If you are traveling between Alaska and Canada, keep in mind that the Canadian dollar and the American dollar are separate currencies and the rate of exchange fluctuates daily.
The monetary system in Canada is based on dollars and cents like the U.S., but there are differences. Canada has nickels, dimes, quarters, 1-dollar coins (“loonies”) and 2-dollar coins (“toonies”), but no longer uses pennies, so cashiers round-off up or down as needed. Paper currency comes in $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, etc. bills.
U.S. currency is accepted as payment in many places in Canada, but merchants will give you change in Canadian currency and they may or may not give you the prevailing exchange rate. Businesses in Alaska do not accept Canadian currency.
The Canadian dollar and American dollar are 2 separate currencies and the rate of exchange varies. It has been close to par in some years, while sometimes falling in favor of one currency over the other at other times. Not all banks in the U.S. have foreign currency on hand, so exchange your U.S. currency for Canadian currency at a bank in Canada. You will probably get a better rate of exchange at a bank, although there is still a fee. There are many internet sites that offer current exchange rates, one site is the Bank of Canada.
Major American bank and credit cards are accepted in Canada. Credit card purchases are billed at the U.S. dollar equivalent of the Canadian price at the full exchange rate for the day of billing, and often a “Foreign Transaction Fee” is included.
Many cities in Alaska and Canada have automated teller machines (ATMs)—MasterCard/Cirrus ATM Network, Nexxus and others—and they usually accept bank debit cards regardless of country of origin. It is important to carry cash since some merchants may not accept plastic.