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Monday, June 20, 2011

Loonie Toonies

While we're on the topic of money, I wanted to bring up how easy a drive it is to Canada yet how annoying bank exchange fees can be for the two currencies.

On my trip to Ottawa earlier this month, I thought I was so smart to be using my debit card/Mastercard instead of going someplace to exchange cold hard cash. I figured it made more sense to do that since we would only be there on an overnight trip.

While there, I continued to think this way - especially since I did have some American cash on me and many of the places actually accepted it since the forms of currency are pretty close in value ($1.00 = .9793 Canadian).

But then, when I got home and looked at my monthly bank statement, I noticed that for every card transaction I made there was a 35-cent fee and there was an initial fee for crossing the border and using the bank's/card's exchange service.

This is probably not a new thing (I admit I haven't been out of the country in a while) but it still annoyed me since I used my card numerous times and the fees obviously added up. I guess for my quick trip, it still made sense to just do what I did (though if I had known about the fee I wouldn't have used my card as much).

I have gotten notices about an increase in the fee to use my line of credit (it went up from $5/use to now $10/use) but I don't ever remember seeing a notice on an international exchange fee being implemented.


If anything, maybe someone else will learn from this...

Also, a fun thing you may or may not know: the Canadian dollar coin is called a Loonie and the 2 dollar coin is a Toonie. Wonder if that's where we got Looney Tunes


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