EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Leaving Your Country To Ski? Try This Nifty Money Trick!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Leaving Your Country To Ski? Try This Nifty Money Trick!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Go to a bank or cambio BEFORE you leave, so that you show up in the country you're visiting with the currency of that country.

From La Plagne to Whistler I've seen people pulling out their home currency to pay. What in hell is wrong with these people?

When I worked at a cafe in Montreal and people did this I'd make a point of asking if they'd had any advance warning that they'd be going to another country. They'd say "Yes", and I'd look at their money and ask why they didn't change it at home. I didn't ever hear a good answer - because there isn't one.

Have some respect, please.
post #2 of 22
A side-note (not disagreeing with the above): you typically get a better exchange rate if you use your credit card abroad, at least if you're from the US and you have a credit card issuer that treats its customers well.

Also: if you're from the US, you can use cash machines in Canada. Hong Kong, too. Presumably numerous other places, though those are the two I've tried recently.
post #3 of 22
Most cash machines will take most bank cards - so, I can use my UK card pretty much anywhere in Europe, North America, Australia...
and US bank cards work in the UK (although a friend of mine had a problem with hers today, but that was at a private ATM, not a bank one)
post #4 of 22
Bank? Does anyone actually go to one anymore?
post #5 of 22
I know that my Canadian bank cards have worked in France, the UK, Netherlands, Greece, and Turkey.

I always exchange money before leaving and test out the machines to make sure I can get cash if I need it (and usually do).
post #6 of 22
I never exchange my money when I got to Canada because most places just North of the border (don't venture much farther than that) take US dollars, so I don't really see the need to go to the extra trouble. Why would I want to exchange money at home then exchange the extra when I got back, considering the country will take my home currency?
post #7 of 22
Because retailers in Canada will give you a worse exchange rate than a bank. E.g. they will give you $1.10 Canadian per $1 USD when you should be getting at least $1.15 -- not huge with the tighter rates lately but it can add up on a $5k trip.
post #8 of 22
Being a Canadian and working for a Canadian bank , I know firsthand what wide spreads or premiums that ALL merchants take to exchange foreign currency. No question it can be a hassle to change your $$ ahead of time but understand that if you let the shopowner/restaurant/bar/hotel change your dough your are paying 5-15% premium for whatever you buy.

For some that adds up, for others it's worth the conveneince. Credit cards are generally not quite so offensive, buts its certainly not LESS than 5% premium
post #9 of 22
Being only a few miles from the border I always keep Canadian currency on hand. Also useful if I have to take a powder.

On the other hand, I've found that I do better overseas by either using my credit card or exchanging currency at the foreign bank. Lower fees than US banks, for whom it is a hassle to obtain sufficient Kroners, Euros and Pounds for the occasional traveller.
post #10 of 22
I did a test last year on a business trip to Europe. I didn't take any cash and didn't bother to exchange any. When I got to Europe I went to the auto teller and pulled out about 50 euros, just in case. I then proceeded to use my Amex and Visa for everything I could. And if the shop didn't take cards I thought twice about the purchase. At the end of the trip I had 46 euros left. The only place where I really needed the cash was once on the airport bus, and that was because I didn't purchase my ticket in advance. By the way, I also follow a similar approach on US trips with similar results. On my ski trip to Colorado last month I took $ 250 with me and came home with about $ 225.

In short, I don't see why anyone needs to take cash on a trip anymore unless you are going to skiing in Morroco. Even in Europe pretty much everywhere takes plastic. The exchange rate is better, and your wallet doesn't get gummed up with lots of different foreign currencies that you have to spend before you leave the country. If you like to tip in cash just hit the automatic teller in the airport before you leave and take out maybe $25 worth of the local currency and you should be set.

Just my take on things.
post #11 of 22
I live 24 miles from Canada and go there to ski two or three times yearly as well as other visits for various things. I can't remember the last time I had any Canadian cash. I use my plastic everywhere and don't worry about it. It's just about the best exchange rate you can get and you don't end up with cash you can't use or which you loose before your next visit.

Hey, OldSchool, I thought you were moving to Wisconsin or somewhere like that. Are you still in Vancouver or is your tag wrong?
post #12 of 22
Lately, I've found it much more convenient withdraw local currency from the bank machines in the airport. Most airports have at least one machine...hopefully its not on the blitz. I try my best to put everything on credit cards, but things like cab rides, and drinks typically require some currency.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronK
I never exchange my money when I got to Canada because most places just North of the border (don't venture much farther than that) take US dollars, so I don't really see the need to go to the extra trouble. Why would I want to exchange money at home then exchange the extra when I got back, considering the country will take my home currency?
Two reasons: 1) retailers rake you over the coals when you pay with US currency. Use a credit card. 2) They give you your change in local currency. And Canadian $2 coins are the most annoying form of currency since stone tablets.

