It’s that time of year again. The holidays are upon us and many are taking travels abroad. Most banks will have a foreign exchange (Forex) service for their clients – some banks, like CIBC, even deliver the currency straight to your door. However, the bank’s exchange rate aren’t necessarily the best; it is quite often better than the airport. (You probably are aware to avoid exchanging currency at the airport, unless you absolutely have to.)
Read on to find the best currency exchange services in Vancouver, BC.
Exotic/Rare Currency Exchange or Money Changers in Vancouver:
Many money changers located within travel retail stores (like luggage sellers) only deal with the popular currencies such as US dollars, Pound, Euros, Japanese yen, Singaporean dollars, and Chinese Renminbi.
If you’re looking for exotic currencies like the Israeli Shekels, most dedicated money changers in Vancouver will have the currency on hand. Specifically, the Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange likely has the most comprehensive list of exotic foreign currencies available for exchange. If you need to change exotic currencies in Vancouver, your best bet would be VBCE.
Happy Currency Exchange also has likely the next largest availability of foreign currency followed by Charlie’s Currency Exchange. With this said, Charlie’s Currency Exchange is more central in downtown Vancouver and often provides more competitive rates (marginally). If you need to change an uncommon currency in Vancouver, it may be preferable relying on these sure bets mentioned bellow.
Exchanging Currency in Vancouver at Banks:
Most banks provide currency exchange services for their members, here are the bank rates for comparison:
If you’re a tourist visiting Vancouver and looking for money changers, it may be a difficult process to exchange your money at the banks as many banks only provide foreign exchange services for clients.
CIBC: Over 65 currencies available. Delivery to your home is available for online purchase from your bank account or pick up in branch.
TD Canada Trust: Over 50 currencies available for cash and non-cash rates. Purchase online or by phone available. Most branches carry US, Sterling, and Euros with Foreign Exchange Centres carrying all 50 currencies available such as Pacific Centre, 700 W Georgia Street (TD Branch #9400).
Scotiabank: Over 65 currencies available.
Royal Bank of Canada: Over 30 currencies available. Services available only to RBC clients. Advance purchase required.
Bank of Montreal Vancouver Currency Exchange Rates: Over 15 currencies available covering most popular currencies. Lest ideal bank for currency exchange services.
Vancity Credit Union: Over 30 currencies available in members area.
Coast Capital Savings Credit Union: Three currencies available.
You can pre-order your currency online with online banking or visit the branch to exchange the currency over the counter. (It is best to pre-order less popular currencies in Vancouver.)
It may be a small margin but there are excellent money changers in Vancouver who offer seamless service and even better rates than the Vancouver banks. Here is where you will find the best Vancouver currency exchange or money changers in our city.
Whether you’re looking to change money in Vancouver for business or for leisure; these currency exchange services can likely help you save money or provide specialized services that banks may not!
Best Currency Exchange/Money Changers in Vancouver:
1) Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange:
It’s hard to go wrong with VBCE when looking for money changers in Vancouver.
Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange is often recommended by locals as the go-to, trusted name in currency exchange. They are also the supplier of exotic foreign currencies for several financial institutions and corporations in Vancouver, BC. It’s a trusted and reputable currency exchange service in Vancouver and a safe choice if you’re looking for a reliable money changer with competitive rates.
They have three locations in Vancouver. The first and head quarters is conveniently in downtown Vancouver at 800 West Pender Street. The second is at Granville and Broadway (another major intersection) nestled in a small plaza at 2576 Granville Street; this location is opened during weekends. They also have a branch in Richmond (near to Vancouver International Airport) at 118-6061 No. 3 Road; this branch is also open during weekends.
VBCE is an excellent choice for those looking for Vancouver money changers because (1) they provide competitive rates with no exchange fees (2) they are good opening hours between their three branches (3) they are reputable, honest, and up-front with their transactions. You will get a receipt and they recount the money to you before closing the transaction. (I’ve used VBCE before to exchange some extra Israeli Shekels I had from a trip.)
If you need a money changer in Vancouver, you can count on Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange to provide competitive rates, and a honest transaction. I would highly recommend Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange to tourists visiting Vancouver, BC as you don’t want to risk things with a less reputable money changer in Vancouver. VBCE would also be helpful for locals looking to exchange currency before travelling abroad; you can expect much better rates than the airport and most currency exchange in Vancouver. (You may wish to consider changing your money at your destination if appropriate such as withdrawing cash from an ATM abroad.) VBCE can also be a useful source if you have spare bills or shekels left over from your travels; they accept small transactions as well for the same competitive rates. Advisable to call before hand if you’re looking to exchange large amounts of currency
Vancouver Currency Exchange Address (Three Locations):
1) Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange – Vancouver Currency Exchange Main Office @ 800 W Pender St #120, Vancouver, BC V6C 2V6
Hours – 9 AM to 5 PM on Mondays to Fridays. Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Phone # – (604) 685-1008
2) Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange – Vancouver Currency Exchange @ 2576 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3G8
Hours – 9 AM to 5 PM on Mondays to Fridays. 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturdays. Closed Sundays.
