Should I transfer CAD to EUR in bulk right now for the next couple months?
August 13, 2011 12:16 PM   Subscribe

I'm a Canadian going to be traveling in Europe starting in a few weeks, up until maybe Nov. I originally intended to just withdraw funds from my CAD account when needed where I would get whatever the CAD to EUR exchange was at the given time. With the economy as it is should I consider opening a EUR account and transferring a bunch of funds right now?
posted by dino terror to Work & Money (6 answers total)
 
It is exceptionally hard to open a bank account in most European countries.
posted by k8t at 12:25 PM on August 13, 2011


Response by poster: It is exceptionally hard to open a bank account in most European countries.

Oh I just meant open a EUR dollar account with my bank in Canada? I assumed I could do that. I know I can do it for US dollar...
posted by dino terror at 12:41 PM on August 13, 2011


I'm not sure if you could do that easily, ask your bank. I'm Canadian and I know in the past when I've been heading to the States I could just pop in and get American currency on the spot, but Euros needed to be ordered. (I'm with TD/CT fwiw)
posted by mannequito at 1:50 PM on August 13, 2011


Oh I just meant open a EUR dollar account with my bank in Canada? I assumed I could do that. I know I can do it for US dollar..

Nope. I think only Scotia and HSBC offer Euro accounts, but neither of the accounts allows ATM withdrawals, so they are going to be useless to you in Europe. This is not worth the huge hassle.

I think the best low-hassle exchange deal you can get without a Euro denominated account is to get a Desjardins/Coast Visa that offers a 1.8% Forex charge (pretty much every other Canadian card charges 2.5%). You can also prepay the card and then withdraw cash.
posted by ssg at 3:16 PM on August 13, 2011


If you want to (potentially) avoid an unfavourable exchange rate, buy however many Euros you think you'll need before you go. Note that this could also go the other way and screw you if the Canadian dollar makes any gains.

Most western-Europe countries are very plastic-focused. Use your Visa/MC to make purchases, avoiding the fees associated with withdrawing and exchanging cash. Make sure to call your card providers before you go to tell them in which countries you'll be using the card, use a 4-digit pin (some countries limit it to 4) and get the international collect numbers.

FWIW when I travel in the EU I just budget for 1.5CAD to 1 EUR.
posted by t_dubs at 11:41 AM on August 14, 2011


Response by poster: Thanks for the responses!
posted by dino terror at 4:38 PM on August 14, 2011


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