+1(514) 937-9445 or Toll-free (Canada & US) +1 (888) 947-9445

My Canadian Banking Experience: BMO, RBC and TD

19

Full Member
Nov 16, 2015
34
64
Hi, I landed and opened an account with TD. The whole process was quite smooth, I walked into the branch, they asked me what I was looking for and they set up an appointment for me the next day. Next day after about 2 hours with them I walked out with 4 accounts set up, a debit card, cheques and a secured credit card approved.

My wife landed a few months later and I took her to the parent branch of BMO (001 in Montreal). I took her to BMO because they had a credit card that I wanted for her. I asked if we can get a secured credit card for her along with the bank accounts. The rep there said sure no problem, let me open her accounts first and then we'll get to the credit card. He opened the accounts and I deposited the cash in the accounts then he tells me I can't give you a credit card since you just landed. I told him I started the account opening and came to BMO because of a particular credit card and anyway don't need a unsecured card as I was willing to put a $5000 blocked deposit for a secured card. He told me he can't do secured credit cards. I told him if BMO doesn't want to give us a credit card which we willing to put a deposit in for, I don't think they are the right bank for us and to cancel our account opening and return our deposits. The guy walked back and forth into other offices for a couple of minutes and then told me no problem it's all approved and I'll hear from him in a couple of days. Fast forward a couple of days and I called him to check and no call back. I emailed him and no reply. We didn't get the debit card with her name on it and we never even got her cheques! We then left as we had to travel urgently back for a family emergency.

Fast forward three months and in Toronto I went to another BMO branch, I told the rep we wanted a credit card for my wife and I was willing to put in a deposit equal to her credit limit. She told me BMO doesn't do secured credit cards and maybe she could put in an application for an unsecured one for a lower limit like a $1000. I said fine as I just wanted a card to start building my wife's credit history. She then told me the largest lie I have heard that "a secured credit card doesn't build credit history" I told her she was mistaken and that's how new immigrants or people with bad credit build/rebuild their credit history to which she arrogantly replied "I do this all day for a couple of years". I didn't want to argue just wanted to a credit card for my wife. Anyway filled out the forms and the rep said she'll be in touch within 3/4 business days. Just like the BMO rep in Montreal called her a couple of days later when we didn't get a call from her and no reply, then emailed her and no reply also. A few days later got a rejection letter in the mail, so much for BMO's immigrant packages! I decided to close all our accounts there. Went today to the branch to find an old couple screaming at a BMO rep at the counter at his incompetence. I felt sorry for him only to realize the elderly couple was actually being nice to this guy who was a total imbecile. He took almost 45 minutes to close our accounts which was a 10 minute job max. Didn't even ask once why were why closing our accounts at BMO. He couldn't even print a bank draft and spoiled atleast 5 bank drafts papers before giving us one. Even that one we realized was printed without a name on it ! That ended our experience with BMO.

In a nutshell horrible services, incompetent lying staff and completely untrusting to new immigrants even when being offered full security for banking.

Day before walked into the shiny new RBC branch close to our home. Walked into an almost empty branch around 5. The senior rep who was sitting there not looking very busy came and asked if she could help. We told her we were at BMO and had heard good things about RBC and wanted to move banks. She asked us what we needed and I told her we needed a credit card for my wife, secured or unsecured didn't matter. She took a scan of our documents and told us that as investor immigrants she could offer my wife a $2000 unsecured credit card and setup an appointment for us the next day. Went at the appointed time today to see her with additional documents that she said that she wanted and what she told us was priceless. She said and I quote "Unfortunately we cannot offer you a $2000 credit card, we can only offer you a $5000 one, there's just one caveat, you have to open the account with a $250,000 deposit!" I almost laughed in her face, seriously ? I needed to open an account with $250,000 to get a $5000 unsecured credit card ?? I amusingly asked her what about the glowing we welcome new immigrant packages on their website and she said we can offer you $500 if you were in Canada as a refugee but since you immigrated as a millionaire investor our terms for your credit card are the $250,000 required account opening deposit.

What a joke! Learnt today not to believe the "Welcome to Canada" crap these banks have on their websites. This is RBC for you.

My wife was kind of sad at this back and forth and felt a bit embarrassed. BMO and RBC made us feel like we were asking for money even though we were offering it to them !

Went across the street to TD. It was around 6pm by then. We waited in line for our turn and then told them we wanted to open an account and get a credit card. The guy told us most of the staff has left for the day and could he give us an appointment for tomorrow. After seeing how disappointed my wife was I told him we can only do right now. He went in and talked to his senior who came out of his office immediately, told us he's tied up with appointments today but if we can try do everything superfast? No problem with us. In under 15 minutes he had two accounts for my wife set up, he gave her her debit card, had applied for her debit card with her name on it and he asked us which credit card did we need? I picked one from the list and he said he'll put in an application for an approval, I told him I don't want to wait for the approval I would like to do a $5000 secured card. He said no problem. Two minutes later he said all approved and you will get your card delivered to your home in a few days. He also handed her cheques and was even kind enough to reimburse the draft fee's that we gave at BMO for the two drafts ! It was a small $15 but that's service for you.

