actually better than the banks for the reason I mentioned.

Most stores have no use for USD. They also probably don't keep much money in the bank, so they aren't going to save up USD, and they won't do enough business in USD to get a rate that's much better than what the bank will give you. How many people do you think pay in USD at any given store that accepts it in a day? The only reason stores take USD is if they can still sell to people that don't happen to have CAD on them, and make a little extra on top with a subpar exchange rate to compensate them for the extra effort they have to go through in dealing with USD.
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Save it for your next trip to the US.
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Oct 26, 2002
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The bank gives you the daily rate. Stores are not going to give you more than the money is worth, if anything a bit less.

At least that is the way it works here.
That's my 2cents worth
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AllWheelDrift wrote: Most stores have no use for USD. They also probably don't keep much money in the bank, so they aren't going to save up USD, and they won't do enough business in USD to get a rate that's much better than what the bank will give you. How many people do you think pay in USD at any given store that accepts it in a day?
On the same token, they have to leave an allowance for the day to day fluctuations on the exch rate between the time they take the USD to the time they actually get it exchanged at the bank. You can bet that they'll leave a sufficient margin in order to minimize losses if the USD goes the wrong way.

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