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Foreign Exchange Guide to Canada

Read this currency guide to Canada with money transfer and travel tips.

Country Code:
Domestic Currency:
Canadian dollar
Symbol - Code:
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This is a foreign exchange guide to Canada, Canadian dollar currency news plus CAD transfers and travel tips.

In this guide we review :

  1. Canadian dollar info - general info about the Canadian dollar
  2. Canadian dollar in the markets - recent CAD moves and predictions from the FX markets
  3. Travelling in Canada - currency & money saving tips
  4. Buying Canadian dollar cash online - travel money for Canada
  5. Sending money to Canada - save on Canadian dollar bank transfers to Canada
  6. Canadian dollar exchange rates - latest & historic exchange rates.

Canadian dollar (CAD) general currency information

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.

What is the Canadian dollar currency code and symbol?

The three letter currency code for the Canadian dollar is CAD and the symbol is $.

Which countries use the Canadian dollar?

It is the domestic currency in Canada.

Canadian dollar (CAD) in the markets

The Canadian dollar was the worst performing G10 currency in the first quarter of 2018 but in the first two months of the second quarter, it bettered all but the US dollar.

In April and May, against USD, CAD weakened marginally to $0.77 from $0.776; but CAD gained handsomely against the euro (and several other currencies), climbing to €0.662 from €0.629 (it had been only €0.619 in mid-March).

In March, TD Securities described CAD as “really expensive…from a global macro level and also from the local level of trade risk.” With the currency’s broad appreciation in the second quarter, presumably, as of writing, it is even more overvalued.

Being a growth-sensitive currency, CAD’s outlook is closely tied to that of global growth, and this is being threatened in 2018 by the trade policies of the US. The powers that be in the world’s largest economy have so far threatened China with massive tariffs and have imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium products sourced globally (Canada may or may not be excluded from this policy, depending on how much ground it gives during NAFTA negotiations – see below). Then, after a month or so of calm, trade tensions resurfaced in May after Washington announced it would be scrutinizing automobile imports.

Vital to CAD’s outlook is NAFTA. The market consensus remains for an 8-10% drop in CAD's value should NAFTA negotiations with the US and Mexico fail.

Supporting CAD in 2018 has been oil, which has climbed to long-term highs.

The interactive chart below shows the CAD to USD exchange rate for the previous 3 months with rate alerts for days when the exchange rate moved up or down significantly or for 30 day highs and lows.

CAD-USD 3 Month chart
CAD-USD 3 Month chart
CADUSD currency converter

Travel, Currency and Money saving tips for Canada

Accessing ATMs and banks is not a problem in Canada with any major credit card.

Getting around by train is a popular way of travel in Canada as it is a big place. Booking a sleeper car can be comfortable for long distance overnight stretches. VIA Rail Canrailpass gives you 12 days of unlimited rail travel in Canada during a 30-day period, check VIA Rail's website for current prices. Bus travel in Canada is an economic and comfortable way to travel, Canada's system of intercity bus routes spans the entire country. Some cities also offer flexible transit passes so you can have unlimited all-day, multi-day, or monthly travel.

Travel money for Canada

Save money and time by Ordering your Canadian dollar online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the CAD cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.

Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.

For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in Canadian dollar otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.

Travel Money Exchange Rates Compared

Buying CAD Cash with USD 1,000

Travelex US Online logo Travelex US Online
$1167.60 CAD (11.57%)
Free Home Delivery when you Buy Online Travel Money & Cards with $0 commission and great exchange rates only available from Travelex Online. Zero cost for Home Delivery or pickup your foreign cash at your local Travelex store or at the airport on departure day. * Home deliveries can only be made to the registered billing address of your chosen payment method.
Price Details
Receive: $1167.60 CAD
Exchange Rate: 1.1676
(Inverse 1CAD=USD 0.8565)
Fees: USD 0
Total Cost : 11.57% (from mid-rate: 1.3203)
Amount of money that could be received by your currency exchange at rate USD/CAD=1.1676 and inclusive of the fee of USD 0.
Rate timestamp : Wed Jul 18 2018 00:00:04 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Bank Rates - Average
$1143.75 CAD (13.37%)
This is the average USD to CAD Buy Foreign Cash exchange rate from multiple banks, exchange kiosks and post-offices, available over the counter and via the internet.

Price Details
Receive: $1143.75 CAD
Exchange Rate: 1.1553
(Inverse 1CAD=USD 0.8656)
Fees: USD 10 (1%)
Total Cost : 13.37% (from mid-rate: 1.3203)
Receive CAD $24 less than with  Travelex US Online logo Travelex US Online
Amount of money that could be received by your currency exchange at rate USD/CAD=1.1553 and inclusive of the fee of USD 10 (1%).

