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Transferring money from the US to Canada with minimal fees?

Discussion in 'Permanent Residence in Canada' started by Mthornt, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. I am getting exchange fees around 0.5% with https://www.knightsbridgefx.com/
    Just to let you know.

    I hope that rate will continue to be favorable for people living in Canada and earning in US, but who knows...
     
  2. I imagine there are ways to get a better rate, but having the branch in my remote Nova Scotia town getting checks ready, working with our real estate agent, our attorney makes the higher rate worth every penny. We pay for the service and convenience.
     
  3. I have never felt a "sting" moving our money that led me to want to consider other services which may have a slightly more idyllic (nothing's perfect) exchange rate but also tack on a flat fee or percentage on top of that...so I decided to do the most scientific test possible. I just went to move a dollar from my RBC USD checking to my RBC CAD chequing accounts. They provide a review screen before you make any transfer, to make sure you can see the exact exchange rate being used and the exact output amount in the target currency.

    today's exchange rate on the Bank of Canada's site: 1.3306
    exchange rate offered from RBC for my test transfer: 1.2896

    That's a difference of 0.041 cents per dollar of output currency, which I suppose you would need to go stand up against other options. The one I found the most appealing besides just working within a single (parent) financial institution was Transferwise. Looking at their site right now, on the same day, they would convert a $100 USD amount to $130.82 where my internal RBC transfer would be $128.96, for a difference of $1.86 per $100 of output currency.

    So, I guess what you have to consider is what's worth that $1.86 or not.

    If you're going to be moving very large sums over and over habitually in a way that would really "add up" over time then it might be worth dealing with two financial institutions and waiting for some variable delay between desire and outcome. For me, the fact that I can log into one site and have access to the exchange output instantly is pretty valuable, much more valuable than slightly under a toonie per hundred bucks. However, my situation right now does not require habitual use with large sums, this is more of a travel convenience for our family. We still earn income on both sides of the border occasionally, but we generally keep the output on the same side to pay taxes and other expenses on that side so we really only need to move funds very rarely.

    Caveat emptor! This was just an anecdotal experiment performed on one day by one dude with one pair of accounts and two options, folks seriously interested in the minutia of all this should probably do deeper investigation. ;)
     
    Mthornt and APPNOV2014NY like this.
  4. Has anyone compared using TD to using Transferwise? I just opened TD accounts on both sides of the border, but I already had relationships with both BofA and Scotia. I don't really need 4 different accounts, so I'm considering using Transferwise, I just don't know enough about how the fees compare.
     
  5. Transferwise comes out much better in terms of what you get in Canadian dollars in the end, but TD has its merits too since transfers are basically instantaneous. I like having it as a backup option for a quick transfer if needed, and it's also at some point going to be my only US bank so in theory I'll use it for US purchases and cheques I may need to send out. Still, Transferwise is one of your best bets for major transfers of assets.
     
  6. I use Xoom ( owned by paypal) to send money to India. Other day I was checking Xoom for USD to CAD transfer and Xoom was giving me better rate than Transferwise. I decided to not use Xoom at that time since I was transferring small amount and was not sure if I will be charged Wire Transfer fees but I will definitely explore Xoom if I decide to transfer big amount. FYI, Xoom takes 1 hour to deposit money in Indian account if transaction is initiated in USA during Indian business hours ( late night). Xoom could be an option for people who need to make USD to CAD transfer on urgent basis.
     
  7. If you have accounts at TD bank in Canada and the US, you may send money using their crossborder transfer at no fees at all.
     
  8. What's the difference between real conversion rate and TD conversion rate in such case. If TD conversion rate is 1.25 and real conversion rate is 1.32 then I had rather pay fees than get hit over conversion rate.
     

  9. I tried Transferwise, and tried my first transfer of 1k. The conversion rate ended up being the real conversion rate, and the total charge was $8.45 USD. Not bad considering it cost me $18 to withdraw only $600 at the atm. Any idea the what the fee for 1k would be with Xoom? 1 hr is a lot faster than Transferwise.
     

  10. TD doesn't hit you with the transfer fee, but they will hit you for a conversion fee. I also came across this yesterday:

    https://www.highinterestsavings.ca/forum/general-financial-discussion/td-bank-fee-increases-may-1-2018-foreign-exchange-2-5-3-5/

    Discussing the raise in TD conversion rate. Last since I already have BofA in the US, and Scotia in Canada, that I'll just keep both. I don't want to go through canceling credit cards with them both, or having 2 banks on each side of the border, so I'm going to cancel TD since my relationship with them is new, and the conversion fee offers no advantage vs. Transferwise.
     
  11. Exactly
     
  12. Sorry. No idea on fees with Xoom. Also, USD to INR is 1 hr. I am not sure if USD to CAD would be that fast.
     
  13. If your accounts inTD are in USD in Canada and US, whatever you send is exactly what you receive if you use crossborder service.
     

  14. I understand that, the problem is when you move it from your US dollars account, into CAD. The conversion rate they hit you with is not competitve with Transferwise, especially when I start to move larger sums of money.
     

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