Well, it’s official. As of today, the Royal Canadian Mint has stopped distributing pennies to financial institutions, and businesses are starting to round cash transactions to the nearest five-cent increment. Even though the penny won’t completely disappear anytime soon (there is still an estimated $30 of them currently in circulation), there are some things you, as a consumer, may need to know.

  • Only cash transactions are to be rounded up or down to the nearest five cents.
  • Cheques and electronic payments do not need to be rounded, as they are amounts that are settled electronically.
  • For cash payments, only the final total is to be rounded (so not the subtotal before taxes or duties or fees).
  • Pennies still have value (and will indefinitely). As such, consumers can use pennies to pay for their transactions to businesses that still choose to accept them.

For more penny news, check out this neat infographic from the National Post, telling you everything you ever wanted to know (but were too afraid to ask) about the history of this fine coin. For example, did you know that the first one was issued in 1858 or that it cost 1.6 cents to manufacture one penny?

Phasing out the penny is part of Economic Action Plan 2012. For more information, call 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232).