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  #1  
Old 11-08-2011, 12:14 PM
heathen earthling heathen earthling is offline
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Interchangeability of US and Canadian coins

In my experience, Canadian shopkeepers don't really care if you give them a US coin or two, but Canadian coins are refused in the US, even very low denominations. Is this a legal or cultural difference?
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2011, 12:24 PM
sitchensis sitchensis is offline
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For a long time Canadian money was worth less than American money. Giving an American quarter to a Canadian would have been slightly over paying, doing the reverse would be slightly underpaying. My experience on both sides of the border is that a store that gets a large amount of its business from tourist money is willing to go the extra mile, and a store that rarely sees a tourist probably won’t help you out.
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  #3  
Old 11-08-2011, 12:36 PM
Duke Duke is offline
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I live right near the US-Canada border. You're right that a lot of it is cultural, but attitudes are starting to change. More and more businesses on the US side are accepting Canadian money at par; the big outlet mall here, for example, will always accept Canadian bills or coins.

There's still a lot of residual distaste about Canadian coins here, though. When I go to the bank to turn in wrapped (US) coins, they run a magnet over the coins to see if there's even one Canadian coin in there. If there is one, you have to unwrap them and dig through 'em to find that one Canadian penny or whatever.
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  #4  
Old 11-08-2011, 12:43 PM
Cap'n Obvious Cap'n Obvious is offline
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Back when I ran a Dollar General down here in GA, we didn't have a problem accepting Canadian coins, and that was back when US money was worth more. Never had anyone try to use a Canadian bill, but we would've probably taken it.
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  #5  
Old 11-08-2011, 12:45 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Down here in Schenectady, Canadian coins were accepted equally with US coins. We'd just give them back in change; no one objected.
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  #6  
Old 11-08-2011, 12:50 PM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is offline
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I've been on both sides of the border and have received at least one coin from the other country. It isn't a big deal if it is just one dime or something.

I found that Canadian stores in tourist areas generally accepted US dollars (though, you might get a better rate at a bank or an ATM).
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  #7  
Old 11-08-2011, 01:39 PM
Gary Robson Gary Robson is offline
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It's often not the store's decision.

I own a store in Montana, which shares a long border with Canada. We get a lot of Canadians here, and I've never had a problem with a big of Canadian coinage. A couple of years ago, though, we received a memo from our bank saying they would no longer accept any Canadian money of any denomination.
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  #8  
Old 11-08-2011, 02:05 PM
heathen earthling heathen earthling is offline
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Why is each US and Canadian coin approximately the same diameter and colour as its foreign counterpart, if it has one?
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  #9  
Old 11-08-2011, 02:17 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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I refused a Canadian coin once and had a lady get very irate with me. Her insistence was, "It's money!" My position was, "Not in this country. We don't accept pesos, either."

I completely understand places closer to Canada accepting them for good relations. Charlotte is not what I would describe as close to Canada.
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  #10  
Old 11-08-2011, 02:42 PM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary "Wombat" Robson View Post
...I've never had a problem with a big of Canadian coinage....
How many coins are in a big?
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  #11  
Old 11-08-2011, 02:45 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert_columbia View Post
How many coins are in a big?
A metric gross.
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  #12  
Old 11-08-2011, 02:55 PM
whitetho whitetho is offline
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Where I work (US), the candy machine recently gave me a Canadian nickel (5 cent piece) in change, but then refused to accept it when I tried to use it to buy something. However, the soda machine gladly accepted it.

Last edited by whitetho; 11-08-2011 at 02:56 PM.. Reason: Well, technically not "gladly" -- soda machines are nortoriously emotionless
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  #13  
Old 11-08-2011, 03:06 PM
Gary Robson Gary Robson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert_columbia View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary "Wombat" Robson View Post
...I've never had a problem with a big of Canadian coinage....
How many coins are in a big?
Argh! BIT. A BIT of Canadian coinage.

Now I feel like a Looney.

Last edited by Gary Robson; 11-08-2011 at 03:07 PM..
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  #14  
Old 11-08-2011, 03:35 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Better a Looney than a Looney Tooney

(Or is that Twony?)

Last edited by LSLGuy; 11-08-2011 at 03:35 PM..
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  #15  
Old 11-08-2011, 04:15 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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Back when the northern Peso was worth about 70 real cents, I found that the vending machines on the NYState Thruway did not accept Canadian quarters and had stickers to say so. (I lost one trying it...).

