US Bank Account Comparison For Canadians

us_bank_account_comparison_for_canadians.jpgIf you have to deal with US currency on a semi-regular basis, then you know how quickly currency conversion costs can eat into your money! Your credit card charges you at least 2.5% off the top whenever you make a purchase in US dollars and the banks typically charge even more than that for buying US currency unless it is a large volume transaction. Worse still, if you ever get paid in US dollars, then you can wind up converting money to Canadian dollars when you receive payment and then BACK into US dollars when making a USD purchase. You are also at the mercy of ever-fluctuating exchange rates if you don’t have a US dollar bank account.

Are you paying monthly fees for your CANADIAN bank account?
Why not give Tangerine no-fee banking a try?

Running this website, I do occasionally receive advertising or affiliate payments in USD so I frequently find myself in costly currency conversion situations and it’s starting to get really expensive. I always knew US dollar bank accounts were out there and I had done some preliminary research surrounding them, but I’m getting much more serious about it these days and I plan to open a US bank account at a Canadian bank very soon to reduce these currency exchange costs.

How A US Dollar Bank Account Reduces Currency Exchange Costs

If you open a US dollar bank account at a Canadian bank you will gain complete control of your money. This means that you, not the bank or Paypal, get to decide when and how you will be charged currency conversion fees, if at all. This is a major advantage because it gives you much more flexibility and cost savings:

  • Keep US Dollars in your bank account without ever converting them and use them for future USD purchases.
  • No automatic currency conversion is triggered if you receive payments in US Dollars.
  • Freedom to wait for a better exchange rate before converting to Canadian dollars.
  • Opportunity to choose a 3rd party to exchange your money at much better exchange rates.
  • Can wait for US cash to accumulate in your US bank account before conversion, which often results in lower rates.
  • Withdraw US funds from Paypal without their inflated currency exchange fees.
    • This is possibly only with accounts from RBC for very convoluted reasons (click the link for more info).

US Bank Account Comparison – Chequing Accounts & Savings Accounts

In the table below, you will find a side-by-side comparison of all the US dollar denominated accounts currently available through the big Canadian banks. Most of the most popular features are compared along with an overview of the requisite fees you must pay for using the accounts. This should make the US bank account selection process much easier for you, as it certainly did for me.

I have lumped the chequing and savings accounts all together in this one table because there seems to be no clear distinction between chequing and savings in the space; I’ve found that many accounts with cheque privileges also offer interest on balances and similarly several accounts deemed as “savings” also allow you to write cheques.

Note: The table scrolls horizontally!

Account Name Monthly Fee No Fee Minimum Balance Included Trans-actions Trans-action Fees Free Transactions
Minimum Balance
Cheque Privileges US$ ABM Deposit US$ ABM Withdraw Online Banking Trans-actions Interest Additional Notes
U.S. Dollar Bank Account $4.00 $1,000 10 $0.60 N/A 0.00% – 0.20% BMO only requires you to pay one monthly fee for ALL of your accounts. So if you bank there already, a US Dollar account is essentially free.
US$ Personal Account $0.00 $0.00 0 $0.75 N/A 0.05% – 0.30% US$ withdrawals are limited to select CIBC ABMs. You can deposit US dollars at any ABM according to the CSR I spoke with.
Progress Account in U.S. $ $3.50 N/A 0+ $0.65 - $1.25 $2,500 0.00% – 0.20%  
U.S. Personal Banking $2.00 N/A 6+ $0.75 N/A US$ withdrawals are limited to 200+ select RBC ABMs. US$ deposits are not accepted at any RBC ABM according to the CSR I spoke with.
RBC US High Interest eSavings $0.00 $0.00 1 $3.00 N/A 0.12%  
U.S. Dollar Daily Interest Account $1.00 $200 2 $0.60 N/A 0.00% – 0.15% To view account balance in online banking and to get a bank card you need to have another Scotia account in Canadian dollars.
Tangerine US$ Savings Account $0.00 $0.00 Unlimited $0.00 $0.00 * * 0.50% Can use both Tangerine bank machines at Tangerine cafes Scotiabank ABMs. US$ deposits and withdrawals are limited to select ABMs. *No bank card is issued if you only have a US$ account but US ABM deposits and withdrawals are possible if you have a bank card.
U.S. Dollar Daily Interest Chequing Account $0.00 $0.00 0+ $1.00 $1,000 0.00% – 0.20% Extended TD branch hours are very valuable because US transaction are often lacking or restricted at ABMs.
Borderless Plan $4.95 $3,000 Unlimited $0.00 $0.00 0.00% –0.20% Extended TD branch hours are very valuable because US transaction are often lacking or restricted at ABMs.

