The Best Currency Exchange Tips for Canadian Snowbirds


Currency exchange is not cheap, especially for Canadian snowbirds that spend a significant amount of time in the United States of America or another country during winter. This is because the exchange rates are volatile, with no better or worse days.

It does not matter if you have a huge reserve of the USD, at some point you will need to exchange your Canadian dollars to USD. This way you get to transact in the local currency, be it to buy property, a vehicle or even to meet you daily living expenses.

For this reason, you will need to be well informed with some great ways of exchanging your CAD to USD without any losses.

Doing your currency exchange at home via your bank or online currency exchange Winnipeg, or in any other Canadian city can help you for a while. However, since you happen to migrate every year from Canada. You will need some tips on currency exchange, to avoid spending so much money on foreign currency conversion.

Here are currency exchange tips for Canadian snowbirds, escaping the harsh winter or looking to enjoy an extended summer trip in the USA or any other country.

  1. You can consider cross-border banking solutions

Some Canadian banks offer cross-border banking solutions, especially for Canadian snowbirds and travellers who spend a lot of time in the USA. However, the cost and type of service they offer tend to differ, but you can rest assured that there are varied forms of banking, credit cards, payment options as well as foreign exchange solutions.

The point is that cross-border banking solutions can be affordable and convenient, depending on the bank. However, do a comparison of your options and what you are getting from them as well as the fees involved. This is because you might find it cheaper and convenient to use different financial institutions for your banking services than rely in an all-in-one financial solution.

  1. Stay away from ATMs

ATMs are among the worst ways a Canadian snowbird can convert their money to the USD. This is because they have some of the worst exchange rates, with little exception. The additional fee involved here is also very big, making the whole transaction expensive.

Therefore, do not use an ATM to make your currency conversion in the USA, unless you have a USD debit card.

  1. For larger transactions, look for alternatives to banks

If you tend to make large purchase while wintering outside of Canada, like buying an estate, vehicle or just making frequent currency exchanges to live by. You are better off doing the exchange with currency conversion boutiques that offer large foreign exchange transactions.

This is because their focus is on larger transactions and they have a lower overhead, so their exchange rates are likely to be better than those offered by banks. This can end up saving you loads of money. Just do your research first, to see if the company you want to transact with is legit.

  1. Choose your credit cards with care

Using your Canadian credit card outside of Canada can be very expensive. This is because most of them have a foreign transaction fee, in addition to the currency exchange rate. This ends up adding some costs to your every purchase, done in another currency other than it, CAD.

The best option is to opt for the few credit card options available for Canadian snowbirds. These Canadian credit cards include the Canadian dollar no foreign transaction fee credit card and the US dollar credit cards also issued by Canadian banks. They will both prevent you from incurring the foreign transaction fee, making life a bit manageable outside Canada.

  1. Convenience matters

Convenience matters a lot to Canadian snowbirds, especially when they are spending a lot of time outside Canada and need to make currency conversions, every now and then.

Even though, it is essential to balance cost and convenience before doing a currency exchange. A convenient option with a slightly higher fee can sometimes end up saving you time, thus making your life easier outside of Canada. This is when compared to a lower cost option of foreign currency conversion.


In conclusion, if you are a Canadian snowbird, a bit of research on spending time outside Canada can be helpful, especially in matters related to financial transactions and currency conversions. Otherwise wintering outside of Canada can be relaxing and enjoyable.