USD Bank Accounts and Credit Cards

pangyal

#TeamSven
Joined
Jul 26, 2014
Nothing's changed for me...I have a USD account here and a USD Visa? I still have a USD account in Florida which I transfer in and out of easily. I have a debit / Visa card associated with this acct and It works for me..
Did you have to go to a bank while you were in the U.S. to open the account or could you do it from home?
 

minnie56

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 27, 2001
I opened it whilst in Florida about 5 yrs ago...it was RBC Centura. I believe they sold off the US side but my statements still come from RBC ..I pay all of my US bills from this account so easy
 

Starwind

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 7, 2014
So....seeing as this thread hasn't been updated in a while, I thought I'd check in and find out what the current options are for Canadian citizens who want to have a US bank account (not just a USD account)? I tried looking on the various bank websites and got confused between the two :rolleyes:.

I was told by our loan company for a short term DVC finance that we needed a U.S. bank account with a U.S. routing number. Does anyone have any good suggestions?
As has been noted elsewhere in this thread, RBC probably has the best solution. TD apparently also has a solution.

Info about it is here: http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/usbanking/

And also here on the RBC Bank (USA) site: http://www.rbcbank.com/banking-in-the-us/checking-accounts/index.html This goes into details about what is available.

The key is that the US bank account needs to be an actual USA bank, not just a Canadian bank's USD account. RBC's product is exactly this. The US account is an account at RBC Bank (USA), which is owned by Royal Bank Canada, but is an actual USA bank. An account with an actual USA bank allows direct deposits, and other electronic transactions (eg Bill Pay) to/from other US entities. In contrast, with a Canadian bank's USD accounts, to move money to/from entities with USA bank accounts you are looking at having to do actual or the electronic equivalent of wire transfers, which have fees that are usually not cheap.

The RBC USA account can be opened at any RBC branch in Canada. You can link your online RBC Canada accounts and your RBC USA account so you have a single sign-in. This also lets you easily transfer funds between the two accounts online (in either direction, at the bank's prevailing exchange rate; it is done very similar to how you would do a transfer between your Canadian accounts or a bill pay online).

SW
 
  • Starwind

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2014
    I opened it whilst in Florida about 5 yrs ago...it was RBC Centura. I believe they sold off the US side but my statements still come from RBC ..I pay all of my US bills from this account so easy
    RBC sold off the old USA bank they had (RBC Bank, formerly RBC Centura), sort of. The USA retail side - bank and its branches and credit card operations was sold off to another USA bank company, PNC Bank and rebranded under the PNC banner. ( see http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/rbc-ends-foray-into-us-retail-banking-with-sale-to-pnc/article4260245/ and http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/20/us-rbc-pnc-idUSTRE75I2V520110620 )

    HOWEVER, they kept the RBC cross-border accounts (not sure what else was kept) and put them into a new unit, RBC Bank (USA), a wholly owned subsidiary of RBC Canada. For those of us who were customers before and after, there was a transition period where our accounts were changed over (new routing #; they issued new cheques, etc).

    While I am loathe to refer to wikipedia, there is a wiki article that explains the transition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RBC_Bank

    SW
     

    pangyal

    #TeamSven
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2014
    RBC sold off the old USA bank they had (RBC Bank, formerly RBC Centura), sort of. The USA retail side - bank and its branches and credit card operations was sold off to another USA bank company, PNC Bank and rebranded under the PNC banner. ( see http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/rbc-ends-foray-into-us-retail-banking-with-sale-to-pnc/article4260245/ and http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/20/us-rbc-pnc-idUSTRE75I2V520110620 )

    HOWEVER, they kept the RBC cross-border accounts (not sure what else was kept) and put them into a new unit, RBC Bank (USA), a wholly owned subsidiary of RBC Canada. For those of us who were customers before and after, there was a transition period where our accounts were changed over (new routing #; they issued new cheques, etc).