In short, BMO is terrible, RBC was fishy and condescending and their online new immigrant packages were complete lies if not grossly misleading.

Over the year that I've been using TD, every branch I have walked into either for drafts or withdrawals or anything else I've just been met with polite and knowledgeable staff and excellent service. For us TD is the only bank.
 

RookieMistake

Star Member
Feb 7, 2017
76
248
Category........
FSW
Visa Office......
Ottawa
NOC Code......
2173
App. Filed.......
03-05-2017
Doc's Request.
RPRF
Nomination.....
None
AOR Received.
03-05-2017
IELTS Request
Upfront
File Transfer...
None
Med's Request
Upfront
Med's Done....
26-06-2017
Interview........
None
Passport Req..
25-07-2017
VISA ISSUED...
01-08-2017
LANDED..........
03-10-2017
Hi,

Thanks for the write up and sharing your experiences.

Sorry to hear about your troubles.
I've heard someone talk about it earlier too - the ridiculous "put down $250,000 and we'll give you a Credit Card". I just don't know how the bank employees can say that with a straight face.

Just wanted to know, do you happen to have any experience with the other two of the "Big 5 Banks" - namely Scotia and CIBC?
 

Investocrat

Star Member
Jun 4, 2017
116
28
Winnipeg
Hi, I landed and opened an account with TD. The whole process was quite smooth, I walked into the branch, they asked me what I was looking for and they set up an appointment for me the next day. Next day after about 2 hours with them I walked out with 4 accounts set up, a debit card, cheques and a secured credit card approved.

My wife landed a few months later and I took her to the parent branch of BMO (001 in Montreal). I took her to BMO because they had a credit card that I wanted for her. I asked if we can get a secured credit card for her along with the bank accounts. The rep there said sure no problem, let me open her accounts first and then we'll get to the credit card. He opened the accounts and I deposited the cash in the accounts then he tells me I can't give you a credit card since you just landed. I told him I started the account opening and came to BMO because of a particular credit card and anyway don't need a unsecured card as I was willing to put a $5000 blocked deposit for a secured card. He told me he can't do secured credit cards. I told him if BMO doesn't want to give us a credit card which we willing to put a deposit in for, I don't think they are the right bank for us and to cancel our account opening and return our deposits. The guy walked back and forth into other offices for a couple of minutes and then told me no problem it's all approved and I'll hear from him in a couple of days. Fast forward a couple of days and I called him to check and no call back. I emailed him and no reply. We didn't get the debit card with her name on it and we never even got her cheques! We then left as we had to travel urgently back for a family emergency.

Fast forward three months and in Toronto I went to another BMO branch, I told the rep we wanted a credit card for my wife and I was willing to put in a deposit equal to her credit limit. She told me BMO doesn't do secured credit cards and maybe she could put in an application for an unsecured one for a lower limit like a $1000. I said fine as I just wanted a card to start building my wife's credit history. She then told me the largest lie I have heard that "a secured credit card doesn't build credit history" I told her she was mistaken and that's how new immigrants or people with bad credit build/rebuild their credit history to which she arrogantly replied "I do this all day for a couple of years". I didn't want to argue just wanted to a credit card for my wife. Anyway filled out the forms and the rep said she'll be in touch within 3/4 business days. Just like the BMO rep in Montreal called her a couple of days later when we didn't get a call from her and no reply, then emailed her and no reply also. A few days later got a rejection letter in the mail, so much for BMO's immigrant packages! I decided to close all our accounts there. Went today to the branch to find an old couple screaming at a BMO rep at the counter at his incompetence. I felt sorry for him only to realize the elderly couple was actually being nice to this guy who was a total imbecile. He took almost 45 minutes to close our accounts which was a 10 minute job max. Didn't even ask once why were why closing our accounts at BMO. He couldn't even print a bank draft and spoiled atleast 5 bank drafts papers before giving us one. Even that one we realized was printed without a name on it ! That ended our experience with BMO.

In a nutshell horrible services, incompetent lying staff and completely untrusting to new immigrants even when being offered full security for banking.

