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Can I Get Better Exchange Rates In Vegas?

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by DonnyC, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. DonnyC

    DonnyC VIP Whale

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    Coming from Canada at the end of May.

    The exchange rate sure doesn't look favorable.

    Is there anywhere in Vegas to get a better exchange rate?
     
  2. The Rumor

    The Rumor VIP Whale

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    Better than what exactly? If the rate in the WSJ is .75 CAD to 1 USD...you're not going to do better than that as far as I know.

    Maybe others have some secrets but I've never read any. All of them are going to be the actual exchange rate plus some vig. That vig may be small (in the case of using a low/no foreign transaction fee credit card) or it can be huge (aka buying cash at the airport ripoff places)

    In general, your best bets are using no foreign transaction fee credit cards for all expenses and withdrawing cash from a bank ATM that charges low fees/vig to you for when you want cash for gambling/etc. Then spend the cash down if you win.

    Non-casino ATMs will generally have better fee structures. You could also check if your Canadian bank has a US affiliate that doesn't charge you to use its ATMs. E.g. I believe Scotiabank customers can use Bank of America ATMs.

    Also, on the ATM fees...you need to look at your current checking account. E.g. a lot of American banks will charge something like 3% to withdraw foreign currency from your US denominated account - even from partner banks that don't charge a $X withdrawal fee. This is still a much better deal than going to a money changing place, but it is something to be aware of. I'm guessing Canadian banks may do the same thing. You'd have to research your current account.
     
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  3. YukonSloMo

    YukonSloMo Low-Roller

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    Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange...
     
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  4. Patman

    Patman High-Roller

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    Nothing that I have found in Vegas (not that I have looked too hard). I have been going 3-4 times a year so I try to keep a stash of $US in my $US denominated account in Canada. I'm running low for my trip in May so I will try and watch for an upswing over the next couple months. I exchange my currency online through Knightsbridge. They only seem to charge between 0.75 and 1 cent off the actual exchange rate (So today should have been about 76.4 CAD to $1US). Call up the day I want to buy and get a quote and they email me the order.. I pay like any online bank payment to them and they deposit $US into my $US account. The best I've seen at my bank is about 2.5% and I'm not sure about no foreign transaction fee credit cards but I think even without a fee they make up some of it on the exchange rate the charge you.

    In Vegas I use markers for gambling and a $US credit card for expenses. That way if the exchange isn't that good at the time I don't have to exchange more than I actually use (or in some cases on a winning trip I don't need to exchange anything). I also have until I need to pay off the marker or the credit card before i have to exchange money (giving me extra time to wait for an upswing)
     
  5. The Rumor

    The Rumor VIP Whale

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    marker would make sense if you're gambling a lot, yeah. Good point.
     
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  6. Highflier

    Highflier Tourist

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    If I run low or completely out of my horded US$ that I bring down with me, I fatten my wallet up with Canadian bills (usually $50s) and hit the casino cage in the hotel I'm staying at. Exchanging a couple grand per day is nothing for them and their rates are usually close to the actual dollar value, give or take half a cent. For example, on a trip a couple months back, I wanted to exchange $1,000 Canadian. I looked on my phone and the closing rate the day before was .79 cents. Stands to reason you'd expect to get about $775 at a bank. The casino cage counted out $785 for me. This was at PH. I've had the same experience at TI so I can't see many casino cages be much different.

    If you must use an ATM, I found one tucked away in a small recessed area across the Miracle Mile hallway from the Starbucks at PH. There are a couple of payphones there as well, I think. Desperate and out of Canadian cash to exchange on my last trip, I didn't want to withdraw and pay the huge casino ATM fees. By chance, I stumbled upon this one and it had a fee of $1.50 (plus the back end fee of $3 from my bank back home). Better than the $5 or even $8 fees at the casino ATMs.

    To an earlier post, I got into a fight (verbal only) with a self-declared queen of everything on an online forum board in the city I live in about exchanging money for Vegas trips. She tried telling everyone on the board that it was illegal to exchange more than $500 a day at a casino and that airport exchange kiosks give by the far the best rates.

