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    Currency in Canada

    A practical currency and money guide to travel, living and doing business in Canada and the Canadian dollar (CAD).


    What currency is used in Canada?

    The official currency of Canada (country code: CA) is the Canadian dollar, with symbol C$ and currency code CAD.

    Things to know about the Canadian dollar

    Representing a little more than 5% of the foreign exchange market daily turnover, the Canadian dollar (ISO: CAD) is the world’s sixth most traded currency.

    Frequently called the ‘loonie’ by foreign exchange traders due to the image of a loon (an aquatic bird) on Canada’s one-dollar coin, the currency’s value is heavily influenced by commodities prices, particularly oil. For this reason, the Canadian dollar is often labelled a ‘petro-currency’. Canada currently has the world’s third largest oil reserves and is the world’s fourth largest oil exporter.

    Canadians are mostly concerned with the value of their currency against the US dollar, since nearly 80% of Canadian exports go south of the border. In the past two decades, the Canadian dollar lowest value against its US counterpart occurred in January 2002 when the CAD/USD exchange rate traded at just 0.6178. The currency’s two-decade high occurred in November 2007 (following a boom in the oil price) when CAD/USD reached 1.1041.

    The Canadians are more focussed on their currency exchange rate than are the citizens of most other countries, along with perhaps the Australians and British. This is may be due to the open and trading nature of the Canadian economy and also due to their long border with the USA.

    The Canadian dollar banknotes and coins

    The physical CAD currency consists of coins and banknotes. The coins come in denominations of 1 cent (¢), 5 cents (nickel), 10 cents (dime), 25 cents (quarter), and 50 cents (half dollar).

    The banknotes come in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. The banknotes feature images of famous Canadian historical figures, such as Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, and Sir Robert Borden. The design of the currency is constantly being updated, so the physical appearance of the coins and banknotes may vary slightly over time.

    An example Canadian dollar banknote


    Travel Ideas and Money Tips for Canada

    Canada is a vast country with a lot to see and do, so it's a good idea to spend some time planning your trip to make the most of your time there. Here are some things you might consider when planning a trip to Canada:

    Planning a trip to Canada

    1. Timing: Canada is a large country with a wide range of climates, so it's important to consider the best time to visit based on your destination and what you want to do there. For example, if you want to go skiing in the Rocky Mountains, you'll want to visit in the winter. If you want to spend time on the beach in British Columbia, you'll want to visit in the summer.

    2. Obtain any necessary travel documents: If you're not a Canadian citizen, you may need a visa to enter Canada. You should also ensure that your passport is valid for the duration of your stay in Canada.

    3. Budget: Canada is a relatively expensive country, so it's important to budget accordingly. Consider the cost of flights, accommodation, activities, and meals when planning your trip.

    4. Transportation: Canada is a large country, so you'll need to consider how you'll get around. Options include flying, taking the train, or renting a car. Keep in mind that distances can be long and the roads can be challenging in some parts of the country, so plan your route carefully.

    5. Accommodation: Canada has a wide range of accommodation options, from hotels and motels to bed and breakfasts, campsites, and vacation rentals. Consider your budget and what type of experience you're looking for when choosing your accommodation.

    6. Activities: Canada has a wide range of activities to suit all interests, from outdoor adventures like hiking, skiing, and fishing to cultural experiences like visiting museums and galleries. Make a list of the things you want to do and plan your trip accordingly.

    Top Things to do in Canada

    1. Visit Niagara Falls: Niagara Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in the world, and it's a must-see destination when visiting Canada. There are several observation points where you can get a great view of the falls, and you can also take a boat tour to get up close to the action.

    2. Explore the Rocky Mountains: The Rocky Mountains are a breathtaking mountain range that stretches through western Canada. Take a drive through the mountains and stop at scenic viewpoints along the way, or go hiking, biking, or skiing in the park.

    3. Visit Toronto: Toronto is the largest city in Canada and it's a great place to visit for its vibrant arts and culture scene, great restaurants, and iconic landmarks like the CN Tower.

    4. Go whale watching: Canada is home to a variety of whale species, and you can spot them in many different parts of the country. Head to the coast and join a whale-watching tour to see these majestic creatures up close.

    5. Explore the outdoors: Canada is home to a vast and diverse natural landscape, and there are countless opportunities for outdoor adventures. Go hiking, camping, or fishing in one of the country's many national parks, or take a trip to the boreal forest to see the Northern Lights.

    Is it expensive to ski in Canada?

    The cost of lift tickets for skiing in Canada can vary depending on the location, time of year, and type of ticket. Prices typically range from around $50 to $150 per day for an adult ticket, although deals and discounts may be available. Some resorts also offer multi-day and season passes, which can be more cost-effective for frequent skiers. It is best to check with individual ski resorts for the most up-to-date prices and any deals they may be offering.

    Read our guide to finding the best value global destinations for skiing, there are countries where skiing may be more affordable due to favourable exchange rates or lower costs of living.