What Is The Best US Bank Account For Canadians?

Best is usually relative based on your personal situation. However, there are some things that stood out to me when analyzing all this data that make some USD accounts better than others:

Only one bank, CIBC, claims to allow US dollar deposits at their bank machines and it is only those ABMs that are designated as US dollar bank machines. Two banks, CIBC and TD, offer US dollar chequing accounts that don’t require a minimum balance to waive the monthly fee; these would be good options for most people who do very few transactions in US dollars and don’t want to keep their money tied up in a foreign currency for a long time just to avoid fees.

TD is the only bank to offer an account that is both no fee with no minimum balance required and allows for unlimited free transactions if you keep your balance above a reasonable $1,000. It’s all possible with their US. Dollar Daily Interest Chequing Account. This is a great choice for people who want to pay no fees and deal in relatively large sums of US currency on a regular basis or that want to keep some money converted and ready in USD for whenever they need it.

BMO stands out as a good option for people who already bank with BMO because you can take advantage of your existing banking package to provide you with a US dollar account at no additional monthly cost along with the ability to use your existing quantity of free transactions towards US dollar transactions.

Finally, TD’s Borderless Plan offers a lot of extras for a reasonable price including unlimited free transactions, free cheques, and a waived annual fee on a US dollar credit card so you can spend your American currency that much easier while traveling the world.

A Note About Online Banking With US Bank Accounts

Figuring out what kind of transactions are possible in US dollars using online banking is pretty difficult because asking questions about it seems to confuse most CSRs. They start telling you what is available but often mix it up with what you can do with Canadian accounts. I had several tell me that I could do an email money transfer with my US account but I don’t think that is actually possible unless maybe you were doing an EMT to another Canadian US dollar account or you were converting the USD to Canadian dollars.

If a range of online banking functionality is important to you like electronic funds transfers in USD, bill payments in USD, etc then you may need to call and ask some very pointed questions or take the online banking for a test drive yourself.

Which Account Did I Choose?

I personally opted to go with the TD US Dollar Daily Interest Chequing Account for several reasons. The $1.00 per transaction fee is higher than most of their competitors but I like that there is no annual fee no matter what my balance is. Saving the monthly fee will make up for any of the few transactions I have to do during a given month. Secondly, there is the option to waive all transaction fees with keeping a minimum balance of $1,000. That is quite a bit of money for a temporary holdings account, but I can foresee keeping money there for when I travel to the USA and abroad as we like to do once or twice a year so my balance is bound to add up. TD also has the best business hours of all the big banks in Canada so, because many USD transactions need to be done at the teller, it will be much more convenient and ensure I will always be able to access my US cash when needed.

The other reason I chose TD is because I’ve always been allured by the high end TD Select Service account and the Borderless Plan. In the future I may transfer all my banking over from President’s Choice and RBC to just deal with one bank if I think that I can get enough value out of keeping a $5,000 balance with TD to waive the monthly $30 fee. Having a Select Service account also waives the fee on the borderless plan, which in turns waives the annual fee on their US$ Visa, which I think would be very handy to have when traveling. Having the option to switch to the Borderless Plan is also good because it allows me to order US denominated cheques at no additional cost other than the $4.95 monthly fee and then I can easily switch back once the cheques are ordered and save $30 or more each time I need cheques.

What US Bank Account Would You Choose?

Given the above information, which account would you choose? Please let us all know in the comments!

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Sustainable PF's picture

RBC all the way for me. Yes, the monthly or transaction fees are high but I can save net 1.7% on currency exchange fees by linking my RBC to Paypal. No other bank can do this as far as I know. Since the sums in my Paypal are quite large what I pay in the monthly fee is negated by currency exchange savings.

