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AAA Rip-off!

Today, I headed over to the AAA office to get some US money exchanged for Canadian to have with me just in case I needed cash before I get up to Sarah and Joe’s. Everyone kept telling me to use AAA instead of a bank because AAA wouldn’t fee you. Uh…right.

AAA has these things called “cash packs”, that is – US$100 worth of currency, minus a “shipping fee”. So, I passed over my US$100 and was handed a packet with CDN$88.

Please note that the current exchange rate is US$1 = CDN$1.02. Theoretically, I should have gotten CDN$102, which makes the AAA fee $14. Seems a bit steep to me! I’d rather I had taken my chances over at the airport, but ah well. We can’t always win, right?

What really had me amused though, was the girl behind the counter’s reaction to the Canadian money. The envelope felt heavy, and I knew there would be a loonie and a toonie ($1 and $2 coin nicknames), so I opened the envelope to take them out before they fell out, and the girl was just fascinated with the Canadian coins. She turned them over and over in her hands a few times and asked me what they were, and seemed impressed that I knew the “nicknames” for the coins. I guess they don’t get a lot of informed international travelers at the AAA in Lancaster!

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2 comments

2 Comments so far

  1. TL July 29th, 2008 19:32

    Well, they’re not a charity organisation…

    The no-fee providers tend to make their money back by offering slightly (or not so slightly) worse rates. The best deal depends on how much you’re changing at any given time. You need a calculator and a lot of spare time to know for sure who’s offering the best.

  2. AnnaOnTheMoon July 29th, 2008 21:58

    *nods* I understand that, but the thing is, AAA is supposed to be “fee free” and I still had to pay a shipping fee. I’d have no issue if the exchange rate was just that *bad*, but it annoyed me that I got hit with a fee even though they advertise “no fee currency conversions”. I suppose a bank fee is different than a shipping fee and that’s how they get away with it.

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