ZOOMER Magazine - - SNOWBIRDS 2017 -

Here are two more ways for snow­birds to save money this win­ter.

Have a U.S. dol­lar credit card. Charg­ing pur­chases on a Cana­dian dol­lar card is ex­pen­sive. You’re not only hit on the ex­change rate at what­ever it may be that day, but most cards also charge a 2.5 per cent for­eign trans­ac­tion fee. All Cana­dian banks is­sue U.S. dol­lar credit cards, which you can pay out of your U.S. dol­lar ac­count, hope­fully hav­ing con­verted at a good rate. If you have a U.S. ad­dress, you can open an ac­count at a U.S. bank and have a credit card is­sued there. Some U.S. credit cards in­sist on a U.S. ad­dress, but I use Chase, which has no prob­lem with my Toronto res­i­dence.

Buy all clothes in the U.S. For­get the ex­change rate. Even with the higher green­back, clothes in the U.S. are much cheaper than in Canada. It’s one of the rea­sons why Cana­dian re­tail­ers op­pose chan- ges in the NAFTA deal that would al­low for $800 worth of duty-free on­line pur­chases. Most of the big re­tail­ers like Macy’s and J.C. Penney have reg­u­lar cloth­ing sales, but you can find even bet­ter deals on de­signer clothes at stores like Bealls, Burling­ton and Stein Mart. (These are in Florida, but there are com­pa­ra­ble out­lets in other states.) Also good val­ues in the U.S. com­pared to Canada are Cal­i­for­nia wines, dairy prod­ucts and gaso­line. — GP

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