Author Topic: An American Visa Card in Canada  (Read 3125 times)

Cpa Cat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1567
An American Visa Card in Canada
« on: July 05, 2015, 11:15:52 AM »
I am going to Canada to visit family later in the year. I rarely use cash and I have a "chip and sign" card with no international transaction charges (no chip and pin). Is this going to be a problem in Canada?

I don't want to end the trip with a bunch of unused Canadian currency, so I'm trying to figure out how much cash to have available.

tj

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1249
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Maui
    • Arcadia Power
Re: An American Visa Card in Canada
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2015, 11:29:01 AM »
No problem using swipe cards in Canada or anywhere else.

swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2884
Re: An American Visa Card in Canada
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2015, 12:15:08 PM »
Does your "no fees" include currency transaction charges as well? Here in Canada they are a standard 2.5 % plus they can make the conversion at any point (within a window) that is most advantageous to them.

As far as actually using the card, shouldn't be a problem. Might want some cash on hand for small purchases.

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6265
  • Location: BC
Re: An American Visa Card in Canada
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2015, 08:05:30 AM »
My Amex card is a swipe with no problem.

I do find more locations accept Amex in the USA than here, tho.

Some fast food places and small businesses may only accept cash or one company's card, apparently common in NY too   

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5503
Re: An American Visa Card in Canada
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2015, 08:12:44 AM »
It'll work fine.  If you have a debit card with no chip, you may not be able to run it as a debit card (it'll run as credit, meaning you can't use it at Costco or places who only accept debit).

I'm in Canada for the summer and I learned that the hard way- I have to use cash at Costco, and there's a discount supermarket that only accepts debit and MasterCard- all I have with me is Visa/Amex/Discover, and my debit card has no chip so I can't use it at either of those places.

forummm

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7396
  • Senior Mustachian
Re: An American Visa Card in Canada
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2015, 08:57:08 AM »
We were in Canada for over a week last month with just our normal swipe Visa card. We never had to use CAD cash for anything. There was one restaurant that didn't take credit cards at all (and we didn't notice before eating), so I just gave them some USD cash and they were OK with that.

It's inconvenient to have the swipe cards without chips in them for some things (like gas stations) because you have to go inside and pay a fixed amount. But it works.

If you go to a restaurant they will bring you a little machine that you swipe right there and enter in tip. I like that system a lot. It saves time.

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3322
  • Location: UK
Re: An American Visa Card in Canada
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2015, 10:13:35 AM »
Does your "no fees" include currency transaction charges as well? Here in Canada they are a standard 2.5 % plus they can make the conversion at any point (within a window) that is most advantageous to them.

As far as actually using the card, shouldn't be a problem. Might want some cash on hand for small purchases.

Chase Amazon.ca and Marriott Rewards card carry no forex fee.

ALWAYS choose the local currency if a POS machine gives you the option of using local currency, the exchange rate back to home will be worse if you let "the machine" do the conversion (ie the intermediary bank). Same with PayPal and Amazon. Especially, obviously, if you have a no forex fee card.

Plenty of US cards are no forex fee. Lucky buggers.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2015, 06:29:31 PM by daverobev »

tj

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1249
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Maui
    • Arcadia Power
Re: An American Visa Card in Canada
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2015, 11:09:58 AM »
Does your "no fees" include currency transaction charges as well? Here in Canada they are a standard 2.5 % plus they can make the conversion at any point (within a window) that is most advantageous to them.

As far as actually using the card, shouldn't be a problem. Might want some cash on hand for small purchases.

Chase Amazon.ca and Marriott Rewards card carry no forex fee.

ALWAYS choose your home country's currency if a POS machine gives you the option of using local currency, the rate will be worse. Same with PayPal and Amazon. Especially, obviously, if you have a no forex fee card.

Plenty of US cards are no forex fee. Lucky buggers.


I think you mean to use the local currency. The exchange rate is worse if you pick USD in another country and use that machine's excahnge rate vs your credit card's exchange rate.

WingsFan4Life

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • Location: Kentucky
  • LGRW
Re: An American Visa Card in Canada
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2015, 02:06:16 PM »
Does your "no fees" include currency transaction charges as well? Here in Canada they are a standard 2.5 % plus they can make the conversion at any point (within a window) that is most advantageous to them.

As far as actually using the card, shouldn't be a problem. Might want some cash on hand for small purchases.

Chase Amazon.ca and Marriott Rewards card carry no forex fee.

ALWAYS choose your home country's currency if a POS machine gives you the option of using local currency, the rate will be worse. Same with PayPal and Amazon. Especially, obviously, if you have a no forex fee card.

Plenty of US cards are no forex fee. Lucky buggers.


I think you mean to use the local currency. The exchange rate is worse if you pick USD in another country and use that machine's excahnge rate vs your credit card's exchange rate.

Yep. Use CAD in Canada and Euros in Greece..... for now anyway.

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3322
  • Location: UK
Re: An American Visa Card in Canada
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2015, 06:28:13 PM »
Does your "no fees" include currency transaction charges as well? Here in Canada they are a standard 2.5 % plus they can make the conversion at any point (within a window) that is most advantageous to them.

As far as actually using the card, shouldn't be a problem. Might want some cash on hand for small purchases.

Chase Amazon.ca and Marriott Rewards card carry no forex fee.

ALWAYS choose your home country's currency if a POS machine gives you the option of using local currency, the rate will be worse. Same with PayPal and Amazon. Especially, obviously, if you have a no forex fee card.

Plenty of US cards are no forex fee. Lucky buggers.


I think you mean to use the local currency. The exchange rate is worse if you pick USD in another country and use that machine's excahnge rate vs your credit card's exchange rate.

Ugh, yes I mean the currency of the card, not the local rate... duh. Editing my post so as not to confuse further.