Credit card acceptability in Montreal
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Nov 9, 2012 12:42 PM Last Post By: altmtl
Oct 10, 2012 8:26 AM
Credit card acceptability in MontrealI am travelling to Montreal in November for around two weeks and I am wondering whether I really need to get any Canadian Dollars before I leave, I am based in the UK and I can of course use any number of services to get cash but the tourist exchange rate means I would probably lose out a bit.
I would much prefer to just take my credit cards and use them directly as and when I pay for things (public transport, food in convenience stores and supermarkets etc, and the odd miscellaneous item here and there from other shops). I would pay a much more agreeable exchange rate that way, and not to mention the added security bonus. I would have no intention of withdrawing cash using my credit card while out there.
My question(s), how readily acceptable are payments via credit card in Canada? Can I use one to buy a single ticket on the subway? Would a corner shop or small restaurant accept one for a purchase of less than $10?
I have had trouble in the US before when trying to pay for goods with my credit card, particularly for low value purchases, yet here in the UK I regularly use my credit card to buy items like a 50p newspaper.
Oct 10, 2012 9:54 AM
Oct 10, 2012 10:03 AM
2Thanks, it's not just the few pennies I would save though, but the added security, I will be travelling through several other countries before my arrival in Canada so I would rather not carry around hundreds of dollars in cash.
Oct 10, 2012 10:51 AM
3I wouldn't say credit cards will be accepted on 100% of the small (<$10) transactions, especially at small mom'n'pop stores and restaurants. I think it will be a good idea to have some cash at hand. If you don't have a debit card you should look into getting one. It is easy to draw out cash at ATMs in Canada and most countries in the world.
FWIW, credit cards are accepted at Montreal metro stations using the automatic ticket machines. Likely, you'll want to purchase an OPUS card and fill it with tickets - can be done with a credit card.
Oct 10, 2012 12:12 PM
4Thank you for the replies, I think it's probably a good idea for me to take both cash (enough for various small purchases) and a card for larger purchases and tickets etc.
I am travelling by myself and I will be based within a private apartment, do you think a budget of $25 a day will be sufficient for food (I will be cooking myself) and local travel in Montreal? Also, I am not really sightseeing, so I won't be spending much at all on things like that.
Oct 10, 2012 3:54 PM
5Well, it all depends on what you are cooking! I think it should be sufficient for the basics like salad, chicken, pasta. Do you like to have wine or beer with your meal? Alcohol prices are quite high in Canada, much higher than in USA or Europe.
You can buy 10 bus/metro tickets for $24 plus an initial fee to buy the Opus card. A single fare is $3.
Oct 11, 2012 3:40 AM
6Bring your ATM card and use it to withdraw cash when you arrive in Canada, you'll get a decent exchange rate. Having only a credit card is lunacy.
Oct 11, 2012 3:15 PM
7you use a credit card for 50p purchases? i find that surprising, as i'm in the uk and every little shop i go to has signs advising that they'll charge for card transactions under 5 or 10 quid, as it costs them so much.
bring your debit, get a bit of cash for little things.
use the credit card for groceries, meals, shopping.
and seriously, montreal has such good food, do get out and eat it.
Oct 11, 2012 4:41 PM
8In London I rarely need cash, I'm one of those weirdos who uses a card even to pay for a pint. I went to Iceland a few years ago and during my entire stay I never touched a coin or a note! Just how the world should be!
Withdrawing cash from an ATM while abroad is the most expensive option of all, and an option I would only use in an emergency. In fact, that's my main reason for carrying a card.
I will occasionally be eating out in Montreal, of course, but I have always loved the idea of going to markets and stores in foreign countries, and buying food I'm not used to and cooking it myself. I find that's an even better way of learning about local cuisine.
Oct 12, 2012 12:25 PM
Oct 12, 2012 1:40 PM
Oct 12, 2012 2:37 PM
11ref, it might depend on charges and rates. my uk credit card charges a percentage for overseas purchases but, i think, not sure, that i pay a fee and a percentage for withdrawals on my debit. frankly, i don't exchange so much that losing out on convenience is worth agonising over exchange rates. i'd rather relax but lose a few pounds.
actually, i'd like to lose a few pounds.
Oct 17, 2012 4:37 PM
Oct 21, 2012 9:11 AM
Nov 9, 2012 12:42 PM
14Make sure you check with your bank about ATM Fees - CDN banks charge also, and what your max. withdrawal limit is per day or week - you may want to get it raised - that's if you are withdrawing cash. Don't get CDN$ in the UK you will get a better rate here. I do suggest you carry cash however and not use only the card. You may want to consider TC's also - check regarding the commission.
If you're looking to save: http://www.stm.info/english/info/a-747.htm - you'll need the exact change in coins.
If you're not doing all the tourist stuff or drinking much $25 is fine, also depends where you're staying in Montreal.
(0 star Hotel)
From US$44.60 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$134.33 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$101.20 per night