USD Bank Accounts and Credit Cards

  • Donald - my hero

    <font color=blue>Aww yes. The dreaded "mouse hand"
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2006
    We have a US account with BMO. I go to a local foreign exchange business (Accurate) and then take that US cash to the bank and deposit it. We have a USD credit card with BMO and transfer funds from our US account to the BMO CC to pay it. We are charged $1 for this transaction each time we do it. No annual fees on the account. The CC has a $35 annual fee which is waived if you spend $1000 in a calendar year.

    We don't earn much interest on the US account but we don't get much interest on our savings account either. By doing things this way I control the exchange rate I convert funds at. When the rate is good (its a relative thing) I convert more and stock pile it to use later when needed.
    I also have BMO mastercard but no other accounts with them. I've just been going in and paying with USD cash although it's a pain cause I can't pay at a machine and have to stand in line. God their tellers are slow
    Question about this (and any other actual credit card from a bank) what kind of application did you need to fill out? Reason I ask is this: last year we were short of US cash (our preferred method of travelling) and the exchange was the pits in January so we figured we'd get a card. Did research and decided on RBC since we have our US savings account there we figured good bet right? WRONG! They wanted us to fill out a mountain of paperwork, some of which would be forwarded to IRS since the account earns income. There's no way we wanted the sort of information those forms demanded floating around outside of Canada since the privacy rights aren't as tight as they are here. SO we raided the cash our daughter and her wife had received for wedding gifts and called it a day. It now seems like we'll be going most years at least once so the card is back on the table...
    Long story short (ship sailed on that!) Paperwork required and personal experiences on the ease of obtaining a US Credit card? Thanks gang!
     

    ottawamom

    The "Air Miles" Lady
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2005
    I don't remember filling in any paperwork. I went into the bank and spoke with one of the account managers told her what I wanted and she did it all up for us. The credit card I have is with BMO. It's a Canadian credit card in US$. We get interest on our account US$ savings but again we declare that (converted) on our Canadian tax return (all $2). RBC may be different if the credit card is issued in the US.

    I don't think it matters what bank you have your credit card with. I would just have your US$ savings and Credit card with the same bank. Makes it easier to pay your credit card bills etc. When I put $ into the US Savings I do it the old fashioned way. I go to local foreign exchange place and get the US$ I want and take them to the bank and deposit them.
     

    Donald - my hero

    <font color=blue>Aww yes. The dreaded "mouse hand"
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2006
    I don't remember filling in any paperwork. I went into the bank and spoke with one of the account managers told her what I wanted and she did it all up for us. The credit card I have is with BMO. It's a Canadian credit card in US$. We get interest on our account US$ savings but again we declare that (converted) on our Canadian tax return (all $2). RBC may be different if the credit card is issued in the US.

    I don't think it matters what bank you have your credit card with. I would just have your US$ savings and Credit card with the same bank. Makes it easier to pay your credit card bills etc. When I put $ into the US Savings I do it the old fashioned way. I go to local foreign exchange place and get the US$ I want and take them to the bank and deposit them.
    It was super easy -- we went to BMO and applied for the Mastercard -- he was chatting away and then did a double take "ok you've been approved! That doesn't happen very often, there's usually a wait to hear" We got the envelopes with our PINs in about 4 days and our cards came yesterday. I have NO IDEA why RBC wanted so much info from us.
     

    Beccabeca

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 5, 2016
    It was super easy -- we went to BMO and applied for the Mastercard -- he was chatting away and then did a double take "ok you've been approved! That doesn't happen very often, there's usually a wait to hear" We got the envelopes with our PINs in about 4 days and our cards came yesterday. I have NO IDEA why RBC wanted so much info from us.
    RBC has two different types of USD products. One set is based in RBC in Canada. Then there's an account and credit card package that is actually run through a US based bank. If it was the US based one you were applying for there would be more paperwork. But if you only really go to the US occasionally for vacation the Canadian based products are easier to set up and will still work for you. It's weird and confusing, I know. But the US based packages work really well if you're going to be living or working in the US for any length of time.
     
