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I live in the US, and I recently took a vacation in Canada. My flight home was oversold, and I was stuck at the airport for several hours. The airline is required to send me a check for 2400 Canadian dollars (CAD), which I should receive in the next few days.

What is the least expensive way for me to cash this check into US Dollars (USD)? That is, how can I maximize the amount of USD I will get from my 2400 CAD check? I'm happy to open up a new bank account (or use a family members') and/or wait a bit for the cash, but I'd like to make the most of my payment.

The market value of 2400 CAD as of today (according to Google) is 1823.06 USD. I called two banks -- TD Bank said that they would pay 1768.56 USD, and Wells Fargo said they'd pay me 1765.09 USD. This means, either way, I would lose out on 50-60 USD with the banks' exchange rates, fees, etc. Is there any bank or other institution that would give me more than the ~1769 USD? Or is it best to just deposit with TD?

I realize I'll have to pay something to get the money from CAD to USD -- I just want to make sure I'm getting the best deal possible. Thank you for your help.

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For such a relatively small amount 2-3% is to be expected (double that for the spread). Royal Bank has been a bit of an outlier in my experience in giving better exchange rates (I used them to get USD to import a car some years back), might be worth asking them.

That's a pretty impressive return for a few hours delay.

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Go to the bank that you have the most money in, and ask them their rate. They might give a customer a better rate than a non-customer.

If their rate is less than $1768.56, then tell them you want them to price match for a good customer.

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