September 22, 2011 @ 11:27 am
Roman Serbinski
Roman Serbinski 's picture

I wouldn't recommend RBC Bank even to my worst enemy. I just concluded a lawsuit against them to get my money back from RBC where they stopped a criminal fraud against me but held onto my money for over two years. The money was mine all along but they played the innocent stakeholder to use my money without compensation. It took a court order to get the return of my money. I don't trust RBC. Don't voluntarily enrich RBC if you have any choice.

August 18, 2016 @ 10:05 am
Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter's picture

Thanks for the thorough comparison. I must admit I haven't used a US account in quite some time. I do have an ING US account but it has been empty for a few years. I find we just take out the money we need when we travel. I will definitely refer to this list though if we decide to need an account for US funds.

September 22, 2011 @ 11:34 am
SavingMentor's picture


I think you mentioned that RBC was the only one that could be hooked up to Paypal in your article but I think that slipped my mind because I found it pretty hard to believe. That would definitely be a major selling point for me if it is true. I am going to test hooking up my Paypal account to my new TD account and report back the results.

September 22, 2011 @ 3:32 pm
Sustainable PF's picture


From my research people have tried TD to no avail and Bank of Nova Scotia (reported in the comments) does not work either. My own tests prove that CIBC and BMO don't work.

September 22, 2011 @ 3:53 pm
SavingMentor's picture

Well, that's a major bummer. I may end up back at the drawing board then and have to go with RBC or find some other way to work around it.

September 22, 2011 @ 4:00 pm
Mary's picture

Excellent article and good choice for your U.S. account. I have had a U.S. account with TD since before Canada Trust and TD merged. I've never had a problem with it, they are even one of the few banks that offer an overdraft for their U.S. accounts. The two choices are excellent and cover practically every scenario most people need.


September 22, 2011 @ 5:08 pm
JM's picture

I understand you were talking about the big six but I have an account with
HSBC the bank is New York.

I can access and transfer funds from my HSBC Cdn Account to my US Account at competitive exchange rates.

I have US MC credit card, US Debit Card, Cheques etc.
No fees if your premier customer.

When I travel anywhere in the US I am in Heaven and will equipped too.

September 22, 2011 @ 7:50 pm
SavingMentor's picture

@Mary - Thanks for the positive feedback and endorsement for my choice in TD. I hope it works out with them.

@JM - You're right, I don't know how I could have forgotten HSBC as they are probably the premier international bank. I will definitely look into their accounts and consider updating this article with what I find.

September 22, 2011 @ 8:55 pm
SavingMentor's picture

After lots of reading it seems that it is indeed impossible to transfer funds from Paypal to a US dollar bank account that is based in Canada other than with RBC. The reason for this is because you need a US routing number (accounts at Canadian banks don't normally have this) that only RBC seems to be offering and it is a bit of loophole. The loophole works with both the RBC U.S. Personal Banking and RBC US eSavings accounts from what I've read. For full instructions see Paypal Currency Exchange – USD to CAD Workaround over at Sustainable Personal Finance.

There are other options though if you absolutely must connect with Paypal or you want to do other more complicated transactions like US bill payments, etc and for some reason you don't want to take advantage of the RBC loophole:

  • Some Canadian banks offer real USA accounts that are linked to their USA banking divisions.
    • RBC calls this type of account "Centura" I believe and I think BMO has one like this as well. There may be others.
  • You can open a real USA bank account with a US bank - they have a ton of them!
    • Most banks require you to apply in person, but there are apparently some that allow you to do it remotely.
    • You can use a currency conversion service like XETrade to transfer and convert the funds to your Canadian dollar bank account.
    • You can also write USD cheques and deposit them into a US dollar Canadian bank account to have easier access to the funds while in Canada.
    • I'm sure there are lots of other schemes you could dream up to move money around and do useful things.
    • A potential drawback I've read is that if you have a real US bank account, you may need to file USA taxes with the IRS.
  • You can go directly to the USA division of a Canadian bank and open an account.
    • For instance you could open a Free Checking Account with RBC Bank USA.
    • Apparently many people on RedFlagDeals and elsewhere have done just that.
September 22, 2011 @ 10:28 pm
Michael Scott
Michael Scott's picture

I live in St. Catharines, ON, and have owned a personal bank account at the Bank of America for several years.

