Planning your travel finances
Whether you are travelling abroad on business or on vacation, make your trip more secure and enjoyable by planning your finances in advance. Check our Travel Advice and Advisories for country-specific information on local laws and currencies.
Talk to your financial institution
- Many travellers choose a combination of two or three travel money options. Before you decide which one will work best for you, call your financial institution and ask about transaction fees and currency conversion charges. If your financial institution’s fees are high, consider getting a new credit or debit card for your trip.
Credit cards, debit cards and ATMs
- Notify your financial institution that you will be going overseas and ask whether your debit card’s Personal Information Number (PIN) will work overseas. If your PIN contains zeroes, ask whether this will be a problem in non-network ATMs. If your PIN has five digits, ask if you can change it to a four-digit number because many foreign ATMs won’t recognize a five-digit PIN.
- Know your financial institution’s restrictions on daily withdrawal limits from ATMs for its debit cards. Be aware that some ATMs may have daily withdrawal limits that may or may not match those imposed by your financial institution. Check your debit card for the names of ATM networks affiliated with your financial institution and research the locations of ATMs that are part of these networks in your destination country.
- Check with your financial institution whether your credit card will be accepted abroad. Take only the cards that you intend to use on the trip and leave the others at home.
- Know the expiry dates, account balance and amount of credit available to you on all of your credit cards. Make sure you have enough money in your accounts to cover your trip expenses, plus extra in case of emergency.
- Keep a record of your travellers’ cheque numbers, credit card account numbers and expiry dates and the telephone numbers for reporting lost or stolen cards in a safe place. If possible, leave a copy of the list with a family member or friend at home who can help you make telephone calls quickly if your cards are lost or stolen.
- Make sure your credit card company and financial institution have your up-to-date contact details, including a cellphone number, and information on where and when you will be travelling so that your account isn’t flagged for unusual activity.
Leaving Canada with $10,000 or more
Under Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, you must report amounts of currency equal to or greater than CAN $10,000 or its equivalent in a foreign currency to the nearest Canada Border Services Agency office that is open at the time you are travelling. These rules apply whether you care carrying the money with you or sending it by mail or by courier.
- Exchanging your money
- Financial assistance
- Overseas fraud: An increasing threat to the safety of Canadians
- Travelling and money
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