    While I am loathe to refer to wikipedia, there is a wiki article that explains the transition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RBC_Bank

    SW
    Thanks so much for your helpful and comprehensive posts! I did end up opening a U.S. account through RBC and found it super easy. I could apply for a U.S. Visa over the phone as well to save on the 2.5% conversion fees when in the US.
     

    taffy

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 12, 2014
    Our TD account we have a US account and US $ VISA card. All the fee's are waived for us.
     

    bankr63

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2010
    RBC sold off the old USA bank they had (RBC Bank, formerly RBC Centura), sort of. The USA retail side - bank and its branches and credit card operations was sold off to another USA bank company, PNC Bank and rebranded under the PNC banner. ( see http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/rbc-ends-foray-into-us-retail-banking-with-sale-to-pnc/article4260245/ and http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/20/us-rbc-pnc-idUSTRE75I2V520110620 )

    HOWEVER, they kept the RBC cross-border accounts (not sure what else was kept) and put them into a new unit, RBC Bank (USA), a wholly owned subsidiary of RBC Canada. For those of us who were customers before and after, there was a transition period where our accounts were changed over (new routing #; they issued new cheques, etc).

    While I am loathe to refer to wikipedia, there is a wiki article that explains the transition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RBC_Bank

    SW
    Think it's interesting to see how RBC pulls back from the US market as powerhouse TD has grown to be one of the top ten banks in the United States. TD Ameritrade is now the worlds largest online broker. There is a book out now called "Banking on America" that documents the rise of TD; fascinating reading. Makes you proud to be a Canadian!
     
  • smashing

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2013
    I haven't had time to read through everything, so please forgive me.
    Why does the account and visa need to be from an actual bank in the US?

    I just opened a US visa through my bank last week. There are no annual fees and no 2.5% fee :). My issue now is getting a US bank account to pay it without charges.

    It sounds like a US Account at my bank would work easily. However if its better to actually have one in the US, what do I need to pie an account there?

    Thanks!
     

    mom_rules

    <font color=FF66FF>LOVES the Yachtsmen!<br><font c
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2002
    We have a US bank account, debit card and a US visa through RBC. Applied here in Canada and do all transactions on line-money transfers, bill payments etc. Visa card is no fee-they charge $2.95 for the bank account. The Visa card earns reward points that we use for Gift cards (in US dollars) for hotels, car rentals or restaurants.
     

    brighteyes

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2007
    [QUOTEjust at TD asking about this and was told about the TD NOffy, post: 53436710, member: 508832"]Our TD account we have a US account and US $ VISA card. All the fee's are waived for us.[/QUOTE]
    I was just at TD and asked about using my regular debit while at Disney. They told me about a US account through TD's US bank, called TD North. Is this what you have?
     

    trimad22

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 13, 2014
    Looking into this as well as I noticed when banking online with BMO something pops up about BMO Harris US Account -- I don't have one but looking into getting one for next year.
    Anyone deal with BMO?

    Reading up as well on the BMO U.S Dollar mastercard.

    Wondering if I need a US credit card with a yearly fee or can just open an account and debit from that. I mean if I am adding US money for the next 316 days and just debit the US account would that make more sense then a credit card?

    Will call the bank Monday but would love to hear everyone else's opinion on it.
     
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  • brighteyes

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2007
    As usual I procrastinated getting a US account with TD's US Bank so now looks like I will be taking cash.
     

    Cruise-n-2015

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2015
    I'm horrible with all this stuff so can someone simplify for me. Which is the best / easiest way to go?

    TD (which I did see often in Florida)
    RBC
    BMO
     

    tmh43

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2015
    Is the 2.5% fee the bank few on exchanging USD to CAD? Or just an account fee? Do you save on exchange?

    I just exchanged some USD to CAD yesterday and took a huge hit vs the posted exchange rate. Do those accounts prevent that?
     

    pkhosla

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2014
    HI All-- If someone would be so kind to reply and let us know what the current info is on this that would be great! Thanks all.
     