    Honestly, I hope people don't take her word for it. They will be very, very disappointed.

    NEXT TRIP: March 18-22...TI and The D. Good times!
     
  7. YukonSloMo

    YukonSloMo Low-Roller

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    Sound advice from Highflier
     
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  8. DonnyC

    DonnyC VIP Whale

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    So If I had no USD right now, it would be better to exchange it in Vegas than at my bank in Canada?
     
  9. DonnyC

    DonnyC VIP Whale

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    I'm also not a mathamagian...so today the CDN dollar is at $0.78 and my bank is giving me an where it costs $1.307CDN to buy $1USD...what are they valuing the dollar at?
     
  10. Patman

    Patman High-Roller

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    I haven't asked in Vegas for over a year, but when I did it always seemed to be about 3-3.5 cents off the actual exchange rate (or maybe it was 3-3.5% off the $US amount). The rate today is as you stated is about 0.78 of 1.282 $Cdn per $US. Your bank is charging you $1.307 which is 0.025 above the actual exchange rate (so 2.5 cents). That's pretty standard.. My Knightsbridge transaction would normally give an exchange of around 1.29 so a little over 1 cent savings per dollar (you can get as low as about 0.5 cents for transactions of $10,000 or more) . The bank is using the actual exchange rate, but what they post on their site and what you get on your credit cards is either the buy or sell rate for the day. So from your bank if you want to buy $US it will cost you $.307 $Cdn. If you want to exchange $US to $Cdn they will only give you $1.24 $US. They don't post the actual exchange rate. They factor in their spread in the number they give you. Not sure about Highflier's comment but maybe he is looking at the buy/sell rate instead of the actual exchange rate and comparing that.

    Her's what BMO is posting today
    United States US Dollar (USD) Buy 1.2396 Sell 1.3281.

    If you go to the CET Windsor site they post that $Cdn exchange for $US for the cage.
    Today is shows
    CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATE FOR
    MARCH 12, 2018
    1.24 CAD

    EXCHANGE RATE CALCULATOR

    If they were to give you the actual rate you should get $1.282 $Cdn for every $US.
     
  11. DonnyC

    DonnyC VIP Whale

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    WOW, BMO is way more expensive than the Credit Union today!

    US Exchange
    Members Buy
    1.3070
    Members Sell
    1.2570
     
  12. cjohnson202

    cjohnson202 VIP Whale

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    Casino Royale ATM only has a fee of a $1, unless that has changed in the last year. That’s where I usually take money out.

    Not sure where you are located, but the best exchange rate I’ve seen in Canada was at casino Windsor. The cage was giving $80 per $100 in January when the dollar was only like 79. No fees or anything like the bank. Other casinos may be as favorable
     
  13. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    Casino Royale is now $3. They updated and moved the ATM. It's still close to the cage.
     
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  14. DonnyC

    DonnyC VIP Whale

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    But they will still charge you a percentage greater than the exchange, right? (I'm assuming it's not straight exchange rate plus $3)
     
  15. phantomfj

    phantomfj Low-Roller

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    It's your home bank that will charge you the currency exchange fee(typically 2.5%), not the ATM, and of course they will throw in the fee for using an ATM not at one of their banks......and their actual exchange rate will be worse than what you see listed on the daily news
     
  16. DonnyC

    DonnyC VIP Whale

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    That's what I thought...so why are people suggesting an ATM in this thread?
     
  17. Hogman

    Hogman VIP Whale

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    Donnyc , what did you do for money exchange last trip?
     
  18. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    My bank doesn’t charge an exchange fee.
     
  19. DonnyC

    DonnyC VIP Whale

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    The last trip (and ones before) were 3 years ago and earlier when the exchange rate was palatable. With it being over 1.30 I'm looking for some better options.
     
  20. Highflier

    Highflier Tourist

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    If you have no USD right now and are headed to Vegas, take out however much CDN cash you want and do the exchange at the casino cages. I know I got very favorable rates of exchange at PH and TI.
    I'm leaving Sunday and the last place I hit tomorrow is my RBC branch to stuff my pockets with fresh fitties and huns.