I live and work in the United States but I have several loans in Canada that I need to pay on a regular basis, so I'm constantly moving money to Canada.

Right now, I have an American Royal Bank account linked to my Canadian Royal Bank account. I transfer money from my Chase Bank account to my American Royal Bank account. Then, a few days later when the transfer has taken place, I transfer it between the two Royal Bank accounts.

I'm wondering if there's a cheaper way for me to move my money, maybe with a better exchange rate or less fees. When I first looked into this, I remember there being a significant fee for an international wire transfer, but maybe the exchange is better?

Right now, I'm moving about $1000 every month or two. I'm wondering what I'll do if I get a big bonus and I want to move ten or twenty thousand dollars at once. Maybe there's a dollar amount when it becomes cheaper to use another method?

  • 4
    There are many non-bank transfer companies around that are cheaper. I tend to use USForex. They give better exchange rates for the currencies I'm interested in (AUD/USD/EUR) and zero fees. They just make their money on the rate (though less than any of my banks do). – Peter K. Aug 11 '15 at 14:25
  • Agree strongly with Peter -- you can find better exchange rates than most banks offer by looking for a third-party service like USForex. – Rocky Aug 12 '15 at 19:55
  • That's really more of an answer than a comment, Peter K. – GregNash Oct 25 '16 at 1:16

If you aren't familiar with Norbert's Gambit, it's worth looking at. This is a mechanism using a Canadian brokerage account to simultaneously execute one stock trade in CAD and one in USD. The link I provided claims that it only starts potentially making sense somewhere in the 10,000+ range.

| improve this answer | |

No fees: Write a check. Deposit it into the other bank.

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    Depositing a foreign currency check at a Canadian bank will result in 2.5% to 3.5% hidden fee from the market midpoint. The banks will automatically convert USD check to CAD at horrible rates. – base64 Aug 12 '15 at 4:30
  • Even if there weren't hidden fees, this solution wouldn't work for me because, as I stated, I live in the United States. – GregNash Aug 14 '15 at 13:49

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.