50 thoughts on “The Best US Dollar Accounts in Canada”

    • @Tom- I haven’t seen many but I haven’t been out much this summer, but I would think so, it’s like a 30% off discount, what’s not to like. You should come up here! 🙂 I will fire up the grill that we plan to buy with our credit card hacking gift card dollars, haha.

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      • The interest rates quoted in this article are out of date. Tangerine has lowered their interest rate, as has Hubert.

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        • @V Harris- Thanks for your comment and reminder, I updated the rates just now. Tangerine lowered their rate but the promotional rate for 5 months is higher now, from 2.75% TO 2.80%, though it’s now only for 5 months and not 6 months.

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  1. Ugh, the difference between CAD and USD right now actually hurts my soul sometimes. Especially since I can remember a time when it was PAR. That feels like soooo long ago.

    I don’t have a USD account right now, but it’s something I have considered. I have one client I do a bit of freelance work for and they pay in USD. That said, they are willing to send me cheques in the mail and I don’t mind waiting for it to arrive, so I’ve put it off. This will be a handy little guide when the time comes to open an account!

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    • Why not just get them to etransfer it into an account on US soil? Alliant is free. You can pull the money from that account to a Canadian CAD$ account with VBCE for free and they also have great conversion rates. Just make sure the IRS is OK with this. You don’t want to raise any red flags. They can be difficult to deal with.

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  2. So I had gone through this contemplation a few years back, as I have some US stocks I own that pay dividends and wanted to keep some of that cash in an USD account making some interest as opposed to keeping in my brokerage accounts making nothing.

    When I researched where to open an account, I considered Tangerine since I already have a savings account with them, but after during much research, I decided to open an eSavings USD account with RBC, since they are my main bank for day to day stuff, and a USD savings account with Hubert (https://www.happysavings.ca/products/high-interest-accounts/us-savings) financial, a credit union in Manitoba. They have the highest regular rate in Canada @ 0.75% (By the way, Tangerine USD rate according to their site is 0.45%) and your deposits are insured with no limit.

    Essentially keep my US cash parked @ Hubert to enjoy the better rate and when I need physical cash, I transfer funds to RBC so I can withdraw it (say I’m going to Vegas for the weekend ;)) or if I am going to invest into US stocks, I have a PAD set up with Questrade so I can transfer funds there.

    I had thought out opening a USD account @ Tangerine but their regular rates bounce around too much. If they matched the 0.75% as a regular rate, I would open it, just because the GUI @ Hubert is not that great, but that’s just fluff to me, I’d rather enjoy the better rate, always.

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    • I do the exact same thing as @moneyhelp, but I use Scotiabank’s USD account with Hubert.

      Scotia allows up to two free debit transactions per month, and only requires a $200 daily minimum balance to waive the $1 monthly fee for the account. Any transactions over 2 cost $1.95.

      I pretty much never need more than two transactions, and I figure the occasional $1.95 fee is nothing compared to paying an ongoing monthly fee, or having to keep several thousand in the account to have the fee waived.

      With Hubert, I’ve even been able to set it up so I can transfer money to my MIL’s USD account at a different credit union! This is handy because we travel together and we need to transfer USD to each other.

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      • @Chrissy- So cool, I had no heard of Hubert until now, that’s great to see that it is easy to transfer money to another USD account, even if it’s not your own.

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    • @moneyhelp- Oh wow, thanks I have never heard of Hubert!! What a cute name for a financial institution, thanks for sharing! Looks like a great product and sounds easy to use. I don’t have very much USD so the rate doesn’t matter too much to me but great to know it’s 0.75%. Oh boy, Tangerine changed their rate. The 2.75% promotional USD rate still stands though, but it only lasts for 6 months.

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    • @Sam Z- Thanks Sam. Tangerine had a promotional rate even for US dollar accounts for new customers, but if you’re not a new customer than the regular rates are in place.

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  3. Couple of other tips:

    Tangerine has reasonable conversion rates between US$ and CA$.

    Rogers Bank Mastercard credit card – though it charges 2.5% on transactions, it gives back either 3% or 4% cash back.

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      • > Hubert has better conversion rates between USD and CAD

        Better than vbce.ca? I doubt that!
        Tangerine sometimes has good rates because of their tardiness. If the rates go in your favor over the weekend they tend not to adjust their rates until Monday I believe. Hard to believe anything like this could possibly occur in 2020 with computerization. But it is quite occasional. Generally their rates are better than most banks but nowhere near as good as VBCE. Plus VBCE will send it anywhere in North America for you free. Most Canadian institutions can’t even send US$ across the border!

