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I used my Fidelity AMEX there before and it seems that I was never charged a FX fee for transactions in Canada. However, I noticed that my BoA BankAmericard did.

Do any of these cards not charge FX fee?
- Fidelity Visa (chaged from AMEX) last month
- AMEX blue
- AMEX blue cash
- BoA BankAmericard cash rewards
- Chase Slate

Or is it better to convert US dollars to CAD for the weekend?

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I realize from OP's user name that he may not be on the east coast, but for those that are, how about TD Bank?
A cursory ... (more)

Buckmann (Aug. 06, 2016 @ 10:16a) |

Capital One Spark business card and Capital One Quick Silver charge no FX transaction fee.

Also, most Canadian businesses... (more)

kmd1234 (Aug. 06, 2016 @ 1:04p) |

Slightly higher than market exchange rate? They can charge you whatever they want, and I suspect most of the time they w... (more)

scripta (Aug. 06, 2016 @ 1:37p) |

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Amex Blue and Blue Cash definitely will charge you an FX fee, not sure about the others.

If CC is accepted, use a card that does not charge a foreign currency conversion fee. I dont recognize any of the cards you listed as common ones with no fee but it is best to read the agreement (search for "foreign" in document) or ask CSR.

If you encounter a place where no CC is accepted or you dont ha a no-fee CC, use an ATM to get Canadian currency. Again, ask your bank as to whether they charge a fee for foreign ATM and for foreign currency. Common ones with no fee are by Schwab and Cap1.

Chase Slate charges 3% FX fee.

Got ripped off a few times using cash, since they've stopped using pennies and many stores just round up and down to the nearest 5¢.
Use cc unless you know your total will be rounded down

boa travel reward card and all capital one cards have no FX.
discover card also claimed no FX, but never tried.

By cash, do you mean USD or CAD? Do you have an ATM card that doesn't charge fx fees and will let you avoid ATM fees?

The new Fidelity Visa has 1% FX fee. CapOne cards are slightly better. Make sure to pay in CAD to avoid the dynamic currency conversion upcharge.

All cards you listed charge FX. Cheapest is the Fidelity card, which charges 1%.

Your Fidelity Visa is the only good card you have - it charges a 1% fee and you're getting 2% cash back, so you're still coming out ahead..  All the other cards charge around 3%.

Using your Fidelity Visa at 1% with 2% back is going to be cheaper than getting CAD ahead of your trip.
 

DeGlass said:   Got ripped off a few times using cash, since they've stopped using pennies and many stores just round up and down to the nearest 5¢.
Use cc unless you know your total will be rounded down

  
In theory, it should average out. And you got ripped the moment you stepped out of the house - you probably paid a lot more to travel versus what you think you lost due to rounding.

backtocalif said:   
Or is it better to convert US dollars to CAD for the weekend?
 

  
How are you going to convert? Travelex? You will pay a lot more.

If you have a 1% foreign exchange fee card, that is probably good - you earn 1% and you lose 1% and it balances out. If you have to pay 3%, what about your ATM card - does it have privilege to withdraw at a partner bank in Canada?

Apply for a new card without forex fees. You already have a few mentioned - google others. If you're trip is fast approaching, upon approval, call in and see if you can get a card expedited to you.

In selecting the card you want - see if you can use the spending on your trip to propel you towards a spending bonus.

gergles said:   All cards you listed charge FX. Cheapest is the Fidelity card, which charges 1%.
  And gets 2% cash back, so you'd net 1% cash back after fees.

The worst rates you're going to get in canada is if you try to use USD at point of sale.

Cap 1 doesn't charge FX for me, its my choice.

If you're hitting niagara falls, dont bother doing an exchange just use your card and carry USD if you need it. If you won't be in the tourist areas, hit the ATM for some walking around cash. When I come back I usually blow the cash at the duty free shop.

stanolshefski said:   
gergles said:   All cards you listed charge FX. Cheapest is the Fidelity card, which charges 1%.
  And gets 2% cash back, so you'd net 1% cash back after fees.

  Cap 1 quicksilver will be better, 1.5% CB no fee. 

Do you travel to Canada often? If you do, Zenbanx might be another option. You can purchase forex and use their debit card to withdraw when you're in country. They even pay some interest on deposits, 1.25% for CAD right now. There are no fees but there is a margin when converting but that's pretty much everywhere no matter if you buy currency or use a CC.

DeGlass said:   Got ripped off a few times using cash, since they've stopped using pennies and many stores just round up and down to the nearest 5¢.
Use cc unless you know your total will be rounded down


Did those cents really make a difference in your life?

I agree about Zenbanx. You can save money in C$ and make purchases from that balance.

