Currency exchange in Victoria, BC: Your no-nonsense guide

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Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, known for beautiful parkland and imposing colonial architecture including Craigdarroch Castle. The City of Gardens offers ocean adventures as well as great outdoor activities, and you can be back in time for an elegant afternoon tea. Check out this guide on how to get the local cash you need to make the most of your visit.

And if you’re lucky enough to live in Victoria, this overview is for you if you need currency exchange for a trip abroad,

Here are our top tips for getting the best available deal on currency exchange in Victoria, as well as a few specific currency exchange services to check out.

Things to know before exchanging your money

Whether you need to change your money to or from Canadian dollars, here are a few thing you should know in advance.

Know the actual exchange rate

No matter where you’re headed, you want to get the best possible deal on your travel money. To be able to compare the offers out there, you need to know the exchange rate for your currency pairing. This is easy, simply by using google, or an online currency converter.

These sources will tell you the mid-market exchange rate for your currency pairing. This is the rate you want to use to benchmark the exchange rate on offer in currency exchange offices and banks, as it is the rate financial institutions use when selling currency to each other. Unfortunately, most providers don’t pass this exchange rate on to their customers. Instead they add a margin to the rate they use, which they then keep for themselves. This hides the real costs of your currency conversion, and can work out more expensive.

There are alternatives out there. You could try the multi currency borderless account from Wise, for example. This new type of account lets you hold your money in 40+ currencies, and switch between them using the mid-market exchange rate when you want to. There are no hidden costs, and just a small upfront fee to pay.

Remember - exchange rates always change

Unfortunately, looking at the rate once isn’t enough, because exchange rates change all the time. The fluctuation can make a huge difference to the cost of your travel money. Keep an eye on the mid-market rate online, so you can buy your foreign currency when the rates are good.

Research your home bank’s partnerships before you leave

If you’re planning on using ATMs overseas, it is a good idea to check out the fees, and also ask your home bank if they are in an ATM network which could offer you free or cheaper withdrawals as you travel. Often banks work together so their customers get a better price for cash withdrawals when abroad.

Always choose to be charged in the local currency

Another top tip when using your credit, debit or prepaid card abroad, is to avoid DCC (Dynamic Currency Conversion)

Chances are you’ve seen DCC already if you use your card abroad - it’s where you’re asked by a merchant or when using an ATM if you want to pay in the local currency or your own home currency. Paying in dollars sounds easier, as you don’t need to think too hard about the currency conversion. But this could increase the cost of your purchase significantly, as the exchange rate applied will be selected by the merchant, and won’t necessarily be great. Always choose to pay in the local currency wherever in the world you are, for the best deal.

Avoid airport and hotel currency exchanges

Using a currency exchange service in an airport or hotel front desk can prove expensive.

The rates on offer are seldom good, because there is no local competition. Providers charge more for the convenience of getting your travel money as you roll out of bed, leaving you with less in your pocket.

Spend your money before leaving

Finally, don’t bring your holiday money home. Although it is perfectly possible to sell foreign notes back to a currency exchange service, you’ll pay commission again, which can leave you with less that you expect. Instead, change what you need, and spend what you change. Everyone’s favourite travel money tip.

Where to exchange money in Victoria

Here are a few popular currency exchange services to get you started. The contact details are listed, so you can call in advance and check the rates available for your currency pair before you head out.

Name Address Contact details
Calforex Currency Exchange 606 Humboldt St, Victoria, BC V8W 1A4, Canada +1 250-380-3711
FX Connectors Currency Exchange 1208 Wharf St #106, Victoria, BC V8W 3B9 +1 250-380-7888
FIRMA Foreign Exchange 920 Johnson St #3, Victoria, BC V8V 3N4 +1 866-822-8818
Cash Money 1483 Douglas St #101, Victoria, BC V8W 2G1 +1 778-433-1222
Encore FX HQ 517 Fort St, Victoria, BC V8W 1E7 +1 250-412-5253

Whether you’re headed to Canada for a holiday, or you’re a Canadian thinking of getting away from it all somewhere new, you will need some money to pay your way while you travel. Getting a good deal on your currency exchange can make all the difference, so it is worth investing some time in advance, to make sure you have plenty to spend while you’re away.


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