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Author Topic: Possible Trip to Canada  (Read 15534 times)

vdeane

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #75 on: June 22, 2016, 10:47:43 PM »

Okay, so I'm only two days away from leaving. Everything's in place at the moment though I did think of another question that has absolutely nothing to do with credit cards. I plan on being on Montreal on Sunday including a drive around some of the autoroutes through the city in the morning where I assume the traffic will be lighter. Is there anything I should know about the highways there, besides the French language and all that, I should be able to navigate without any problem?
The big thing in Montreal is the reconstruction of the Turcot interchange (A-20/A-15/A-720).  Numerous closures in the area.
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1995hoo

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #76 on: June 25, 2016, 03:50:13 PM »

The other big thing about Montreal is that it is illegal to make a right turn on red on the Island of Montreal unless it's otherwise posted. Generally you may see this sign as you enter the area (or as you exit the autoroute), but you will not see reminder signs throughout the city.

« Last Edit: June 25, 2016, 03:52:16 PM by 1995hoo »
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cl94

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #77 on: June 25, 2016, 04:46:20 PM »

With all of the discussion about chip cards, some gas stations require a PIN to use pay at the pump. Thankfully, all of my chip cards (credit or otherwise) have a PIN.
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oscar

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #78 on: June 25, 2016, 05:46:15 PM »

With all of the discussion about chip cards, some gas stations require a PIN to use pay at the pump. Thankfully, all of my chip cards (credit or otherwise) have a PIN.

I've used chip cards to pay at the pump in all provinces from BC to ON (my visits to the territories, and provinces from QC eastward, predated my chip cards), at a variety of gas stations including at least Petro-Canada and Esso. Never once has a pump asked me for a PIN. None of my chip cards have a PIN, which may explain why I was able to pump without a PIN.
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tdindy88

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #79 on: June 25, 2016, 08:24:07 PM »

Well I made it to Canada, no problems with customs at all and I got to drive along most of the 401 up to Brockville. As for filling up at the pump, I was able to use my card at a Canadian Tire gas station at one of the service areas off the 401 without any chip or pin. I will keep what you said about Montreal in mind since I'll be there tomorrow.
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hbelkins

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #80 on: June 25, 2016, 08:31:28 PM »

With all of the discussion about chip cards, some gas stations require a PIN to use pay at the pump. Thankfully, all of my chip cards (credit or otherwise) have a PIN.

I'm increasingly asked to input my billing ZIP code at the pump when I swipe a credit card.
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oscar

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #81 on: June 25, 2016, 08:55:50 PM »

I'm increasingly asked to input my billing ZIP code at the pump when I swipe a credit card.

I think that was a hangup with using U.S.-issued swipe cards at the pump in Canada -- the pump would want a billing postal code (combination of six letters and numbers),and ZIP codes don't work, though usually my card was declined before getting that far. Chip cards seem to avoid that issue.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2016, 10:21:05 PM by oscar »
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vdeane

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #82 on: June 25, 2016, 09:25:55 PM »

Guess it was the same issue that prevents Canadians from paying at the pump many places here.  They'll probably be very happy when we get chip readers at the gas pumps (who knows when those will work (deadline is October 2017 but we all know the retailers didn't have everything ready by October 2015); I only know of two stations that have them (Sunoco on Washington Ave and Stewarts at Wade and Forts Ferry), but at the former I was using the state's fleet card (no chip) and the latter doesn't have the software to read the chip yet.

With all of the discussion about chip cards, some gas stations require a PIN to use pay at the pump. Thankfully, all of my chip cards (credit or otherwise) have a PIN.
First Niagara?  Because that's one of the things that I'm unhappy with about the Key Bank merger (also the fact that the Key card has a 3% foreign transaction fee and the First Niagara card doesn't have one).
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cl94

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #83 on: June 25, 2016, 10:50:15 PM »

Guess it was the same issue that prevents Canadians from paying at the pump many places here.  They'll probably be very happy when we get chip readers at the gas pumps (who knows when those will work (deadline is October 2017 but we all know the retailers didn't have everything ready by October 2015); I only know of two stations that have them (Sunoco on Washington Ave and Stewarts at Wade and Forts Ferry), but at the former I was using the state's fleet card (no chip) and the latter doesn't have the software to read the chip yet.