Coworker was just talking about a Schwab account (checking?) where you can pull funds from an ATM anywhere in the world with no fees and they reimburse for any fees charged by the ATM.  No idea what exchange rate they use but assuming it's nothing too crazy this sounds by far to me the best way to get funds overseas...

scrouds said:   
stanolshefski said:   
gergles said:   All cards you listed charge FX. Cheapest is the Fidelity card, which charges 1%.
  And gets 2% cash back, so you'd net 1% cash back after fees.

  Cap 1 quicksilver will be better, 1.5% CB no fee. 

  A $100 bonus and 0.5% more cash back may not be the best use of an inquiry and new account.

ChinaRider said:   Coworker was just talking about a Schwab account (checking?) where you can pull funds from an ATM anywhere in the world with no fees and they reimburse for any fees charged by the ATM.  No idea what exchange rate they use but assuming it's nothing too crazy this sounds by far to me the best way to get funds overseas...
  Yes it is absolutely right; Schwab checking is one of the best for international ATM use. In general, the FX rates are determined by Visa/MC (whatever logo is on the card); not by the bank where you have the account.

DeGlass said:   Got ripped off a few times using cash, since they've stopped using pennies and many stores just round up and down to the nearest 5¢.
Use cc unless you know your total will be rounded down
 

  You have a very low threshold for "ripped off"

fwuser12 said:   
ChinaRider said:   Coworker was just talking about a Schwab account (checking?) where you can pull funds from an ATM anywhere in the world with no fees and they reimburse for any fees charged by the ATM.  No idea what exchange rate they use but assuming it's nothing too crazy this sounds by far to me the best way to get funds overseas...
  Yes it is absolutely right; Schwab checking is one of the best for international ATM use. In general, the FX rates are determined by Visa/MC (whatever logo is on the card); not by the bank where you have the account.

  
Fidelity cash account has this too, and I use it often for international travel cash.  Ally used to be, but I think they've capped their ATM fees, and before that, I'm not sure they ever reimbursed international ATM fees.  I use Ally as a backup debit account.  

If you're going for the weekend, I say just go to the ATM and get as much cash as you'll need.  If you use a CC, make sure they run it in local currency, and preferably use the lowest fee card you have, which appears to be the fido visa.  

ETA:  If you have the fido visa, don't you also have a cash account at fidelity then?  And if not, just open one, it's easy.  Then use their debit card at the ATM.  Easy.  I've checked the exchange rates in the past, and they were 'good'.  If you're pinching pennies, or taking out massive amounts, then maybe there's a better exchange rate available, but it doesn't really matter for typical travel purposes.  

Infinion said:   Fidelity cash account has this too, and I use it often for international travel cash.  Ally used to be, but I think they've capped their ATM fees, and before that, I'm not sure they ever reimbursed international ATM fees.  I use Ally as a backup debit account.  
I had been under the impression that the Fidelity debit card did not incur a 1% FTF but I checked last night and it claims that it does. However, they will refund the ATM charge. Personally, I am OK with using the Fidelity credit card, getting 2% back and paying the 1% FTF. I'm not going to spend enough for it to be a big deal (will be in Canada for 2 days on an upcoming cruise).

I guess I could use the BofA Travel Rewards card but redeeming points isn't as easy now that I no longer have an FIA card to transfer them to.

billrubin said:   
Infinion said:   Fidelity cash account has this too, and I use it often for international travel cash.  Ally used to be, but I think they've capped their ATM fees, and before that, I'm not sure they ever reimbursed international ATM fees.  I use Ally as a backup debit account.  
I had been under the impression that the Fidelity debit card did not incur a 1% FTF but I checked last night and it claims that it does. However, they will refund the ATM charge. Personally, I am OK with using the Fidelity credit card, getting 2% back and paying the 1% FTF. I'm not going to spend enough for it to be a big deal (will be in Canada for 2 days on an upcoming cruise).
 

  
Yeah, it does say that.  If I recall, if the debit card is connected to their cash management account (and maybe a brokerage), and you use it for cash access (not POS), there's not an FTF, even though the verbage isn't clear on that.  IME, I've never experienced an FTF when using my card in this way.  But it's possible I missed it.  

I've used the Fidelity debit card for many years, linked to my after-tax brokerage account, which has also been my financial hub for a long time. I know the T&C says 1% FTF for cash withdrawals, but it has never ever shown up as a line item charge. I've tested this several times, and the exchange rate for the Fidelity VISA debit is identical to the rate I get with my Schwab VISA debit.

