Travel

Should I exchange my money for USD here at a bank, or take out money from ATM in US?

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 1st, 2019 9:57 am
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 4, 2009
53 posts
7 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario

Should I exchange my money for USD here at a bank, or take out money from ATM in US?

I have a TD and Tangerine debit card. I also have a Stack card, and a couple no foreign transaction fee credit cards. I am in need of some USD while travelling, and will have a layover in USA while going to another country. Would it be better to exchange to USD at a TD Bank branch here, or should I use an ATM at the US airport to withdraw money? Also, should I are using my no foreign transaction credit card to withdraw rather than the debit cards? I'm not sure which would be cheaper.

Thank you.
6 replies
Member
Mar 7, 2004
370 posts
57 upvotes
ontario
Since Scotiabank (Tangerine) is part of the Global ATM Alliance, if there is a Bank of America ATM at the airport, you can withdraw USD without paying ATM fees/surcharges. But if you are only transiting through the U.S., why travel with USD rather than get the local currency of your destination, either before you leave Canada or when you arrive at your destination?

You should not withdraw cash with your credit card, as that is a cash advance.
could have = could've ≠ could of
Deal Fanatic
Feb 15, 2006
8283 posts
2560 upvotes
Toronto
For small amounts, just get some cash from local bank, so you have some for tips or machines. For transiting at airport, you can pay for almost everything by CC.

If you like to withdraw larger amounts from ATM, you can always overpay the CC, and just pay the ATM/transaction fee.
Jr. Member
Dec 28, 2017
127 posts
39 upvotes
Depending on how much you plan to use, my siggestions are:


- under $1k USD, get money from local forex exchange shops, their rates are way better than banks

- over 1k, get a bit from local forex and apply for USD credit card.. many cards have free annual fee if used over $1k per year. Then go to local exchange place to exchange amount needed to pay credit card.

I only exchange from bank for anything less than $300 CAD since its easier to do it online than driving to a local forex exchange place
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 4, 2009
53 posts
7 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
ayufan wrote:
Mar 31st, 2019 8:32 pm
Depending on how much you plan to use, my siggestions are:


- under $1k USD, get money from local forex exchange shops, their rates are way better than banks

- over 1k, get a bit from local forex and apply for USD credit card.. many cards have free annual fee if used over $1k per year. Then go to local exchange place to exchange amount needed to pay credit card.

I only exchange from bank for anything less than $300 CAD since its easier to do it online than driving to a local forex exchange place
When you say local forex exchange place do you mean one in Canada? There’s one at Eaton centre here, would that be inexpensive?
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 4, 2009
53 posts
7 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
ayufan wrote:
Mar 31st, 2019 8:32 pm
Depending on how much you plan to use, my siggestions are:


- under $1k USD, get money from local forex exchange shops, their rates are way better than banks

- over 1k, get a bit from local forex and apply for USD credit card.. many cards have free annual fee if used over $1k per year. Then go to local exchange place to exchange amount needed to pay credit card.

I only exchange from bank for anything less than $300 CAD since its easier to do it online than driving to a local forex exchange place
When you say local forex exchange place do you mean one in Canada? There’s one at Eaton centre here, would that be inexpensive?
Deal Addict
Jul 4, 2004
4818 posts
922 upvotes
Ottawa
I rarely use ATMs in the US other than the ones owned by a bank I have an account with (Bank of America) but from my observation, many of the ATMs in the US are private and charge a fee to use their ATM so even if your bank doesn't charge you anything to make a transaction at another ATM, you will still have charges. (i.e. both sides of the transactions have fees - I think in Canada, it's only your bank that charges you for using another bank's ATM)

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