Day before walked into the shiny new RBC branch close to our home. Walked into an almost empty branch around 5. The senior rep who was sitting there not looking very busy came and asked if she could help. We told her we were at BMO and had heard good things about RBC and wanted to move banks. She asked us what we needed and I told her we needed a credit card for my wife, secured or unsecured didn't matter. She took a scan of our documents and told us that as investor immigrants she could offer my wife a $2000 unsecured credit card and setup an appointment for us the next day. Went at the appointed time today to see her with additional documents that she said that she wanted and what she told us was priceless. She said and I quote "Unfortunately we cannot offer you a $2000 credit card, we can only offer you a $5000 one, there's just one caveat, you have to open the account with a $250,000 deposit!" I almost laughed in her face, seriously ? I needed to open an account with $250,000 to get a $5000 unsecured credit card ?? I amusingly asked her what about the glowing we welcome new immigrant packages on their website and she said we can offer you $500 if you were in Canada as a refugee but since you immigrated as a millionaire investor our terms for your credit card are the $250,000 required account opening deposit.

What a joke! Learnt today not to believe the "Welcome to Canada" crap these banks have on their websites. This is RBC for you.

My wife was kind of sad at this back and forth and felt a bit embarrassed. BMO and RBC made us feel like we were asking for money even though we were offering it to them !

Went across the street to TD. It was around 6pm by then. We waited in line for our turn and then told them we wanted to open an account and get a credit card. The guy told us most of the staff has left for the day and could he give us an appointment for tomorrow. After seeing how disappointed my wife was I told him we can only do right now. He went in and talked to his senior who came out of his office immediately, told us he's tied up with appointments today but if we can try do everything superfast? No problem with us. In under 15 minutes he had two accounts for my wife set up, he gave her her debit card, had applied for her debit card with her name on it and he asked us which credit card did we need? I picked one from the list and he said he'll put in an application for an approval, I told him I don't want to wait for the approval I would like to do a $5000 secured card. He said no problem. Two minutes later he said all approved and you will get your card delivered to your home in a few days. He also handed her cheques and was even kind enough to reimburse the draft fee's that we gave at BMO for the two drafts ! It was a small $15 but that's service for you.

In short, BMO is terrible, RBC was fishy and condescending and their online new immigrant packages were complete lies if not grossly misleading.

Over the year that I've been using TD, every branch I have walked into either for drafts or withdrawals or anything else I've just been met with polite and knowledgeable staff and excellent service. For us TD is the only bank.
Sorry to hear about your bad experiences with BMO and RBC. I'm not too surprised with the poor customer service at BMO. However, your RBC experience shocks me ...things must have changed radically over the years. Now I know not to recommend either bank to new immigrants. I have always had a positive impression of TD - good for them!
 

dbss

Champion Member
Jun 22, 2012
1,088
39
Another thing you will hear from the banks is that you need to make appointments with 24-48 hrs notice even if you need meagerly $3500 cash withdrawn (as was my case). On asking alternatives, none were given. I understand why banks have the notice period but come on, at least have alternatives.

If anyone finds themselves in such a pickle, Downtown Toronto branches do not care as long as they are the ones on King and Bay. I asked TD and they said they will accommodate as long as they have the cash. On insisting for a cutoff number, they said $50000.
 

Investocrat

Star Member
Jun 4, 2017
116
28
Winnipeg
Another thing you will hear from the banks is that you need to make appointments with 24-48 hrs notice even if you need meagerly $3500 cash withdrawn (as was my case). On asking alternatives, none were given. I understand why banks have the notice period but come on, at least have alternatives.

If anyone finds themselves in such a pickle, Downtown Toronto branches do not care as long as they are the ones on King and Bay. I asked TD and they said they will accommodate as long as they have the cash. On insisting for a cutoff number, they said $50000.
This may be a Toronto issue? I have not heard of any such restrictions here in Winnipeg.
 

francaispourquebec

Star Member
Jun 4, 2013
78
6
Everyone has a different experience to tell about each bank so it seems. When I walked into a TD US branch recently, they said its "impossible" to open an account in a foreign country without being physically present in that country. Scotiabank too insisted on being physically present. So I chose RBC and opened an account from abroad. Then I visited their branch a few months later, got the account activated, and they gave me a debit card. They offered a secured credit card that I declined, and instead opted to wait for a few months, build some relationship with the bank, and then apply for a credit card. I must have visited RBC multiple times, and they seemed helpful each time.
 

19

Full Member
Nov 16, 2015
34
64
Everyone has a different experience to tell about each bank so it seems. When I walked into a TD US branch recently, they said its "impossible" to open an account in a foreign country without being physically present in that country. Scotiabank too insisted on being physically present. So I chose RBC and opened an account from abroad. Then I visited their branch a few months later, got the account activated, and they gave me a debit card. They offered a secured credit card that I declined, and instead opted to wait for a few months, build some relationship with the bank, and then apply for a credit card. I must have visited RBC multiple times, and they seemed helpful each time.
RBC US and TD US is an another bank than RBC Canada and TD Canada. HSBC and CIBC also offers the same account opening services when you're not in Canada but it's when you're in Canada is what matters. I have asked around after my bad experience with them and received confirmation of RBC treating new immigrants like crap.

