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.
For Vancouverites, 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.) CIBC delivers the currency to your door; you can also select pick-up at your branch.
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.
Credit Unions also provide foreign exchange services but they deal only with major currencies; you will likely get better rates at one of the best currency exchange services in Vancouver mentioned bellow. The only benefit of changing with your credit union is convenience of picking up the currency if you need to be in the branch anyways. (Since many credit unions are way behind on their online banking – many transactions have to be done in person. Haha.)
Vancity Credit Union: Over 30 currencies available in members area.
Coast Capital Savings Credit Union: Three currencies available.
Why you may consider a specialized foreign exchange service 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!
If you’re looking for convenience, it may be better to exchange your money at the bank you frequent; it will still be better than changing money at the airport. You have to factor in your time visiting these money changers in Vancouver unless they are near by. Another alternative is withdrawing at an ATM in bulk when you arrive at your destination. (You will be charged an international or trans-border ATM fee depending on your bank. Exchange rates are usually Mastercard or the local bank rate.)
Deciding whether to change your money at a money changer in Vancouver or one of the two options mentioned depends on your preference. These currency exchange services in Vancouver will likely provide a better rate than the bank, but remember as well to consider your time and convenience.
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 the premier money changer in Vancouver; it is likely the largest retail money changer and they have most minor currencies while offering great rates with no hidden fees.
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.
You might say that Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange is the gold standard for currency exchange in Vancouver. You can trust that you are getting a good rate, friendly service, and honest transactions. If you’re looking for a Vancouver currency exchange, it’s hard to go amiss with VBCE that’s used by locals.
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. They have some of the best rates in Vancouver for major currencies; it is likely that VBCE has better rates still, however. Charlie’s Currency Exchange has a reputation for being a reliable money changer in downtown Vancouver.
Charlie’s Currency Exchange only accepts cash and debit at the moment. They also have a wide variety of minor currencies but advise calling in advance to ensure they have inventory. The shop is nestled besides Incognito Coffee and there is only one booth so there may be a line-up and a short wait. They also have a private room that can be made available for larger currency transactions if desired. For all intents, Charlie’s Currency Exchange is a good and convenient option for currency exchange services in downtown Vancouver. You can count on good rates, quick service, and a convenient location (However, if you need currency exchange and flexible with the location, Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange usually has the best rates in Vancouver and reliable service.)
Charlie’s Currency Exchange has a reputation as a reliable money changer in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The shop is small and often busy but service is usually quick and accurate. The Vancouver money changer has been around for almost seven years; if you need a money changer in downtown Vancouver, Charlies Currency Exchange is a good choice. They have long operating hours for money changers.
Charlie’s Currency Exchange Address:
Charlie’s Currency Exchange – Downtown Vancouver Currency Exchange Main Office @ 827 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1K7
Hours – 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Mondays to Saturdays. 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Sundays.
Phone # – (604) 688-2500
3) Happy Currency Exchange:
Happy Currency Exchange, as with all the Vancouver currency exchanged mentioned on this “Best Vancouver Currency Exchange” article is an honest money changer in Vancouver, BC. They do not charge any hidden fees or added service fees on top to their rates. They also provide highly competitive exchange rates for a variety of currency.
The reason they are #3 is because they do not provide as many minor currencies as you would find at Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange. Their rates are also slightly less competitive than VBCE but comparable to Charlie’s Currency Exchange. There likely isn’t much of a difference between your buy/sell totals at Happy Currency Exchange, Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange, or Charlie’s Currency Exchange as all three Vancouver money changers do not charge any added service or transaction fee; they also all provide very competitive rates. The important tip is avoid scrupulous currency changers (less often in Vancouver and Canada than other countries perhaps but they still exists) as well as extortionist fees as you may find at International Currency Exchange on Robson. Apparently, Happy Currency Exchange will match the rates at Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange upon request; so check both rates on your phone/laptop.
Happy Currency Exchange has a location conveniently on Broadway Street minutes from the Broadway City Hall Canada Line Station. The service at HCE is typically friendly, quick, and professional. The perk to HCE as compared to VBCE is there is usually a lesser line-up than VBCE – but still great rates. (VBCE has a reputation in Vancouver has one of the best currency exchange so understandably, their location at Granville Street and downtown Vancouver often have a line-up during peak periods. The lines go quick as they often have several staff and booths available.) The hours at Happy Currency Exchange is longer than most Vancouver money changers as they are open till 6 PM (Charlie’s Currency Exchange is open till 6 PM as well.) which provides flexibility for last-minute travelers. There is usually only one person at the front but I have never seen a line-up at the Broadway location for Happy Currency Exchange.
