How to Convert Canadian Money to U.S. Money
America shares over 5,500 miles of border with its northern neighbor, Canada, a simple statistic that symbolizes the close relations between the two countries. Americans and Canadians visit each other's countries not only for vacations and business, but for reasons as mundane as eating out at their favorite restaurant just across that border. Citizens of both countries therefore have plenty of reasons to convert the "loonie," or Canadian dollar, into U.S. dollars.
Look up the exchange rate for Canadian dollars into U.S. dollars prior to visiting or returning to the United States. This information is widely available online, and the American IRS endorses the websites Oanda.com, Xe.com and X-rates.com for this purpose. While this rate is never the rate applied to retail currency conversion, it gives you a baseline to use in comparing competing rates.
Consult your bank regarding fees and exchange rates if you are a Canadian traveling to the United States. ATM withdrawals are the simplest way to convert Canadian dollars into U.S. dollars, but a fee might be assessed by both your bank and the bank in the United States. Use Bankrate.com to compare American bank transaction fees. For a short trip, it might be better to cross the border with Canadian cash and avoid the fees.
Withdraw Canadian dollars from a Canadian bank account through an American ATM, converting them directly into US dollars. The conversion rate is usually very competitive, and Canadian and American banks operate on the same ATM networks.
Convert Canadian cash into American dollars prior to leaving Canada by visiting an exchange kiosk or a bank. This is the best option for converting C$1 and C$2 coins into U.S. dollars, since some exchange kiosks and banks do not accept coins for conversion. Americans need to present their passport, while Canadians can use any domestic and legally valid ID.
Convert Canadian dollars into U.S. dollars at an exchange kiosk at the airport or a branch of a travel finance agency such as American Express or Thomas Cook once in the United States. Use the branches of American banks only if you have called ahead and asked about rates and fees, since branch banks rarely conduct currency conversions in the United States and usually offer disadvantageous rates. Canadians must present a passport, while Americans can present any legally valid domestic ID.
Things You Will Need
Canadians with ATM card PIN numbers that are not already coded as four digits should change their PIN to a four-digit number before traveling. Longer PIN numbers might pose problems with American ATMs.