Money, banks, exchange in Quebec - The Traveller


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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Money, banks, exchange in Quebec

- The Canadian dollar is different than the U.S. dollar. Late 2011, it was worth around € 0.70. It is divided into cents. Quebecers tend to say piastre (a term that has survived from New France; pronounced "piass") for dollar, in for pennies and cents.

- For large expenses (hotels, restaurants, gasoline, etc..), The most convenient way to pay by credit card, even if a variable fee is taken by your bank for each transaction. And then, the threshold of money can be withdrawn each week is limited, if you pay everything in cash, it may be easily reached. You can pay by credit card almost everywhere in Canada.

- To have cash, the easiest way is to remove the many on-site ATMs.

A fixed fee is charged by your bank for each withdrawal, plus a variable fee, it is best to withdraw large sums rather than in multiple transactions. Additional fees (typically 2 or $ 3) are now used by most Canadian banks and shops in which you can withdraw money. But other than that, this is done at the official exchange rate, more favorable than in exchange offices. Some ATM do neither Visa nor MasterCard, but you'll always find one that works.

- You can also take travelers checks. Be sure to buy the Canadian dollar and not American. To change travelers checks at a bank (all do not do this), a commission is charged, sometimes quite high. By cons, many merchants accept checks with no commission and even make you money over.

- You can change money at banks and exchange offices. There are even, in some cities, machines that change the foreign notes. The service charge (usually $ 5 maximum in banks) and the exchange rate varies from place to place. It is rarely very good in small towns.

- In stores, you will be asked often if you want to pay "cash" or "cash", that is to say cash. If you want to haggle, it's better!


The cost of living in Canada is generally comparable to those of France. In Canada, all prices are exclusive of taxes. These (12.5%) are added at checkout. Only deposits of less than five rooms are exceptions: they are exempt from tax (and off tips in restaurants and bars). These amounted to 14.975% in Québec.

In Quebec, the deposits of less than five rooms are exceptions: they are exempt from the two main taxes. The lodges and inns are not cheap per se, but mostly they are well worth their price. In hotel, it is often more expensive.

Shopping at the supermarket returns rather cheaper than in Europe, which is not the case for a restaurant meal, once you joust taxes and tip (almost 30% both combined!). It is not uncommon to have to get out his wallet to see a waterfall or borrow hiking trails. Prices quoted are exclusive of taxes.


- Cheap: 20 to $ 30 (single bed in a youth hostel) or 40 to $ 60 double.

- Average Prices: 60 to $ 100 (double room). This is the price range of many lodges and motels.

- The lowest prices are usually with shared bathroom, the highest with private bathroom.

- Chic: from $ 100 (double room). These are the rates of hotels, inns and charming cottages.


In Francophone regions, the restaurants often offer two types of menus, usually called "special day" lunch and "guest table" in the evening. At noon, the rates are two to three times lower than in the evening! By cons, it is less generous.

What we call "flat" range from simple snack to warm platter garnished, usually accompanied by a salad.

Do not forget to add taxes and service, about 15% each (see below).

Here is our price ranges for a menu or a hearty dish.

- Cheap: 10 to $ 15.
- Average Prices: 15 to $ 25.
- More chic: 25 to $ 35.
- Very chic: more than $ 35.


Even if fuel prices tend to fluctuate much in recent years, there is always a little cheaper than in France. Be between 1.25 and $ 1.40 for a liter of unleaded.

Taxes and gratuities


Prices shown are not the ones you'll actually pay. Passing to the cashier, the customer must pay more taxes. In Quebec, there are two: the Quebec sales tax, called PST, which is 9.5% plus the federal GST (Goods and Services), which is 5%. QST is calculated on the price already increased the GST, all amounts to 14.975% from the prices quoted.

In terms of accommodation, you will not escape to the specific tax of 3% per room per night in Quebec - or $ 2, it depends on the regions.

In Quebec, the deposits of five rooms or less are not subject to tax. At the restaurant, it will still add the service, about 15% of the price.


In restaurants, leave about 15% of the final grade. Tipping is an institution that should not be overridden. In some restaurants, so, the service (gratuity) is sometimes added automatically to the note when customers are foreigners, which is not very correct.

For many years, this amount of 15% is applied to the total duty. Now it is very rare and rather expected that the gratuity is calculated on the total tax...

Ditto for taxis: it is customary to leave 10 to 15% in addition to the amount indicated on the odometer.

In bars, unless the rule is fixed and it is still customary to leave a little something.

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