My preferred debit card for int'l use, however, is Capital One; it's a MasterCard linked to a High Yield checking account. (No FTF but no int'l ATM rebate, which is not a problem in Europe, as the ATMs don't charge a separate fee.) For some reason, MC consistently offers a better exchange rate than VISA. I've tested this so many times, credit and debit cards, but I always get the same results: MC offers a better exchange rate than VISA. IME, YMMV, etc etc

The only problem I've seen with Cap One credit and debit cards is that they are more likely to trigger dynamic currency conversion (DCC) attempts.

UncaMikey said:   I've used the Fidelity debit card for many years, linked to my after-tax brokerage account, which has also been my financial hub for a long time. I know the T&C says 1% FTF for cash withdrawals, but it has never ever shown up as a line item charge. I've tested this several times, and the exchange rate for the Fidelity VISA debit is identical to the rate I get with my Schwab VISA debit.
...
The only problem I've seen with Cap One credit and debit cards is that they are more likely to trigger dynamic currency conversion (DCC) attempts.

  
Your experience with the Fido debit has been the same for me.  Mine is linked to the cash management account (formally MySmart).  I've only used mine for ATM use, not POS, so don't know about that.

Why would the CapOne card 'trigger' a DCC?  Isn't that something that the merchant controls?  I seldom use credit abroad, but I've had merchants 'offer' to charge me in USD, which I refuse and make sure they're charging in local currency.  You're suggesting that a DCC can happen behind the scenes and it's somehow related to what card/network/carrier?

Infinion said:   Why would the CapOne card 'trigger' a DCC?  Isn't that something that the merchant controls?  I seldom use credit abroad, but I've had merchants 'offer' to charge me in USD, which I refuse and make sure they're charging in local currency.  You're suggesting that a DCC can happen behind the scenes and it's somehow related to what card/network/carrier?
  I wish I knew more about how it all works. But yes, I am convinced that certain cards trigger it. I have walked up to an ATM, used my Schwab debit to get €100, no DCC. Same machine, ten seconds later, Cap One debit, ask for €100, I get the screen asking me if I'd like to make the withdrawal in dollars.

I use credit and debit cards regularly in W Europe. I'm convinced that certain cards/networks are more likely to trigger DCC attempts. I don't think the merchant has any control over it at all, it's his/her card processor.

I only use my PenFed Visa credit card when traveling--has no FX fee anywhere in the world.

From here:
mapen said: Below I've linked another recent thread that reinforces these points:

  • No foreign transaction fee is applied to ATM transactions
  • For non-ATM purchases (POS), the foreign transaction fee is applied
  • The $1 ATM fee mentioned in the card's terms is waived for "Fidelity Cash Management Accounts".

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/credit-card-programs/1594601-fidelity-forex-real-world-experience.html

Radio talk show host Clark Howard has information about this on his site. I looked at a few suggestions after searching his site for "foreign transaction fee". This one has some good information.

http://www.clark.com/handling-your-money-overseas 

I believe I also read or heard Clark say that you should not have the foreign merchant charge you in US dollars. You should always have him charge in the local currency.  I did not know that this was DCC until I went to WikiPedia.  It sounds like you definitely want to avoid this.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_currency_conversion

 

My wife went to Europe and used Schwab checking for cash and Capital One Quicksilver for everything else. All of her friends asked her for cash and card and paid her back cause all of their cards had fees.

Used several different cards (USAA, Chase, Barclays) in Europe (Spain, Hungary, Austria) this summer. While I was occasionally asked about the currency (DCC), it never happened when I used the same cards with Apple Pay. Made for a quicker transaction overall, as well.

Several merchants were not even aware they had Apple Pay capability, as they had only seen the contactless using the actual card.

I realize from OP's user name that he may not be on the east coast, but for those that are, how about TD Bank?
A cursory read of their FAQs leads me to believe that if you have a checking account with them, use of your TD debit card while in Canada should have no FX fees.

ETA, TD Bank's Visa card has no FX fee
 

Capital One Spark business card and Capital One Quick Silver charge no FX transaction fee.

Also, most Canadian businesses accept US dollar - they adjust for a slightly higher than market exchange rate but the advantage is that for most payments (restaurant, any tix etc), you can use credit card - so you pay cash only when necessary and aren't stuck with any extra Canadian dollars at the end of your trip.

kmd1234 said:   Also, most Canadian businesses accept US dollar - they adjust for a slightly higher than market exchange rate but the advantage is that for most payments (restaurant, any tix etc), you can use credit card - so you pay cash only when necessary and aren't stuck with any extra Canadian dollars at the end of your trip.Slightly higher than market exchange rate? They can charge you whatever they want, and I suspect most of the time they will. They could say the rate is 1:1 and you'll lose 32%.

Also, besides H&B, what business don't take credit cards in Canada?



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