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Old Sep 12, 07, 3:48 pm   #1
 
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Talking Where to exchange Canadian coins for US coins?

I recently returned to Chicago from Montreal with about $40 Canadian in bills, and about $10.00 in coins. My bank, Chase, exchanged the bills but would not take the coins. I also tried to exchange the coins at one of the currency exchanges at ORD but no luck.

Anyone know where the coins can be exchanged?
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Old Sep 12, 07, 3:51 pm   #2
 
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On your next trip north of the border?

I'm surprised your local bank won't do it. Go to some Harris bank branch in Chicago... I'm sure they'll happily send CAD back to their (Canadian) parent company... for a price, of course.

Of course, it'd have been easier if you kept the bills too.
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Old Sep 12, 07, 4:11 pm   #3
 
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I've never seen a bank in the US that accepted foreign coins (incl. Canadian) for conversion. Just not worth the hassle to them, I'm sure.

By the same token, I've only seen one bank in canada that accepts US coins with a conversion rate (RBC). THe others just gladly accept your coins at par!

For what it's worth, the 25, 10 and 5 cent coins work in some parking meters, and occasionally, some vending machines. With the very small difference in the value of the coins, I don't feel too bad about using them.

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Old Sep 12, 07, 4:42 pm   #4
 
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The pennies, nickels and quarters are almost the same size. Just pass them off as their US counterparts and make our money supply more dirty. . I guess you could be prosecuted for fraud if you did that though....
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Old Sep 12, 07, 4:45 pm   #5
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Sell them to a friend or relative who is going to Canada.

Next time, use excess currency and coin toward your hotel bill as you are paying it.
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Old Sep 12, 07, 8:02 pm   #6
 
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Walmart or other chain store that has a high turnover rate. One coin at a time.
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Old Sep 12, 07, 8:14 pm   #7
 
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Pass them off in any northern border state. In MN we regulary took and gave back Canadian coins as change. Never gave it a second thought nor did the customers.
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Old Sep 12, 07, 8:23 pm   #8
 
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I notice here in Texas, some of the local restaurants accepts foreign currencies (bills/coins) as a form of payment. Maybe you can check out the diners in your area and see if any of them take foreign currencies.
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Old Sep 13, 07, 9:00 am   #9
 
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You can easily use the smaller denomination coins by mixing them in with your U.S. change. It's a very rare cashier who notices and prevents you from using a Canadian dime (for example) among a batch of other coins.

For Loonies and Twonies, which (unfortunately) have no U.S. coinage equivalent in circulation, there are often charity donation bins at currency exchange offices. You can deposit them there and they'll be converted and given to charity; sometimes local, sometimes an international group such as UNICEF. On future trips you might look for a charity collection box for leftover coins at the airport from which you depart Canada.

Since you're in Chicago you might also want to send an e-mail to the travel section staffs of The Tribune and The Sun-Times. They may know about a donation program like the one I've described above or the paper may even participate in one -- I'm suggesting this from suburban D.C. and The Washington Post has had a collection point for foreign coins in their lobby in the past. I haven't been by the paper's offices in some time so I don't know if it's still there.

Or, to expand on what was suggested by someone earlier, put them into a plastic baggie, put them someplace where you'll be able to find them again, and save them for your next trip north. On that next trip make a point of using the coins you receive instead of letting them accumulate in your pocket. (I know that's easier said than done, and I plead guilty to finding myself with a lot of coins in my pocket as I near the end of a foreign trip.)
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Old Sep 13, 07, 9:41 am   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greggwiggins View Post
For Loonies and Twonies, which (unfortunately) have no U.S. coinage equivalent in circulation,
I thought the Sacagawea dollar coin (and the new President series) are similar in colour and size to a loonie? Not in wide circulation at any rate so more difficult to pass off. I do remember some waitress in Florida giving me a dirty look a few years back when I gave her 4 Susan B Anthonys as a tip (probably thought they were quarters). Had them foisted on me by a USPS vending machine.
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Old Sep 13, 07, 10:52 am   #11
 
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Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach
I thought the Sacagawea dollar coin (and the new President series) are similar in colour and size to a loonie?
They are pretty close. The key phrase was "in circulation". Personally I'd love to see $1 and $2 coins in widespread circulation around the U.S. but I seem to be in the distinct minority. I think it's safe to say the paper $1 banknote will survive until somebody in the federal government shows some (five-letter synonym for "fortitude"), accepts that the move will be unpopular at first, and stops printing $1 bills in order to force people to transition to coins.
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Old Sep 13, 07, 12:01 pm   #12
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Check out casinos - some of them used to take Canadian currency at par to stimulate business (well, this was in Reno some time ago).
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Old Sep 13, 07, 2:00 pm   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greggwiggins View Post
They are pretty close. The key phrase was "in circulation". Personally I'd love to see $1 and $2 coins in widespread circulation around the U.S. but I seem to be in the distinct minority.
I'm with you. We also need $5 coins.

Right now it seems to be pretty hard to break a $20 into 4 $5s, and it's also just as hard to break a $5 into 5 singles.

It would change with coins.
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Old Sep 13, 07, 4:25 pm   #14
 
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Originally Posted by kellio33 View Post
Pass them off in any northern border state. In MN we regulary took and gave back Canadian coins as change. Never gave it a second thought nor did the customers.
Yup... here in NY too. Although I always pick out the Canadian change and hand it back. My son gets stuck constantly. I bet 1/2 the pennies in circulation in this area are US, 1/2 are Canadian. Rolled pennies get sent to the bank mixed. They used to run a magnet over the quarter, nickel and dime rolls to check for Canadian change. Now that the exchange rate is so close, I haven't seen them do it in a while.
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Old Sep 13, 07, 4:34 pm   #15
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FYI, I'm on the board of directors of ALS of Michigan (aka Lou Gehrig's disease). We accept all types of foreign coins as donations, and will happily give a receipt for same.

Here's our website: www.alsofmi.org

Your donations would be greatly appreciated.

PM me if you need any more information.

Thanks!
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