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Best places to exchange currency in Vancouver

Don't overpay for Canadian dollars on your next trip.

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Exploring Vancouver can be an exciting trip, and having cash on hand can make it even easier if you’re visiting from abroad and want to avoid credit card fees. Finding a currency exchange office near your destinations so you can spend more time seeing Stanley Park or the Capilano Suspension Bridge is key, so use our map to find offices all over Vancouver to help make your trip stress free.

Who can exchange my money in Vancouver?

Charlie's Currency Exchange

1. Charlie’s Currency Exchange

This local favorite is located on Granville St. in the heart of downtown and only accepts cash payments. The upside is that it’s open seven days a week and you won’t end up paying out the nose on any hidden charges from your bank.

Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange

2. Vancouver Bullion and Currency Exchange

This company has a few branches in Vancouver, including on Pender and Granville, as well as out in Richmond. Most locations are open for business on weekdays and Saturdays, and you can pay with cash or debit card on site.

Happy Currency Exchange

3. Happy Currency Exchange

Happy Currency Exchange has three locations in Burnaby, Richmond and Vancouver. Their downtown kiosk is conveniently located on West Broadway, between Cambie & Yukon, and it’s open Monday to Saturday.

Tips for getting the best deal when exchanging money

  • Compare your options. Shop online for the best deal before you head to your nearest exchange agent. Don’t be afraid to ask for a price match if you’ve settled on a company but their rates aren’t up to snuff.
  • Know the mid-market rate. Use Google or Reuters to see the rate that the banks trade at so you can be sure to find a company offering a decent margin.
  • Avoid paying with your debit or credit. The world might run on plastic but with foreign currency exchange, you should stick to cash or pay with a bank transfer. Otherwise, you could be dinged for a cash advance, which comes with a hefty 2 – 5% charge on your next bank statement.
  • Choose foreign exchange over an ATM. ATMs can end up costing you a bundle in hidden fees and dismal exchange rates. It pays to do your homework and find a decent kiosk to change your money.
  • Steer clear of airport vendors. Airport vendors are notorious for ripping off unsuspecting customers. If you know you need cash before you hit the airport, plan ahead by buying currency at home to avoid high prices.

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If you’re sending money to a loved one, you can do it from home with an international money transfer company.

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Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Bottom line

If you’re headed to Vancouver, skip the high fees you’d see at an ATM or airport and plan ahead to get the best rate on foreign currency. And if you just need to send money to Vancouver, consider using an international money transfer company.

Picture: Shutterstock

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