Today, we are featuring Pointshogger contributor, Shenglong You, who will give tips on how to work around the weak Canadian dollar.
The Canadian dollar has recently fallen below 69 cents, hitting a 13-year low. This really hurts the wallet for those who want to travel down south. The amount you see on a US price tag needs to be multiplied by almost 1.5 times to equate to the price in Canadian dollars.
Purchasing a Flight
When purchasing a flight ticket, I suggest looking at quotes in both currencies to compare. For example, if you want to have a winter getaway in Florida, a round-trip ticket from Toronto to Orlando by Air Canada costs $633.20 CAD on Expedia.ca.
If I search the same ticket on Expedia.com, the ticket is priced at $418.27 USD.
Well, how much will 418.27 USD cost in Canadian dollars? I check the exchange rate offered by credit card companies like Visa and MasterCard.
Credit Card Companies Exchange Rates
Below is the conversion for Visa
Below is the conversion for MasterCard
Keep in mind that some credit cards have the 2.5% foreign transaction fee. So I would recommend using credit cards that do not charge any foreign transaction fees. In Canada, there are only 3 such cards: Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Visa card, Chase Amazon.ca Rewards Visa and the Rogers Platinum MasterCard.
Cost of the Ticket
For illustration purposes, using Visa’s exchange rate $1 USD will cost me $1.462654 CAD. Thus the ticket offered by Expedia.com in USD equals to $418.27 × 1.462654 = $610.32 CAD, which is less than the $633.2 CAD ticket price offered by Expedia.ca. So by simply booking through a USD based website, I save over $20 on the flight ticket.
These third party websites are not the only ones to have a US and Canadian version. Some official airlines also have different websites for different regions, such as Air Canada. It’s worth checking out the price in both USD and CAD for the exact same flight before you book your ticket. The same approach can be applied to car rental companies, e.g. Avis and Enterprise.
Last but not least, I do hope that Canada’s economy and the Canadian dollar can recover soon, so that swiping credit cards in other countries will be less painful.