Currency exchange in Edmonton: Best places and tips 2019


Edmonton is one of Canada’s biggest, brightest cities, and there’s always something going on. Whether it’s the diamond or oil sands industries, some of Canada’s biggest shopping malls or the city’s vibrant cultural scene, there are many reasons you might find yourself in Edmonton.

And if you’re in the city, you’ll need money. Changing from US dollars (USD) to Canadian dollars (CAD) is easy, but finding a really good exchange rate can be trickier. So, we’ve put together this simple guide the most important things you should and also where to go, to get your currency. We’ll tell you about:

  • What you need to know before you start
  • The most important parts of the exchange rate, that you need to understand
  • How you can save by using a partner bank or ATM network
  • One vital thing to know when withdrawing cash from a Canadian ATM
  • Which currency exchanges to avoid
  • Where to go to change your money

Things to know before exchanging your money

Know the rate you’re actually getting

When you change money between USD and CAD, you’ll want to know what exchange rate you’re getting. After all, you want the best rate possible. You can find this out by using our handy currency converter to check rates at a glance.

Not everyone will offer you the same rate. If you look up exchange rates on a site like Google or Yahoo, the rate you’ll see is what’s known as the mid-market rate. This is halfway between the buying and selling rates, and it’s what banks use when they’re working with currencies themselves. Sounds like a good, fair way of working? It is. The trouble is, you likely won’t get this rate from your bank, or from an ATM. The reason is simple: there’s often a hidden extra markup to pay. You won’t see it listed as a fee, but you’ll feel it in your wallet just the same.

One place where you will get the mid-market rate is with a Wise borderless account. This is something different from a normal bank account — you can work seamlessly in USD and CAD, as well as dozens of other currencies. There’s no rate markup, just a single, low fee. Simple. Right now, you can get a debit card linked to this account if you live in the UK or any of the European Economic Area (EEA) countries. You can also sign up to the waitlist if you’re in the US.

Remember — exchange rates don’t stay the same

The rate you get this year won’t be the same next year. It won’t even be the same next week. There are quite a few reasons for this, ranging from inflation rates to the political situation in a country. One of the biggest issues is simply supply and demand: if a lot of people are buying a currency, then its value will go up. If most people are selling, it’ll go down.

Research your home bank’s partnerships before you leave

You can often save when you’re in Edmonton by using the right bank. Even if yours doesn’t have its own branches in the city, it may still be part of a wider partnership or ATM network. Check with your bank at home to find this out. Using a partner bank or network can mean lower ATM fees – sometimes, you’ll avoid paying them altogether. The more you use ATMs while you’re in Canada, the more the savings can add up.

Always choose to be charged in the local currency

When you’re at an ATM abroad, you’ll often see a message asking you if you want the ATM to charge you in the local currency or US dollars. There’s one key rule to remember here: always choose local currency, which means Canadian dollars in Edmonton. That’s because if you choose US dollars, you’ll almost always get a worse deal. It’s another version of the rate markup we mentioned a minute ago.

Avoid airport and hotel currency exchanges

It can be very tempting to change your money at the airport or hotel. They can seem convenient, but they’re usually pretty poor options. Most of these places won’t give you a good exchange rate, so that’s one strike against them. Many of them will add fees on top – strike two. You don’t want to be struck out — so unless you really have no other choice, leave these exchanges well alone. Instead, pick an exchange bureau in the city, or get your cash from a bank ATM.

Spend your money before leaving Canada

Ideally, you’ll want as little Canadian currency as possible left over when you return to the US. You don’t tend to get great exchange rates when changing CAD outside Canada, and it’s another time you can get hit with fees. No, thank you. It’s also a bit of a chore to do this once your trip’s over, so just take out the money you need while you’re in Edmonton.

Where to exchange money in Edmonton

Edmonton isn’t short of places to change money. Here are a few of the most popular exchange bureaus in the city.

BusinessAddressPhone number
Travel Currency Exchange10025 102A Ave, Edmonton, AB, TJ5 2Z2+1 780-426-8444 ( Edmonton City Center )
Calforex Currency ExchangeSouthgate Centre, #45, 5015-111 St. NW, Edmonton, AB, T6H 4M6+1 780-484-4666
Unimoni9288 34 Ave, Edmonton, AB, T6E 5P2+1 780-436-8820 +1 780-436-8830
ICE International Currency ExchangeEdmonton City Centre Mall, C227 102 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB, T5J 4B7+1 780-425-5426
Knightsbridge Foreign ExchangeScotia 1, 10050 Jasper Ave #2020, Edmonton, AB, T5J 3R8+1 587-405-4049
Firma Foreign Exchange CorporationSuite 400, 10205 101 St NW, Edmonton, AB, T5J 4H5+1 866-426-2605 (Toll-free)+1 780-426-5971

With quite a few options to choose from when changing money in Edmonton, remember that they probably won’t all offer the same rate. If you can, shop around a little and compare the rates each company offers. The currency converter can help you do this.

You won’t have a problem finding somewhere to change money in Edmonton – but although it’s pretty straightforward, the trick is in finding the best value for you. Rates and fees can vary quite a bit and you can save by changing currency at partner banks or ATMs. Just remember, always say no if the ATM asks to charge you in US dollars. Also remember to take a look at alternatives such as the Wise borderless account to see if it’s for you.

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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This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

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