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Why Buy Before You Fly?

In Continental Connection by Continental StaffLeave a Comment

Your bags are packed and you’re ready to go… One problem, you forgot to buy your currency! It’s a common issue that could leave you using your credit card and falling into debt, or even worse putting you at the mercy of the terrible exchange rates and service fees of the not so friendly airport foreign exchange business. Fortunately there’s another option that can save you all the airport hassle – Continental Currency Exchange – a.k.a. US!

What you need to know first?

When buying currency, you want to find an exchange rate that is as close to the ‘mid-market’ rate as possible. This is the midpoint between the ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ rates on currency markets around the globe. The further beyond that rate you get, the more your money disappears while it changes hands.

When you exchange currency at the airport, you’re paying more fees and a higher exchange rate. It’s simple really, they’re trying to take advantage of you. They know that if you’re buying your currency at the airport, the likelihood is you’re all out of options, and they’re right.  If you buy before you fly, you stand to save a significant amount of money.

The Proof is in the Pudding

As of when this was written – roughly 3:30pm on January 28 – these are the current mid-market rates for a few different currencies. The values are how many Canadian dollars (CAD) it takes to buy 1 unit of the other currency:

Mid-Market Exchange Rates
Currency Exchange Rate
USD 1.2521
EUR 1.4146
GBP 1.8985
CHF 1.3818

However, if you take your Canadian dollars to the Pearson airport, you’ll find a significantly increased rate:

Pearson Airport Exchange Rates
Currency Exchange Rate
USD 1.3100
EUR 1.5700
GBP 2.1000
CHF 1.5300

In the case of the USD there’s nearly a 6¢ difference, while the other three currencies vary to as much as 15-20¢. While that may not sound like much, it certainly starts to add up with the more money you exchange.

While the exchange rates might not be in your favour at the airport, that is not the case at Continental Currency Exchange. We strive to stay as close to the mid-market value as possible, saving you money. You can clearly see this with our exchange rates (taken at exactly the same time as the Pearson airport):

Continental Currency Exchange Rates
Currency Exchange Rate
USD 1.2720
EUR 1.4590
GBP 1.9430
CHF 1.4625

 How much do you save?

This is all great, but we assume that you’ll need to buy more than 1 or 2 dollars for your upcoming trip. So let’s assume you come in with $500 (CAD) to your nearest  Continental branch, how much money will you get?

Your Currency Savings on a $500 Exchange
Currency ($500 CAD equi.)


Pearson Airport

Savings ($CAD)
US Dollar $393.08 $381.68 $11.40 ($14.50)
Euro €342.70 €318.47 €24.23 ($35.35)
Pound Sterling £257.33 238.10 £19.23 ($37.36)
Swiss Franc 341.88 CHF 326.80 CHF 15.08 CHF ($20.83)

NOTE: The more money you exchange, the bigger the savings get.

So next time you’re travelling, make sure you get out and exchange your money before you leave. This will save you from having to worry about missing your flight or breaking the bank before you’ve even left. Then you can use every dollar saved to better your trip!

We carry over 160 currencies on hand, ready to be bought or sold immediately, at the best exchange rates guaranteed. And if you find a better exchange rate that we can verify, we’ll beat it! It’s as easy as that.  Check out to find your nearest branch today.

Stay informed. Stay Current.