Spending Money on the Trip
We recommend students bring their ATM card or a credit card. (See Canadian Money section)
There are two breakfasts included. Day 2 and Day 3 (Morning) Lunch and dinner meals are not included and it is recommended that students bring their ATM, credit card or about $150 U.S. cash (above and beyond their $20 REFUNDABLE US CASH room deposit and $20 Non-Refundable US CASH Hotel Security Fee)
The ATM and / or Credit Card is the safest and most reliable way to receive Canadian Money to purchase food or other items in Canada.
- Be advised AMEX, Most VISA or Matercard gift cards do not work in Canada
- Please advise your ATM bank or Credit Card company that you will be traveling to Canada during your trip dates.
The area of Old Québec near the hotel features dining in all price ranges. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO on Where to Eat?
- Students can use U.S. money at any merchant in Canada and receive Canadian currency as change but service charges will be part of the exchange rate.
- Alternatively, students can get money at an ATM .
- Generally, for the modest amounts students spend on these trips it’s not worth it to exchange it at a bank in the U.S. because of fixed service fees.
- The Canadian dollar is usually worth more than a U.S. Dollar. Exchange rates vary daily and the actual exchange rate at the time you are visiting Canada could be higher or lower.
Canadian Currency Conversion
A Canadian dollar is similar to the US dollar in that there are 100 cents in a Canadian dollar. Historically, the US dollar has been worth more than the Canadian dollar but in recent years the disparity has been decreasing.
CLICK HERE FOR THE CURRENT EXCHANGE RATE
EXAMPLE: Stores may post the exchange rate on a sign something like this:
US $ = at par or US Exchange = $1.20
This simply means the store will convert US dollars for Canadian dollars at the rate of 1.20 Canadian dollar for each US dollar. If you buy an item for $10 Canadian in a store with a posted exchange rate of US $ = $1.20 and you give the store clerk $10 US, this equals $12.00 in Canadian dollars ($10 US X 1.20 = $12.00 Canadian -less $10 Canadian = $2.00 Canadian change).
(Please note: exchange rates change daily. The rates used in this example are from mid-October and assume a built-in service charge by the establishment and will not necessarily be the rates in effect when visiting Canada.)
It’s a good idea for students to have some knowledge of how exchange rate works in order to estimate how much money to receive as change when American dollars are exchanged for Canadian dollars or vice versa.
Canadian currency comes in the following denominations:
- Bills - $5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars
- Coins – 1, 5, 10, 20 and 25 cents; one and two dollars
Credit card companies and banks generally offer a more favorable exchange rate than a commercial establishment, but a bank will add a service charge and that can make the overall exchange at a bank worse than at a store particularly for small amounts of money. It's best to exchange a large amount of money when there is a fixed service fee regardless of the dollar amount involved. Students might want to band together and pool their money and get the total amount exchanged at a bank to spread the fixed service fees.
If you have a credit card, you can use it for most transactions since you will get the best exchange rate but be aware that credit card companies also may charge additional fees for foreign purchases (usually 1% to 3% of the purchase price).
Credit cards accepted in Canada include Master Card, VISA and American Express.
IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING GIFT CARDS: Master Card, VISA and American Express gift cards DO NOT WORK in CANADA