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Getting Australian cash before leaving Canada

Victoria, BC Canada
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Getting Australian cash before leaving Canada

When I travel I usually use credit, debit and cash

For cash.

Typically, I get some cash for that country (in this case Australia) from my local bank here in Canada.

— is this a good practise or no?

I have learned that my UK friends bring British pounds when they travel and exchange that for local currency when they arrive. Is this a good or bad practise?

Which cash option is least expensive as far as fees go?

It looks like there is an additional credit card fee of around 1% for visa in Australia - is that still correct?

11 replies to this topic
Edinburgh
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1. Re: Getting Australian cash before leaving Canada

It all depends on the rates and fees your bank charge compared to the rates available elsewhere. For small amounts it really matters not unless your bank has really high charges.

I usually get a small amount of cash locally before leaving the U.K. (not from my bank).i would never take GBP overseas to exchange them. Guaranteed to be worse, far worse than using a debit card in an ATM. Some people just get cash when they arrive from an ATM. I had an issue with this once, when the airport ATM wasn’t working and the taxi driver wouldn’t take a card (not Australia).ended up having a bit of. Detour to get cash when I just wanted to get to my hotel. So now I have enough. Ash for a cab ride on me when I arrive.

Some places charge a fee for paying by credit card but they will tell you if they do. I don’t recall being charged extra by restaurants. Occasionally hotels have charged me. Not much you can do, unless you’re going to take huge amounts of cash around with you.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Getting Australian cash before leaving Canada

<< Which cash option is least expensive as far as fees go? >> no one knows that, your bank will, ask them.

CC fees are not standard except for Amex ... if your credit card charges fees for foreign transactions no one will know that either, ask your bank.

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Getting Australian cash before leaving Canada

I can’t comment on Canada specifically or the differences in cost (as often this will depend on which bank/company you exchange with anyway) but for sheer convenience I usually exchange a bit of cash before I leave just so I don’t have to bother finding somewhere to do it after getting off a long haul flight and I have time (and energy) to choose somewhere with a reasonable rate. I take a credit/debit card as well and get more cash as I go as I need to.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Getting Australian cash before leaving Canada

I would just get AUD 100 in mixed denomination of notes before you leave home. That way, you have a bit of cash for immediate use & to familiarise yourself with our notes. Then, take everyone’s advice & just draw cash as you need from ATMs from your debit account & use your credit cards for most purchases.

Our taxis take credit cards (5%) surcharge in NSW, but you don’t have to tip (Anyone, Anywhere, for Anything, Ever), so it’s not a big deal.

You can use ‘tap & go/swipe” with your credit cards at most shops. Over, say $100, you will probably need to use your PIN to authorise.

Hope you have a great time ... and do ask if you think we can help with anything else.

Newcastle, Australia
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5. Re: Getting Australian cash before leaving Canada

I also just get a small amount of cash when travelling, I just check the rates for ordering online and pick it up a couple of days later. For my trip to the US next month, I used Travelex as I got a great rate of 0.7322 last week when the $ was at 0.7412 so that was almost as good as the current Mastercard rate. I happenned to notice that day that the local exchange booth was offering 0.706 if I remember correctly, certainly less than 0.71. There was a minimum of $AUD500 worth of currency to get that rate which we split with friends. See if there’s a similar service in Canada, just google “buying foreign cash” or “buying Australian Dollars” or something similar.

Yes, some shops and restaurants do charge a fee for using a credit card but they will tell you first or there will be clear signage. Usually 1% for MC and Visa, 2-3% for Diners and Amex.

Don’t try to exchange twice as you’ll lose on each transaction.

All the best.

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Getting Australian cash before leaving Canada

Bring a bit of cash with you. The FX rate at the Canadian banks has been close to par for a while now.

rural West Aussie
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for Perth
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7. Re: Getting Australian cash before leaving Canada

For cash, a good rule of thumb is to buy your currency in the country that issues it, USD in the US, GBP in the UK, Euros in the EU etc. Even airport exchanges in your destination generally have better rates than you’d get at home.

ON, Canada
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8. Re: Getting Australian cash before leaving Canada

<"t looks like there is an additional credit card fee of around 1% for visa in Australia - is that still correct?">

We found that it was rare for vendors in Australia to charge a cc fee ... however, it's not unusual for your CC company to add a foreign currency transaction fee (2.5% is typical).

Greater Sydney...
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9. Re: Getting Australian cash before leaving Canada

International fee free cards are available in Canada.

https://goo.gl/HkVvf3

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10. Re: Getting Australian cash before leaving Canada

Almost all canadian cards charge 2.5% on top of the foreign currency exchange. Certain cards waive the fee (Roger's card has no annual fee, scotia passport visa is $140 annual fee and there are some other options too).

For the cash you do need I would purchase in canada ahead of time. For large developed countries like australia, canada will give u a good rate. The major banks tend to charge more than forex specialists so I would do an internet search of what is close in your area to find the best price. You dont want to be on vacation in australia and trying to find the best forex price, it's a waste of your vacation time.

For cash, you can also use your atm but research ahead of time what fees you will be charged. For example, scotiabank has an alliance I think it is with BBVA and waives all atm charges in Australia and New Zealand. But u still have to pay the forex fee as if you would if buying the cash at the branch. The positive is you dont need to buy more than you use. If u run out just take out some more.

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