With all of the discussion about chip cards, some gas stations require a PIN to use pay at the pump. Thankfully, all of my chip cards (credit or otherwise) have a PIN.
First Niagara?  Because that's one of the things that I'm unhappy with about the Key Bank merger (also the fact that the Key card has a 3% foreign transaction fee and the First Niagara card doesn't have one).

Most Cumberland Farms locations that are newer/renovated have chip equipment at the pumps. I'm assuming the Stewarts at Congress and 5th in Troy has it as well, being as the pumps were just replaced. Which Sunoco on Washington has chip equipment? Might swing over there the next time I cash in on Price Chopper points.

And not First Niagara. USAA. Being as they only deal with people who have military connections, their members are more likely to travel abroad, so they started issuing chip cards on request well before the other US banks. My first credit card, which I got in 2012, was a chip card.

As far as chip and PIN vs chip and signature, I have read that US cards use signature due to the insistence of the credit card companies. Don't know how true that is, but I read somewhere that Walmart wants to switch to PIN, but the credit card companies won't let them.
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vdeane

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #84 on: June 26, 2016, 07:29:16 PM »

I guess there's no hope of anyone in the US who doesn't have military, diplomatic, or (federal) government ties getting a true chip-and-PIN card.  Even finding one that's widely accepted but without a foreign transaction fee (and without an annual fee and not a specialty air miles card) is absurdly difficult.  If the First Niagara/Key Bank merger goes through, those of us who sometimes travel to Canada (or elsewhere) are just plain screwed.
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tckma

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #85 on: June 27, 2016, 01:29:27 PM »

With all of the discussion about chip cards, some gas stations require a PIN to use pay at the pump. Thankfully, all of my chip cards (credit or otherwise) have a PIN.

I'm increasingly asked to input my billing ZIP code at the pump when I swipe a credit card.

There is a gas station near me that has a sticker explaining the ZIP code thing, with the instruction "If your ZIP code contains any letters, please pay the cashier inside the store."

There is no ZIP code that contains letters.  Canadian postal codes have letters, but ZIP codes don't.

(It's a nit-pick with me, but it annoys me.)

Mapmikey

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #86 on: June 27, 2016, 03:36:36 PM »

I guess there's no hope of anyone in the US who doesn't have military, diplomatic, or (federal) government ties getting a true chip-and-PIN card.  Even finding one that's widely accepted but without a foreign transaction fee (and without an annual fee and not a specialty air miles card) is absurdly difficult.  If the First Niagara/Key Bank merger goes through, those of us who sometimes travel to Canada (or elsewhere) are just plain screwed.

I have a hotel rewards card available to anyone through a nationally known bank and is a VISA card that will do chip and PIN (so they say...I will be calling soon to activate that because I am heading overseas in August) and has no foreign transaction fee.  It does have an $85 annual fee, but they also give me a free night at their hotel group up to the mid-tier level every year which is a net gain over the annual fee.

And they consider using the card at all as a reason to NOT cancel your points after so much time...
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tdindy88

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #87 on: July 01, 2016, 12:49:04 PM »

Greetings one last time from Toronto here on Canada Day. My trip has been a success as I've seen the attractions and highways that I've wanted to see this past week. My spending is okay and hopefully I filled up gas for the last time outside of St. Catharine's on Wednesday. I'm spending my last day taking it easy before heading downtown in the late afternoon/evening for a last stroll through before fireworks.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2016, 12:31:45 PM by tdindy88 »
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tdindy88

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Re: Successful Trip to Canada
« Reply #88 on: July 04, 2016, 12:39:23 PM »

Just one last note here, I am back in Indiana and had a nice trip after all. The weather cooperated for the most part, going through customs was bearable (the Canadian side was a little more friendly than the American but the U.S. guy did wish me a nice day after searching my trunk,) and I got to see what I wanted to see. I clinched the 400, 401, 402, 412, 417 and QEW in Ontario and drove around the autoroutes of Montreal. I did just fine without the lack of a chip on my card, using cash most of the time. I got to ride around on both subway systems in Toronto and Montreal and saw the national capital in Ottawa along with the scenery in the region north of Toronto and Niagara Falls. I did enjoy the trip and got to do basically what I wanted to do, so thanks to everyone on this forum who contributed some advice. Next year if I do a trip of this size, it would either be to Texas, the Southeast (Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas) or the Mid-Atlantic (Washington DC up to New York along with parts of New York state and Pennsylvania,) but I got time to think on that.
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #89 on: July 04, 2016, 01:08:24 PM »

Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip.
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MisterSG1