It's a free account and came with a debit/credit card.

I have it attached to my PayPal account.

I have ready access to my account at thousands of bank machines around the USA.

I pay nothing in fees for my account. (However, I can no longer do business at the counter inside a branch, as I used to be able to. They changed the rules. Not a big deal, though; I rarely entered branches even when I could.)

I deposit (US funds) cheques, US cash into any BoA machine then use my debit card everywhere in the US so that I never have to carry large amounts of US cash while on vacation.....or even grocery shopping.

My account was opened in person in Amherst, NY, with two pieces of (Can) gov't-issued photo ID. (Driver's license and passport).

Go for it. Great for shopping on US websites that are "shy" about dealing with Canadians. When they see a US bank credit card......they love you.......AND it saves you all kinds of conversion fees and upcharges from your "friendly" Canadian bank.

April 10, 2015 @ 3:05 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Yes, getting a bank account from an actual US Bank is another alternative that can work well. The problem is there is no easy way to access your money here at home in Canada.

April 13, 2015 @ 1:56 pm
Denis Levert
Denis Levert's picture

Hi, Iive in Rockland Ontario. I have a US account at TD. In winter this year I travelled to Florida and opened another US account a local TD bank in Margate Florida. To transfer money from my US account in Canada to my US account in Margate I only need to call TD. This cannot be done on line yet. TD calls it Borderless banking!

March 05, 2016 @ 10:03 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Great, thanks Denis. Finding the right bank combination where you can easily transfer funds would be the key to making this work. Hopefully TD will make it possible online soon.

March 08, 2016 @ 12:00 pm
Amer's picture

Can you pay your US based credit card bill online too as a Canadian citizen? I opened up my account with PNC in USA. I live In Canada and I was trying to pay my US credit card bill online and they said you cant pay it because you don't have the social security number. Is this true?



January 07, 2016 @ 12:39 am
youngandthrifty's picture

Cool- fantastic post!

I had no idea and I've been getting dinged by Paypal all this time.

Our joint account is with RBC, so I may look into this. Is it $2 a month though regularly? Or only if you do transactions?

I'll totally mention this on my link love this week!

September 23, 2011 @ 3:53 am
SavingMentor's picture

Yes the chequing account is $2/month without any option to waive the monthly fee.

However, I'm reading that you can actually do this Paypal workaround with the 2nd RBC account I listed (the eSavings). It has no monthly fee but only 1 monthly free debit transaction (unlimited deposits - like all the accounts listed). So if you're worried about the monthly fee, I'd give the eSavings a go first. Follow the steps outlined in Sustainable PF's article, except use the eSavings account instead. All other steps, transit numbers, etc remain the same in the process.

September 23, 2011 @ 9:55 am
Sustainable PF's picture

The reason I started out with the chequing account is that I wasn't sure how often I would access the account (even a deposit of 1 cheque counts as your monthly transaction). It appears I don't get that many cheques but I may have a regular USD wire transfer (monthly). I would need to gauge how many F/X trades or putting money in/taking it out. It's close for me right now ...

September 24, 2011 @ 3:18 pm
SavingMentor's picture

Actually Sustainable PF, I'm pretty sure all deposits are free. Any CSR with any bank I asked about deposits, said deposits are always free and are never counted in the number of transactions you get every month.

I also just checked my account and in October I had 5 deposits and a single withdrawal and I wasn't charged any fees at all so I think that confirms it.

December 01, 2011 @ 11:01 am
Sustainable PF's picture

@SM Good to know.
I get so few USD cheques as it is, I may as well move to that mega high interest offering instead of the base account (and fees). Perhaps I will go do that this morning.

December 01, 2011 @ 11:10 am
SavingMentor's picture

Interesting piece of information Ray, thanks!

January 29, 2012 @ 8:13 pm
Alex K.
Alex K.'s picture

Unfortunately RBC recently changed everything. It used to be a free chequing account on the U.S. side as long as you kept a positive balance of $700 or more. And it used to be that you got a preferred exchange rate.

