Foreign visitors entering Canada are required to carry some form of "sufficient funds", but the requirement is at the discretion of the Customs Officer at hand once your destination, purpose, and length of stay is established.
So in other words, the amount total of sufficient funds is not specified.....
Once the Customs Officer is satisfied that you plan on visiting Canada for less than a week with a short length of travel, generally they will not ask the total amount of sufficient funds you have on your person upon my experience.....I was never asked or had to present sufficient funds to any Customs Officer on the few short length trips into Dawson City or Whitehorse.
Entering Canada I was never specifically asked if I was carrying over $10,000 in cash or valued items, however re-entering the United States I do get asked that by US Customs practically everytime as the last five times my answer was "I wish, but ...no"
Entering Canada Ports of Call from the Southeast Alaska Panhandle regions (Fraser, Pleasant Camp, Stewart) I was never asked about sufficient funds as I declared my destination upon returning to my residence in Interior Alaska.
Entering Canada from the Continental US with a destination to Alaska could bring up the sufficient funds question.
The six times I entered into Canada between 1986 and 1991 from the 49th Parallel (Abbotsford and Surrey Port of Call), I was asked the amount of funds I had onhand 5 of the 6 times and on 3 of those occasions I had to show proof in the presence of the Canada Customs Officer after declaring the amount of sufficient funds I had stated.
In 2008 entering Canada at the Boundary Station (Poker Creek), I was first asked my citizenship and purpose in Canada as always, which I stated I was visiting Canada for three and a half weeks with the primary destination to Yellowknife as the Customs Officer gave me this surprised look and said "OK-aaaaay" and she then immediately asked (much earlier than usual) how much sufficient funds I had onhand, which I voluntarily showed her $400 CDN cash and $3600 in USD travellers checks (final time I carried travellers checks), then she asked for my passport and came back within 30 seconds and asked me the quick ATF and pepper spray questions, and handed me back my passport and was cleared in less than two minutes.
In 2009 I was not asked sufficient funds on a short trip to Whitehorse, nor was I asked sufficient funds in 2010 as my primary destination was Inuvik with a two and a half week visit in Canada, however I aborted the Inuvik destination due to how rough the Taylor Hwy. was with the conflicting reports of rough sections of the Dempster Hwy. although the road was open, so I opted to travel on the Cassiar Hwy. instead and ended up in Prince Rupert of all places.
In 2011 entering Canada I was again asked about sufficient funds once I stated I was visiting Canada for three weeks with primary destination to Banff and Jasper National Parks, however I was not asked to show the funds in the Custom Officer's presence.
During the 1980's and 1990's upon my experiences crossing into Canada whether from Alaska or returning to Alaska from the states, Canada Customs were more concerned for visitors (particularly americans) to carry sufficient cash as some merchants were getting stiffed on gas card and credit card transactions that were reported stolen or fabricated after the fact of submitting for redemption....in turn that policies were changing for some merchants upon not accepting american credit and gas cards.
Today's technology on credit card data is greatly improved as american credit cards are widely accepted practically everywhere in Canada and can be immediately verified that they are legit.
Do beware that once you reach the more secluded type places of establishments in Northern BC and Yukon Territory, they might not accept credit cards (or might not at any other secluded place in Canada for that matter), so it is always a good idea to keep onhand some Canadian Cash if a credit card is unaccepted or the electronic system is glitching.
I have always carried cash and US traveller checks in my many travels in Canada, I have no credit card and never used my debit card (which was my designated emergency protocol if needed).
Since 2009 upon my experience, the banks in Canada (particularly Whitehorse) seem to limit the amount for non account holders upon converting american into canadian dollars compared to the past, as one bank that has the best exchange rate I always go to had a new policy in place upon a $1000 per day exchange limit for US dollars....as I attempted to convert $3000.
Asked the teller if I were to open an account, would it benefit me and was told oh yes, no more transaction fees and no limit on exchanging.....then was told I had to make an appointment that was scheduled two weeks at the earliest, which was out of the question on my brief visit - so attempted to open an account in 2010 at the same bank in Whitehorse and made an appointment only to misproject my scheduled return to Whitehorse by two days.....Tried it again in 2011 and made an appointment in Whitehorse, only to cancel it when I stopped in Edmonton to exchange more funds and asked if I could possibly open an account and they had a bank rep immediately available and the whole process only took 45 minutes - WOW, so now I am established with a canadian bank (with a US fund and Canadian fund account structure) and is sooooooo wonderful, real nice !
In my opinion, I would keep onhand a minimum $500 to $1000 canadian cash even if you plan to use credit cards for your travels.
On another note, banks close early at many places and the farther north you are, the fewer banks are in between in case you start to run low on cash....make sure if you do want to carry some form of cash while heading north, replenish onhand by the time you reach Dawson Creek or Fort St. John at the furthest....Although Fort Nelson has a bank (Scotia) and Watson Lake (CIBC), you won't see the higher fee exchange rate centers (to my knowledge) or a wider range of banks between Fort St John and Whitehorse.
