5 Best places to exchange currency in Calgary - 2024

If you’ve just arrived on a visit to Canada and need CAD, or if you’re a Canadian looking for smart ways to get your travel money before a vacation, you may be looking for the best places to exchange currency in Calgary.

Claire Millard
Ileana Ionescu
Last updated
January 9, 2024

This guide walks through some of the top rated Calgary currency exchange services, including their locations, ratings and some example exchange rates for comparison. And as a bonus, we’ve added some extra tips to find the best available deals on currency exchange, at home or abroad.

Things to consider before exchanging money in Calgary

Here are a few things to think about before you buy foreign currency for your trip.

Get a travel money card to cut costs

A good all round option to spend and withdraw in a broad selection of currencies, is to look at travel cards from providers like Wise or the Cash Passport from Canada Post.

Different options could suit different customer needs. With Wise you’ll get a digital account you can open with nothing more than your phone, to hold and exchange dozens of currencies. Spend and make withdrawals with your Wise debit card and get mid-market rates when you convert currencies.

The Cash Passport, issued via Canada Post, and in partnership with Mastercard, lets you hold 7 currencies and spend and make withdrawals conveniently in a good selection of countries. You can get your Cash Passport in person at a Canada Post office, and manage your account in an app.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the pros and cons of Wise vs the Cash Passport, to give you an idea of which may work for you.



Free to open an account

✅ Hold 40+ currencies

✅ Use your Wise card in 150+ countries

✅ No fee to spend currencies you hold

✅ Mid-market rate currency conversion with low fees from 0.43%


Some transaction fees apply

❌ Some ATM fees apply once your monthly free withdrawal allowance is exhausted

❌ No branch network 

Cash Passport


Convenient to collect in a Post Office branch

No fee to spend currencies you hold

Secure way to spend and make withdrawals

24/7 emergency support

✅ Extra Mastercard perks and travel benefits available 


15 CAD fee to get a card

3.25% fee if you spend an unsupported currency, or if you don’t have enough of a supported currency in your wallet

Limited range of only 7 supported currencies 

Exchange rates include a markup

Go to Wise

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Avoid airport currency exchanges

If you’ve arrived at the airport without travel money already in your pocket, don’t panic. Although there are often convenient airport currency exchanges, you’ll normally pay for this convenience in the form of hiked up exchange rates.

Often a better option is to just hold on and make an ATM withdrawal on arrival at your destination. This will usually mean you get the network exchange rate (if you use your normal bank card), although extra costs may apply. You can cut these charges by using a travel prepaid card from Wise which offers some fee-free international ATM withdrawals every month, and uses the mid-market rate. More on that later.

Check the mid-market rate 

Exchange rates bob up and down all the time, and ultimately, each exchange service or bank sets their own rate - making it pretty hard to judge if you’re getting a fair deal.

The best benchmark to use to measure the rate you’re quoted is the mid-market rate for your currency, which you can find on Google. Banks and currency exchange services get the mid-market rate when buying currency themselves, but often add in an extra percentage fee when they calculate the rate they offer to customers. That’s hard to spot and can mean you pay more than you expect for your travel money. Look out for services which offer the mid market rate for your currency, or as close as possible to it, for the best deal.

Beware of ATM rates

ATM withdrawals are convenient and secure - and they can be cost effective too, as long as you watch out for things like dynamic currency conversion (DCC).

DCC is when you’re asked if you want to pay for your withdrawal in your home currency rather than the local currency wherever you are - so, assuming your card was issued in Canada, CAD. Choose to pay in your home currency and the ATM operator sets the exchange rate, which can include extra fees, and push up costs unnecessarily. Avoid DCC by choosing to pay in the local currency wherever you are every time.

Best place to exchange currency in Calgary?

The best place to exchange currency in Calgary will depend on where you are and which currency you need. Call ahead if you’re looking for a more exotic currency, or a higher value amount, to make sure the branch has what you need.

Below we’ve picked out a few of the top rated travel money options in Calgary - the table shows their contact information and Google rating, plus the CAD - USD exchange rate at the time of research, as an example for comparison. We’ve included a couple of popular places where you can get on the spot currency exchange, and a couple of central Post Office locations - for service here you have to order your currency online in advance and then collect.

Find more currency exchange services in Calgary here.