Not anymore!!

As of now they have a "new platform" which offers you:

1. A much clunkier online system that crashes a lot

2. A ridiculous process for paying your visa that now takes (not kidding) *5 business days*

3. No more preferred exchange rates unless you pay **$20 per month**

4. No more free chequing account - the basic account is now $3 per month (without preferred exchange rates).

RBC basically just gave all their U.S. customers the middle finger.

February 28, 2012 @ 7:02 pm
Nelson M
Nelson M's picture

RBC US just raised the monthly fee to $3.95/mo.
The system works well a US dollar savings account in Canada and a RBC US BANK chequeing account in the US, with a free US Visa credit card. You can move US cash north and south between the accounts, pay your visa from the US bank,and withdraw money at US ABM,s now if I can get rid of that monthly charge all would be good!

June 03, 2016 @ 8:53 pm
SavingMentor's picture

That's too bad to hear Alex. Given that this article is primarily in regards to Canadian based US accounts, it doesn't impact what I wrote a whole lot. But it's too bad that the good options for actual USD accounts based in the USA are now more limited.

February 28, 2012 @ 9:15 pm
Alex G
Alex G's picture

Alex K is correct, RBC has changed what they used to provide. The new platform for Canadians looking to do banking in the US is much more restrictive and expensive. Lots of problems in the transition as well. You will find a number of other email threads on these problems if you search. I am so frustrated I am looking for another option and I am interested in learning more about what HSBC has to offer. I also understood there may be a linkage between Bank of America and Scotiabank but have not been able to find out what this relationship entails for Canadians looking to bank in the US.

March 13, 2012 @ 9:16 pm
NanM's picture
I spend several months each year in the US. I choose the TD border less account in Canada so that I can move money easily to it from my other TD account when the exchange rate is favourable, and having opened an account in a TD branch in the US I can move money electronically for no charge. So far am very happy with the service.
May 02, 2014 @ 7:37 am
Wes's picture
I know it's hard to compare, but i would suggest that people try their credit union. Not because of the credit union versus bank argument, but my credit union's $US account is free and it also has US Bank clearance. That means I can use the cheques with Paypal similar to RBC. My credit union's cheques clear as Bank of America account number. If anyone is interested in opening a $US account and are a credit union member, I would inquire with them and see if the accounts clear US side.
July 03, 2014 @ 12:07 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture
Good suggestion, thanks Wes!
July 03, 2014 @ 9:19 am
Sue Speare
Sue Speare's picture

TD used to be a good choice but they have changed. They now charge a monthly fee of $4.95 unless you keep a minimum of $3,000. in every single day of the month. They used to give a good rate for the purchase of USD but they have gotten a little stingy! I am now on the look out for a no-fee USD account and may go to the USA to find it.

May 20, 2015 @ 9:56 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Thanks for reporting this Sue. Yes, a lot of the banks made fee changes for the worse this year. I will try to do a complete update of this article eventually to bring it up to date.

May 23, 2015 @ 8:50 pm
Planning's picture

If you’re a TD member, you can visit the TD Cross Border Banking website and complete the sign-up process. It only takes about 10 minutes, and when you’re done you’ll have a USD based account. I chose the Convenience account which has the fees waived if you deposit at least $100, since I hate paying monthly fees.

A couple potential pitfalls to be avoided are:

At one point it will ask you if you want to be sent a Visa Debit card linked to your account. You definitely want to say yes, as that’s the main way you can spend your USD money abroad. You’ll also be able to use that number to log into the US-based banking to see your account activity.
Make sure when it asks for your CAD account information that you enter it properly – this will link your US and CAD accounts so when you login to your Canadian Easyweb account you will be able to see your balance.
To fund your account you can either do a wire transfer to your USD account by calling TD on the phone, or transfer funds via your Visa Debit card online (the option is International Money Transfer on TD’s Easyweb site)
Make sure you write down your US Branch Information as well as the US routing code and account numbers to gain access to your account. When I called to ask for help later they required this information.
How It Works
First, the good news. I successfully linked my PayPal account to my USD account, which is something I was never able to do with my Borderless plan. That means whenever I receive USD comissions on my website via PayPal I can transfer them into my US account without incurring any penalties on the conversion.

