The Australian dollar is the fifth most traded currency in the world. When it was first created, suggestions for its name included the koala, the royal and the austral. Even so, it's commonly referred to as the "Aussie" in forex markets.
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Known as the "loonie" or the "funds," the Canadian dollar is among the world's most traded currencies. With its extreme sensitivity to movements in crude oil and other commodities, traders often use the Canadian dollar to speculate on these commodities. It's also closely tied to the US economy and dollar.
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cent (English) and sou (colloquial) (French)
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Send money from Australia to Canada
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If you shop around for the best AUD/CAD exchange rate, you can save big when you send an international money transfer to Canada.
If you need to send money to Canada, whether it’s for business or personal reasons, finding the best exchange rate is a must. By locking in a competitive exchange rate for your transfer, you can access excellent value for money and minimise the overall cost of your transaction.
But what factors affect the AUD/CAD exchange rate, when’s the best time to transfer and how can you find the highest rate? Read on to find out.
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If you need to send money to Canada from Australia, there are two main factors to consider to ensure that you find the best exchange rate for your transfer:
Choosing the right time. You need to send your transfer when the AUD/CAD exchange rate is at its highest – in other words, when the AUD reaches a high value relative to the CAD.
Choosing the right transfer provider. Exchange rates differ from one international transfer company to the next, so you need to shop around for the company that offers the best AUD/CAD exchange rate.
Starting with the first of the two points above, if you want to know the best time to send money to Canada, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the history of these two major global currencies.
Australian Dollar to the Canadian Dollar for the last 10 years
1 AUD =
Australian Dollar to the Canadian Dollar for the last 10 months
1 AUD =
Australian Dollar to the Canadian Dollar for the last 10 days
1 AUD =
Australian dollar to Canadian dollar exchange rate history
Australia’s official currency, the Australian dollar (AUD) replaced the pound in 1966. Originally a fixed currency pegged to the value of the British pound (GBP), the AUD had all foreign exchange controls removed and became a free-floating currency by the end of 1983.
Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar (CAD) became Canada’s uniform currency in 1871 and was based on the gold standard. The value of the CAD was then fixed to the US dollar (USD) for a period during the 20th century but eventually became a free-floating currency.
Both the AUD and CAD are heavily affected by global commodities markets, with each country’s economy reliant on the export of resources for much of their strength. Canada also shares close economic ties with the United States and the heavy trade between the two countries means the value of the CAD is also influenced by the value of the USD.
During 2007–08, as economies around the world felt the effects of the credit crisis, Canada’s relatively strong economic performance saw the CAD reach historic highs against the USD and other major currencies. At one point in October 2008, 1 AUD dropped to just 0.75 CAD.
However, in more recent years, stable economic performance in both Australia and Canada has seen the value of the two currencies remain relatively stable when compared to one another. In the five years to May 2016, 1 AUD has traded at between 0.91 and 1.06 CAD.
The table below shows the value of the AUD relative to the CAD in the past 10 years.
1 AUD =
When can I find the best AUD/CAD exchange rate?
Exchange rates fluctuate all the time and not just over a period of years – you might be surprised to see just how dramatically an exchange rate can vary in a timeframe as little as 24 hours. For evidence of this, visit a currency website like xe.com and take a look back at charts that track the historical performance of the AUD/CAD exchange rate.
As an example of just how much rates fluctuate, let’s consider the case of Jim, who wanted to send AUD$5,000 to his sister in Canada in the year leading up to 25/05/2017. Had Jim sent his transfer in May 2016, when 1 AUD was purchasing just 0.94 CAD, he would not have received great value for money.
However, had he waited three months and sent the transfer in August when the two currencies reached parity, Jim’s AUD$5,000 would have purchased a lot more Canadian dollars. And had he sent the money in October 2016 when 1 AUD = 1.03 CAD, he could have sent CAD$450 more to his sister than if he’d sent the money in May – but the transaction would cost the exact same amount in AUD.
Transfer amount (in AUD)
1 AUD = 0.94 CAD
1 AUD = 1.00 CAD
1 AUD = 1.03 CAD
Amount received (in CAD)
Market rate for common transfer amounts AUD to CAD
Australian Dollars (AUD)
Canadian Dollar (CAD)
How do I know when to transfer AUD to CAD?
