The Best Ways to Take Travel Money to Canada

Currency in Canada

Planning a thrilling adventure in Canada?

Currency needs to be on your to do list. Here is some general information about the Canadian dollar and some tips and tricks to get the best deal on your conversion from AUD to CAD.

Online

This is a convenient way to buy currency but you need some time. You can choose where to pick the order up from, and in some instances can get home delivery. When you order with Travelex, you can choose to order cash, a prepaid Travelex Money Card or both!

Home or Office Delivery

  • You can pay by Bpay or bank transfer
  • It takes up to 7 days depending on your location
  • Choose your cash denominations like small, medium, large or mixed

Money Changers

This is the best way to get currency quickly. You will find them in major shopping centres and towns. Our tip, is that the exchange rates are better in your CBD than what you'd find further out. So it can be worth going there if you're exchanging more than $2,000.

Find the best currency exchange in your states CBD here.

Get a discount code for Travel Money Oz

  1. We'll send you a code by sms and email.
  2. Find your nearest Travel Money Oz store. Click here to find your nearest location.
  3. When you are in the store, quote your discount code and get $10 off your transaction.
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Terms and Conditions

Offer is valid for new in-store transactions only and cannot be applied to previous or incomplete transactions. A customer must visit a store and display their promo code to receive the $10 discount. Customers may redeem the promotion once per qualifying transaction.
Please ask your Travel Money Oz (or NZ) consultant for current rates.
The minimum spend amount, where applicable, is displayed in AUD.
Not valid in conjunction with any other offer.

Bank

Most banks do exchange currency. The issue is that they often have high fees, and don't offer very good rates. It's always better to compare rates elsewhere before deciding, but as a standard rule it's best to avoid your bank. Especially for a popular currency like CAD.

Airport

Yes, you can buy currency at the airport. But that doesn't mean you should. While it's convenient, it's also very expensive. If you have run out of time before your trip, it's definitely better to buy currency when you get to Canada, or use your Aussie debit card instead.

How to buy Canadian dollars in Canada ?

General Tips

If you decide to buy your currency when you get to Canada, the first thing you'll need to do is make sure you have Australian dollars in cash. This way you can exchange it when you get there.

Similar to Australia, it's best to avoid buying currency at the airport and the bank, and better to do it in one of the major city centres.

You can use this link to find Travelex stores in Canada

Currency Exchange in Canada

There are many money changers in Canada aside from the banks in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.

Toronto

Calforex - 290 Queen St W
Kantor Currency Exchange - 121 Runnymede Rd  / 390 Steeles Ave W #18, Thornhill & 4400 Dufferin St, North York

Vancouver

Vancouver Bullion and Currency - 800 W Pender St #120 and 2576 Granville St
Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange - 1285 W Broadway #600

Calgary

Calforex - 6455 Macleod Trail SW and 228 8 Ave SW
Ice International - CF Market Mall, 3625 Shaganappi Trail NW and 321 6 Ave SW Unit 125

 

 

AUD to CAD Exchange Rate Calculator

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What Canadian notes and coins look like

Notes

The notes are structured in the same way Australian ones are. The notes themselves are designed differently, but they are the same type. Canadian dollars are made up of:

$5, $10, $20, $50, $100.

CAD

Coins

Coins in Canada are:

5c - nickel, 10c - dime, $1 - loonie, $2 - toonie

 

 

 

Can I use USD in Canada ?

Yes you can, but it will be more expensive as retailers and hotels will set rates favourable to them. Coins are unlikely to be accepted and your change will more than likely be in Canadian dollars. Best to buy your Canadian dollars on line before you depart to save you money and hassle.

Is it cheaper to convert currency in Australia or Canada?

Exchange rates change frequently, and every provider offers different rates. This makes it hard to say what the cheapest way and place to exchange currency is.

When you're travelling to a place like Canada you can often get good exchange rates when you arrive, because Australian travellers go there frequently. This means money exchangers in Canada are happy to trade between AUD and CAD.

Just steer clear of exchanging currency at the airport. On both ends, the rates will be much worse there than in the city centres.

To find the best way to buy CAD, you can read our guide here.

The 3 Best Travel Cards For Aussies to Use in Canada

It can be tricky working out which is the best travel card to use in Canada.

The fact is, the best one for you will really depend on what you need from the card you're using.

We've listed what we think are three of the best prepaid travel cards you can use while you're in Canada.

 

What are different types of travel cards?

They can be either prepaid, debit or credit cards designed specially for using overseas. You can use travel cards to make purchases online, in stores and to withdraw money at ATMs. There are 3 popular types:

  1. Prepaid Travel Cards
  2. Travel Credit Cards
  3. Debit Cards

Let's have a look at each one.

Prepaid Travel Cards

For prepaid cards, you're able to load the card with a set amount of money in the currencies you need. Ideally you do this before your trip, but often you can reload them as well.