Now the bad news. There’s no real easy way to get a USD cheque into that account. I went to download the “TD Bank” application on my iPhone, but I am unable to because I only have a Canadian iTunes account. Once my Visa Debit card arrives I’ll try opening a US iTunes account, at which point I should be able to download the TD Bank application and do a mobile cheque deposit. But not all Visa Debit cards work with iTunes, so it may not work.

The second option is to physically mail the cheque to the branch for deposit. That’s a bit of a pain, but it’s still a workable solution. I have one cheque here from Amazon that is based on a Seattle bank, so I’ll try to mail it shortly and see how long it takes.

If you’re only dealing with a few hundred dollars here or there, or rarely visit the United States, this process will likely be more trouble than it’s worth. But if you receive any cheques or PayPal deposits in USD, the extra headache may well be worthwhile, especially if you can save $50-$100 in currency conversions a month.

June 14, 2015 @ 11:45 am
Rick's picture

I confirm the $100 min deposit/no monthly fee for TD account in the states. And you get free transfers between Canada and at the US if you have $5000 in a Cdn$ checking account (almost no fees at all). US Checks mailed to me here in Canada take a long time to clear (so far), but checks that are sent via bill pay (5 days to arrive) to my home branch in New Hampshire are deposited for me by the bank and take another day or two to clear.

Also I use my debit card while traveling down there at the grocery store and get cash back to maintain a small supply of US cash.

August 25, 2015 @ 11:06 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Thanks for the additional details Rick - much appreciated!

August 27, 2015 @ 10:58 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

This sounds like a really convenient and easy way to get an actual US-based account. If I was a TD customer I would definitely jump on this right away. I will still mull it over and might try it out sometime. Thanks for providing all those details. VERY helpful!

August 27, 2015 @ 10:58 pm
Scott R
Scott R's picture

I have Bank of America since May 2013 good bank but charge now $12 fee but like access when travelling through u.s. will try get td bank us. dollar daily interest. write cheques

September 27, 2015 @ 9:15 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Is that $12 per month at BoA? That's pretty pricey. There has to be a better option than that. I suppose it depends on what you use your bank account for, but it still seems high.

September 28, 2015 @ 11:20 am
American In Canada
American In Canada's picture

I have a related question, but sort of "opposite." What options would a person have to get a basic bank account (e.g., savings or chequing) which is denominated in Canadian funds? This could be relevant for an American who travels to Canada often or for a Canadian moving to the US who wants to give up Canadian residency for tax reasons, but wants to keep some money saved in Canadian currency as a currency hedge?

October 08, 2015 @ 9:10 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I wish I had the answer to that, but it would take a lot more research. I'd never considered the reverse scenario until you mentioned it. I would certainly check out the American divisions of the Canadian banks first and see what they had to offer.

October 09, 2015 @ 11:17 pm
Anne's picture

Thank you for all the information above!
I want to open a saving Canadian account and a saving U.S. account with NO monthly or annual or transaction fees. I rarely use these money and want to have some interest on them (plan to use that money in emergency case only). Any suggestion please?
I did some research about Tangerine but not sure if I understand well, and since Tangerine has no physical branch, I wonder whether it's trustable, and again how to deposit money. Please help me!

November 12, 2015 @ 10:17 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Tangerine is a perfectly reputable company. They rebranded themselves from ING Direct to Tangerine recently and were purchased by Scotiabank so they now have a really big bank as their backer. In terms of a US dollar account, I would just go with what I have listed in this article.

I would probably avoid Tangerine for a US dollar savings account, because I'm not sure how easy it is to get your US dollars in and out of the account in cash. Maybe some Scotiabank ATMs support US dollar transactions, I'm not sure. I would definitely call them and ask them about that before committing to a US account with them.

January 07, 2016 @ 11:51 am
Daniel's picture

I have a Tangerine USD saving account. I occasionally receive USD cheque and all I have to do is put it into an envelope with my tangerine USD saving account number written on it and drop it into the courier box in their Tangerine Cafe (they call Cafe, but it's their branch and they have one in Vancouver, BC), the envelope will reach their HQ in Toronto and got process in roughly 3~4 days. To withdraw USD cash, I visit the same cafe and use their ATM machine which capable of splitting out USD cash. That's all the features I had used so far.

