U.S. Camper entering Canada/Nova Scotia - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-01-2015, 04:23 PM   #15
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Get a ATM card that does not charge international transaction fees and refunds all ATM fees. If you have a Schwab account they have a good one. Good advice about always carrying a couple different cards, preferably from different company's. If you get any fraudulent charges on a credit card they void your card and may only mail an new card to a US address... We got caught up in that last year during a two month trip to Mexico... Fortunately we had the ATM card to fall back on and a friend coming in a couple of weeks.
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Old 07-01-2015, 04:27 PM   #16
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Spacial Note - Credit Cards in Canada

[QUOTE=CPW;532295]Check with your bank about using your credit card. For example, Bank of America (BOA, like the snake) charges an international transaction fee EVERY TIME a debit card or credit card is used in Canada, unless you have one of their cards that specifically does not charge this fee. Then, pay for everything with your "international" card as the exchange rate will be calculated as soon as the transaction is processed. If you really need cash, but something at a Canadian Walmart and get Canadian currency that way. That should cover any small expenses you may want or need cash for.

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We found that some stores (COSTCO for one) in Canada did not accept cards without an imbedded security chip. Double check on having that as well. It looks like those, while just starting in the U.S., are now very common in Canada.
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Old 07-01-2015, 05:11 PM   #17
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Here in PEI as I write and gas is $1.20 per litre today.
Changes once per week and goes up and down from that. Why? We Canadians would love to know the answer to that question!
However, your dollar is still worth about 20% more than the Canadian dollar, so you get a break in that regard.
So far the biting insects have been the worst we have see in 10 years due to the awful winter and cold wet spring.......so be prepared for the possibility of it continuing.
Still an amazing beautiful place to visit. Sitting in a screened porch to survive at the moment.
And agree to the wonders of Cape Breton as well as others have said.
Try the Chowder House at Neils Harbour....rustic but good.
Happy trails
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:55 PM   #18
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Ditto the comment about credit cards being declined without the security chip. Mostly at gas stations - inside stores, I had better luck.
I'm going to look into an international card - those transaction fees add up!

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Old 07-02-2015, 01:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
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We found that some stores (COSTCO for one) in Canada did not accept cards without an imbedded security chip. Double check on having that as well. It looks like those, while just starting in the U.S., are now very common in Canada.
Did this happen in 2015 or prior Bob? If prior it may not have been a chip issue but a card type issue. Costco actually only accepted American Express cards in Canada for years, no other CC's. It was just on December 31st of last year Costco Canada stopped taking American Express and switch to taking Master Card only. You can use no other card with the exception of chipped debit cards.

Regardless chips and the use a PIN number on CC & debit cards has been the standard in Canada and most other developed countries with the exception of the US for many years now. We are currently on our 2nd or 3rd generation of security chips on Credit Cards as well as bank debit cards. Helps a lot in avoiding fraudulent use of cards. I am actually very nerves about using my CC's in the US these days due to lack of machines that require the chip card and pin number to use them - only a signature needed to process the card. Its also a bit unsettling when trying to buy gas in the US as many of the gas station pumps will not except our cards due to the security features on them - so you have to go inside and hand over your card to some kid behind the counter while you pump the gas then go back in and have them process the purchase - which is again something I am not very comfortable about having to do.

There was a bit of a news item a number of months back when China announced it would not be taking any CC's without a chip starting next year - the bases of the story was that American tourists where going to have a big problem - that may have spurred the American banks on in regards to issuing cards with chips.

Canada only has a handful of banks - with most being international banks and as such Debit cards issued by them or another international banks will work at any ATM around the world that is on the same network as they. I have been able for years to use my debit card in many countries including in the US to obtain cash or shop in stores that have debit card machines.

Check the back of your debit card to see what symbols are on it in regards to banking networks - for example if there is a symbol on the back of your card that says Cirrus or Interac or Plus symbol (three of the larger banking networks) the card will work pretty well anywhere in the world if the ATM machine you go to has the same corresponding symbol on them & you will have no problems finding an ATM machine in Canada with those symbols on them. If your current card does not have any such symbols on it talk to your bank. I understand that some of the US Banks do have chipped and international debit and Credit cards but the customer must ask for them as they are not standard issue as yet.

In Canada the bank machine must tell you prior to completing the transaction what the service charge is if any for your withdrawals. Transaction fees for withdrawing cash using a debit card at a ATM machine are usually lower if you use one at an actual bank rather than one located in store or gas station for example
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:38 AM   #20
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I'm a little surprised by the security chip discussion. It may be that many people don't recognize the existence of the security chip because even stores with security strip readers usually have both forms of readers in the same credit/debit card reader.

We have 3 credit cards and they all have security chips. Though many places do not use security chips, like most gas stations in my area, Walmarts does, having both readers in most stores.

Security chips are in your card if you have the seven contact pattern (an almost oval in the center with 6 blocks on the outside of the oval). It is located on the front of the card.
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:40 AM   #21
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Another thought.

