Making the trip to Canada/Currency ?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Aaron Cooke, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. Aaron Cooke

    Aaron Cooke Second Unit

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    I'm planning on making a trip up to Canada in about 2 weeks to pick up an Anthem AVM-20. I've got all the stuff about the conversion rate and taxes being refunded down. My question is what sort of payment option to use. My Visa card charges a 3% fee for any purchase made in international currency. Has anyone else had this problem? Should i just get canadian currency before leaving and pay in cash? would the stores accept US cash? Is there some way of getting around the 3% fee? Thanks for any info you can give me. Oh, in case it matters, I will be going to stores in the Windsor area, probably Live Wire.
     
  2. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Some stores close to the US boarder will accept US currency but most will not so you are likely best off using canadian cash or using either a debit card or a credit card. As an aside most places will discount deeper if you're willing to pay with cash anyway since they won't have to pay the credit card company's fee's
     
  3. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Aaron,

    Pay cash if you can. Like Andrew says they may discount further. As far as your credit card goes, I'd call the company up and say you want the fee dropped otherwise you'll take you business elsewhere. I've never heard of a credit card company charging a fee for using it out of country.

    Kevin
     
  4. David Berry

    David Berry Stunt Coordinator

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    When I bought some equipment from the US, my Mastercard charged me 1.5% to perform the Canadian-US exchange. It was still worthwhile.
     
  5. Marc_E

    Marc_E Supporting Actor

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    I just recently came back from Canada. If you bring US dollars to any bank in Canada, you can get the best conversion, no fee no nothin. If you pay US cash at a store, they may not give you the best conversion. I would also try getting you CC to drop that crap. That is silly and I never heard of it either.

    If you go to your bank to get canadian dollars, do it far in advance because most banks will have to order the money.

    Marc
     
  6. Rob Landolfi

    Rob Landolfi Stunt Coordinator

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    That extra 3% fee is a credit card company charge that you should not have to deal with. I've purchased plenty of items outside the US, and have never had any kind of fee like that. Like someone mentioned above, you can negotiate it with your credit card issuer if it's that important to you (it would be to me [​IMG] ).
    My last Canadian purchase was for $1835 CDN or so ($1174 US) for a home theater system that was being shipped to me, and my credit card company didn't add any fees to the transaction. They did call me to verify that I made the purchase, but there was nothing else out of the ordinary for the transaction. I think that making a purchase like this on your credit card would work to your advantage... the money is converted at an official rate for the date/time of purchase/posting, and you don't have to worry about any small amounts of change left over or even being short of cash to make the purchase.
    Bottom line, you should be able to have them drop the 3% charge by asking, just like if you wanted to request a credit increase. There are probably plenty of other credit card issuers out there that wouldn't try to gouge you for the service. Good luck, and enjoy your components!
     
  7. Dean Mar

    Dean Mar Stunt Coordinator

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    Aaron,

    I think it is standard practice for not only Visa and Mastercard to add a percentage on conversions, but also the issuing bank. Pretty sure that these percentages are just added in and you wouldn't even know they do it. I bought some Paradigm Speakers in Canada about 15 months ago. When I was checking into exchange rates, the best rate I could get was by buying Canadian Dollar Travelers Cheques from American Express.

    When you speak to Masercard or Visa and the issuing bank, ask them what all of the fees are and get the rate,ask if the rate includes the fees or if they are added to the rate. Then contact an American Express Travel Office or AAA and get the rates for Travelers Cheques and compare. You might also call a Bank in Windsor to see what rate they can provide. Make sure you do this all on the same day as rates can change overnight.
    One advantage with Travelers cheques is they are just like cash to the retailer.
     

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