Canada Trip Checklist    

  1. Compare CAD travel cash rates - probably why you are here!
  2. Search Hotel deals - Save on your accomodation in Canada
  3. Lonely Planet - world's best travel guide (coupon and deals)

Sending money to Canada

When searching around for information on how to get a good exchange rate when sending money to Canada you need to start with finding out the latest Canadian dollar foreign-transfer exchange rate.

Then compare your bank's exchange rates to several licensed FX providers exchange rate and fees to see how much you can save (we make that calculation easy here).

Get a better deal for foreign transfers to Canada

When sending money to Canada it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :

  1. Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
  2. You specify the local or Canadian dollar amount you want to transfer
  3. Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
  4. Once your funds are received by the provider the converted CAD amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Canada.

Use our Send to CAD calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Canadian dollar deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!

Sending a LARGER international money transfer? Request a Free Multi-Vendor Quote

Compare Foreign Transfers

Sending USD 10,000 to CAD

OFX logo OFX
$13,115 CAD (0.67%)
Book & track your foreign transfers online (24/7) with industry best rates for all your deals - not just the first one! Lock in exchange rates with Spot & Forward Deals. BestExchangeRates users get the transfer fees waived.
Price Details
Receive: $13,115 CAD
Exchange Rate: 1.3115
(Inverse 1CAD=USD 0.7625)
Fees: USD 0
Total Cost : 0.67% (from mid-rate: 1.3203)
This is the amount of money that could be received by your transfer at rate USD/CAD=1.3115 and inclusive of the fee of USD 0.
Rate timestamp : Wed Jul 18 2018 00:03:22 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Bank Rates - Average
$12,704 CAD (3.78%)
This is the average USD to CAD International Transfer exchange rate and fees from multiple banks for FX rates available over the counter and also via Internet Banking.

Price Details
Receive: $12,704 CAD
Exchange Rate: 1.2723
(Inverse 1CAD=USD 0.7860)
Fees: USD 15
Total Cost : 3.78% (from mid-rate: 1.3203)
Receive CAD $411 less than with  OFX logo OFX
This is the amount of money that could be received by your transfer at rate USD/CAD=1.2723 and inclusive of the fee of USD 15.

Canadian dollar - exchange rates - live and historic

Major CAD cross rates
View Full List (A-Z)

CAD/USD - Canadian dollar to U.S. dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
17 Jul 20180.7576Latest
10 Jul 20180.76071 Week-0.41%
17 Jun 20180.75751 Month+0.01%
18 Jan 20180.80576 Months-5.97%
17 Jul 20170.78761 Year-3.81%
17 Jul 20160.77182 Years-1.84%
18 Jul 20130.96255 Years-21.29%
19 Jul 20080.994110 Years-23.79%

CAD/EUR - Canadian dollar to Euro - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
17 Jul 20180.6496Latest
10 Jul 20180.64871 Week+0.14%
17 Jun 20180.65341 Month-0.58%
18 Jan 20180.65866 Months-1.37%
17 Jul 20170.68651 Year-5.38%
17 Jul 20160.69782 Years-6.91%
18 Jul 20130.73395 Years-11.49%
19 Jul 20080.628010 Years+3.44%

CAD/GBP - Canadian dollar to British pound sterling - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
17 Jul 20180.5760Latest
10 Jul 20180.57381 Week+0.38%
17 Jun 20180.57061 Month+0.95%
18 Jan 20180.58006 Months-0.69%
17 Jul 20170.60351 Year-4.56%
17 Jul 20160.58242 Years-1.1%
18 Jul 20130.63385 Years-9.12%
19 Jul 20080.498110 Years+15.64%

CAD/JPY - Canadian dollar to Japanese yen - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
17 Jul 201885.4847Latest
10 Jul 201884.33401 Week+1.36%
17 Jun 201883.81581 Month+1.99%
18 Jan 201889.46636 Months-4.45%
17 Jul 201788.68741 Year-3.61%
17 Jul 201681.37142 Years+5.05%
18 Jul 201396.34665 Years-11.27%
19 Jul 2008106.258210 Years-19.55%

CAD/AUD - Canadian dollar to Australian dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
17 Jul 20181.0250Latest
10 Jul 20181.02581 Week-0.08%
17 Jun 20181.01821 Month+0.67%
18 Jan 20181.00656 Months+1.84%
17 Jul 20171.01111 Year+1.37%
17 Jul 20161.01592 Years+0.9%
18 Jul 20131.04715 Years-2.11%
19 Jul 20081.023010 Years+0.2%

Canadian dollar News