Currency exchange in Burnaby: Best places and tips

Wise
21.02.19
4 minute read

Burnaby is a city of over 200,000 people directly east of Vancouver in British Columbia. As one of the principal suburbs of the Vancouver metropolitan area, Burnaby is close to both mountains and the waters of the Strait of Georgia. Its majestic setting draws tourists from all over Canada and the USA. This helpful article will explain the ins and outs of currency exchange while traveling abroad, and list a few of the best currency exchange businesses in Burnaby.

This article covers:

  • The best information and tips you need to make an informed decision
  • Overview of some of the locations for exchanging money in Ontario

Things to know before exchanging your money

Before you head off to sun on one of Vancouver's fine beaches, or strap on your boots for a high-altitude hike, there are a few things you need to know.

You first want to find the currency exchange businesses in the area. But make sure you you’re patronizing one with a competitive exchange rate. Exchange rates can vary significantly from one currency exchange business to another.

So before you start exploring Burnaby, you’ll want to get your currency exchanged at the most favorable rate. That leaves you with more cash in hand for the fun stuff.

The next few sections offer tips for managing your currency exchange wisely.

Know the Actual Exchange Rate

Smart shoppers should look up the real exchange rate for their currency pair (in this case, USD/CAD) before they walk up to a currency exchange counter. That’s the rate at which the currency is currently trading on the foreign exchange market. Lucky for you, it’s never been easier to do so. You can search Google for the value of the pairing, or check Wise’s nifty online currency converter.

If you compare the exchange rate at a currency exchange business against the exchange rate on Google or Wise, you’ll see that a currency exchange at the brick-and-mortar store leaves you with a smaller amount of money after the exchange. That’s because currency exchange vendors tilt the exchange rate in their favor. That’s how they get paid. A service like Wise, however, uses what’s called the mid-market rate. Currency pairs have a “buy” price and a “sell” price. The buy and sell price will always be close to each other, but they’ll never be the same. There a slight difference between what you buy a currency for and what you sell it for, and the mid-market rate is the midpoint between the two. It changes constantly as the value of a currency rises or falls.

Savvy travelers should consider the mid-market rate the “ideal” value of a currency pair. You’ll likely not find a vendor that offers you the mid-market rate, but you should patronize a currency exchange business with a rate closest to it.

One of the best currency exchange vendors is the website Wise. They’ll offer you the mid-market rate every time (check it!). If you know someone who lives in your travel destination and has a local bank account, you can send them money via Wise before you depart, and withdraw the funds at a no-fee ATM after you arrive. This clever method lets you access cash while avoiding both high exchange rates and ATM fees.

Remember - Exchange Rates Are Always Changing

It’s a good idea to check the exchange rate of the currency at your destination in the weeks leading up to a trip, so you’ll have a rough overview of what is a favorable rate. Daily economic and political news affect the movements of a currency, so it’s helpful to keep an eye on things to have a good overview.

One way to save yourself the headache of tracking currency market fluctuations? Open a multi-currency borderless account with Wise. It’s perfectly suited for someone working or traveling abroad. Wise gives borderless account holders bank details that apply to multiple countries: a British account number and sort code, a European IBAN, a US account number and routing number, and an Australian with a BSB code. Having access to a multi-currency account such as this allows you to withdraw cash from the same account whether you’re in the US, UK, Australia, or the European Union and also get paid or pay like a local, by bank transfer.

If you live in the European Economic area you can also get access to the multi-currency debit card, which allows you to withdraw cash in over 40 different currencies at the mid-market exchange rate. In the United States, you can sign up to the waitlist for the in-demand card.

Research Your Home Bank’s Partnership Before You Leave

ATM fees abroad can cost you several dollars for every withdrawal. One way to get around this is to check your banks international partnerships. By using an ATM that’s a part of your banks network, you can withdraw money without the ATM withdrawal fee, that other banking networks would charge.

Avoid Airport and Hotel Currency Exchanges

You’ll often find currency exchange kiosks at international airports and hotels in big cities. It’s best to avoid these, though. These places know that you’ve just arrived and may not know the area. They offer convenience - but for a price. Airport and hotel kiosks tend to offer the least favorable exchange rates. For a better deal, look for standalone currency exchange businesses.

Always Choose To Be Charged In Local Currency

When withdrawing your money from an ATM abroad it may ask you if you want to be paid out in your native currency or local currency. The best choice in this case is to always choose to be paid in local currency.
It will be cheaper for you to get charged in the local currency, since the ATM will usually use a worse rate to convert your money.

Where to exchange money in Burnaby

It’s best to check a vendor’s exchange rate in advance. Use the businesses website or call ahead to find out the exchange rate in advance.

The following table lists some of the best-reviewed currency exchanges in Burnaby.

Business name Address Contact details
Happy Currency Exchange 4603 Kingsway #160, Burnaby, BC V5H 4M4 +1 604-438-6888
Kingmark Currency Exchange Inc. - Burnaby 4500 Kingsway #1689, Burnaby, BC V5H 2A9 +1 604-438-9990
Everforex Currency Exchange Burnaby 4720 Kingsway #105, Burnaby, BC V5H 4N2 +1 (800) 699-4816
Cash Money 6912 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC V5E 1E6 +1 604-519-2274
Sendex Money Transfer and Convenience Store 4853 Imperial St, Burnaby, BC V5J 1C5 +1 604-438-4744

Exchanging your currency is not one of the most exciting parts of travel. But if you learn the do’s and don’ts of currency exchange, and find the best exchange rates at your destination, you’ll end up with more spending money for your time abroad. The more you know, the more of your own money you keep.


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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