    Fennella Brewer

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2015
    RBC has what they call a Cross Border Shopping package.

    They set you up with a US Debit account ($50 US deposited in the account required at the time of opening.) and a US RBC Visa card. There is no fee for the credit card and no 2.5% conversion transaction fee. You make payments on the card from your US debit account.

    So, basically, if you watch the exchange fees, you can purchase money when the rate is favourable and deposit in the US debit for future US purchases. There is a $3.95US/mth service fee on the debit account. From what I understand, you can pay on the US Visa at the current exchange rate and no transaction fee.

    This is all through a US bank, so if you have enough money to gain a lot of interest, you will have to pay both the tax men, as per the US/CAN tax treaty. Easy solution, don't put your family fortune in your RBC US debit account. ;)

    Clear as mud?
     
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    Donald - my hero

    <font color=blue>Aww yes. The dreaded "mouse hand"
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2006
    OK so we thought the RBC Cross Border account would be ideal .... until i actually went in to apply. Since the account pays interest in US funds you also need to fill out a form that goes to the IRS. NOPE, no way I'm not giving the IRS my SIN. So back to square one for us. Looks like BMO has a US Mastercard that will eliminate the transaction fee and so long as you don't us it for cash advances (ATM machine) since that carries a massive 23% fee or carry a balance since that is 20% i guess it's a decent option?

    Must admit i'm getting pretty close to picking up what's now called "Cash Passport" which looks like it's a pre-loaded US card?? It's getting to be clear as mud and since we leave in just a bit more that 3 weeks i really need to figure this out !
     

    bankr63

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2010
    OK so we thought the RBC Cross Border account would be ideal .... until i actually went in to apply. Since the account pays interest in US funds you also need to fill out a form that goes to the IRS. NOPE, no way I'm not giving the IRS my SIN. So back to square one for us. Looks like BMO has a US Mastercard that will eliminate the transaction fee and so long as you don't us it for cash advances (ATM machine) since that carries a massive 23% fee or carry a balance since that is 20% i guess it's a decent option?

    Must admit i'm getting pretty close to picking up what's now called "Cash Passport" which looks like it's a pre-loaded US card?? It's getting to be clear as mud and since we leave in just a bit more that 3 weeks i really need to figure this out !
    One thing you MUST do when considering this is follow the money all the way from your Canadian dollar account to your paid balance on the US$ CC. Sure there is no forex on the CC - since there is no foreign exchange occurring that makes sense. But most likely when you convert dollars from your C$ account to your US$ account that you use to pay your US$ CC, you are paying the "bank rate" which is 2.5% higher than the Bank of Canada spot exchange rate. This is the same when you convert at the counter. They are still getting their 2.5 (or more) percent, just at a different point in the transaction chain.

    Honestly, aside from losing the ability to perform dollar cost averaging, you are generally better off just using one of the very few C$ Credit Cards that truly charge no forex fees. Your purchases are converted at the current Bank of Canada rate at the time of posting, no fees added, and no fees for changing your money to US$.
     

    isabellea

    Combining beach and Disney!
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2014
    I simply use my Amazon VISA for my purchases in the USA. Simple, in canadian and no extra 2.5% fee. I am considering a US account but only as a saving account.

    Anyone knows if the RBC cross-border account and the VISA attached to it helps build a credit score in the USA so that I could apply for a Disney VISA one day? I have an American address I can use since my parents own a condo in FL.
     

    tombrady1212

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Dec 9, 2015
    The cheapest way to convert CDN to US is with a no foreign transaction fee credit card. All you'll be charged is the spot rate, with no foreign exchange fee. This will also beat exchanging money at the branch, where they embed the foreign transaction fee into the exchange rate they offer, often between 2% to 3%. Chase is the only issuer in Canada that currently does not charge foreign transaction fees on its credit cards.
     

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