If you’re looking for a money changer in Vancouver, Happy Currency Exchange is a reliable choice. You can expect friendly service, competitive rates, and a reliable money changer in Vancouver. It’s certainly appreciated to be able to trust that a money changer will deal honestly and professionally… this describes both Happy Currency Exchange, CCE, and VBCE. The location on Broadway Street is a busy intersection near to city hall so you should have minimal concerns about safety. (most of Vancouver is safe – except Surrey. Haha) You will also be able to find a cab available at Broadway & Cambie (many cabs loiter the area outside the Broadway City Hall Canada Line Station) to take you to your hotel.
Happy Currency Exchange Address (Three Locations):
1) Happy Currency Exchange – Vancouver Currency Exchange @ 409 W Broadway #101, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1R4
Hours – 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM on Mondays to Fridays. 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Saturdays. Closed Sundays.
Phone # – (604) 873-8808
2) Happy Currency Exchange – Richmond Currency Exchange @ 4777 Mcclelland Road #1520, Richmond, BC V6X 0M5
Hours – 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM on Mondays to Fridays. 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Saturdays. Closed Sundays.
Phone # – (604) 272-0888
3) Happy Currency Exchange – Burnaby Currency Exchange Main Office @ 4603 Kingsway #160, Burnaby, BC V5H 4M4
Hours – 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday to Fridays. 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM Saturdays. 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Sundays.
Phone # – (604) 438-6888
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 VBCE marginally.) can be found at Finex Forex Services in downtown Vancouver on West Pender. There are several benefits with choosing to do your currency exchange with Finex Forex Services. They have competitive rates (perhaps even better than VBCE), they have no service fees, they have quick and friendly service.
Finex Forex Services begun in 1997 and provide both online Forex services as well as in-person transactions. They have two locations, one in downtown Vancouver conveniently two units from the Coast Coal Harbour hotel on our list for the best hotels in downtown Vancouver. The downtown Vancouver location is also very near to Vancouver Convention Centre and the cruise terminal in downtown Vancouver. Finex Forex Services caters both to tourists, cruiseship passengers, flight crew, and immigrants. The location in downtown Vancouver is a small shop besides a souvenir store, however, they carry an extensive variety of currencies. There is rarely an line-up and the service is usually prompt. They are listed #4 on our suggestions for the best currency exchange in Vancouver because of inconsistent service and rates.
While Finex Forex Services is a good choice for downtown Vancouver currency exchange with competitive rates and customer service (most often), if you’re willing to walk a little bit further to 800 West Pender (about two blocks), the Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange is always a sure bet for good rates, quick customer service, and reliable transactions. Nonetheless, Finex Forex Services is also a viable choice for Vancouver foreign exchange services. They offer most major and minor currencies with good rates; they are also able to order currencies not presently available with 1 day delivery.
Finex Forex Services Address (Two Locations):
1) Finex Forex Services – Downtown Vancouver Currency Exchange Office @ 1135 W Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6E 2P4
Hours – 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM Mondays to Fridays. 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM Saturdays. Closed Sundays.
Phone # – (604) 647-2274
2) Finex Forex Services – West Vancouver Currency Exchange Office @ 1771 Marine Dr West Vancouver, BC V7V 1J5
Hours – 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Mondays to Fridays. 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM Saturdays. Closed Sundays.
Phone # – (778) 279-2062
5) Gastown Collectible Currency Exchange:
I am generally wary of currency exchange services located in a luggage store or convenience shop as most often, you don’t expect good (prompt & friendly) service nor good rates. However, Gastown Collectible Currency Exchange is surprisingly the exception. We have tried mostly to look for dedicated currency exchange services in Vancouver for our best currency exchange/money changers in Vancouver list. This said, Gastown Collectible Currency Exchange deserves a mention.
Gastown Collectible Currency Exchange has many loyal customers who have appreciated their friendly customer service and quick transactions. Their store looks messy as it is a collectible store but they offer rates that are better than Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange (I imagine their system picks the rates from VBCE and undercuts it?)