To add to the friends queries about with-drawls. I have walked into a few TD branches in Ontario and asked to withdraw around $10,000 CAD and never been refused.
 

francaispourquebec

Star Member
Jun 4, 2013
78
6
RBC US and TD US is an another bank than RBC Canada and TD Canada. HSBC and CIBC also offers the same account opening services when you're not in Canada but it's when you're in Canada is what matters. I have asked around after my bad experience with them and received confirmation of RBC treating new immigrants like crap.

To add to the friends queries about with-drawls. I have walked into a few TD branches in Ontario and asked to withdraw around $10,000 CAD and never been refused.
Well, your post does make me worry a bit about RBC since I have just opened accounts with them and so far they have behaved. Despite being a new immigrant I wasn't eligible for their newcomers package but that's another story. If you are vouching so strongly about TD, I may take a cue and move to TD perhaps later. I just couldn't get the proper info from them in time else they were my first choice as well.
 

pie_vancouver

Hero Member
Jun 12, 2014
963
86
Vancouver
Category........
Visa Office......
Manila
NOC Code......
1111
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
App. Filed.......
2008
VISA ISSUED...
2009
LANDED..........
2010
With monthly fees?
 

19

Full Member
Nov 16, 2015
34
64
Well, your post does make me worry a bit about RBC since I have just opened accounts with them and so far they have behaved. Despite being a new immigrant I wasn't eligible for their newcomers package but that's another story. If you are vouching so strongly about TD, I may take a cue and move to TD perhaps later. I just couldn't get the proper info from them in time else they were my first choice as well.
You'll be fine, I also shortlisted TD and RBC as my bank but found TD to be far superior when it comes to customer service. I opened my bank account and then after two months I had to fly back to my home country and my branch manager called me on my international cell in my country to ask if all was well and if I would like to put my money to some use if I would be gone for long. That was impressive!

Another instance was I used my TD credit card abroad and it got declined. I called the TD when I reached back home and they said as I didn't inform them I would be using the card outside Canada they blocked it, they reopened it immediately and for the inconvenience they added 5000 reward points to my credit card!

As for the question about account fees. What I also like about TD is no account and credit card fees if you do the account opening properly. I have the unlimited account which costs $30 a month, however if your balance is more than $5000 they waive it off. I put $5000 in my account and had them block it as collateral for my secured credit card. That gives me a credit card of a decent limit while being a new immigrant, waves off the $30 monthly account fee and also the $120 yearly credit card fee. For the RBC account I would still have to pay $15/20 per month plus their yearly credit card fee even with their multi product discount.
 

nitingpt09

Star Member
Apr 20, 2017
122
8
You'll be fine, I also shortlisted TD and RBC as my bank but found TD to be far superior when it comes to customer service. I opened my bank account and then after two months I had to fly back to my home country and my branch manager called me on my international cell in my country to ask if all was well and if I would like to put my money to some use if I would be gone for long. That was impressive!

Another instance was I used my TD credit card abroad and it got declined. I called the TD when I reached back home and they said as I didn't inform them I would be using the card outside Canada they blocked it, they reopened it immediately and for the inconvenience they added 5000 reward points to my credit card!

As for the question about account fees. What I also like about TD is no account and credit card fees if you do the account opening properly. I have the unlimited account which costs $30 a month, however if your balance is more than $5000 they waive it off. I put $5000 in my account and had them block it as collateral for my secured credit card. That gives me a credit card of a decent limit while being a new immigrant, waves off the $30 monthly account fee and also the $120 yearly credit card fee. For the RBC account I would still have to pay $15/20 per month plus their yearly credit card fee even with their multi product discount.

Hey! one question .... Is this TD Canada Trust or TD bank you are talking about?
 

elzsb

Star Member
Feb 28, 2017
146
16
UAE
Category........
FSW
NOC Code......
5242
Can anyone give feedback abt Scotia bank...seems like the only one which allows u to open account from outside the country. I was considering it coz of that facility. Thanks
 

NetMecca

Hero Member
Dec 12, 2013
546
121
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Category........
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
LANDED..........
14-07-2009
Banking in Canada sucks. I am with TD as well. They are ok. Scotia very risk averse. (currently closing one business account with them) RBC better for commercial (not small business).

Expect it to be frustrating no matter who you bank with.
 

ldrbjp

Hero Member
Oct 11, 2012
226
10
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
Hey! one question .... Is this TD Canada Trust or TD bank you are talking about?
I think both are same. I opened an account with TD with monthly fee waived off for the first 6 months. You need to open Unlimited chequing account (that charges you higghest monthly fee) to be eligible for fee waiver though.
Account opening process was very smooth and quick. I could also apply for check book as well as a credit card without any hassle.