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Re: Successful Trip to Canada
« Reply #90 on: July 04, 2016, 01:10:58 PM »

Just one last note here, I am back in Indiana and had a nice trip after all. The weather cooperated for the most part, going through customs was bearable (the Canadian side was a little more friendly than the American but the U.S. guy did wish me a nice day after searching my trunk,) and I got to see what I wanted to see. I clinched the 400, 401, 402, 412, 417 and QEW in Ontario and drove around the autoroutes of Montreal. I did just fine without the lack of a chip on my card, using cash most of the time. I got to ride around on both subway systems in Toronto and Montreal and saw the national capital in Ottawa along with the scenery in the region north of Toronto and Niagara Falls. I did enjoy the trip and got to do basically what I wanted to do, so thanks to everyone on this forum who contributed some advice. Next year if I do a trip of this size, it would either be to Texas, the Southeast (Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas) or the Mid-Atlantic (Washington DC up to New York along with parts of New York state and Pennsylvania,) but I got time to think on that.

Did you explore any of the PATH?
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tdindy88

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #91 on: July 04, 2016, 01:49:46 PM »

A little bit of it, I know I saw the PATH map a couple of times. I did walk from Union Station to the CN Tower and I was also walking underground near the the Dundas subway station but otherwise I stayed above ground, it was too nice outside not to really do that in my opinion. Union Station was cool to walk around, the parts not under construction that is. I did explore the Montreal version of PATH, the Underground City to get from one metro station to another.

I can also say that I easily did 120 on the freeways most of the time but did go a bit slower in Quebec. I noticed a distinct lack of law enforcement on the highways for the most part though Quebec had a little bit more. I did push 140 for a brief moment going downhill on the 400 heading toward Toronto, I couldn't believe that my odometer had gone as far as it possible could and I quickly slowed down (not that I was really going much faster than the rest of the traffic.)
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cl94

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #92 on: July 04, 2016, 05:15:16 PM »

Consider yourself lucky. Almost every time I have been to Toronto, it has been very hot, raining, snowing, very windy, and/or miserably cold. PATH is wonderful at those times.
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hbelkins

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Re: Successful Trip to Canada
« Reply #93 on: July 04, 2016, 06:03:16 PM »

the U.S. guy did wish me a nice day after searching my trunk

What provoked the search?
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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #94 on: July 04, 2016, 06:04:34 PM »

I'm happy to hear you enjoyed your trip! The weather was certainly great here in Kitchener  :)

I can also say that I easily did 120 on the freeways most of the time but did go a bit slower in Quebec. I noticed a distinct lack of law enforcement on the highways for the most part though Quebec had a little bit more. I did push 140 for a brief moment going downhill on the 400 heading toward Toronto, I couldn't believe that my odometer had gone as far as it possible could and I quickly slowed down (not that I was really going much faster than the rest of the traffic.)

I would say the traffic often moves 120-130 on our highways, despite the speed limit. And it's true, we don't seem to have that many cops enforcing speed. Hopefully one day we'll get reasonable speed limits in Ontario  :rolleyes:

I clinched the 400, 401, 402, 412, 417 and QEW in Ontario and drove around the autoroutes of Montreal.

You managed to clinch the 412 before I did, and I live here. I'll have to head over that way soon, I'm looking forward to driving it  :)
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tdindy88

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #95 on: July 05, 2016, 01:05:05 AM »

What provoked the search?

I think it was the fact that I was traveling by myself, the guy was interested in if I met anyone up in Canada, which I didn't. But the search was quick and I was on my way without any more trouble. The Canadian customs was more interested in the fact that I made Brockville, Ontario my first overnight stop instead of driving all the way to Montreal but Brockville is already 11 hours away from Indy so I explained that it was simply a point I had chosen to make my first stop. I only mentioned Brockville in the event that they would ask for proof that I was staying there at a hotel. Still, as others had pointed out here before, going through customs was no big deal in the end.

As for driving around the GTA, I can say that driving around Los Angeles last year helped me prepare for the driving around Toronto. Downtown Toronto may have a feel like Chicago and New York but along the freeways and even in the suburbs where I was staying (along the Mississauga/Etiobocke line) there was a Southern California vibe to the highways there with the way traffic was moving and the traffic jams and even using the definitive article on highway names.
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cl94

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #96 on: July 05, 2016, 01:45:44 AM »

Trunk searches have been very common lately. The last few times I crossed, almost every car got one, even in the NEXUS lane.
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