The location in downtown Vancouver Gastown neighborhood is a brief walk from most hotels in downtown Vancouver. Gastown is near East Hastings which may not be the safest neighborhood but you shouldn’t have a problem during the day time. The location of the collectible store is also nearer to Granville Street than the centre of Gastown.
They carry most major and minor currencies with great rates (even better than VBCE). They have excellent customer service. They operate honestly and reliably. Overall, Gastown Collectible Currency Exchange is a reputable currency exchange service in downtown Vancouver; it’s a good currency exchange service in downtown Vancouver. It may well be deserving of #1 or #2 on this list except VBCE can probably handle larger volumes and Charlie Currency Exchange has a central location for convenience.
Gastown Collectible Currency Exchange Address:
Gastown Collectible Currency Exchange – Gastown Currency Exchange Office @ 525 W Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1V5
Hours – (604) 647-2274
Phone # –
Other Money Changers in Vancouver:
Here are a few more money changers in Vancouver that can be considered if they are convenient. They do not carry most minor currencies and only carry major currencies. The rates are reasonable.
Kingmark Currency Exchange:
One of the oldest currency exchange services in Metro Vancouver, Kingmark Currency Exchange, has branches in Burnaby (4500 Kingsway #1689 – Crystal Mall) and Vancouver (610 W Broadway). Their original location is at the infamous Yaohan Shopping Centre in Richmond (3700 No 3 Rd #1025), however. Their Richmond location is minutes from Vancouver International Airport. Literally two minutes drive once you exit the bridge from the airport area (Sea Island). Then again, its Richmond so drive with caution – bad Asian drivers.
You can expect consistent and reliable currency exchange services in Vancouver at Kingmark Currency Exchange. We almost put Kingmark Currency Exchange #5 on our list of best Vancouver Currency exchange services however Gastown Collectible Currency Exchange took that spot because Kingmark Currency Exchange only carries 15 major currencies.
The rates for the currencies they do carry however are very competitive; they are almost a mirror of Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange. If you’re near a Kingmark Currency Exchange and need to change currencies, Kingmark is a good choice if they carry the currency. If they carried more currencies and had better rates, we’d have them on our top five suggestions for the best currency exchange services in Vancouver. (They have multiple accessible locations for convenience with a long standing business reputation since 1993.)
EverForex Currency Exchange:
EverForex Currency Exchange is a currency exchange service that begun in the down under (Australia, 2005) but made its way to Vancouver in 2007 with a branch in Richmond, BC. It has five currency exchange retail fronts in Vancouver today with another two in Toronto. (one in Melbourne, Australia)
The rates are reasonable. Similar rates to VBCE; they buy slightly worse than VBCE but sell slightly better than VBCE. (looking at USD)
The presence of five branches in the lower mainland adds for convenience however they only carry a few major currencies. Their store fronts in downtown Vancouver (489 Richards St), Vancouver Main Street (198 E 15th Ave), Vancouver Oakridge (650 W 41st Ave #430), Burnaby (4720 Kingsway #105), and Richmond (430-5900 No 3 Rd).
It is not the best currency exchange in Vancouver, it may even be frustrating depending on the branch you visit (apparently their downtown Vancouver branch does very minimal cash transactions) however it is an option with reasonable rates in Vancouver providing several branches for currency exchange. It would best to choose from one of the five options mentioned above if you can! EverForex is a reputable money changer in Vancouver, however. (mileage can vary)
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.
Pingback: Best Hotels in Downtown Vancouver | VancityAsks.com
Pingback: Best Hotels in New Westminster | VancityAsks.com
Pingback: Best Vancouver Airport Hotel | VancityAsks.com
What about check from the state to cash it. Any suggestion where to go for the lowest rate???
There likely aren’t many FOREX places in Canada that would clear a US check. You’re probably better depositing your check into a US Dollar Bank Account with CIBC, TD, RBC and then withdraw US Dollar at a branch or ATM (many CIBC ATMs offer USD withdrawal) to use the money changers if you want a better rate.
This said, if you don’t need to deposit USD checks frequently it may not be worth the hassle and you could consider just depositing directly to your CAD bank. (The banks exchange rates are not horrendous.) CIBC does have a no monthly fee USD account with 0.05% interest but charges $0.75 per transaction.
(edited for grammatical errors)