Most prepaid travel cards allow for multiple currencies to be loaded onto the card. So it's important to know what currency you'll be using on your travels. Airlines also offer prepaid cards so the money you spend can earn you reward points.

With prepaid travel cards you need to be careful, as they can have numerous fees and charges which can make it more expensive than other options. But if you're organised and travelling to multiple cities a prepaid travel card is a good option.

Best Prepaid Travel Card: The Travelex Money Card

The Travelex Money Card is our best value prepaid travel card. With this card:

  • There are no ATM fees so you can withdraw cash at no extra cost
  • You can access Travelex's online rates
  • You can lock in your initial loading cross currency rate
  • Ideal for the organised traveller.
  • Can load up to 10 currencies including AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, NZD, CAD, THB, SGB, HKD and JPY.
  • Smartphone App & Free Wifi Cross
  • $0 overseas ATM fees (Australia excluded)
  • Free Replacement Card
  • 24/7 Global Support
  • Limited Currencies
  • 5.95% currency conversion rate
  • $100 minimum initial load
  • 2.95% Australian ATM withdrawal fee

Learn more about the Travelex Money Card

Travel Credit Cards

Credit cards have obviously been around for a long time. But now there are specialised travel credit cards. Generally, these cards give you longer to pay back what you've spent but the interest rates after this time can be quite high.

The main advantage with credit cards are the reward points you get in return for your customer loyalty when you spend. But it only works if you pay off the balance in full each month.

Credit cards are great to use for car hire, restaurants and accommodation - larger expenses that are easier for you to pay back over time. Some services only take credit cards to hold purchases so they can definitely be handy while you're travelling.

Best Travel Credit Card: 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard

The 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard is our best value travel credit card. With this card:

  • There are no annual fees
  • No overseas purchase fee or currency conversion fee
  • You get 55 days interest free on purchases
  • Access to free 24/7 concierge service
  • Emergency card replacement worldwide

The 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard has additional benefits including shoppers and repayments benefits cover. For more information read our review.

  • Can have 9 additional cardholders
  • No overseas purchase fee, or currency conversion fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Free Replacement Card
  • High interest rates after the initial 55 days
  • Minimum credit limit is $6000
  • No introductory offers or rewards

Learn more about the 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard

Debit Cards

Debit Cards offer the convenience of a credit card, but work differently. They draw money directly from your bank account when you make a purchase. It is designed for everyday money transactions and means that you're not accumulating debt.

If you have spending issues, it's a better option to use your debit card whenever possible, because it will prevent you from falling into credit card debt. And for daily purchases, we think a debit card can help you stick to your travel budget, because you can't overdraw money from your account.

Generally, we recommend having a combination of a travel debit and travel credit card for safety, flexibility and convenience on your trip.

Payment with credit card or debit card

Best Travel Debit Card: Citibank Plus Everyday Account

The Citibank Plus Everyday Account is our best value travel debit card. With this card you can benefit from the following:

  • Withdraw cash at no extra cost with no overseas ATM fees
  • Free cash withdrawals from over 3000 ATMs Australia-wide
  • No monthly fee or minimum opening balance
  • Transfer funds to friends and family anywhere in the world for free in 25 countries and currencies
  • Free bottle of wine at Citibank Dining Program partner restaurants if you pay with your Citibank card

Please be aware, there are daily transfer and withdrawal limits. $10,000 for online transfers and $1,000 for ATM withdrawals and EFTPOS transactions.

  • No international ATM or transaction fees
  • Fee-free international money transfers to any account worldwide
  • SMS notifications through Citi Alert
  • Cash deposits available within 24-48 hours
  • Can’t have two cards active at the same time
  • $5 account closure

Learn more about the Citibank Plus Everyday Account

How Much Things Cost in Canada

Canada is a popular destination for Australians. And with the good weather, food and outdoor activities - it's not surprising. Travelling somewhere new for the first time can make budgeting a bit difficult. But it becomes easier to plan your holiday once you know how much things cost in Canada.

To give you a better idea of how much everything is going to cost, we've listed some essential things you might need on your holiday like accomodation, transport, food and more.

All the prices we've quoted in this article are in Australian dollars, but you can visit our currency converter to find out what the exchange rate is between the AUD and CAD.

Before you head to Canada, learn about:

  • Is it expensive to visit Canada?
  • How much you need to bring to Canada?
  • How much it costs to fly from Australia?
  • The cost of food
  • Buses and trains
  • Tours in Canada
  • Hiring a Car
  • Accomodation

Is it Expensive to Visit Canada?

When it comes to travelling in Canada, there are a few differences between there and Australia. Let's have a look at the cost difference between some food and activities in Canada and Australia:

 

Australia vs Canada

In this table, we have a comparison of some things you might do in Canada. The prices are approximate, and can change between different cities in Canada.

