In a new poll from the Royal Bank of Canada, half of participants said the low dollar won’t stop them from travelling to the United States, and just 13 per cent said they have decided to cancel plans entirely because of the low dollar. Honestly, I’ve hardly visited a U.S. city I didn’t love. But if you’re trying to vacation economically this summer, stay in Canada and avoid the cost of U.S. dollars.
Lots won’t listen, so here’s some supplementary advice. RBC says you get a better exchange rate if you convert a big whack of Canadian dollars at once rather than buying bits here and there. RBC also suggests a U.S.-dollar credit card, which according to the bank will allow you to avoid foreign transaction fees in the United States. If you use your regular credit card, you’ll typically pay a 2.5 to 3 per cent fee when buying things in foreign currencies. Note: RBC’s U.S. Dollar Visa Gold costs $65 (U.S.) per year – there are cheaper options. Also, there are a few Canadian credit cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees.
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The single best credit card for Canadians
A blogger considered 124 cards of all types and picked the best for most people.
Cars, Part One: How to get along without them
With all their various costs, cars kill wealth. Here are six ideas for getting around without owning one. Here’s a good take on the potential financial rewards of not owning a vehicle (it’s the sidebar on this webpage).
Cars, Part Two: Help for getting the best deals
Are you a Consumer Reports subscriber? If so, you can now use the magazine’s car buying service in Canada. Tell CR what you want to buy and it will direct you to a dealer where you can get a good price. I pay for access to CR’s website and consult it on major purchases like cars and appliances.
10 Things I believe about investing
One of the smarter financial bloggers I follow offers 10 investing truths he believes in.
Watch out for those supposedly safe stocks
A lot of money has poured into low volatility exchange-traded funds because of their recent outperformance. Here’s a much-needed warning that these funds will have their comeuppance one day.
The question: “With the cost of car insurance going up in Alberta, many companies are offering one no-fault claim that isn’t supposed to affect your premiums. Is this really the case, or will that one “no fault” claim be reflected on your next renewal?”
My reply: This feature is sometimes called accident forgiveness and I make sure we have it on our car insurance policy. I have never heard of a complaint where an insurer reneged on this feature, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. I invite anyone who has a story about this to contact me at email@example.com.
Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Questions and answers are edited for length.
Three reasons why CPP reform is great news for young Canadians.
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