We'll be driving from the US via Vermont into Quebec, headed to Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. What's our best strategy for buying Canadian dollars?

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    Can you use a card in an ATM? And have you asked your bank (or checked their website) what costs they charge? I have always found it cheaper to use ATM's and you can hold some US dollars for emergencies. – Willeke Sep 22 '18 at 19:02
  • Aside: a notice recently seen on a street food stall said "card payments only". That is the way things are going. – Weather Vane Sep 22 '18 at 19:07
  • @WeatherVane seen at a US restaurant in the 1990s: we accept all cards, even cash – jwenting Sep 23 '18 at 5:02

Pretty much any ATM will give you a fair rate. There are two dominant networks, Maestro and Cirrus, so you will be able to withdraw from most Canadian ATMs. There is usually a foreign exchange fee plus a foreign network fee. The exact amount charged depends on the agreement between you bank and the ones in Canada but usually withdrawing larger amount is advantageous since the foreign network fee becomes a relatively smaller percentage. You can stop at currency exchange places but converting to CAD from USD, you are unlikely to get a better rate than at the ATM.

  • and in fact most ATMs will support both Maestro and Cirrus. – jwenting Sep 23 '18 at 5:01

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