Money in New York

Dollar Bills

You can bring money to New York but it is just as easy to take out cash in New York. US$1 is approximately CA$1.37 (updated May 2024). Banknotes of $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 are common. Notes of $100 are not eagerly accepted. The notes look so similar that tourists often confuse them. Common coins are quarter (25 cents), dime (10 cents) nickel (5 cents) and penny (1 cent). Remember to always bring your credit card when travelling to New York as it makes things so much easier. You can use it anywhere, in taxis and even to pay for your coffee!

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Credit cards and debit cards

Credit cards are accepted everywhere. In New York (and in the rest of the US) people that use credit cards are more common than those that use cash. In many ways, it is comparable to using a debit card. If you don’t have a credit card or you’d like to pay in dollars, you can request the free Revolut Debit Card here. It’s very easy and you can use the card immediately with Apple or Google Pay. You will also get a physical card shipped to you (for a fee).

Debit cards will work at ATMs and you can pay more and more with them in restaurants and stores in New York as well. Do check with your bank. For most credit cards you do not pay a fee every time you use the credit card. So you can order a cup of coffee without a problem. I do not advise travelling to New York without a credit card. Note that you might have to authorise your cards before you travel. Canadian cards might not be authorised for use in the United States. Check with your bank if you are unsure.

Paying with card

When using a credit card in New York, you might get the option to either pay in US dollars or in your own currency. To save money, always choose to pay in US dollars, as the conversion made by your own bank is better.

Bringing money to New York

Firstly, consider how much cash you will need for your first few hours in New York. When you arrive, you may want to take a taxi to the city. This can cost approximately $100. It is unnecessary, and often costly, to exchange Canadian dollars for US dollars at your bank in Canada. Exchange about CA$170 if you don’t need more right away. It’s always handy to have some cash on you. If you bring US$10.000 or more to the US you’ll have to declare this when entering the country.

Withdrawing money in New York

Upon your arrival in New York, you can withdraw money at an ATM (cash) machine. Keep in mind that you’ll pay a transaction fee to your bank in Canada. You also pay a fee to the bank in New York, normally between US$3 and $6. You are always asked first if you agree with this fee. When you withdraw US$100 and the fee is $3 this will show on your bank account as ‘Withdrawal $103’. You better get a larger amount in one go, so you don’t have to take out cash often.

Eric’s Tip: “When withdrawing dollars in New York, you often get the option of withdrawing with or without conversion. Without conversion, you pay for the dollars in your own currency. If you select the conversion option, the ATM owner will do the conversion. In this way, you end up paying more. Therefore always choose the option to withdraw your money without conversion, to save money.”

How do I tip in New York?

The salaries of waitresses and porters in New York are very low. Sometimes not more than CAD $ 6 per hour. Tipping in New York is therefore customary. Most people tip at least 15% and 20% is common. If you order a drink at the bar, US$1 per drink is enough. In the taxi, you tip 10-15% with a minimum of US$1. Some restaurants include tips (gratuity) on the receipt. You do not need to give extra tip. This often happens in restaurants around Times Square and for groups of six or more people seated at one table.

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