When we go to Canada we call Verizon and for $12 a month add unlimited calling in Canada to the States and a 1000 minutes in Canada per month. The charge is only $12 a month in addition to your regular bill.
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:43 AM   #22
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All great information!! This is the best place for RV info on the Internet....must be the members!!

One more question: Crime in Nova Scotia???...any concerns???

Thanks for the info.

Happy Camping!!!
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:08 AM   #23
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Credit Card Chips

[QUOTE=Carol H;532383]Did this happen in 2015 or prior Bob? If prior it may not have been a chip issue but a card type issue. Costco actually only accepted American Express cards in Canada for years, no other CC's. It was just on December 31st of last year Costco Canada stopped taking American Express and switch to taking Master Card only. You can use no other card with the exception of chipped debit cards.

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We were in Canada in Oct-Nov 2014 when we encountered the chip issue at a COSTCO and also at another service station we stopped at. COSTCO also dumped AMX in the U.S.

Funny thing is that we had 3 cards between us that were already chip enabled and didn't even know that they were.

I "think", due to the huge number of card readers in the U.S., that the change-over is slower than might be ideal. I have learned to look for the extra chip reader slot when using my cards, but I have even had to deal with clerks that didn't know how to use that function.

I think that it's somewhat ironic that China, the world center for counterfeiting, is suddenly concerned about security from Americans. Nothing like Karma payback.
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:25 AM   #24
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When we traveled in Canada 4 years ago, our Chase Visa/debit card would only work at Bank of Montreal ATMs because of the cash network accepted. Check what symbol is on your card and look for those ATMs.
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:36 AM   #25
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Bob when did Costco drop Amex in US? We used it at a MO one a month ago.

Norm it's nice you can get a cheap add on for using phone in Canada. We had to switch our plan for minimum 3 months last winter to get calls from/to anywhere in US and Cda. And we still had no data or texting included!

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Old 07-02-2015, 09:56 AM   #26
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I know the Scotia bank in Canada has an agreement with Bank of America which allows us to withdraw money from our Scotia bank accounts with no transaction fees at any BOA bank or ATM in the US. I don't know if it's reciprical with a BOA card withdrawing money from the Scotia bank. Wouldn't hurt to check.
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:07 AM   #27
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COSTCO & AMX

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Originally Posted by emers382 View Post
Bob when did Costco drop Amex in US? We used it at a MO one a month ago.

Norm it's nice you can get a cheap add on for using phone in Canada. We had to switch our plan for minimum 3 months last winter to get calls from/to anywhere in US and Cda. And we still had no data or texting included!

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COSTCO announced earlier this year that they were not renewing their agreement with AMEX and that a change-over to another card system would be taking place. While it hasn't happened yet, it's a done deal and a new system will be in place by early next year. Here's a link to the announcement:
American Express and CostCo U.S. Partnership Agreements Set to End March 31, 2016
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:44 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
I'm a little surprised by the security chip discussion. It may be that many people don't recognize the existence of the security chip because even stores with security strip readers usually have both forms of readers in the same credit/debit card reader.

We have 3 credit cards and they all have security chips. Though many places do not use security chips, like most gas stations in my area, Walmarts does, having both readers in most stores.

Security chips are in your card if you have the seven contact pattern (an almost oval in the center with 6 blocks on the outside of the oval). It is located on the front of the card.
Norm most stores as you suggest use the same card readers for all cards debit & credit and most are set up to allow the store owner to enter a code at their main terminal to allow a customer to use the security strip on the card should there be an issue with card reader reading the chip.

If the card is swiped on the side using the magnetic strip the machine will still ask the customer to input a security PIN number in order for the transaction to be completed. That is were the problem lays - many of the US cards also do not have a security PIN number associated with them.

While store owners currently do also have a way of getting around having the customer enter a pin number they for security reasons are not keen on teaching all their employees on how to do it, due to security concerns, as the simple fact is the vast majority of their customers - Canadian's & tourist from outside the country do have a chip and security pin on their cards - other than the US tourist that is ;-)

The problem with the store owner overriding the use of a security Pin number is that some of the major CC companies have it written into their merchant agreement that the store is not to ask the customer for additional ID if the card is signed. If they ask for additional ID and a customer complains to the CC company about it the store could loose their right to take that credit card in their store - I believe it may have been the US Walmart (or another major retailer) got a big warning from one of the major CC companies (Visa or MasterCard) a couple of years ago as it was the stores policy to ask for additional ID when customers used a CC. Strange but true story!

The down side to the store owner allowing the use of an insecure CC is that if it turns out it was a stolen card the merchant is on the hook for the first X so many dollars of the transaction. So its easy to see why particularly in counties where the use of Smart security cards is the norm and has been for years, why a store owner would be reluctant to allow the use of an insecure card & override the system to allow it. It is also why some of the major CC companies outside of the US are going to soon eliminate the ability of the merchant to override the need for a pin number.

Re the pattern on the Smart Chip - it can vary from card to card. I have 5 cards in my wallet all with Smart Chips and only two are the same - and none have the oval centre pattern you describe. See example of one in photo.
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