NameAddressPhone numberCAD - USD rateGoogle Rating
Prime FX7 Westwinds Crescent NE Unit 323, Calgary, AB T3J+1 403 293 54551 CAD = 0.7336 USD4.8
SHiFT Connect323 10 Ave SW #310, Calgary, AB T2R 0A5+1 403 269 5402Not available4.4
Canex Forex200 Barclay Parade SW#199, Calgary, AB T2P 4R5+1 587 351 55531 CAD = 0.7330 USD4.2
Canada Post (order online and collect in branch)2412 4TH St SW, Calgary AB, T2S 3E0+1 403 228-21291 CAD = 0.7202 USDNot specified
Canada Post (order online and collect in branch)115 1410 1 St SE, Calgary AB, T2G 5T0+1 403 294 14331 CAD = 0.7202 USDNot specified

How we rated the best places to exchange money in Calgary

Our Calgary currency exchange options include the top rated options from Google where you can order foreign currency in person. As ordering your travel money online for collection is also a popular option, we’ve highlighted a couple of handy Post Office branches where you can order in advance and then pick up.

As ratings are dynamic, and service reliability can change over time, you’ll want to double check what’s best for your specific needs before you head out to get tour travel money.

Factors to consider when choosing an exchange provider in Calgary

Safety is the most important consideration when you need to exchange currency. Check the provider you use is properly licensed and has a good reputation. Customer reviews are pretty easy to find on Google or Yelp.

Next, check the fees and exchange rates available from your preferred providers. Don’t be fooled if a provider claims to offer fee free, or zero commission currency exchange. Often this just means that their fees are added to the exchange rates they use. That’s not transparent and can push up prices.

You can also save time on research by picking a provider which always uses mid-market rate currency conversion with low, transparent fees, like Wise.

Tips for finding the best currency exchange rates in Calgary

Don’t spend more than you have to, when exchanging foreign currency in Calgary, or wherever else you happen to be:

  • Look at a selection of convenient currency exchange options, comparing fees and rates, to make sure you get a fair deal

  • Look for a provider offering the mid-market rate for your currency - or as close as possible to it

  • See if you can get a better rate if you order your currency in advance by phone or online for collection

  • Use the Exiap currency conversion tools to stay updated on current exchange rates

  • Consider travel money cards from alternative providers such as Wise or through Canada Post for example

    Where to get foreign currency outside Canada

If you’ve already left Calgary and are looking to arrange your travel money abroad, consider simply making local ATM withdrawals at your destination. Be sure to avoid DCC, and check if any foreign transaction fees apply, as these can push up costs.

If you’ve got cash in clean, crisp notes, you can also choose a physical currency exchange store wherever in the world you are. As we mentioned earlier, it’s worth avoiding airport exchange services. Hotel currency exchange services often have pretty poor rates for the same reason - and are usually best ignored. A better overall idea may be to get an account with a service like Wise - or pick up a Cash Passport from Canada Post before you head off. The Cash Passport is great for quick convenience as you can just walk in and get one in a Post Office branch - while digital providers like Wise offer cards which may take a little while to arrive by mail - but which typically have low overall costs, and can be super convenient to use when you’re travelling.

How do I exchange currency after a trip?

Many currency exchange services in Canada will also buy back unused foreign currency - although this usually only applies to higher value notes, rather than coins. Bear in mind that buy back rates are unlikely to be as good as the rate you bought at, so you could get back less than you originally spent.

Using a the Wise multi-currency account, or getting a Canada Post Cash Passport, can help you avoid this. You’ll be able to add just as much money as you need, and top up if you run out while you’re away. With Wise there’s no need to convert all your funds to foreign currency in advance as the card can convert for you with the best available fees and the mid-market exchange rate. Bear in mind that the Cash Passport works differently, and you’ll be charged a 3.25% fee if you don’t switch to the currency needed before you spend.

FAQs - best places to exchange currency in Calgary

What is the cheapest way to get foreign currency in Calgary?

You’ll need to research the cheapest way to get foreign currency in Calgary for your specific currency as different providers have their own rates and fees, which may vary widely. Use the tools and reviews on Exiap, to help you find a good provider for your specific needs.

Should I exchange money before I travel?

You can exchange your money before you travel, but depending on the service you use, you won’t always get the very best rates. It’s worth knowing that you don’t necessarily have to exchange before you leave. You could get a multi-currency account and card from Wise, or a Canada Post Cash Passport instead. Both are convenient for spending and withdrawals overseas.

Does it matter where you exchange currency?

Yes. Currency exchange services set their own rates and fees - so which one you pick can make a huge difference to how much you have to spend on your trip. It’s worth investing some time in researching the best options for your needs, including exchanging cash and using a specialist travel money card instead.