How to Buy Canadian Currency

Currency of Canada - Dollar (CAD)

Withdraw dollars by Girocard (EC card)

Girocards (EC cards) are also accepted at most ATMs in Canada. You have to look closely at the composition and the amount of the fees:

The Girocard (EC card) must have the Maestro logo or the Cirrus logo in order to be accepted at Canadian ATMs. V-Pay cards are reserved for Europe and completely useless in Canada.

For liability and security reasons, some Canadian ATMs have had the Use blocked for Maestro cards. These still have the old magnetic stripe system. There is no protection against reading out the data in the event of skimming. The banks cannot yet agree on a global security standard.

Fees apply when withdrawing Canadian dollars. The domestic bank charges a foreign transaction fee for the currency exchange. This is estimated as a lump sum of 5 to 10 euros.

The ATM-operating banks or financial institutions in Canada also charge a flat fee for the use of their ATMs. This is 2 to 3 CAD per withdrawal.

Attention: Independent ATMs usually charge higher fees than official bank terminals.

Some banking networks in Canada offer free withdrawals for customers of participating partner banks.
Known networks are e.g. B. the Global ATM Alliance, Allpoint, HSBC or Accel Network.
There are also banking partnerships between some German and Canadian banks.
Whose house bank is part of these networks or partnerships can withdraw cash at the relevant machine with the Girocard without using the machine fee.

Caution: Only the Canadian bank fee does not apply. The foreign transaction fee of the house bank is still calculated!


Withdraw dollars by credit card

There are ample opportunities to withdraw cash in the Canadian currency using a credit card anywhere in Canada.

Classic credit cards from Visa and Mastercard are most widely accepted. With other providers, you can use the logos printed on the ATMs to make sure that their provider's card is accepted.

When using classic credit cards, the customer must expect fees. The foreign transaction fee is charged by the card-issuing institute. When using a credit card, this fee correlates with the amount withdrawn. 1 to 4 percent of the amount is common.

An administration fee for the use of a non-bank machine is also due. This is collected by the Canadian banks or operators of the ATMs. This is a flat rate of 2 to 3 CAD. The fee for independently operated ATMs is usually higher than the fee for the official ATMs.


Withdraw dollars free of charge with free travel credit cards

A cash withdrawal without a foreign transaction fee is only possible if you have a free travel credit card - by far the cheapest solution for obtaining cash in local currency:

The free travel credit cards are special credit cards from some Internet banks or online providers. They can be conveniently ordered over the Internet without a purchase fee. There are neither acquisition nor annual fees.

The significant difference to the classic credit card is that Worldwide elimination of the foreign transaction fee when withdrawing cash from non-bank ATMs. With these travel credit cards, you can also supply yourself with cash in the local currency in Canada without foreign transaction fees.

The range of services and the acceptance of travel credit cards does not differ from the classic variant, travel credit cards are also accepted everywhere in Canada.

Payment options with the currency of Canada

Anyone traveling to Canada should know that Canadians use credit cards as their main form of payment. Nevertheless, there are exceptions, e.g. B. in remote areas, but also at special small dealers in the cities.

If you have the choice between cash or card payment, the amount of the fees should be the decision criterion. Comparing helps save!

With broadband equipment in the travel fund with cash and cash cards, you are on the safe side in Canada.


Cash payment with Canadian dollars

Even though cash payments are playing an increasingly subordinate role in Canada, they are still possible in many places.

Anyone who goes on excursions or tours to the In remote areas of the Canadian expanse, you have to reckon with the fact that it is not possible to pay by card everywhere there or find an ATM. But there are also small dealers in urban areas who only accept cash. The Canadian “beer stores” are a famous example. Only local cash cards or cash in local currency are accepted here.

Cash payments in Canada are only possible in the Canadian currency. Euros or other foreign currencies are not accepted.

If you are in Canada for a long time, you should Do not lose sight of the credit line or the credit limit on your cards. If this is exhausted early, cash payment remains the alternative.

For safety reasons it is important no large amounts of cash to carry with you. Exceptions are longer trips to remote provinces.

Exist z. B. Both payment options in the restaurant, so under certain circumstances the cash payment can be the cheaper option. If you have the option of using a travel credit card to obtain Canadian dollars free of charge, you can expect fewer additional costs with a cash payment than with the chargeable cashless payment - in this case the detour to the ATM is worthwhile.


Cashless payment in Canada

Cashless card payments are undoubtedly the number one payment method in Canada. This also applies to tourists.

In some cases, Canada can only pay by credit card. For example with rental car companies. Here the credit card is the only accepted means of payment. A hotel or flight booking is often no longer possible with cash payment.

Credit cards from Visa or Mastercard are most widely accepted for cashless payments, American Express is also very often accepted. Girocards (EC cards) with the Maestro logo are also not infrequently accepted, but not to the same extent as credit cards.

With cashless payment by debit card, fees are incurred for currency exchange outside the euro zone. So you have to pay a foreign transaction fee of 1 to 4% of the invoice amount calculate. This fee is calculated by the German house bank or the credit card company. In addition, in some cases there is a - usually very small - fee on the part of the collecting merchant for the use of the card terminal.

Safe handling of the currency of Canada

In international comparison, Canada is considered a very safe travel destination with a low crime rate. Nevertheless, when traveling to Canada it is necessary to observe the usual safety rules - especially with regard to payment methods - in order not to experience any unpleasant surprises:

Safe storage: Cash, money cards and valuables should always be carried on the body in Canada, ideally in breast pouches or fanny packs. Despite the low crime rate, there are petty criminals, and occasionally gangs of thieves, in the tourist areas. Keeping them in backpacks or handbags is an invitation for thieves.

Carry little cash: In Canada, you can pay by card or withdraw money almost everywhere. For this reason, it is not only unnecessary but also negligent to have large amounts of cash in your luggage.

Have card blocking emergency call ready: If a credit card or girocard is stolen or lost, the immediate blocking of the card has top priority. This emergency number (+49 116 116) is internationally valid and accessible around the clock.

Be careful when withdrawing money: It is safest to use ATMs in bank foyers. These are monitored by cameras and are regularly serviced. ATMs in dark alleys or unpopulated streets should also be avoided in safe travel destinations such as Canada.

Have replacement means of payment ready: Anyone who has a broadband travel fund in their luggage is capable of Plan B in an emergency. For example, it is advisable to take at least two cash cards with you. In the event of theft or loss, you can use the replacement card, as well as if a card is blocked or broken. Travelers checks are also suitable as a secure alternative means of payment.

History and trivia about the Canadian dollar

Before the first Canadian settlements were built, there was still the Barter, as the Inuit had done, was common in Canada. In order to conduct international trade, a single currency was necessary. The introduction of the French franc or the British pound was rejected because Canada wanted to emphasize its independence.

The Canadian currency has long been pegged to the British pound sterling. The first banks were founded in 1792 with the approval of the British government.

With the increasing influence of the US economy, the currency of Canada was increasingly based on the US dollar.

In 1858 the Canadian dollar was introduced in the metropolitan areas, but not yet nationwide.

It was not until 1871 that the Canadian dollar was officially introduced as the official currency for all of Canada and was only valid from this date in all provinces of the country without exception.

From 1973 the Canadian dollar coins are minted in Winnipeg. The coinage takes place in both English and French, as both languages ​​are used as national languages ​​in Canada.

Since 2011, banknotes in Canada have been made from a polymer material, until then this was only common in Australia. The polymer technology increases the security against forgery and the durability of the banknotes.


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