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        • No one said Hubert was the BEST rate…it was being compared to Tangerine.
          Beside VBCE.ca there is also OFX.ca and others too.

          Banks use exchange rates based on business day closings only, regardless of weekends and holidays, so activity in the currency markets on the weekends do not alter their rates. So weekend and Monday rates are based on Friday close.

          Of course, as you pointed out in another post, you can send USD cross-border for free with RBC accounts.

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    • @Smayer- Thanks for sharing! Rogers Bank MC recently got downgraded, it will only give back 3% cash back on foreign transactions starting June.

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  4. CIB483 is a fund that you can buy through any broker with no commission. Its got about a 1.6% interest rate which soundly trounces any USD bank option in Canada. It does take 1 day to get your money out though. It might be best to use a broker that is also a bank so you can access your money the second its cleared. Otherwise you’ll need another day or so to move the money to your USD institution in Canada. For most people 1 day would be acceptable. TD is a lousy way to do this unless you already use one of their overpriced Borderless accounts thanks to their petty $1.25 withdrawal fee (even to send in house to TD Webroker, their stock brokerage!) TD is not even close to competitive. RBC is probably the best. You can also set up an account on US soil rather painlessly with them which makes paying credit cards on US soil much easier as well. If you want to exchange CA$ to US$ use VBCE.ca who will give you a great exchange rate, much better than any bank, then they can send that money (free) direct to a bank on US soil so you can pay your US soil credit card. Or if you need ATM access when you’re in the US. As of late Feb 2020 Simplii has the best CAD interest at 2.8%.

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    • @SamZ- Ah, never heard of this will have to look into it, thanks.

      Motive Financial and LBC Digital also have 2.8% (as of Feb/March 2020)

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    • > @SamZ- Yes, DUCA is a Canadian dollar account. This is about US dollar accounts.
      If I had an Edit button to work with I could have rectified that. I just wanted to add that about Duca because my Simplii recommendation wasn’t accurate.

      > Please explain the CIB483 fund tip…what is it? How do you get 1.6%?
      “CIB483 is a fund that you can buy through any broker with no commission.”
      1: Choose a bank that allows you to buy stocks and funds. I think pretty much all brick and mortar ones do. RBC is probably best for this because the others charge fees every second they can. RBC seems to be simply the lesser of multiple evils though it is by no means feeless. They do have excellent banking on US soil and you can move money (in house) all you want without being dinged with fees. The fact that some banks charge for moving to another department is just unbelievable.
      2: Compare CIB483 (money market fund) to others. Its a real pain trying to compare funds as nobody seems to offer a decent screener. But the main criteria is the holding period (obviously to act as a bank account of sorts you don’t want any minimum holding period) and the minimum amount to invest. Some are $10,000 or more but others are quite low.

      Stockbrokers seem to think its just fine to leave your cash sitting in their cash account when you’re between purchases getting zero interest. I thought they could at least offer what most banks offer, but no. Nobody seems to offer a penny of interest.

      Oh….another name for these funds are HISA or High Interest Savings Accounts.

      Here is a list I compiled but I’m afraid the interest rates may not be accurate. CIB483 has a minimum of $500.

      US$ MONEY MARKET FUNDS

      2.25% CIB483 $500
      2.24% CIB583
      2.30% RBF305 US
      1.67% RBF447
      2.18% RBF1003 US
      1.53% RBF1500 US
      RBF2014 US .95
      RBF3536 US ?
      TDB164
      TDB165
      1.50% TDB166 US

      CA$ MONEY MARKET FUNDS
      TDB8150 CA

      I was told CIB483 was around 2.2% but when I bought it it said it was 1.62%. Maybe they are adding some sort of compounding implying a certain holding period to get to 2.2%, not sure. But the point is these should be much better than a bank. And if you’re invested in the US stock market (which is much better for dividends, buying on the dividend dip and general stock selection than Canada) then having your cash in a US MMF is far better as it is treated as cash. Plus you get an extra day of interest (Whoo Hoo!) when you buy a stock as stocks have a 2 day settlement and a MMF has a 1 day settlement. So if you buy the stock on Monday to settle on Wednesday you can sell your MMF on Tuesday and get an extra day of interest. A minor perk. The main one is not risking not getting your money from your bank to your stock brokerage account in time and getting charged hefty interest per day until its there. Usually it arrives in just one day but hey, its Canada. Things can get delayed. Anyway, with a MMF this is never a concern.

