Travel Currencies

5 small fun (and practical) facts on U.S. dollars...

In addition to impressing your friends at your upcoming quiz nights, here are some tips on the U.S. dollar that will come in handy on your next trip in the United States.

1. Pocket Change

It is estimated that Americans throw away the equivalent of $62 million in small change each year. Before you help raise this statistic, spend your pocket change first before you return to Canada. Exchange offices and banks do not agree to change coins. Try to go home with only dollar bills if possible!

2. $100 bills

Two-thirds of the existing US $100 notes are located outside the USA as it is the currency of choice on the international market. Despite their bad reputation, $50 and $100 notes are not an "inconvenience" as some tourists may think. Of course, some businesses don't always accept $100 bills, but that's mostly because the bill rarely goes up higher than two figures. Use these denominations to pay more expensive bills, such as fancy meals in restaurants or hotel nights.

3. Over-worn Notes

U.S. dollar bills are made of 75% cotton and 25% linen. They can be folded up to 8000 times before breaking, while a sheet of paper supports only 400 folds. Despite their tenacity, USD bills can weaken over time. Note that banks and currency exchange kiosks cannot accept over-worn notes. As with change, spend or exchange your torn and over-worn notes before crossing the Canadian border.

4. The importance of having cash

38 million bills are printed daily by the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing. You will be sure that they will never run out of dollar bills! Jokes aside, we advise you to shop around your rates and plan your budget, so you can leave for the United States with the money you need at the best possible exchange rate. Credit card fees can sometimes be surprising when the exchange rate and surprise fees are added to each purchase, even with a “travel" credit card. Having hard cash will be more advantageous for your budget. 

5. Counterfeit Bills

North Korea is the largest creator of counterfeit U.S. currency. Many counterfeit $50 and $100 bills by North Korea, dubbed superdollars because they look extremely real, circulated for many years before they were pulled out of the market. This is one of the reasons why the design of American banknotes often changes: they are more difficult to counterfeit. Only the $1 bills have not changed since 1929, since they are more rarely counterfeited than their peers. With these interesting but also alarming facts, we suggest you learn how to spot the security features on American banknotes. (Click here to see the perfect recipe to spot counterfeit bills) This could save you a lot of trouble!

Hopefully these facts have taught you something new and gave you a bit of advice. You can get U.S. dollars easily and at the best rate on our online ordering service click and collect! Have a great trip!

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Myriam BretonMyriam Breton

Interested by languages, passionate about travelling and being naturally so kind, Myriam integrated easily the ICE team. She always improved her knowledge to advise our customers beyond expectations. From operational management to human resources, Myriam worked on several projects in the business. She is now focusing on her university studies, but she still shares her knowledge on the ICE blog!