If you are a Canadian living in the US or an American living in Canada, you may have encountered the same problems I have, how do you cheaply and easily transfer funds to pay bills you may have on the other side of the boarder?
In my situation, I am a US Citizen living in Canada. I have life insurance plans and therefore bills in the US that I can’t pay via credit card. I imagine there are similar situations if you are a Canadian living and working in the US or perhaps you are just a snowbird.
Things I have done in the past for this:
- When visiting home in the US, deposit a Canadian funds cheque into your US account.
Downside: Very inconvenient and with my bank, I got horrible exchange rate and have lost 100s of dollars for the currency exchange rate on the transaction.
- Doing a wire transfer from my bank in US Funds.
Downside: Better currency exchange rate, but I am hit with about $20-$30 fee on each end of the transaction. So, the cost is about $40-$60 and I have to go to a bank to do this.
- Mail a Canadian funds cheque to my US bank with a deposit slip request.
Downside: More convenient than driving to the US, no wire transfer fee, but I still was getting killed on the currency exchange rate by my US bank.
Here is the solution I found that is working great for me.
Step 1: Open a TD Canada trust account.
Step 2: Add a US Borderless plan to your TD Canada Trust account. This will allow you to deposit US funds (cash or US funds checks you may receive) into your bank with no currency exchange fee. The fee for transferring from your Canadian funds accounts to the borderless account is very reasonable. If you keep over $3,000 in this account, there is no fee for this account.
Step 3: Get a TD US account called TD Convenience Checking. This account is located in the US and you will have to pick a branch in the US. I picked one in Queens NY. You will get a US Funds VISA Debit card, a US banking routing number and account. This will allow you to pay bills that require a US checking account with US bank routing numbers. You only need to keep $100 in this account.
Step 4: Transfer funds from your US Borderless plan to your TD Convenience Checking for only $15 per transaction and no currency exchange fees! You can transfer $2,500USD per day.
Bonus: You are able to link your US Convenience Checking account with your TD Canada trust account via the Canadian portal Easyweb and easily transfer funds from the web portal and also check the balance of your US account. You don’t need to drive to a branch to do your wire transfer and you don’t need to do annoying phone banking. You can’t see your US Convenience Checking account from your TD Phone app, only on the Web portal.