      Another perk with investing in the US market is the US dollar. Its generally weathers world events better than the Canadian dollar. Like with the coronavirus many currencies are down compared to the US dollar. Ours is no exception. Of course if this health scare interrupts supply chain business it could be vastly different for all consuming nations. Maybe they’re just trying not to look at that part of the picture for now. It does seem the stock market has blinders on when they want to. You can also do a bit of forex if you’re in both markets by journalling stocks back and forth between the currencies (this only works once of course). Still it can influence a sale if your holding currency has gone up an unusual amount.

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  5. I should have checked the formatting. I just copied and pasted from a list I’d made up in a rush before. RBF2014 is at 0.95% I think. Edit button needed!!! Especially for a finance website!

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  6. GYM–Several months ago when I noticed no interest on my monthly statement, I discovered that TD’s Borderless account no longer pays any interest.

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    • Yes, Norbert’s Gambit works both ways and as I understand it, is the best option to get the most bang for your buck. I would suggest, however, from the research I’ve done, open up a RBC DI account as they are the only brokerage that does SAME day journaling of DLR.U.TO to DLR.TO to keep the exchange rate tight so not to lose as much in the daily fluctuations.

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  7. Thank you for your reply.
    Yes I do have a RBC Direct Investing account.
    So. I purchase DLR.U.TO on my US$ side and sell the same number of shares of DLR.TO on the same day on my Canadian$ side

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  8. That is my understanding, I’ve done numerous NG’s before, but only at Questrade. Now, at Questrade I have to request the journaling of shares by calling/chatting live/email, so I would imagine that you still need to request it through RBC DI, but it is my understanding that it is done the same day (Questrade takes 2-3 business days).

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  9. Hi, I am intrigued by transferring US$ between Canadian institutions. The comment discussing Tangerine “alternately, you can transfer your US Dollars to a US Dollar chequing account (like the RBC US Dollar eSavings or the TD Borderless Account) and then withdraw…..” I am trying to transfer US$ between RBC, TD and Questrade and I am hitting dead ends talking to their support people short of getting a US$ draft at the counter and walking across the street. Thanks for any help you can give!

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  10. Unfortunately, there is no way to link ANY accounts between the MAJOR banks, no matter the currency. They simply do not provide the ability to do this. You can only link between online banks and between a major bank and an online bank.

    As for Questrade, you would have to inquire from them to which banks they can link to electronically. According to this page, the only way to transfer US$ to Questrade is via a pre-authorized deposit. https://questrade-support.secure.force.com/mylearning/view/h/Account/Funding-your-account//

    You would have to inquire about how to set that up.

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    • @Doug- Thanks smayer97! Doug, you can transfer USD from the banks to Questrade, you set it up as a preauthorized deposit under the “funding” tab. I do it all the time and transfer money from my RBC USD account. It takes a few days. You submit the request from Questrade when you login.

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  11. Thanks Smayer97 and genymoney. Great info.

    Thanks for the info. I have been able to set up a link between my RBC CDN$ savings account with TD Webbroker. It took a couple of days and then it was an instant transfer from TDW to TD. I actually tried to do the same with my RBC US$ account to TDW US$ and they converted it to CDN when it came back from TDW when they refused it hence my issue. Genymoney has been using Questrade to RBC (thanks genymoney) so I guess I will put it out there.

    What would be the best way to get US dollars from RBC to TD?

    My current best (not tried) would be to write a cheque on my RBC US$ account and photo deposit it on the TD app to my borderless account. Thanks in advance to everyone.

    BTW, for this thread, I use TD Bank (Georgia) for cheque/savings and a Cash Back Visa through TD Canada cross border plan. A hassle to set up but only have to keep $100 US there to keep it fee free. I found it better for me than the RBC system.

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  12. Your way to transfer USD between major banks is probably the best, assuming no transaction fees.

    RBC US$ account (in Canada) and Visa do not require any minimums. Not sure what hassle you ran into with RBC. I have not had any. Just have to remember to assign a US billing address to the VISA account if you need to register the US$ Visa with US-based services (but that is probably true of other US$ credit cards issued in Canada).

    Only the RBC USA (Georgia) bank account requires a min of $1000 to be fee free. But you do not need that for your specified services with TDW.

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