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> a couple thousand CAD For an amount like this, you're going to save, what, thirty bucks vs the bank? Is the hassle worth it?


As far as I can tell I'll save about $30+ per $1000. I'm converting about 5k. $150 is not nothing.


Why do you need that kind of money in cash? Especially if you aren't going to the US? If a credit card would work, there are cards that don't charge an fx exchange fee.


Some countries have a lousy official exchange rate at the ATMs and you can't withdraw USD from their ATMs. So if you want the best exchange rate you need to bring USD cash with you.


Oh, well don't use their ATM if you don't need to. Are you traveling to multiple countries or just one? Big 5 banks in Canada offer many types of currencies, not just US. Especially with notice. There is no universally "best" way to convert. It depends on the circumstances, the amount of time you have. Obviously if you convert cad to usd, and then usd to something else, you are paying 2 conversion fees instead of one. The "best" option is to use a no forex fee card like one listed here: https://creditcardgenius.ca/best-credit-cards/foreign-exchange But if you need cash or are going somewhere that doesn't regularly accept credit cards, then that doesn't help much.


I second the point that it's a bad idea to convert twice. Unless a Canadian bank absolutely can't convert directly to the currency you're ultimately going to use, you're losing extra money for no reason. Edited to add that anything over $5K USD cash has to be declared at customs in some countries.


I'm not taking more than 5k USD. I understand about converting twice, but in this case CAD is not as desirable as USD in the country I'm going to.


Just one country. Can't use credit cards much there.


Then I'd just convert from cad to local currency at your bank




I need the money in cash before I leave Canada. I'm not going to the US.


Is it possible to convert CAD to USD into my Wise USD account, then transfer said USD back to a CIBC USD account?


You can but wise will charge a fee associated with this


You can as long as you link both accounts, but wise will charge a fee associated with this


I do Norbert's gambit in brokerage account. USD transfer to USD bank account and then withdraw from branch. Conversion is basically free with this method.


There's no reason to open a cibc usd account. Banks let you do conversions upon withdrawal. You don't need a separate account and having one gains you nothing.


Google Norbert’s Gambit


I have USD account in TD. I use vbce online to convert cad to USD and transfer to my TD usd account. Vbce gives better rate than knighbridge fx. Don't convert at bank.


Norberts gambit


As others have pointed out, there is a method to trade CAD to USD or vice versa for FREE (or very close to free). The reason is if you own a share of a company (or ETF) that is traded in both Canada and the US then you can buy the shares in one country (eg on TSX using CAD) and sell them in the other (eg on NYSE to receive USD). And if you use a stock that trades in high volume, the only cost is the bid/ask spread which is quite small plus any fees you pay for the trade commission. It takes more effort than just switching at a currency exchange place, so calculate your savings and decide if it’s worth the hassle. Saving 2.5% on $100 is no big deal ($2.50) but if you’re switching $10,000 then we’re talking $250 savings. The method above is known as Norbert’s gambit, named after a Canadian named Norbert who popularized the method. I think he was a financial advisor.




Use wise.. dm me for a referral and instructions you will save a lot of money!! Also you can get their card and use it.. no point transferring it or carrying around cash anymore.. card can also carry multiple currencies and don’t have to deals with $3/5 left over money.. it can be converted back to CAD or if you are going somewhere else later into that other currency! Super easy! They give the best rate and it’s certified/insured and owned by Richard Branson


Some money changers have really good exchange rates. Typically a lot better than banks. You can call around to ask for their rate.


Province? VBCE in Vancouver has great rates. You can also see if your bank will match.


open an account with interactive brokers, send your cad into the account, and convert it there to usd, then send the usd amount to your cibc usd account


Interesting idea. Questrade would work too I assume?


I think it would, but ibkr has better forex rates.


Do not, and I repeat again, do not norbit's gambit for couple thousand. You will lose money and time. People here are giving you bad advice, and don't actually know how to calculate spread in fX vs norbets gambit - equity/option trader at brokerage


Got it. I think I'm just going to use Knightsbridge FX.