What You Need To Know About The Canadian Currency
It’s good to know a little about the Canadian Currency when you travel in Canada.
All across Canada, we use the Canadian Dollar (C$ or CAD). The value of the Canadian dollar floats against all other major currencies.
For the past few years, the Canadian dollar has been worth between 70 and 80 cents compared to the U.S. dollar.
Travelling to Canada and shopping here is a real bargain for American’s and other Nationalities during the time of our low Canadian dollar. Take advantage of it!
The newest Canadian banknote series is made of a synthetic polymer. Their leading-edge security features are easy to verify and hard to counterfeit and are supposed to be very durable and they don’t crease much.
Canadian bank notes or bills are available in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 dollar denominations. All ATMs in Canada dispense 20 dollar notes. 100 dollar bills are not very common for some reason. Canadian bills are brightly coloured, making them easy to recognize. What a difference from the boring green and white of the U.S. bills!
The current Canadian bills show the country’s spirit of innovation and its designs celebrate Canada’s achievements at home, around the world and in space.
Canadian coins include the 5c nickel, 10 c dime, 25c quarter, $1 Loonie and $2 Toonie. Production of the 1c penny has been stopped in 2013 and if you still find one of the little copper-coloured coins, hang on to it as a keepsake.
The shop prices remain a typical “something and 99 cents”. When you pay for your items the sum of your purchases will be rounded to the nearest five cents. Unless of course, you pay by card, in which case you will be billed the exact amount.
All of Canada’s coins have a picture of Queen Elizabeth on the back side and are inscribed with the Latin abbreviation “D.G. Regina or “Dei Gratia Regina,” meaning “Queen by God’s Grace.”
Depicted on coins of Canadian currency you can find several popular Canadian animals: Beaver (5 cents), Caribou (5 cents), Loon (1 Dollar/Loonie), Polar Bear (2 Dollar/Toonie).
Best Way To Bring Money To Canada
Canadian Visitor Information Centres receive often enquiries from overseas that make you wonder. Here are the facts:
- Canada is a first world country, just like the US and Europe.
- Yes, we have ATMs everywhere and you find them in every backcountry town. You don’t need to bring loads of cash. Having some cash is always a good idea for small purchases or tipping.
- Canada accepts foreign credit cards. Don’t come to Canada without a credit card. Tell your credit card company in your home country that you will be using the credit card overseas.
- Canadian banks have normal opening hours and will accept your currency, where ever you come from.
To open a bank account is another option for people on a working holiday visa and all other travellers who like to stay in Canada longer
- It’s easy to open a bank account in Canada.
- Open the bank account during the first few weeks after your arrival.
- To open an account you must have a Canadian address and provide proper identification, such as a passport.
The best and most widely represented bank for this is TD Canada Trust. Also, check with your local bank at home if they have linked/partnered with any Canadian bank.
Canadian Currency Converter
Since Canada is a first world country expect to pay first world prices! To help you get an idea what your accommodation, car rental, guided tour etc. will cost you, I have added a currency converter to this page. The currency converter uses live, up to date rates.
Just change the currency to the Canadian dollar, add the price as you found it in Canadian currency, and find and select your own currency in the second box. Click the button Click here to Perform Currency Conversion.
Of course, you can perform the conversion the other way. Select your currency in the first box, and the Canadian currency in the second.
Sale Tax in Canada
Don’t be shocked when you get your bill. Canada adds at least one sales tax and in some provinces two taxes onto any purchases made. That can add as much as 15 % to your bill. The 5 % goods and service tax (GST) is added to most purchases no matter where in Canada you are.
In Alberta, Nunavut, Yukon and Northwest Territories only the 5 % GST is added to your bill. All the other provinces will add an additional 5 % to 8 % to your bill: 7 % in British Columbia. Some basic groceries, insurance and transit are exempt from taxes.