    Expat Money & Business Guide to Canada

    Managing your money effectively while living and working abroad can be challenging, but there are several steps you can take to ensure that your finances are in order.

    By following these tips and managing your money effectively, you can reduce financial stress and enjoy your experience living or doing business in Canada.

    Here are a few things to consider when sending money to Canada:

    1. Fees: Different banks and money transfer services charge different fees for international money transfers. Shop around to find the best deal and compare the fees charged by different providers.

    2. Exchange rate: The exchange rate is the rate at which one currency is converted into another. Keep an eye on the exchange rate when sending money to Canada, as it can fluctuate and impact the amount of money you receive.

    3. Transfer speed: Some money transfer providers offer faster transfer speeds than others. If you need the money to arrive in Canada quickly, consider a provider that offers expedited transfer speeds for an additional fee.

    4. Transfer limits: Most banks and money transfer providers have limits on the amount of money you can send in a single transaction. Check with your provider to find out what the limits are and whether you'll need to send multiple transactions to send the amount you need.

    5. Security: Make sure to use a reputable and secure provider when sending money to Canada. Look for a provider that uses encryption to protect your personal and financial information.

    Managing your finances in Canada

    Here we list some key points for expats and businesses to consider when managing financial dealings in Canada:

    1. Understand Canadian dollar currency exchange rates: Exchange rates can have a big impact on your finances, so it is important to keep an eye on the CAD exchange rate and consider using a currency exchange service or a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees to get the best exchange rate.

    2. Use a local Canadian dollar bank account: A local CAD bank account can make it easier for you to manage your finances and pay bills while you are in Canada. It may also be more convenient to use a local CAD bank account to make purchases and withdraw cash.

    3. Research local laws and regulations: It is important to understand the local laws and regulations that apply to financial transactions in Canada. This can help you avoid legal issues and ensure that you are complying with local requirements.

    4. Consider the tax implications: It is important to understand the tax implications of living or doing business in Canada. This can help you plan your finances and ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.

    5. Seek financial advice: If you are unsure of how to manage your finances in Canada, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a financial professional who is familiar with the local financial system. This can help you make informed decisions and avoid financial pitfalls.

    You can read about the best providers and compare the latest deals for international money transfers to Canada in our Send Money to Canada guide.



    CAD/USD – Market Data

    The exchange rate of Canadian dollar (CAD), or the amount of CAD that can be exchanged for a foreign currency, can fluctuate rapidly based on a number of factors, including economic conditions, interest rates, and political events. Below you can check the latest CAD/USD rate plus recent trend, chart, forecasts and historic rates.

    1 CAD = 0.7345 USD
    Sell CAD  →  Buy USD
    CAD to USD at 0.7346 is just below its 3-month average, having traded in a very stable 3.9% range from 0.7215 to 0.7496
      1 USD = 1.3615 CAD
    CADUSD :

    12 May 2023
    0.3% 2 Week
    25 Feb 2023
    0.2% 3 Month
    26 May 2022
    6.2% 1 Year
    27 May 2018
    4.7% 5 Year
    28 May 2013
    23.8% 10 Year
    31 May 2003
    0.6% 20 Year
    CAD/USD historic rates & change to 26-May-2023



    What are CAD to USD forecasts?

    The CAD to USD exchange rate experienced some fluctuations recently, as the crude-linked Canadian Dollar (CAD) wobbled during yesterday's trade due to weaker oil prices. However, this was offset by an uptick in USD, with which CAD is positively correlated. FX analysts are keeping an eye on the upcoming Canadian PPI data release from April, as another uptick in producer prices could stoke speculation that the Bank of Canada may need to tighten monetary policy again.

    On the other hand, the US Dollar (USD) made modest gains as a bearish mood increased the safe-haven currency's appeal, primarily due to increasing Sino-American economic tensions. Market view suggests that the release of PMIs from S&P Global tonight may dampen USD demand if the services reading is weak and factory activity stalls. The Canadian Dollar has struggled against the US Dollar lately because of the risk-on and risk-off environments in financial markets, with continued housing price declines and adverse wealth effects potentially putting more negative pressure on CAD in 2023. Economists expect the US Dollar's strength to reverse in 2023 as the Fed's interest rate hikes cycle comes to an end.

    Taking into account the previous three months' CAD to USD price data, CAD to USD at 0.7334 is just below its 3-month average, having traded in a stable 3.9% range from 0.7215 to 0.7496. This close alignment with the average indicates some stability in the market. However, FX analysts will continue to monitor both economies' data releases and any further geopolitical tensions which may impact the exchange rate moving forward.

    CAD/USD forecasts CAD/USD rates


    Compare Canadian dollar Exchange Rates & Fees

    The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make an International Money Transfer to Canada or planning a trip or maybe living there, so will need to exchange and spend Canadian dollar.

    Loading comparison rates...


    It is important to note that the exchange rate of the Canadian dollar can change rapidly and that past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance. It is advisable to carefully consider the risks and factors that may affect CAD exchange rates before making any financial decisions.





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