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Author Topic: Canadians using US banks  (Read 249 times)

Bob T

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Canadians using US banks
« on: November 05, 2018, 08:07:56 PM »
Evening everyone.

Retired last month and spending first winter in south Florida.
Have joined Canadian Snowbirds Association (CSBA), hoping to take advantage of their bulk purchasing of US money.
One of the requirements of CSBA is that you MUST have an account in a US bank and your exchanged money will be wired directly to your account.
I understand that there can be NO interest paid on the account or I may have dealings with IRS.

Had been told about an account that met all requirements at Bank of America.

Unfortunately, when I went in today to get this set up I was told they stopped that account in Jan.
It was an account that all transactions were done through ATM and there were no fees.

The new account requires I keep minimum US $1500 on deposit at all times to be free of service charges.
(Presently, that $1500 equates to almost $2000. in Canadian money and that’s more than I would like to tie up)

My question is for the Canadians out there.

1. How do you folks handle the exchange/purchase of US money?
2. Do you deal with a US bank?
3. If there are service charges at he bank, what are the fees? Do you think they are reasonable.

I am definitely a rookie at this and am hoping to get some guidance from the seasoned snowbirds.

Thanks

Bob
2008 Winnebago Vectra 40 TD
Any day you wake up on the right side of the grass is a Beautiful Day!

DearMissMermaid

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Re: Canadians using US banks
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2018, 07:10:49 AM »
CHeck out

Ally. Com

WOnderful bank for travelers.

http://DearMissMermaid.Com

Living, working. playing  in a 1992 Holiday Rambler Imperial 36' 5th Estate, formerly 8 years 24/7 in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

Pack half the stuff and twice the cash.
http://dearmissmermaid.blogspot.com/

darsben

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  • Retired seeing the USA
Re: Canadians using US banks
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2018, 07:48:06 AM »
Wouldn't TD bank USA be a good fit for you?
No knowledge just a thought as I know they have a large presence throughout Florida
1990 Fleetwood Southwind on P30 chassis located in
Central NY in summer and beautiful Casa Grande AZ in winter

Bob T

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Re: Canadians using US banks
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2018, 07:51:11 AM »
CHeck out

Ally. Com

WOnderful bank for travelers.
Thank you, will check out.
Wouldn't TD bank USA be a good fit for you?
No knowledge just a thought as I know they have a large presence throughout Florida
Checked them out at home a year or so ago.
Since they affiliated with Canada Trust, their costs are the highest that I am aware of.

Bob
2008 Winnebago Vectra 40 TD
Any day you wake up on the right side of the grass is a Beautiful Day!

Alfa38User

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Re: Canadians using US banks
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2018, 08:17:25 AM »
For quite a few years now we have always used RBC and I buy the US dollars through them. Yes, probably higher rates of exchange than Snowbirds but we watch the Dollar market and buy when needed. I can view my US accounts directly from my Canadian RBC account and I can transfer US dollars to the American account instantly and pay bills etc as needed over the RBC's network). We also have a US Dollar credit card (Visa) from RBC in USA (NOT their Canadian version of a US dollar Visa card, found out about that the hard way many years ago!!!). As far as fees are concerned, RBC used to have that "over $1500 no fees" arrangement but that went the way of the Dodo bird a few years ago.(RBC has gone through 3 changes of US partners in the last 10 years or so, the US version is basically an internet bank now, no walk-in branches nearby). I find the fees high ($4.95/month) but I will not leave high sums of money in my account to avoid that when they pay next to nothing interest. For cash requirements "Cash Back" works well with retailers such as Walmart, Publics (Florida) etc. and using the Bank Card for a purchase, but that takes planning!! We use the credit card primarily. I leave only enough to pay my regular US bills (like electricity) that are deducted directly from the bank account instead of worrying about Due Dates. (We own our property in FL).

I did use the Snowbirds (also a Snowbird member over many years now) to buy cash and they probably get a better rate of exchange but we are now used to watching the market and not relying on a once a month chance of getting a "better" rate. The RBC exchange rates are higher than some of the others it seems, at least when comparing some of the published rates to BNS's rates for example but... YMMV but buying in $1000 dollar (+-) increments gets a better rate. With my accounts I can experiment online to find the best $ point for exchange rates.

Several of the big banks now have US partners you should check out, but when we started RBC was the only one, AFIK, and we had always used RBC back home. Our home branch made all the arrangements needed to open an account abroad. We were also buying a property and needed a clean method of transferring $$$ south at that stage.

No US$ interest??  You really don't want to deal with the IRS. Look up Form 8840 on the Snowbirds site and follow that religiously if you are planning to spend a lot of time stateside.

"Ally" does not seem to have a stellar rep and is an internet bank, not unlike "Tangerine" up here.... I would prefer dealing with a Canadian bank and its subsidiary and feel comfortable that way. US Banking rules are considerably different to what we are used to in Canada. EG No such thing as a postdated cheque, they are cashed immediately upon presentation and that can lead to some surprises at first. Postdating to pay bills can only be done by paying directly from your chequeing account using the internet, similar to what we do here.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 09:35:58 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

Alfa38User

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Re: Canadians using US banks
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2018, 08:24:49 AM »
Bob T

if you are still considering banks in USA, RBC has just announced the availability of more free of charge banking machines in Florida for cash withdrawals. Most seem to be in the drugstore chains or Walmart in the Naples/Marco Island area. But, as I said above, Cash back services serve our needs adequately.
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

Bob T

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Re: Canadians using US banks
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2018, 08:41:53 AM »
Thank you very much for the information.
Bob
2008 Winnebago Vectra 40 TD
Any day you wake up on the right side of the grass is a Beautiful Day!

Alfa38User

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Re: Canadians using US banks
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2018, 11:29:44 AM »
You're welcome!! Please let us know what you decide to do as it may be very useful to other Canucks considering the same questions.
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

Bob T

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  • Posts: 276
Re: Canadians using US banks
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2018, 05:12:55 PM »
We are heading home for Christmas and my better half will be looking into.
When we get any information or make any decisions I will post all available information for anyone in future.

All the best

Bob
2008 Winnebago Vectra 40 TD
Any day you wake up on the right side of the grass is a Beautiful Day!