The currency of Canada is the Canadian dollar, called Canadian dollar in English and Canadian dollar in French. The ISO code of the Canadian dollar is CAD, it is abbreviated with the symbol $ or C $, in order to differentiate it more clearly from the symbol of the American dollar. Colloquially, the dollar in Canada is often referred to as a “buck”, but in French-speaking areas it is often called a “piastre”.
History of the Canadian currency
In order to give all English and French provinces of Canada a single currency, the Canadian dollar was introduced in 1871 by the so-called “Uniform Currency Act”. Originally, until 1933, the dollar was backed by gold, as was common currency at the time.
A special feature of the Canadian dollar is that it is minted in two languages, both in English and in French, i.e. the two national languages of Canada. Similar to the euro, the CAD is divided into 100 Canadian cents. However, the minting of the Canadian 1 cent coin was completely discontinued in 2012.
A budget law stipulated that all cash transactions should now be rounded to full 5-cent amounts in order to reduce the handling of cash. The 1 cent coin will initially remain a valid means of payment in Canada, but will gradually be collected and so at some point will completely disappear from the market.
Since the Canadian dollar is very similar to the American one, the CAD is an accepted means of payment in some states of the USA, especially in the border states. However, the Canadian dollar is usually worth a little more than the American one. In the case of larger expenses, exchanging them for US dollars can still be worthwhile.
Exchange into Canadian dollars
If you are planning a trip to Canada, you should watch the exchange rates from Euro to CAD some time before starting your trip, as the exchange rate can fluctuate significantly. This gives you more of the opportunity to get a particularly good exchange rate. In most cases, however, it is more advisable to exchange the cash in Canada directly on site, as it is often offered at a better exchange rate there.
A good alternative to exchanging cash is to withdraw cash from a Canadian ATM. There you get your money automatically at the best current exchange rate. However, you must always expect your own bank fees for withdrawals abroad.
Whenever possible on the trip, you should therefore pay by credit card. With the right credit card, there is also the best exchange rate, but there are usually no additional fees.