Buying Canadian Dollars

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Currency Exchange Rates

Looking for the best currency exchange that provide better than bank currency exchange rates? Call Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange ( at 1-877-355-5239 for a no-obligation currency exchange rate quote.

Canadian Bank Exchange Rates Comparison

Today is 2020/08/13

Bank Exchange Fee Source
Knightsbridge FX 0.1%-0.7% Knightsbridge FX
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 2.7% CIBC Exchange Rates

It is a good idea to keep an eye on exchange rates as you never know when they may be in your favour. There are several ways to do so the most common being to call one of the big Canadian banks or your currency exchange provider for a rate. Alternatively, banks and currency exchange providers more often than not, have websites that provide a live quote. The difference between banks and other currency exchange providers is that banks often have huge markups as can be seen below.

You’re probably asking yourself, why do banks charge so much more than a company such as Knightsbridge FX? The reason is quite simple; banks have a lot of overhead costs such as salary and rent in divisions that aren’t even related to foreign exchange! As a result you’re paying extra money to help them fund other parts of their business. With the internet and information all around us, we can make a smarter decision and beat the big guys. To do so, just pick up your phone and call the bank for a no-obligation quote on an amount such as US$1,000. You can then call another currency exchange provider such as Knightsbridge FX for a quote on the same amount. This will give you a clear idea as to how much money you can potentially save by considering an option besides the bank. Regardless of who you choose, both options should give you a discount on larger transactions.

(It is important to remember that exchange rates fluctuate in real time and are constantly changing based on market events.)

Best Exchanges To Buy And Sell US Dollars

- Large Currency Exchanges (Over $5,000) 

Honestly, the banks already make enough money. Why should we put our hard-earned money into the pockets of the large bank executives instead of saving our money and using it for something that is really meaningful?  The answer is that we can on denominations over $5,000 US dollars.  Banks have big markup fees and when you go to Knightsbridge FX or another currency exchange provider you can save 2% or even more compared to the exchange rate offered by banks.  That is due to the fact that companies such as Knightsbridge FX offer specialized service and call banks on a daily basis in order to guarantee that Canada has the lowest exchange rates.  They have lower expenses and overhead costs and are able to provide you with a much more reasonable and lower rate.  You can go to or call them at 1-877-355-5239. If you have a Canadian bank account already it usually takes a maximum of 15 minutes to get a US bank account opened and bank transfers occur immediately and electronically. 

- Small Currency Exchanges (Below $5,000)

Exchanging amounts over $5,000 isn't always possible.  You might not have that much or you might not need that much money for your needs. For example, week long cruise or vacation in the US probably won't cost that much.  Unfortunately, with companies like Knightsbridge FX, there isn't a lot you can do to save the same amount that you do on transactions of more than $5,000.  However, there are a couple of things to consider when choosing the best provider to meet your needs.  If you do a lot of business or foreign transaction with your bank then they might be able to offer you a more competitive rate.  If not, at the point, relatively similar rates are offered by most Canadian banks, and the deciding factor then might be convenience or closeness.  Another factor that should be considered is if your desired currency is held in stock by them.  TD foreign exchange services, for example, offers more than 50 currencies for sale and might be a good option for you. Or you can call in to the bank or location that you are thinking of using and ask ahead of time if they have or are able to obtain the currency that you want.  Just remember that a large mark up is charged by banks and the exchange rate that they provide is "cash rate."  In newspapers or on new business outlets the rate that you see is the "spot rate."  Often, the cash rate is 2 to 3% higher than what the spot rate is so if you can you should try to save up your transaction until you have $5,000 at least in order to save on exchange rates through using Knightsbridge FX or a similar company.

- Which Banks Offer The Best Exchange Rates     

We could spend lots of time talking about which banks offer the best rates.  However, ultimately they charge large markups with only small differences between them.  The most important thing is to find a provider or bank that is in alignment with your currency exchange habits and interests. However, if you really want to find the bank that offers the lowest rate, it is HSBC.  That is due to the fact that it is an international bank that has international clients who have many foreign exchange needs. They have specialized in that particular service and are among the best Canadian and global banks. However, there is one main drawback to choosing HSBC which is location.  HSBC does not have many locations in Canada due to the international nature of its business.  If it isn't convenient for you to visit an HSBC location, then the savings might not be worth it.  You also need to consider how often or how much money is involved when you are exchanging currency.  If you are wanting to trade ate least $5,000 US or exchange money on a very frequent basis, then you should consider a company such as Knightsbridge FX since they can save you at least 2% on every transaction.  That means you could save at least $100 or one $5,000 transaction.  That might not sound like a lot, but keep in mind, that the more money the transaction for the more money you will save, and ultimately it is extra money going directly into your pocket.         

A Canadian bank should work just fine for you if you don't exchange money that often or whenever the amount is under $5,000.  Options other than HSBC if it isn't convenient include TD, RBC MBO at a cost that is slightly higher.  If you travel to the US frequently, a majority of banks offer borderless services that may offer more competitive rates to you.  An example is TD borderless exchange which is usually .7 lower compared to its standard rate.  Remember that a company like Knightsbridge FX is still able to provide you with at least 2% in savings even when compared with borderless rates.  

Beginners Currency Exchange Tips

No airports. It is happened to just about everyone.  We rush, thinking we have everything packed and then get to the airport and then remember there is something that we forgot to do.  It could be a pair or shoes or currency.  Those things happen, but remember that convenience factor and airport rent will result in higher markups compared to other locations and banks.  If possible, be sure to plan ahead and get your currency exchanged before you get to the airport.  