I never exchange cash either. All credit. Maybe $5 or $10 pocket money for people who look at me funny when I try to pay for my $2.00 cup of coffee with a credit card.
post #14 of 22
Most of my cards are now tacking on a foreign currency surcharge. My Libertybank visa debit does not. They get me a better rate than the banks will give me no matter what the amount. Anyone know any other good cards?
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronK
I never exchange my money when I got to Canada because most places just North of the border (don't venture much farther than that) take US dollars, so I don't really see the need to go to the extra trouble. Why would I want to exchange money at home then exchange the extra when I got back, considering the country will take my home currency?
Why? Because people like you give other Americans a bad name.

This name.

^
click it

.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchool
Why? Because people like you give other Americans a bad name.


This name.

^
click it

.
It's an industry catering to American tourists! It's not like showing up at a Swiss Chalet and acting all indigant because they don't have cheeseburgers on the menu!

Plus, they're totally ripping you off on the exchange rate. A guy spending money on nothing is automatically less ugly.

This argument is moot, however, since all currency is a waste of perfectly good glade trees. Use plastic made from completely unskiable petrolium reserves instead.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune
Hey, OldSchool, I thought you were moving to Wisconsin or somewhere like that. Are you still in Vancouver or is your tag wrong?
Hey Posaune, how nice of you to remember! Our plans changed almost at the last minute so we are here for another full ski season AND a Vancouver spring!...but then spend a year in...Texas.

My wife is excited about the challenge of her work there, and I think it should be a really interesting cultural experience - and growing roses should be just fantastic.

However some of my American friends don't see it our way. One of them wrote to "apologize in advance for Texas making you hate America".

Not sure of the reasons for all the negativism but I'm looking forward to it regardless. And I'd already gotten used to the idea of not skiing for two years we would have spent in Wisconsin, so one year in Dallas is great to me.
post #18 of 22
If you live near the Canadian border, wouldn't it be more sensible to have Canadian dollars, and only use US dollars in shops in the US that don't accept them?
You should always stisk with the more stable currency, and for the last 3+ years, that's been the CAD.
post #19 of 22

Currency exchange?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchool
Go to a bank or cambio BEFORE you leave, so that you show up in the country you're visiting with the currency of that country.

From La Plagne to Whistler I've seen people pulling out their home currency to pay. What in hell is wrong with these people?
I'll be headed to Vancouver Sunday. I don't think I'll go to the bank beforehand, but I do plan on using my credit card as much as possible instead of ANY form of currency. (Better exchange rates, plus points on the card (which incidentally is how I am flying to Vancouver for free.)) I'll take some others advice from this thread and get some local currency from the airport in Vancouver to use for tips, smaller purchases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchool
When I worked at a cafe in Montreal and people did this I'd make a point of asking if they'd had any advance warning that they'd be going to another country. They'd say "Yes", and I'd look at their money and ask why they didn't change it at home. I didn't ever hear a good answer - because there isn't one.

Have some respect, please.
I don't find it as simple as you decribe. I travelled to Mexico earlier this year and the locals (without a doubt) prefer US currency to pesos. You would not be earning any respect from these folks by getting a stack of pesos from your bank before leaving home.

But it sounds like your sarcastic questioning "lack of advance notice" of out-of-country travel made you feel better, at least. I would wager that some employees of the cafe got better tips by not insulting the customers. Maybe not.

On further reflection, your post seems like a troll as much as anything else.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchool
Why? Because people like you give other Americans a bad name..
Right... so just because I'm using US currency in a country that will gladly accept it, it makes me arrogant and demeaning. It seems like your problem is really with your fellow countryman who are actually willing to take a foreign country's currency, because afterall, couldn't it be said that they are disrepecting their own country by accepting another's currency? It's a two way street

I see you live in Vancouver. I'm just south of you on the other side of the border, and I'm sure you know that many of your fellow Canadians come down here regularly to shop. I've got plenty of stories of Canadians giving Canada a bad name, but I won't go there. I'm sure everyone has had a negative experience with people from abroad, especially if they work in retail.
post #21 of 22
AaronK -- Keep spending your US money in Canada. The locals will love you. They may not appreciate you, but they'll smile and take more of your hard earned dollars than if you took the time to tap a cash machine for some Loonies. Best solution is to keep $40-$50 Canadian laying around the house to cover small expenses when you go to Canada. Put everything else on plastic.

On a slightly related subject, I have recently run into a problem changing US dollars in Europe. On two recent ski trips I have hired guides and since they don't take plastic, and my US check isn't much use to them, I brought a wad of US $100 bills with which to pay them. In France, I couldn't find a bank that would change the bills. It seems that the Russian mob has piles of fake US $100 and they like to bring them to France on their ski vacations. As a result, the banks want nothing to do with them. Fortunately the guide took me to his home bank and I was finally able to get Euros for $'s. In Switzerland I found a bank with a cash machine where you could feed in US $100 bills. The machine scanned them to make sure they were legit, and then spit out Swiss Francs so I could pay the guide in Swiss Francs. Very cool. Otherwise I go with plastic at all times worldwide.
post #22 of 22
I charge even the smallest of purchases when out of the country. I have gone to Canada for a week and spend less than $20 in cash.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Leaving Your Country To Ski? Try This Nifty Money Trick!