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While travelling in another country using your Interac (ATM, debit card, cash card) is a convenient way  to access your money. Check that the ATM machine is compatible with the institution that issued your card (logo is listed on the back of your card). For example the Canadian Bank of Montreal  (BofM) card use the Cirrus network, but Royal, CIBC, Scotia Bank etc. use the Plus system. However all bank cards are compatible with International ATMs.  

While in the U.S.A. John and Peggi also use their BofM client card as a 'debit card' to pay for purchases and to obtain 'cash back' at Wal-Marts and grocery stores.  However to date their Royal, TD & CIBC cards are only compatible to obtain cash from the ATMs in the U.S.A.---Since technology is constantly changing keep testing the debit systems in stores etc.  Just because they didn't  function as a debit card during the winter of 2002 doesn't mean they won't in the near future.  In Canada all bank cards are  linked to the country wide 'Interac' system, but to date Interac is not in effect in the U.S. 

American visitors will be able to access their cash at most Canadian ATM machines.  In Canada they are sometimes called 'Debit',  'Cash' or 'Interac' machines.  You will have to pay a $2.-$3.00 fee charged by your bank for each transaction but MOST(?) Canadian ATM's located at major banks do not charge an access fee to use the machine.  Canadian dollar exchange rate will be subject  to the conversion rate used by your institution.  

As stated above, one way John and Peggi save money in the USA is they use their Canadian BofM client card as a debit card to pay for a purchase and then request  'cash back'. This way they avoid a separate trip to the ATM and racking up a user-fee cost at both ends. User fees can range from $1.00 to $3.00 Cdn$, depending on the bank card used plus an extra user fee of  $1.-$2.50 US$ at the machine.

Technology is constantly changing  --- some American bank cards may function at major businesses in Canada as debit cards and some will not.  It is worth a try to test the system when making purchases. 

In the U.S. A., ATMs are usually small compact units, they are not generally 'colour-coded' with the bank's logo colours that we are familiar with in bank branches and malls in Canada.  Look for the location of American ATMs  in gas stations, convenience stores, malls, airports, grocery stores etc.  They are similar to the small convenient ATM 'cash' machines that have recently been introduced into Canada.

In Canada look for ATMs (no-user fee type) at banks and in malls.  Those in gas stations and convenience stores etc. may charge users a small access fee.

Paying by credit card also assures most International visitors a fair exchange rate--set by your financial institution.  American visitors should NEVER HAND A STORE A $20.00 US$ BILL AND ASK FOR CANADIAN CHANGE UNLESS THE EXCHANGE RATE IS POSTED. If it is not posted you may be paying a very high rate for the convenience of exchange.  Go to an ATM and take out cash as needed.  Canadians should definitely SHOP FOR EXCHANGE RATES AT USA BANKS before attempting to exchange Cdn$ to US$.  From personal experience Peggi and John discovered U.S. bank exchange rates can differ to a wide degree.

Enjoy your adventure, RV Living - the Freedom Adventure!.

 

RV WebLinks  Updated May 2014: Meet Your Hosts;   Getting Started;  Articles;  

Destinations-(Canada, Mexico, USA);     

Many Recent Updates - Advice and How To;  Book Nook; 

(As of Oct 10) RV Shows;   Travel to Canada:  Travel to USA; (Oct 10);  

  Q&A;   Contact UsSite ContentsGallery Picasa Web Albums

 

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