No commission or service charges. Credit cards often have hidden and at times shocking interest levels and fees.  Currency exchanges are the same; at times currency exchange providers and banks have hidden commission fees or service charges  If you negotiate or ask nicely, you usually can get those charges and fees waved.  

- First Time  users of Currency Exchange

Congratulations!  You have received a job offer or accepted into a school in the US.  So what is next? You will definitely have tuition that you have to pay for or maybe family members living in Canada that you will want to send money.  If you have never done this before, then no problem.  We are providing you with some key information here to help ensure that your first experience with foreign exchange is an easy one.


The first step in the exchange currency process is usually registration.  Whether you are using a currency exchange provider or bank, registration is one of the necessary requirements that banks as well as other providers need to follow to adhere to regulations and laws that have been laid out by FINTRAC and the Government of Canada. Visit the FINTRAC website for more information: ( Before you register with any provider it is usually a good idea to first do some background research in order to make sure that it is the right provider for you.  

You should never use any company where you are not required to validate your personal identity. 

Similar to the way that the LCBO asks for ID in order for legal age drinking to be enforced money service and foreign exchange companies are required to validate your identity in order to ensure that there isn't anything fishy going on and that you are who you claim to be.  A company requiring you to validate your personal identity is in compliance with the regulations and law of FINTRAC and Canada.  You should not trust any company that doesn't require you to do this.

Selecting a Company 

In general you can simply contact your bank for foreign exchange services or any other Canadian bank.  However, it is nice to know that there are other foreign exchange providers that are available.  Checking out the Yellow Pages or doing a Google search will yield a number of results.  In addition, there are online forums with discussions on who the best provider is. If you are exchange amounts of money that are more than $5,000 then there are other companies besides banks like Knightsbridge FX that guarantee reasonable and low rates and that can save you at least 2%.   


Timing the market and conducting foreign exchanges at the best time is difficult to do.  However, timing can still be used to your advantage in order to minimize the inconveniences and hassles of life.  For example, maybe you need to obtain US dollars in exchange for Canadian dollars in two days.  Unfortunately, you car ends up breaking down as you are going to exchange your money.  You are now stuck on the side of the road and your bank is getting ready to close.  You can easily avoid these kinds of problems but following a basic rule of thumb by making sure that you exchange money a day in advance at least.  It will not only help you with avoiding unanticipated problems but it can also help you monitor exchange rates and give you a better chance of making exchanges when rates are favorable for you instead of taking a rate that is offered at the very last possible moment.  

- When Are The Worst And Best Times To Exchange Money?  

Sideways, up, down, who really knows where markets are headed?  In reality, there isn't any worst or best time during the week for exchanging money.  That is due to the fact that foreign exchange markets are controlled very efficiently by forces like supply and demand.  Therefore, the best thing that you can do is continue monitoring exchange rates and then get your money exchange when the exchange rates are close to or at the rate you desire.  Remember that exchange rates might go in a direction that isn't favorable to you sometimes. At that point you can either wait until it returns or exchange the money if you believe the rate is going to continue to get worse.     

Generally speaking, it is usually a good idea to not exchange money on weekends. Most markets are closed over the weekend which means that currency exchange providers must take depreciation risk on for holding currency over and weekend and during that time currency supply is usually less liquid. This results in exchange rates at currency exchange providers and banks being higher over the weekend. 

- How Do You Make Sure You Are Receiving A Batter Exchange Rate Compared To What Your Bank Offers?

Generally speaking, for small amounts of money that are less than $5,000, spending lots of time attempting to find the lowest rate usually isn't worth it since the amount of savings is so small.  However, it is always a good idea to save money if you don't mind spending some of your time or if you are going to be exchanging at least $5,000, then doing a quick comparison can save you a lot of money.  Your first step should be to contact your bank and get a quote for a certain amount, such as $1,000.  Then contact a foreign exchange provider that you are thinking about using and ask them for a quote also. Your cost savings is the difference between these two, and you can use that to determine whether or not it is worth using a foreign exchange provider.  On both options, the rate should continue to get better the higher the transaction amount is, so ask additional questions if that isn't the case or thinking about finding a different provider to use.   

- How to do Physical Cash Currency Exchange at Each Bank

A majority of Canadian banks are run in similar ways and have staff available at their retail locations to assist you with the process.  In order to exchange physical amounts of cash, you just walk up to the counter and ask how to start the process.  Bans sometimes have special locations that are dedicated to conducting foreign exchanges.  Consider Knightbridge FX if you are able to wait to exchange your money until you at least have $5,000.  It can save you at least 2%, which on a $5,000 transaction is about $100, which is a much better option compared to letting the bank have it.

Requirements For Physical Cash Currency Exchanges 

It is simple to exchange physical cash but a few things are required.  You will need to provide identification as well as other documents like a bank draft or statement.  You will also need to state the uses and sources of the transaction so that the foreign exchange provide can be in compliance with the regulations and rules that have been set forth by the Government of Canada and FINTRAC.  To save money and time, consider using the electronic transfer option when possible.


- Saving Money On Foreign Exchange Rates While You Are Traveling 

You are traveling and have used up all of your local currency.  It does happen.  Fortunately, there are frequently options available in the locations that you have traveled to whether it is the Caribbean or Florida.  Your options might include credit cards that have a markup of around 2.5% on middle exchange rates and similar markups will likely be offered by local currency exchange providers.  If the markup is more than 2.5 to 3% then you should consider finding a different provider or negotiating.