1970 Ford F250 2WD Sport Custom (Owned April 1996) 390 V8 (23K Rebuilt Mi) C6 Trans (207K Original Mi)
2000 Fleetwood Angler 8ft Cabover
Air Lift 1000(Front)
Air Lift Loadlifter 5000(rear)
Hellwig Front and Rear Sway Bars
Goodyear G171 LT Series(siped)
I vote for the camper (but then I'm old). For long trips, creature comforts can be quite nice to have including dry bedding!
There are campgrounds which do not allow soft side camping (not many but Denali comes to mind; you can camp at Riley but Savage River and Teklanika require hard sides BECAUSE OF BEARS). Furthermore there are lovely places to camp in Canada and Alaska which have no services (including no nearby restaurants). Not sure how much you can carry on your bike between camping gear and clothing BUT it is nice to have food for those occasions when there are no other 'dining' options.
Have a great trip and we may see you on the road this summer. Look for a hyper GSP and two old people hollering, "Abby!"
P.S. We carry very little cash and rely on ATM's in Canada and AK. Mostly we use credit cards (make sure you know which ones charge the least foreign currency transaction fees). Our experience has been ATM's are the cheapest way to get money AND you do need some cash. Many provincial parks/state parks in the boonies are self-registered and require cash; ranger does come thru and will make change if needed.
On my first driving trip to Alaska in 1962, I remember having to go in the office at customs and count out my money on the table for proof to the officers. No such thing as a credit card except for a gas company one for me at the time.
Had to do the same, "show the money" on my trips in 1964, 65 and 69. I was living in Alaska from 1964 on, but on my return trip back to Alaska in 1969,
I love the history stories of your trips up and down the Alaska over the years. Any chance you could share some pictures of days gone past as well as presents road conditions, may give people a better idea of how good they have it now, as well as be interesting to see.
I think it was $50, on the way back we only had $82 between the two of us, the custom man asked if I had $50 and I showed him a hand full of bills and he didn't asked me to count it. We were having soup a little later in a cafe and a man from Cuba N.M. heard us talking about be short, he left us a $20 in a note that said when you get home send it back to him. What a guy, his name was Louise Day.
2005 Chev 5.3 Supercharged 395HP 425 T hp. Two wheels on front, 2 on back. one seat, tint windows. front and rear bumpers, headlights, windows. Door on each side. Heater, floor mats, 6 Reese candy bars, junk behind seats, some dirt. Pulls so hard.
For Supercharged: Only Honda 305 available back then would have been a Dream Model and I certainly wouldn't want to have ridden one of them that far as I've had a couple or so. JMHO
Your right, but they also made a 305 Super Hawk, which I have one now in my collection. But yes it was a red Dream. My friend rode a black one. I think we rode the first Honda's to Alaska.Never saw another cycle on the road up or back. That trip of 67 days 14 states plus Canada totaled over 12,600 miles, we only saw 8 motorcycles traveling on the hwy's. I'm having my slides from that trip put on a disk so they last for my grand kids to see. We worked a little later in Oregon for some money. Dad sent gas card to me in Washington also on the way back. Total money spend for the whole trip was $260.ea.
This is from a Google search about bringing money into Canada. No hard answers here... they mainly want to know that you can support yourself while in Canada. I also remember minimum amounts from visits many years ago, but that was before credit cards were universal. I would think that credit card(s) and $50/day while in Canada would eliminate any suspicion.
Persons can be denied entry into Canada on the basis of suspicion alone. In particular, the CBSA may deny entry to persons they doubt will be able to support themselves and their dependents, or whose willingness and means to return back to the U.S. is in doubt. Certain documents, such as the following, can serve to reduce these doubts:
Evidence of financial support, such as bank statements and transaction books.
Income tax records, both recent and past.
Evidence of employment, such as recent pay stubs, employment ID, and current letter from employer.
Proof of residence, such as recent rent receipts, and copies of mortgage, deed, and utility bills.
Confirmed means of departure from Canada, such as an airline, bus or train ticket with date and time of departure indicated.
Information about destination in Canada, including destination address, destination telephone number, and name of the person being visited.
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2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
I have never been asked " How much cash do you have ", but I have always been asked if I have over ten thousand cash.I think at one time you had to show a certain net worth to move to Canada, that possibly could be what you are thinking of.
Have been to and through Canada 6 of the past 7 years. In several of those years crossed the border multiple times. Have never been asked how much money I had going into Canada but on several occasions asked if I had over $10,000 when returning to the US.
There are Harley dealerships in 3 locations in Alaska - Anchorage, Soldotna, and Wasilla.
Lonnie and Sue
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Fulltimers. No more grass to cut, no more leaves to rake, and can move if we don't like our neighbors.
States we spent time in, drive throughs not marked.