Toronto Airport Currency Exchange
Is It Worth It?

At first glance, the Toronto airport currency exchange service seems like a dream come true for busy travellers.

With all there is to worry about when planning a trip, it’s common for people to neglect taking care of their currency conversion before heading to the airport. But while the currency exchange service at the Toronto airport is certainly convenient, it comes at a major cost.

Today, we’ll take a deep look at the numbers and show you an even more convenient currency conversion method that happens to be a lot cheaper, too.

The Toronto Airport Currency Exchange Hours and Locations

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The Toronto Pearson currency exchange service is operated by a company called ICE (International Currency Exchange). The company (founded in London, England) operates in more than 20 countries. They have a plethora of locations in Canadian airports and shopping malls. They’re strategically placed in six locations throughout Toronto Pearson International Airport. See the locations below, along with the Toronto Airport currency exchange hours for each location (they can differ drastically).

All of the above locations allow you to order funds online or in person. All locations (including the Toronto Pearson currency exchange at Terminal 3) have kiosks and personnel to assist you.

Accepted Currencies At The Toronto Airport Foreign Exchange Desk

The ICE Toronto Airport foreign exchange service allows you to trade a wide array of currencies, including:

Payment Methods

You can buy foreign currency at ICE locations in Pearson using either cash or debit. They do not accept credit cards.

Toronto Pearson Airport Currency Exchange Rates

Here’s where the ICE currency exchange service begins to show its major flaws.

First things first, placing an order online does not mean you lock in the exchange rate shown at that time. When you arrive at the physical branch, you will need to pay the company’s latest rate, which may be higher than what you planned for. You also have to deal with the following challenges.

The Toronto Pearson Airport Currency Exchange Rate Is Higher Than Necessary

As with most traditional financial institutions, ICE has a fee built into its currency exchange rate. This is why, at any given moment, the rate they present to you will be worse than what Google shows.

Nowhere on their website, however, are they clear about exactly what that discrepancy is. The standard for most financial institutions (including credit cards) is 2.5% but the lack of certainty on ICE’s website (and even in their Terms of Service) suggests the exact baked-in fee is subject to change and may even vary from location to location.

They even have a disclaimer underneath their rates that reads, “orders placed by phone and/or directly at the counter may have different rates and fees may apply.” This is much greater ambiguity than necessary, which should raise more than a few red flags concerning how fairly-priced ICE’s services are.

You’ll Also Pay “Extra Fees” for In-Person Service

As if the unclear Toronto Pearson Airport currency exchange rates weren’t bad enough, ICE also states that it will charge you additional fees for in-person service. As with their actual exchange rate, however, they are not clear as to exactly what these extra fees amount to.

The Bottom Line: ICE Thrives On Providing Convenience, Not Good Exchange Rates

There’s no denying that ICE provides a valuable service. Pearson is Canada’s busiest airport by a long shot, handling over 47 million passengers every year. Many of those people undoubtedly benefit from a readily-available currency exchange service within the airport.

This is ICE’s primary selling point: convenience, not competitive rates. As such, they’re suited for last-minute travellers who have no other options and need to exchange currency at the airport fast.

The Better Option: KnightsbridgeFX

KnightsbridgeFX is a much better option for currency exchange in Toronto, provided you have the ability to adequately plan your trip ahead of time. That’s not to say using our service takes an inordinate amount of time. The setup itself only takes a matter of minutes, with the transfer arriving either the same business day or the next.

That should be plenty of time for even most impulse trips, perhaps save for the occasional true emergency.

How KnightsbridgeFX Works

KnightsbridgeFX primarily operates online and is solely dedicated to currency exchange. We don’t have as much overhead as firms like ICE (or banks), which allows us to remain profitable despite offering highly competitive rates.

Another factor contributing to our lower rates is larger volume. Operating online allows KnightsbridgeFX to attract a much larger number of people than you’d find even at Pearson Airport. KnightsbridgeFX is also tailored to more than just travellers. People buying and selling goods internationally use us as well. This gives us leverage to negotiate better rates with our partners.

Rate Comparison

As of writing, ICE offers $0.73 USD per Canadian Dollar that you exchange with them before any applicable in-person fees. By comparison, Knightsbridge offers $0.76 USD per Canadian Dollar. Those savings add up very quickly as you transact larger and larger amounts; at $1,000 you’re saving at least more than $20 while at $10,000 you’re saving at least more than $200.

Conclusion

The Toronto Airport currency exchange service by ICE offers convenience while neglecting to provide transparent or competitive rates. You’ll be much better off planning ahead if you can; services like KnightsbridgeFX will save you substantially while providing more transparent fees.

Nonetheless, if you ever do find yourself in dire need of fast currency exchange services in Toronto Pearson Airport, ICE is located in six locations all throughout the facility. Just remember that you will be paying extra fees for both the conversion itself and the in-person service.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Toronto airport have currency exchange?

Toronto Pearson International Airport does have onsite currency exchange services. These are operated by a company called International Currency Exchange (ICE) and are hard to miss at both departure and arrival gates.

That convenience comes at a steep price, however; a built-in 2.5% fee plus ICE’s in-person service charge, which they are not transparent about.

You’d be much better off planning ahead and using a service like KnightsbridgeFX to secure your currency exchange ahead of time.

What do you mean by the term foreign exchange?

The term ‘foreign exchange’ refers to the process of swapping one currency for another. For example, say you are a Canadian travelling to the United States and would like to have some USD in cash on you. You would conduct a foreign exchange to receive the necessary funds.

Is Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange legitimate?

Knightsbridge is a FINTRAC and AMF-regulated industry. We are also accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ rating from the regulatory body and a 5-star rating from customers.

In other words, we are indeed legitimate.