Posted November 12th, 2008 by Admin
On this page, I plan on providing links to as many sources for the Canadian Dollar to US Dollar Exchange rates as I can. It has been fluctuating greatly in recent weeks, so up-to-the-minute figures are best.
Now, there are two kinds of data: The actual rates, and then what rates you can get when you want to actually bring US Currency to a place and change it into Canadian.
Places with Actual Exchange Rates:
- Bank of Canada Exchange Rates : At noon and closing time on every business day, they publish an actual rate. Lots of other exchange rates are included as well. Their data sources are unclear.
- XE.net : these guys have been publishing exchange rates on the internet for, it seems like, as long as the internet itself. Their data sources are actual market transaction rates, so they are actually looking at the rates that funds were converted at between parties. Rates update extremely frequently.
- Google : Very new to the financial news game. Their graphs are very nice, but their rates don't seem to be updated too often. Very nice for trending purposes. You can also punch in any 2 3-letter currency codes together to get their conversion rates, eg: USDEUR or EURCAD
- OANDA: This company seems to be a bit similar to XE, but they actually operate their own currency market, so they publish rates from that. I've linked out to a cross-rate table for the Canadian dollar, but feel free to browse through their site for other services they offer. Their site seems to be a bit confusing though for someone just looking for information, rather than buying a service. If you do subscribe to their forex trading system, the data it provides is pretty impressive.
Bank Exchange Rate Information
These are the actual rates you'll be able to get after fees/commissions. You'll see two rates here, and the reason for that is the bank's commission. Generally, the wider apart these two rates are, the greater the cut/commission the bank is taking, so you should really go to the bank with the least.
Currency exchangers often have better rates than the banks, but
sometimes they'll be a bad deal (airport currency exchangers are notorious for this).
Sometimes banks will differentiate between their cash rates, and non-cash rates. Usually the cash rate is slightly worse (since they have to deal with it), and the non-cash rates are if you bring a cheque/draft/money order in that currency to change over. You may also be able to negotiate if you're converting a ton of money (in the several thousands anyway).
And a final tip, most places will NOT accept foreign coins, or give them out, only bills. And if you need foreign currency, especially the more obscure it is, it might not be so easy from a bank (or you might have to actually order it in).
- TD Bank Foreign Exchange Rates : This is their non-cash exchange rate. They don't seem to publish their cash rates online unfortunately, but they should be just a tad worse than these rates. Rates are updated several times throughout the day.
- Scotia Bank Forex Rates : Again, these are non-cash rates. They also seem to offer a "ScotiaFX" Currency exchange service for big business and/or corporate customers. Rates are updated infrequently, and The Bank of Nova Scotia has had terrible exchange rates lately (see discussion below).
- CIBC Bank: Rates not published online, you'll have to call them.
- Royal Bank : These are their cash rates, which as I see today, are around 0.5% to 0.75% worse than TD's non-cash rates, so I'd expect RBC to be competitive with TD on cash rates. Scroll all the way down to "United States" for American Currency rates :)
- BMO: It seems like they don't even publish their rates online, you have to call/visit them, or you can order through online banking (but you'll pay hefty courier fees for that). C'mon people, it's 2008 here!
- National Bank of Canada: No rates published online. They have a really neat daily Canadian foreign exchange analysis.
- Vancouver Bullion&Currency Exchange (for reference) : This is a well-known currency exchanger based in Vancouver. You might want to take a look at their retail rates to compare with the big Canadian banks.
In my experience, credit unions tend to not have very good rates.