Currency Exchange Vancouver

Canadian Bank Exchange Rates Comparison

The table below is a comparison of all the major Canadian bank exchange rates. The rates have been sourced from their website or by calling their branch on a given day. Please note, exchange rates change frequently. Some of the banks require you to call them to see thier rates because they change a lot. Most of the Canadian bank exchange rates compare generally within each other in terms of exchange rates.

  Bank Spread % Source
  Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) 2.6% RBC Exchange Rates
  TD Bank 2.6% TD Exchange Rates
  Scotia Bank 2.8% Scotia Bank Exchange Rates
  Bank of Montreal (BMO) 2.6% BMO Exchange Rates
  CIBC 3.3% CIBC Exchange Rates
  Desjardins 2.5% Desjardins Exchange Rates
  HSBC 2.1% HSBC Exchange Rates
  Bank of Canada 0.0% Bank of Canada

 

Why Can't I Get The Bank of Canada Exchange Rate?

The Bank of Canada exchange rate is typically an interbank rate only available to financial institutions with large volumes. Canadian banks add a substantial markup to the exchange rate they offer to retail customers and that is how they make money for delivering the service. This markup can be 2% to 5% depending on the currency. Banks have to pay for holding the cash and keeping the currency on hand. The tellers need to be paid and also rent has to be paid for space. That being said, the exchange rate markups they charge are quite high compared to other foreign exchange providers. The reason bank exchange rates are so high is because regardless of the markup, Canadians will continue to use the banks to exchange money. There is no competitive pressure for the banks to reduce exchange rate fees. The same goes for currency kiosks at the airport, they have to pay for rent, and they offer a convenient service, and most people at that time pretty much need to convert currency to use it, so they will be willing to pay markups to exchange money there for convenience.

 

How to Compare Exchange Rates?

The best way to compare currency exchange rates is to use the table above or call each bank directly. Simply ask them if you wanted to buy US $1,000, how much in Canadian would you have to pay? This will give you the amount in Canadian dollars. Divide the number of Canadian dollars needed to purchase $1,000 and this will give you the implied exchange rate.

 

Credit Card Exchange Rates

Most credit card companies will charge a fee to exchange currency. The fee is built in to the exchange rate. The fee's are outlined in the terms and conditions of the credit card agreement. Many believe that this credit card markup is about 2.5%. Using your credit card to pay for something in a foreign currency is convenient, but you do end up paying a markup to use your credit card. Often, there are few alternatives, so there is not much you can do.

 

Currency Exchange - History

The Canadian dollar is often known as the loonie and is often symbolized as "CAD" or "C$". The central bank that overseas the printing of the Canadian dollar is the Bank of Canada. Canadian dollar coins are produced by the Royal Canadian Mint. The Canadian dollar has switched from a fixed system to a floating system and back to a fixed system and now to a floating system.

The Canadian dollar history compared to the US dollar has been at both a premium and a discount to the US dollar. For over 30 years, the US dollar was more stronger than the Canadian dollar until 2007. Since then, the Canadian dollar has traded above and below parity, which means 1 USD = 1 CAD.