Since Canada is 1/10 the size of the US, the US dollar until recently was worth a lot more, most places are within drivng distance of the border, and many people go south to shop, Canadians have no problem accepting smaller denominations of US currency. Several places even have a specific key on the computer till pre-programmed with the exchange rate to acept bills. Coins exchange at par, since the difference on a quarter at the worst time would have been less than a dime.

Generally, it's not as easy to pass Canadian coins in the USA. Why should it be? They're on use unless you go to Canada, especially if the local bank and some customers don't want them, and the vending machines might not take them. The coins are sufficiently different that it is possible to program machines to not accept them, it seems.

Of course, we occasionally see weirder more foreign coins that pass without a close look. Caveat emptor.
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  #16  
Old 11-08-2011, 04:36 PM
postcards postcards is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by md2000 View Post

Since Canada is 1/10 the size of the US...
Have you looked at a map recently?
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  #17  
Old 11-08-2011, 04:38 PM
andrewesque andrewesque is offline
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Originally Posted by postcards View Post
Have you looked at a map recently?
I think md2000 meant in terms of population (Canada's population being approximately 1/10 of the US population), although this could've been explicitly spelled out.
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  #18  
Old Yesterday, 12:48 PM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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What's the latest? I just found two looneys and a twoney. Where can I use them or convert them? A US Walmart maybe....are there WalMart's in Canada?
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  #19  
Old Yesterday, 12:55 PM
CoastalMaineiac CoastalMaineiac is offline
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I live in Maine, and most places take Canadian coins (25 and lower) at par. Most places wouldn't even bat an eyelid at being handed a Canadian dime, nickel, penny, or quarter, and likely wouldn't even notice. They'd just throw it in the till, and the next person that needed change might get one in return.

It was that way even when Canadian dollars were only worth about 80% of a US dollar. Higher denominations, and they're going to either apply an exchange rate (which might not be as favorable as the market rate) or simply not take it.
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  #20  
Old Yesterday, 01:07 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by What the .... ?!?! View Post
What's the latest? I just found two looneys and a twoney. Where can I use them or convert them? A US Walmart maybe....are there WalMart's in Canada?
Just keep them as collectors items. When we overthrow the US they'll be worth more.

I think there's a Walmart in Toronto, and maybe one in Vancouver. Not sure.
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  #21  
Old Yesterday, 02:19 PM
jtur88 jtur88 is offline
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I doubt if anybody in the US would accept Canadian coins larger than 25c, because there is no practical way for the merchant to exchange them. Carry them around with you, and next time you see a Canadian car in a gas station or someplace, ask if they will exchange them, they can take them home.

WalMarts are in every city in Canada, but that doesn't mean an American WalMart wants anything to do with Canadian coins. BTW, Canadian quarters will not work in US vending machine.
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  #22  
Old Yesterday, 02:22 PM
MikeS MikeS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
I think there's a Walmart in Toronto, and maybe one in Vancouver. Not sure.
If Wikipedia is to be believed, there are 382 Walmarts in Canada. Not sure what this has to do with how to spend loonies & twonies, though; I highly doubt that your average USA Walmart will accept them.
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  #23  
Old Yesterday, 02:24 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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Originally Posted by MikeS View Post
If Wikipedia is to be believed, there are 382 Walmarts in Canada. Not sure what this has to do with how to spend loonies & twonies, though; I highly doubt that your average USA Walmart will accept them.
Where's that tongue-in-cheek smilie?

Like the US, Walmarts are everywhere here.
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  #24  
Old Yesterday, 02:35 PM
california jobcase california jobcase is offline
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I have six Canadian coins totalling $1.40. They're on my refrigerator, clinging to magnets. I guess all of them are nickels, really.
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  #25  
Old Yesterday, 03:11 PM
suranyi suranyi is offline
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I've never had a merchant in California accept a Canadian coin.
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  #26  
Old Yesterday, 07:09 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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Considering that the Canadian dollar this past year is worth about 90 cents U.S., a Canadian shopkeeper will make out better, while a U.S. merchant will lose ten per cent of the transaction value, not to mention that no banks in the U.S. will exchange Canadian coins. Many will exchange Canadian banknotes.
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