Thursday, January 9, 2014

U.S.-Canadian exchange rate at four-year high

We made a deposit of U.S. checks from our guests at our bank yesterday and received an exchange rate of five per cent. So anyone in that group who sent us a $100 deposit check will find their deposit has grown to $105 in Canadian funds.
We keep track of all this and when you go to pay for the rest of your package at camp you get the actual value of your deposit deducted from whatever is remaining.
The official exchange rate as stated on TV yesterday was eight per cent. That is the highest it has been in four years.
Why doesn't our bank give us the official rate? Because they charge a couple of per cent for doing the transaction. Also, the amount of money you deposit has an effect on the rate. The one stated on TV is when you are exchanging millions of dollars, not hundreds as we were doing.
There are also different rates for cash and for checks.
Credit card companies figure exchange too. I would be interested in hearing from our guests who have recently paid their deposit by credit card to see what exchange rate they received. We charged $100 Canadian per person on the card. What does your statement show in U.S. funds?
The "experts" on TV predict the exchange rate could eventually reach 10 per cent, citing improvements in the U.S. economy. I hope that happens but I've learned to be very skeptical about any forecasts on this subject.
We've had one group pay for their entire package ahead of time saying this might be as high as the exchange rate gets. You are welcome to do this too, if you want. If you must cancel later we will refund the entire amount unless the cancellation is made less than 60 days from the date of the trip. In that case we will refund everything except $100 per person which is our standard deposit policy.
If you are confused how exchange works, I'll provide a simple example.
Our packages are in Canadian funds. If you are paying in American currency, check or credit card and the exchange was five per cent than your actual cost would be five per cent less. If the final bill was $1,000 in Canadian, the cost in U.S. would be $950.
Regardless of exchange, American guests also get half of their 13% tax back through a mail-in rebate. We give you the form for this. You just need to fill it out and include your original receipt from us with it.
The exchange and the rebate put together are substantial savings. With today's exchange rate it would amount to a savings of 11.5 per cent and that could grow if the exchange rate does the same.

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