The Best Canadian Dollar Rates: A Guide to Converting, Exchanging, and Transferring Canadian Dollars

If you’re moving to Canada to work, live, or study, it’s crucial to be able to send money in a safe, reliable way. Transfer fees and exchange rates for the Canada dollar to USD can vary greatly depending on the company you use.

Before you exchange, convert, or transfer USD to CAD, there are a few important things to know. The team at Remitly has created this guide to explain how these money transfers work, as well as the various factors that could impact how much your recipients receive in Canadian dollars.

Currency exchanges in a nutshell

When you think about the exchange rate for the Canadian dollar, you might only be concerned when you need to convert that cash before a big trip. However, the exchange rate is also significant if you’re sending money to and from Canada because that’s when the value of your currency really stacks up against the Canadian dollar.

For example, let’s say you’re currently in Mexico. Looking at the current exchange or Canadian dollar rate, you’ll see that 12.88 Mexican Pesos = 1 CAD at this time of writing. This means you can purchase one Canadian dollar with 12.88 pesos.

The exchange rate we’ve referenced isn’t set in stone, and it will fluctuate, sometimes every day, even every hour. This means that the Canadian dollar rate for today for those Mexican pesos could cost you more or less on a different day at a different time, depending on various factors.

A variety of things can cause currency conversion fluctuations, like:

  • Inflation and interest rates
  • Current political/economic policies
  • Government debt and political stability
  • How much Canada is importing and exporting
  • Demand on currency markets

If Canada is dealing with a major natural disaster, it could affect the exchange rate dramatically. A change in interest rates could also affect the Canadian dollar rate today versus a week or month ago, albeit likely not as significantly or as quickly.

canadian dollars

About the Canadian dollar

The Canadian dollar was introduced in 1858 and uses the $ symbol as well as CA$, Can$, and C$. It was developed by Canada’s central bank and is issued in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100, while one dollar is divided into 100 cents.

The CAD is the fifth most-held reserve currency in the world after the US dollar and others. If you want to get the best deal possible when sending money to or from Canada, shop around to find the most secure and cost-effective remittance company available.

Sending money to Canada: converting to the Canadian dollar

No matter what currency you’re converting to CAD, several choices are available to you when you need to exchange. Some people choose to make the transfer through their bank, or they may opt to use a money transfer company.


For many, sending money to Canada through the bank is an obvious choice. The money is already sitting in your account, and all you need to do is tell your bank to make the remittance. However, this option isn’t always the cheapest or most affordable if you need to send money abroad.

Money transfer companies

A dedicated remittance or money transfer company can be an excellent choice if you need to send money to Canada. Do some research online and look for companies that have lower transfer fees along with competitive exchange rates. Since online companies don’t have to pay for the overhead associated with a brick-and-mortar location, you could save a significant amount of money.

Using Remitly to send money to Canada

Remitly is an online-only remittance company with over five million users globally. We’ve partnered with several financial institutions in Canada, including HSBC, BBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank, CIBC, and others. This allows you to transfer funds straight to your recipient’s bank account at home.

The option to send money to mobile money accounts or designate a cash pickup location where your loved one can collect money in person is also available. Setting up a Remitly account quickly via the website or downloading the app is easy.

All you need to do is add your personal information, a preferred payment method, and the recipient’s details. Remitly may ask for additional information, but it usually depends on the amount you’re sending or if we can’t verify your identity.

Check Remitly’s current US-to-Canadian dollar exchange rate or other rates by clicking here.

Sending money from Canada: converting CAD to another currency

The exchange rates will vary if you want to transfer Canadian dollars out of the country. However, although the currency’s value varies based on the international market, transferring money to another country is generally the same.

Canadian nationals can talk to their bank or check on rates with several money transfer companies to compare and get the most competitive rates possible.

Exchanging CAD outside Canada

Canadians working or living abroad should be able to convert their Canadian dollars to local currencies in various ways. Some of your options include:

  • Purchasing local currency in person at a bank branch or currency exchange
  • Converting CAD online and then having the bank notes and/or coins posted to you
  • Using your Canadian bank debit or credit card at local ATMs

Some people abroad look for currency exchange kiosks to purchase local currency. These kiosks are easy to find and help you make the request as quickly as possible.

Banks are also a traditional choice for many travelers. One downside to using banks is that you could potentially pay a higher fee than you would with some other, more affordable options.

Using a bank card to make a purchase or withdraw cash from a local ATM is an easier way to pay for goods or services while you’re abroad. However, you could incur international bank charges, which can add up quickly. It might be best to open a bank account in Canada if you plan to stay there for a long time.

Finding the best Canadian dollar exchange rate

Whatever way you choose to send money to Canada, using the most accurate and up-to-date conversion calculation is key. This can be done automatically by any bank or money remittance company, and you may also check rates on several websites before you convert currency. It’s always wise to have a basic understanding of current exchange rates and how they work before you send or receive currency in any form.

Here’s the formula for the conversion, which is fairly straightforward:

Send Currency x Exchange Rate = Amount Received

Let’s examine how this conversion works in a few different real-world scenarios. Keep in mind that you can adapt these examples to fit whatever country you’re living in at the moment.

How to find British pound to Canadian dollar rates

Say you’d like to send 100 GBP (Pound Sterling); hypothetically, the current exchange rate is 1 GBP = 1.69 $CAD. The conversion formula would look like this:

100 GBP x 1.69 $CAD = 169 $CAD

It’s very important to note that this doesn’t mean your loved one living back home will receive 169 Canadian dollars. All relevant fees charged by the remittance company will be subtracted first.

For example, if the company charges 5 GBP per transfer, the fee would equal to 8.45 in $CAD. To see what the recipient in Canada would actually receive once the transfer is complete, you may use this calculation as an example:

169 $CAD – 8.45 $CAD = 160.55 $CAD

Currently, Remitly charges a small fee to customers sending money to Canada. However, there are no fees if you send any amount of $1,000 or more. That means your loved one could potentially receive more money when you use Remitly compared to other transfer companies.

How to find the US dollar to Canadian dollar exchange rate

Let’s say you are planning to transfer 100 USD to Canada. The calculation of the conversion rate from the US dollar to the Canadian dollar is based on a hypothetical current rate of 1 USD to 1.34 CAD and would look like this:

100 USD x 1.34 $CAD = 134 $CAD

Just like the prior scenario, all you need to do is subtract any fees associated with the transfer to determine the final amount in Canadian dollars.

Getting the best deal

Whether you’re providing critical financial support to loved ones or sending cash gifts for holidays and other occasions, sending money to Canada could be an important priority for you.

Take some time to research the easiest way to send money and the options available to you to determine which one offers the best possible deal.

You’ve worked hard to earn a living in a new country, and you’ll want to be able to send as much of that money as possible to friends and family when making an international payment. Consider Remitly if you need to send money to Canada from anywhere in the world.