How to Buy US Dollars in Toronto
If you are looking to buy US dollars with Canadian dollars, this website will give you some information on the best way to buy us dollars. You can consider buying US dollars from your bank or a non-bank provider (currency exchange specialist that sells US dollars).
Buy US dollars Exchange Rate - Interbank
The first thing to consider when looking to buy US dollars is the exchange rate for USD/CAD. If you look at the exchange rate table above, you will see the interbank exchange rate for the US dollar and Canadian dollar. This interbank rate is the rate at which banks sell to each other. This rate is typically not available to the public that wants to buy us dollars. However, you can follow the exchange rates directionally so see if the US dollar is getting stronger or weaker. You can also look up the exchange rate at the Bank of Canada website, but again, this is not the rate you will receive when converting currency in amounts less than $1 million US dollars.
Buy US Dollars exchange rate at your bank - CASH
If you need to buy US dollars in physical cash currency, then consider simply using your bank. The banks offer a service to buy and sell US dollars at the teller. However, the rate at which they will sell US dollars to you has a substantial markup. This can range from 2-4% on top the interbank exchange rate that you see above. If you are looking to buy physical cash US dollars, the bank is a pretty good place to buy them. The banks will typically always have inventory on hand and it’s super convenient. Since you probably don’t need a lot of money (let’s say you are travelling to the USA), the amount you will buy from your bank will be small. Let’s say you need $1,000 US dollars in cash, if you pay 2%, the markup fee is only going to cost you $10-$20 so it might not really be worth it to go elsewhere because the savings will be so little for you. You will save lots of time and lots of hassle from considering other alternatives to buy such a small amount of US dollars. However, if you need to buy more than US$5,000, keep reading below!
Buy US dollars exchange rate – Non-cash and amounts greater than US$5,000
If you need to buy US$5,000 or more and you don’t necessarily need cash, which means you have a US dollar account with a Canadian or US bank or have a place to send the US dollars (like paying a bill in the USA), then you want to be really careful about where you buy US dollars and the exchange rates you will be charged. The banks will gladly sell you US dollars, but the markup they include is substantial and can range from 2-4%. This means on buying $10,000 US dollars, you could be paying about $200+ in exchange rate markup to the banks! You should consider using a non-bank provider, a US dollar currency exchange specialist, such as Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange (see their rates at 1-877-355-5239) as they will provide you a better exchange rate than the bank and will save you money.
How to buy US dollars
If you’re looking for cash, simply go straight to your bank and they will help you out with the rest. If you are buying a substantial amount and want a better rate, use a currency exchange US dollar specialist. You will likely need to register first to validate your identity, then you will call the company to obtain an exchange rate, if you like the rate and agree to it, you will then send Canadian dollars and dictate where you want US dollars to go, such as to your US dollar bank account or to the destination of your choice. Once you send funds, your US dollar funds will arrive at the destination. You’ll save lots of money by using a specialist firm.
* Physical cash – use your bank or TD foreign exchange services at 1-866-222-3456
* Over US$5,000 Electronically – use a specialist such as Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange
When to buy US dollars
If you are trying to time when to buy US dollars, this can be tricky. There is no way to know exactly where the US dollar exchange rate will go. The US dollar can go up, down, or stay the same. Nobody really knows where the US dollar will go. Many people think a certain time of day (morning or afternoon) or a certain day of the week (Monday) is better than other times, but this is likely not true because the foreign exchange market is so efficient that if Monday morning was the best time to buy US dollars, then everyone would just wait for that time and drive the price up. There isn’t really a perfect time of day or day of week to buy US dollars. Market forces will dictate where the US dollar will go.