It can't be linked to Paypal Canada account, while seeking such solution lead me to this page. Hope information above helps.

February 06, 2016 @ 5:36 pm
Sue's picture

I've been using Tangerine since before it was Tangerine and when they offered only Savings Accounts. They have "Cafés" where you can interact with employees in several Canadian cities and I know for certain that the Calgary Café has an ABM that issues US Dollars. This is a bank for people who mostly do online banking as that's how they're set up. They are also now linked with ScotiaBank so for colld-hard-Canadian-Cash the network of ABMs is quite extensive. I actually do pretty much all of my banking with them. I hold several accounts with them including the USD Savings account - best interest rate that I've seen on USD accounts. I also have a Daily Interest Savings and a Chequing Account with them. Before they introduced the chequing account, it was necessary to link with an account with another major bank. Now, if you have the chequing account, no outside accounts are necessary.
As to your question about whether this bank is trustable, I would answer, YES, 100%. I do most of my banking online; that's what they're set-up for. They're customer service is also excellent. I've never had a negative interaction with them. As to accessing your cold-hard-cash: Cdn funds - no problem, just find a ScotiaBank ABM or use one of theirs; US funds can be withdrawn in Canada from the ABMs at their "Cafés" - the one in Calgary, for sure, as I've mentioned.
They even pay interest (0.25%) on their Chequing Account!
No Fees - I haven't paid banking fees for YEARS! In fact, since I've been banking with them I've receviced over $1200 in interest alone and saved over $600 in banking fees...

August 23, 2016 @ 12:22 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Thanks for sharing all these great details Sue!

August 29, 2016 @ 9:22 pm
Lorna's picture

Sue, (or Stephen)
I'm considering opening a US account with Tangerine.
Wondering, have you been in the U.S. & tried to withdraw USD? If so, will any ABM work or does Tangerine only work with Scotia bank? Are there Scotia banks in Arizona, California, & Utah?

September 06, 2016 @ 5:33 pm
Steve's picture

Very helpful information - looks like I will be looking into TDs cross border account information as I already have a few accounts open with them. My primary use will be for the odd time I go to the US for work - spending money in US dollars my works reimburses us in US as well. But second I do a lot of online purchasing through Paypal and especially with the Canadian dollar so low I'd like to avoid the exchange fees as much as as long as the TD cross border account does allow purchasing through paypal I should be set...I wont be using cheques often so thats not a concern to me about having to mail cheques in the US.

Thanks Planning for you information and everyone else. This definitely helped vs. spending hours looking at each banks website individually and potentially missing important information

January 18, 2016 @ 3:31 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

The information isn't perfect as some have pointed out in the comments, but I did do my best. I think TD will be a good choice for your needs but unfortunately I have no first hand experience with the PayPal aspect of it. I can't imagine why it wouldn't work though.

January 20, 2016 @ 4:47 pm
susan's picture

I just applied for and was approved for a US$ credit card with the US sister bank of RBC. No charge for the card. Can be paid in person at RBC or online from a US$ money market account with the US sister bank (no charge with a minimun $1,000 balance) of from a bank account (monthly fee $3.95). All can be done by phone or at an rbc branch.

February 05, 2016 @ 2:26 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Thanks for the info!

February 05, 2016 @ 10:59 pm
chris's picture

I've been with TD for 6 years now using their high end checking account (forget the name - used to be called Select) that gives you the US borderless account for free.
Having the Select account used to waive the borderless fee of 4.95; now all it does is give you a 3$ discount, so unless your balance is over 3000, you still pay 1.95 per month of fees, even with the select account.
It's still good value, since you get the US Visa for free, the TD infinite for free and all the transactions your heart desires and you benefit for the advantageous exchange rate (only online).

April 27, 2016 @ 10:36 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I considered that account myself years ago Chris, but decided to stick with no fee banking because it was meeting my needs. Both TD and BMO have some pretty compelling high end plans if you keep the minimum balance to waive the fees.

