RBC provides tips and advice for U.S. bound travelers as
loonie takes flight again
TORONTO, November 23, 2009 With a rising Canadian
dollar, many Canadians are looking to maximize their budget
by travelling to the U.S., either for a short shopping trip,
a vacation, or as a winter snowbird.
RBC Economics expects the Canadian dollar to remain strong
relative to the U.S. currency in the near term. The Canadian
dollar is projected to finish the year around 96 cents U.S.
and rise to 98 cents U.S. early in 2010 with improvement triggered
by a weakened U.S. dollar, as markets become concerned about
rising U.S. fiscal imbalances.
"With the busiest shopping day in the U.S., Black Friday,
upon us in mere days amidst a strengthening Canadian dollar,
it's important for Canadians to consider a few simple tips
to help save money and enjoy a safe cross-border experience,"
said Ashif Ratanshi, head, Branch Investments, Deposits and
Direct Investing, RBC. "Whether you're looking for deals
south of the border or taking a mini vacation, everyone is
looking for a convenient way to access funds. At RBC, we have
many options for cross-border banking and can offer help in
looking at your financial needs to provide added peace of
As Canadians prepare to venture south of the border, Ratanshi
offers the following five tips:
1) Consider cash alternatives - Debit or credit cards
along with U.S. travellers cheques are easy and secure alternatives
to carrying large amounts of cash when shopping or travelling.
Credit cards are hassle-free and accepted virtually everywhere.
Cross-border debit service only requires your bank card and
Personal Identification Number (PIN) for ATM withdrawals or
purchases at any of the 1,000,000 merchants in the U.S. that
use the NYCE network. Travellers cheques are easy to cash
and come in many denominations.
2) Open a U.S. savings account - A U.S. savings account
can help if you are planning a U.S. vacation or shopping trip,
or you have money left over from your holiday. Look for an
account with low or no fees that enables you to take advantage
of exchange rates when they are favourable and gain interest.
Some will also allow you to purchase U.S. dollars through
online banking at a preferential rate by simply making a direct
transfer from your Canadian dollar bank account to your U.S.
savings account from anywhere.
3) Use a U.S. dollar credit card - Frequent U.S. travellers
may want to consider a U.S. dollar denominated credit card,
which gives cardholders the flexibility to make transactions
in U.S. funds and avoid the hassles of exchange rates or daily
currency fluctuations. Coupled with a U.S. savings account,
it also allows holders to take advantage of favourable exchange
rates over time using dollar cost averaging and then pay off
their card balance using U.S. funds directly from their savings
4) Make cross-border banking work for you - If you
often travel to the U.S. or are one of thousands of Canadian
snowbirds who head to the U.S. over the winter, consider a
cross-border banking arrangement that provides access to your
banking services on both sides of the border.
5) Remember to pack travel insurance - Don't forget
about travel insurance when planning short cross-border trips.
Regardless of the length or type of trip, it's important to
consider travel medical insurance as medical treatments in
the U.S. can be very expensive. Frequent travelers should
consider a multi-trip annual plan to save both time and money.
For more tips on what you can do to plan a short vacation
to the U.S. visit http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/travel/vacation.html.
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Suzanne Willers, RBC, 416-974-2727
Matt Gierasimczuk, RBC, Media Relations, (416) 974-2124