The best time to send money to Canada is when the AUD/CAD exchange rate is at its highest. In other words, you want to send your transfer when your Aussie dollars buy you the maximum possible amount of Canadian dollars.
Of course, predicting what will happen to an exchange rate in the weeks and months to come is far from easy. Interest rates, inflation, economic news, political developments and several other factors can all have an effect on an exchange rate, so accurately forecasting the direction in which the rate will head is a difficult process.
However, you can take some simple steps to educate yourself about what may lie in store for the AUD/CAD exchange rate. Keep up to date with important developments in Australia and Canada, including everything from interest rate changes and inflation figures to the results of political elections, and tune into financial news reports whenever you get the chance. In addition, by looking back at the past performance of the AUD/CAD rate, you’ll be able to form a clearer idea of the true value of each currency relative to the other and some of the factors that could push the rate higher or lower.
So, when is the best time to send AUD to CAD? Take a look at the chart below, taken from xe.com on 25/05/2017, which tracks the performance of the AUD/CAD exchange rate in the year leading up to that date. The graph shows that the best times to send money to Canada during that 12-month period were:
In November 2016 when 1 AUD = 1.032 CAD
In March 2017 when 1 AUD = 1.031 CAD
In May 2017 when 1 AUD = 1.034 CAD
On the flipside, the worst time to send a transfer was in late May 2016 when 1 AUD dropped to a low of 0.936 CAD.
How to choose the best transfer provider
Once you’ve found the best time to send money to Canada, you also need to find the transfer company that offers the highest exchange rate. There are three options to consider when sending an international money transfer:
Banks. Bank wire transfers may be quick and convenient to set up, especially if you already have an account, but banks offer low exchange rates that are well below the mid-market rate.
Cash pickup transfer providers. Cash pickup transfer companies, such as Western Union and MoneyGram, offer the convenience of being able to transfer funds to Canada in as little as 10 minutes. However, you will need to keep an eye out for high transfer fees that may apply.
Online money transfer providers. Specialist online transfer companies, such as CurrencyFair and WorldFirst, are usually a reliable choice when sending money overseas. They tend to offer much higher exchange rates and charge lower fees than banks and cash pickup companies.
bank vs money transfer provider vs cash pickup provider
Julie’s Australian business needs to buy CAD$5,000 worth of office equipment from a supplier based in Canada. In the past, Julie has simply sent all her international transfers through her business’s Big Four bank account, but she’s recently discovered that their poor exchange rates are causing her to lose a significant amount of money.
She decides to see if a cash pickup transfer provider or an online transfer provider might offer better value for money. As you can see in the table below, while the cash pickup company offers much quicker transfers, it actually costs more than if she sends the funds through her bank.
However, if Julie chooses the online transfer provider, she can save a massive AUD$267.78 on the cost of her transaction but still send the exact same amount of CAD to the supplier. This is a perfect example of just how important it is to hunt around for the best exchange rate before you send funds overseas.
Other tips to help you find the best AUD/CAD exchange rate
You should also keep the following tips in mind when searching for the best available AUD/CAD exchange rate:
Track the market. Monitor financial news reports for information on the current mid-market exchange rate. While you will never be able to access the same rate for an international money transfer, it will give you a good idea whether the rate a transfer provider quotes you represents good value for money.
Compare quotes. Don’t just settle for the first transfer provider you come across; obtain and compare quotes from several companies to see which one comes out on top. Also, make sure the rate you are quoted is the customer rate, not the mid-market rate sometimes used as a guide.
Use forward contracts and limit orders. Forward contracts let you lock in an exchange rate now for a future transaction and can be used as a safeguard against a falling exchange rate. Meanwhile, limit orders let you choose the exchange rate you want and then let the transfer provider automatically complete the transaction when that rate becomes available.
Send larger transfers. Because most providers charge fees for each transaction, send one larger transfer rather than several smaller transfers. In addition, keep an eye out for companies that don’t charge any fees for large transfer amounts.
If you’re willing to shop around for the best exchange rate and make the most of the flexible transfer options available, you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars when sending money to Canada. Picture: Shutterstock
Tim Falk is a writer for Finder, writing across a diverse range of topics. Over the course of his 15-year writing career, Tim has reported on everything from travel and personal finance to pets and TV soap operas. When he’s not staring at his computer, you can usually find him exploring the great outdoors.
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