April 27, 2016 @ 3:48 pm
Deborah 's picture

As a U.S. citizen with U.S. dollars from liquidating assets before immigrating to Canada, we keep most funds on deposit with Tangerine and link our TD Borderless account for access. We keep the $3k minimum in the TD account because frankly the "foregone" interest is insubstantial. We use Knightsbridge FX for currency exchange, MUCH better than retail rates.
Some of the older comments above reference the option of opening a US account. I'm not sure that's so easy today. I know I have to keep a private mailbox in the States to maintain my 1 US credit union account; it would be closed if I revealed my Canadian residence. All about money-laundering regulations.

May 29, 2016 @ 12:34 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Someday I'd like to try and open my own bank account in the United States and personally see how hard it is. Thanks for the heads up Deborah.

May 29, 2016 @ 2:38 pm
Patricia Landry
Patricia Landry's picture

Stephen, I have a question. I've been reading your post and all the responses, etc... My situation is somewhat different. I am moving to Belize in the fall and I'm looking to set up a US account with a bank here that I can access for withdrawals at ATMs in Belize. I also will need to be able to wire transfer amounts from the US account to an account I'm trying to set up with a bank in Belize. I want to pay minimal fees here because Belize fees are ridiculous. I would also like a US credit card, maybe tied in with the US account. Something that I can do online banking when I need to, as in when I need to convert Canadian dollars from my small pension into US dollars for use in Belize.
Do you have any advice to offer me?


June 06, 2016 @ 2:25 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Unfortunately this is too complicated a situation for me to really advise you on Patricia. I would need more personal experience before I could give you this kind of advice. I'd suggest calling some of the banks mentioned in this article, explaining your specific scenario, and see how they are able to accomodate you.

June 13, 2016 @ 9:59 am
Grant's picture

Great posting! I'm thinking of getting a USD bank account. I live in Vancouver, and I'm currently with Tangerine and BMO. I know for Tangerine I can withdraw USD from their ATMs in downtown Tangerine cafe locations, but how do you deposit USD cash? Also I want to use USD account and a US credit card linked to this account for online transaction, does anyone have any knowledge about this?

July 02, 2016 @ 12:57 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

You should be able to deposit it at the ATM as well.

July 03, 2016 @ 4:09 pm
Sunny's picture

Great article by Stephen Weyman. Thank you. I am undergraduate student and got 5,000 USD from my mom for my college expenses, but I have other income from my job etc to keep my life and study going and so I want to save my 5,000 in US $ account with no intention to touch it in months, may be not even in 6 months. What type of checking or saving account would you recommend to earn some interest. Do you think TD Select Service account and the Borderless Plan would be my best bet? Thanks.

July 03, 2016 @ 3:09 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I don't focus on interest in my USD accounts. You aren't going to earn much interest with any account right now. Tangerine is probably your best bet or trying to open up an account with an actual US bank. Haven't done the research on this so I can't really say for sure.

July 03, 2016 @ 4:11 pm
Katherine's picture

I'm going to be working in the U.S. for a few months and my pay has to be direct deposited at a U.S. bank. I already have a U.S. Dollar Visa card from Scotiabank. I've been trying to figure out how I will be able to make payments on my Scotiabank U.S. Dollar Visa card while I'm working in the U.S. without having to pay a lot of cross-border transaction fees. I know that Scotiabank is linked with Bank of America, but I can't find anything that talks about online banking if I would be able to add a Visa card issued by a Canadian bank or if I would be able to make payments on my Scotiabank credit card at a Bank of America ATM.

Any suggestions?

August 03, 2016 @ 2:13 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I'd suggest calling whatever bank you plan to use in the USA and asking them that question. I would hope you'd be able to do it through online banking but I can't confirm that because I've never had the need to do something similar myself.

August 03, 2016 @ 9:31 pm
Sean's picture

Hi Stephen,

You should definitely mention that US dollar accounts in Canada are NOT CDIC insured at all, regardless of the amount.

See "Foreign currency deposits (eg. US Dollars)" under the "What's Not Covered" section on the CDIC website.

August 07, 2016 @ 3:08 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Great point, thanks for sharing Sean.

August 07, 2016 @ 9:37 am

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