Phone # – (604) 739-3997
3) Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange – Richmond Currency Exchange @ 118-6061 No. 3 Road, Richmond, BC V6Y 2B2
Hours – 9 AM to 5 PM on Mondays to Fridays. 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturdays. Closed Sundays.
Phone # – (604) 248-0777
2) Charlie’s Currency Exchange:
Charlie’s Currency Exchange (CCE) is located right on Granville Street minutes from Pacific Centre. The prime location means CCE is a small currency exchange store but they offer great rates.
3) Happy Currency Exchange:
4) Finex Forex Services:
Highly competitive rates (checking it as of May 1st, 2018 their US-CAD rates are most competitive at the moment – even better than VCBE marginally.
Avoiding Expensive Money Changers in Vancouver:
There are two major pitfalls with choosing the wrong money changer; (1) unscrupulous practices – some smaller and less reputable money changers may unfortunately attempt to take advantage of their customers, and (2) bad rates – most reputable money changers in Vancouver have competitive rates that are rarely significantly different from other reputable money changers but there are money changers in Vancouver provide horrendous exchange rates or fees.
Some money changers will charge expensive fees and rates to change your money (while often providing bad services). These are usually the money changers you will find at the malls and at the airports quite often. These are the national franchises that will bill you a teller fee on top of the rates they offer for buying or selling.
Avoid ICE on Robson: One such place to avoid is International Money Changer on Robson street. The reviews have been horrendous.
Avoid ICE at YVR: The service at YVR is actually better and more professional however the rates are still grossly unfair towards the customer.
Avoid ICE at the Mall: Likewise, ICE is often the money changer you see in major malls.
Avoid SOME Luggage Stores: Some luggage stores will also offer currency exchange, needless to say the rates here are usually sorely expensive for the customer. There are a few good currency exchange in luggage stores such as the
Avoid Hotel Currency Exchange: Several hotels in Vancouver will provide currency exchange services. This is a useful amenity however the rates usually are very noncompetitive. This is subjective suggestion however as perhaps your time or convenience is more important than going intently to a money changer if you do not wish to carry too much cash on you around Vancouver to exchange currencies.
There are several currency exchange that have horrible rates and unscrupulous practices. I would highly recommend you stick to the reputable currency exchange in Vancouver – those we have listed above. Reading reviews across the internet shows underhanded practices (whether intentionally or unintentionally) that shows a lack of professionalism consumers need with money changers.
What You Should Know about Vancouver Currency Exchange:
- Exchange in Advance: If possible, make sure that you plan sufficiently timed to get your money exchanged in advance. This will avoid last minute rush in the event that may leave you in a lurch. Be sure to confirm opening hours especially during the holiday season. The most reliable hours and availability is with Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange; we are not being paid to say this but by far VBCE are the most widely available, reputable, and professional money changers in Vancouver whether for corporate or personal use. (Charlie’s Currency Exchange is also excellent for their opening hours and fair rates.)
- Payment Methods: While Vancouver is a safe city, it is ideal not to carry too much cash on your person at any one time. Many currency exchange will accept Interac (Canadian Debit) but ensure to check that they do. VCBE, Charlie’s Currency Exchange, and Happy Currency all accept Interac.
- Consider using your Debit Card overseas: If you’re a Vancouverite travelling to Europe, Singapore, or US then you may wish to consider simply using your credit card and debit card overseas. You will likely be dinged with a $5 International Withdrawal from your bank and will be utilizing either the Mastercard rate or the overseas bank exchange rate however on a bulk withdrawal, you will still be getting relatively competitive rate to a money changer in Vancouver without the need to carry the currency with you. You can also choose to sign up for a no exchange fee credit card for convenient spending overseas.
- Consider your bank: CIBC offers most currencies delivered to their customer’s door or anywhere in Canada with the payment deducted directly from your bank account. Many banks also offer competitive rates although a few banks will actually be supplied through larger currency exchange (like VCBE) for more exotic currencies (since they don’t usually carry those currencies themselves) so your rates will be better there. By far, the best rates in Vancouver are usually found at VCBE or Charlie’s Currency Exchange by local consensus. TD Bank also has a few branches that will specialize with currency exchange.
Thanks for reading about Vancouver’s Money Changers on VancityAsks:
The holidays are a busy period so get your money changed quicker and easier at any of these money changers in Vancouver. We hope you enjoyed this article about foreign exchange in Vancouver.
Disclaimer: To the best of our knowledge, the content above is accurately reflecting our opinion on finding money changers in Vancouver. We have tried to maintain accuracy with the content above, however the suggestions provided reflect our opinion, is provided as-is without warranties.
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