Foreign Exchange Guide to Canada
In this guide we review :
- Canadian dollar info - general info about the Canadian dollar
- Canadian dollar in the markets - recent CAD moves and predictions from the FX markets
- Travelling in Canada - currency & money saving tips
- Buying Canadian dollar cash online - travel money for Canada
- Sending money to Canada - save on Canadian dollar bank transfers to Canada
- Canadian dollar exchange rates - latest info & charts.
Canadian dollar (CAD) general currency information
Representing a little more than 5% of the foreign exchange market’s 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’s 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.
Against the US dollar, CAD fell to buy 77.5 US cents (USD/CAD 1.29), but this was in line with average rates over the preceding twelve months.
Against the euro, CAD fell to an 8-year low but recovered somewhat before March was out to buy 63 euro cents (EUR/CAD 1.587).
For CAD, little respite is likely in the months ahead according to TD Securities, which described the currency in March as “really expensive.” A senior analyst at the firm explained that CAD was the “most exposed [major currency] from a global macro level and also from the local level of trade risk.”
Trade remains a dominant theme affecting CAD. Washington stepped up its protectionist measures in the first quarter with tariffs on steel and aluminium products (Canada is the number one exporter of such products to the US) and $60 billion worth of Chinese goods. Being a global growth-sensitive currency, CAD will suffer should international trade tensions escalate, not to mention the ramifications for ongoing NAFTA negotiations between Canada, the US and Mexico. The market consensus remains for an 8-10% drop in CAD's valuation should NAFTA negotiations fail.
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.
Currency and money saving tips for Canada
Accessing ATM's 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's 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.
Canada Trip Checklist
- Compare CAD travel cash rates - probably why you are here!
- Search Hotel deals - Save on your accomodation in Canada
- Lonely Planet - world's best travel guide (coupon and deals)
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
Rate timestamp : Mon Apr 23 2018 07:00:03 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Sending money 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 3 simple steps :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or Canadian dollar amount you want to transfer
- Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
- Once your funds are received by the provider the converted CAD amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Canada.
By comparing the 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 in Canada 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
Rate timestamp : Mon Apr 23 2018 07:03:20 GMT+0000 (UTC)