Expense Cost in Australia Cost in Canada
Cappuccino $4AUD $4AUD
1 full month of public transport (MyKi) $145AUD for a MyKi Pass $100AUD
Full priced Movie ticket $20AUD $14AUD
1 full month Gym membership $65AUD $55AUD
A bottle of beer (0.5 litre) $7.5AUD $6.5AUD

How much money do I need to bring?

The answer to this question really depends on the type of holiday you're planning. Will you be backpacking and staying in hostels? Will you be living it up at a fancy hotel? If you want to do it on a budget, you easily can or you can splurge and go on a luxury holiday.

Canada can be a slightly more expensive country to visit, compared with other destinations. Having said this, there are ways you can cut costs if you need to.

Here we have listed an estimate of what you'd need, per person, per day depending on your holiday.

Budget holiday: $100AUD

Middle of the range holiday:  $100 - $600AUD

Luxury holiday: At least $600AUD

How much does food cost in Canada?

Food is a pretty important part of a holiday, and a great way to get to know a country. Especially somewhere like Canada where there is delicious food to try on every corner. In Canada, you can really decide how much you want to spend on food everyday. You could get by on as little as $30AUD or if you're fine dining you could spend a lot more! Below we've listed some general prices for eating and drinking out, and the cost of some other bits and bobs.

Eating out:

  • Breakfast: $7 - $25 AUD
  • Lunch: $9 - $30 AUD
  • Dinner: $12 - $50AUD

Drinks:

  • Coffee: $4AUD
  • Beer: $6.5AUD+
  • Glass of wine: $8.5AUD+

Some other examples:

  • Big Mac meal: $10AUD
  • Bottle of Wine: $15AUD+
  • Bottled water: $2.50AUD
  • Cocktails: $14AUD+
  • 3 Day Ski Trip: From $300AUD

How much does it cost to fly from Australia to Canada?

Like flying anywhere in the world, flights between Australia and Canada can change depending the time of year. Having said this, there are often sales that can get you there quite cheaply.

The flight prices also depend on where in Australia you're flying from but from most capital cities you can easily get a direct flight.

Generally the average cost of a return flight to Toronto Pearson International Airport from Melbourne or Sydney will cost you about $1,200 - $3,000AUD.

Getting Around

There are many ways to travel around Canada. They have many domestic airlines, Air Canada is the largest. A return fair between Toronto and Vancouver is approximately $300AUD.

Canada is famous for its outdoors, so it should come as no surprise that cycling is a great way to travel with well sign posted designated bike routes.

Travelling by boat or ferry is prominent in the Atlantic provinces and British Columbia. BC Ferries is one of the larger companies operating.

There are many bus carriers that offer a reliable service and Greyhound is very prevalent in Canada.

Tours

Utilising tours is a great way to meet other travellers and learn about the area you're in. If you're looking to have a completely guided tour, you could consider looking into companies like Intrepid or Topdeck. But even on a smaller scale, you can often find guided tours to different parts of the country which can usually be organised through your hotel or hostel. These may set you back a small fee to cover the cost.

Viator is a great website to get information about tours you can do throughout Canada!

Hiring a Car

You can hire a car in Canada.

Although, with the exceptional public transport you may not feel the need to. The traffic can also be a little chaotic in some parts of the country. In order to drive there you will need to obtain an International Drivers Permit (IDP) which you can do in Australia. Remember that if you're hiring a car and you're under 25, it is usually more expensive than it is for older drivers.

 

Price of a Rental Car in Canada, per Week:

  • Budget: From $500AUD per week for a budget car that will comfortably fit two people and luggage
  • Mid-range: $6,500AUD for a mid-range car that will easily fit four people and luggage
  • High-end:  Up to $750AUD+ for a high end car such as a convertible, large SUV or luxury vehicle

 

Rental Car Companies

Accomodation

You can somewhat be flexible about how much you spend on accomodation when you get to Canada. If you're keeping it low key and don't want to spend much, there are hostels, or you could live it up! Below are some rough guides to how much you can expect to pay.

Accomodation on a budget, like hostels cost about $50 to $125AUD a night.

Mid-range accomodation like a double room in a 3 star hotel will probably cost between $125 and $350AUD a night.

A double luxury hotel room will cost from $350AUD up to as much as you're willing to spend per night.

Using the following sites will give you an even better idea of how much the accomodation you're after will cost you.

Tipping

There is a strong culture of tipping in Canada. Below we've listed some things you should keep in mind about tipping in Canada:

  • Restaurants: 15 to 20% is expected as waitstaff receive the minimum wage and rely on tips for their livelihood
  • Hotels: $1 to $2 per bag for bell boy, $2 to $3 for maid and $10 to $20 for concierge
  • Taxis: 10 to 15% is considered normal

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