Cash when entering Canada.
Replies: 63 - Last Post: Mar 7, 2013 9:09 AM Last Post By: travelinstyle46
Feb 23, 2013 12:22 AM
Cash when entering Canada.Hi I'm a 26 year old Australian who will be backpacking across northern America, Canada and Alaska over six months. I have a working visa as well but was wondering about how much money I can take into the country.
When I've traveled overseas before I have always had to sign that I have less than $10,000. As I plan on being overseas for such a long time I hope to have more. Or am I not able to take the money and just have family transfer money to me?
Any help would be very much appreciated.
Feb 23, 2013 4:58 AM
Feb 23, 2013 6:02 AM
2It is my understanding -- despite never having had such a huge chunk of cash -- that you must declare amounts above $10,000 when entering the US and Canada. You can carry more but officials want to know about large sums because of concerns about money-laundering and other financial dodges. At the very least, you face some uncomfortable delays chatting with hard-eyed officers curious about a backpacker carrying such a wad.
Money these days is electronic and international. For safety and convenience, set up chequing accounts at a couple of different banks back home. Make it a co-account with a relative or friend who can top up the deposits. Keep the atm cards secure (never stored together in the same wallet.) Warn the banks of your itinerary before you leave. Then relax and enjoy your long trip.
Feb 23, 2013 6:43 AM
Feb 23, 2013 1:10 PM
4I would suggest you read up on this more, but consider that banking charges can be very high if you are using an ATM to withdraw money from an Australian account in Canada.
I would suggest you bring the whole 10K with you and use it to open an account in a Canadian bank. (TD and Bank of Montreal and CIBC are all pretty similar and have the most widespread bank machines, I think). Then pay once - about 20-30 dollars, I think (that's what I paid) to transfer the rest of your money over.
If you decide to bring all your money with you and declare it, print out a copy of your bank statement from the last 2 years and have the bank stamp each page for authenticity. You shouldn't have a problem if the Customs folk can see that the money was coming in regularly, from an employer.
But check. I'm not sure about the rules also about taking it out again.
Feb 23, 2013 5:04 PM
Feb 23, 2013 6:22 PM
6You are getting ridiculous advice. Forget carrying the cash, it is plain stupid. Use a credit card and an ATM card. Have the credit card statements paid automatically from your bank account. What a hassle you are in for if you do this any differently. The fees are inconsequential compared to the cost of your trip. You can easily go around the world with never more than $200 in your pocket.
Feb 24, 2013 6:58 AM
7To clarify, the $10,000 threshold applies to cash (Canadian or equivalent value in other currency) and negotiable financial instruments (checks, bonds, stock certificates, etc.) that you are actually carrying in with you. The Canadian government does not know or care how much money is in your bank account back home--their concern is about big chunks of money being moved, unreported, across borders by money launderers and drug traffickers.
There isn't anything illegal about bringing any quantity of cash or financial instruments into Canada; there are no limits to the total amount you can bring with you. The only thing you're required to do if you're bringing more than $10,000 in at one time is fill out a copy of form E667; see http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/pub/bsf5052-eng.html for details. (You can download the form from that page.) If you don't bring one with you, I suspect that the customs officials will be able to give you a copy to fill out on the spot if you have ticked the "Yes, I have more than $10,000" box on your customs declaration card.
Note that this requirement also applies to financial instruments that are shipped or mailed; if your parents mail you a $10,000 check, they are technically required to fill out the E667 and enclose it with the check. If the money is sent via wire transfer, then the Australian bank will know the relevant paperwork.
As an aside, be aware that Australia has a similar reporting requirement. Should you be particularly successful abroad and wish to bring more than $10,000 back home with you, you will have to declare the amount to Australian customs officials.
Finally, it should go without saying that bringing that much money in as actual cash is a bad idea. In general, you should have no trouble using your Australian bank and credit cards at Canadian ATMs and shops, at least until you get around to setting up Canadian accounts, or possibly for the entire duration of your stay.
Feb 24, 2013 9:18 AM
8Get a real job; get a fixed address. Then maybe a Canadian bank will open an account for you. Maybe. Until then you will have a problem even getting a cheque cashed. The same hesitations would apply to me in Australia. Until then rely on you cards and deposits back home.
Feb 24, 2013 2:43 PM
Feb 25, 2013 9:22 AM
10Actually, the best way for an AUSTRALIAN to handle money when in Canada is to get a credit card from '28 degrees' to use for payments/purchases. They charge NO fees or exchange loading at all. For getting cash from an ATM, there is no equivalent totally free debit card. So the best way is to get and use a 28 degrees card and use it as much as possible leaving only small amounts of cash needed from an ATM.
For the best debit card deal check here: http://www.creditcardfinder.com.au/which-debit-card-is-best-to-use-when-travelling-overseas.html Bear in mind that when they say 'no ATM withdrawal fee' that does NOT mean no exchange loading will be charged. It simply means there is no fee for USING the ATM. So you still need to find out what exchange rate the various banks will charge. It can vary quite a bit, from say 1% to 5%. That becomes signifigant as the total amount of cash you withdraw mounts up. But if you spend the majority using the 28 degrees card and withdraw limited amounts of cash from an ATM then the signifigance diminishes.
This topic always causes confusion. Often because peole assume things are the same as in their home country. Canada has no totally free credit or debit cards. The UK has both kinds totally free. Australia has the 28 Degrees credit card totally free but no totally free debit card that I am aware of.
DO NOT under any circumstances carry $10k in cash with you. If you cannot get a 28 Degrees card (poor or nonexistant credit rating) and a normal bank debit card then you will still be better off going for a pre-paid travel card rather than carrying cash. Pre-paid cards are never as good as a normal bank debit or credit card though.
Feb 25, 2013 1:09 PM
Feb 25, 2013 2:46 PM
Feb 25, 2013 3:14 PM
13You are getting ridiculous advice
Par for the course for this particular branch, for whatever reason...
Canada has no totally free credit or debit cards
Nonsense, I have a totally free credit card and a totally free debit card. And so does my wife.
OP - just do what the rest of us in the 21st century do - you pull out a credit card or debit card when you need to pay for something. Who the hell uses cash anymore? I've managed to use my credit and debit cards in all sorts of developing countries so I think it's safe to assume you'll be able to use them here.
Feb 25, 2013 3:48 PM
14Please pray tell what bank you have totally free cards from JJack. I presume you realize I am talking about fee free/exchange loading free when used internationally. I've yet to see anyone provide a link to one for Canada here on the TT but if you can be the first it would be a truly great contribution to Canadian travellers to know where to get one.
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