  • MaMudduck

    Disney Princess Forever
    Joined
    Oct 14, 2002
    I didn't check to see if this was already posted or not, but I work for CIBC and as of Sept. CIBC has PREPAID U.S. $ visa cards (well they have 5 different currencies) so once you load it from account your no longer at the whimes of the exchange changes. Example: if you loaded it today for $1000.00USD and you are charged @1.35 = $1350.00 Cad $, but then you use it when the rate is 1.40 you still have only paid for it at the time of loading it.
    There are no extra service fees when you use as a regular visa card, like paying for your hotel. Its not a credit card, but it is better than taking cash to pay with everything.
     

    wuwutrain

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 20, 2016
    RBC has two different types of USD products. One set is based in RBC in Canada. Then there's an account and credit card package that is actually run through a US based bank. If it was the US based one you were applying for there would be more paperwork. But if you only really go to the US occasionally for vacation the Canadian based products are easier to set up and will still work for you. It's weird and confusing, I know. But the US based packages work really well if you're going to be living or working in the US for any length of time.
    I have the RBC US-based bank account and Visa, and find that even though I don't go to the states extremely often, it's still very useful. The exchange rate you get is as close to the live rate as you'll get (I've worked at several financial institutions, and this beats my staff rate), and if you like shopping online at American retailers, using the US Visa gives you a great rate since you largely avoid the service fees etc. The transfer from your CAD account to USD account is immediate too, so there's no delay. Of course, you need an RBC CAD account first though in order to make the transfer.
     

    mjhtvchick

    Universal Fan-atic
    Joined
    Apr 10, 2012
    At this point in time, the Sears Momentum Master Charge does not charge the conversion fee. This is because of an agreement when they took over Chase Sears MC accounts. I used the card during my Disney trip two weeks ago and I paid only the exchange. This may be temporary and not applicable to new accounts. But it was nice.

    I do have the RBC US banking but since I have to pay bank conversion rates to deposit in the US account, it doesn't save anything short term.
    So low and behold - I just got my Scotia Momentum Mastercard statement today and as of June 1, 2017, they will be charging the 2.5% foreign currency conversion fee! Sigh...this is the only reason I kept this card when they converted over from Sears - Guess I will be looking into other cards now...any recommendations? I will probably look into Amazon or Marriott but wondering if there are any other out there? Or alternatively a good combination of other benefits that help to negate the FCC fee? WestJet MC?
     

    disneymath

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2006
    So low and behold - I just got my Scotia Momentum Mastercard statement today and as of June 1, 2017, they will be charging the 2.5% foreign currency conversion fee! Sigh...this is the only reason I kept this card when they converted over from Sears - Guess I will be looking into other cards now...any recommendations? I will probably look into Amazon or Marriott but wondering if there are any other out there? Or alternatively a good combination of other benefits that help to negate the FCC fee? WestJet MC?
    Guess I'll be cancelling mine too as the only reason I kept it was because Scotia was keeping the no forex perk, which was nice for the odd time our international travel wasn't to the US.

    I have had a CIBC US Visa for years, it's convenient because I bank with CIBC and have a US savings account, but there's really no perks and it costs $35 or $40 per year.
     
  • DiaryofaDisneyKid

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 17, 2017
    So low and behold - I just got my Scotia Momentum Mastercard statement today and as of June 1, 2017, they will be charging the 2.5% foreign currency conversion fee! Sigh...this is the only reason I kept this card when they converted over from Sears - Guess I will be looking into other cards now...any recommendations? I will probably look into Amazon or Marriott but wondering if there are any other out there? Or alternatively a good combination of other benefits that help to negate the FCC fee? WestJet MC?
    Same here now I need to find a new card for my Disney trips.:sad2:
     

    squirrel

    DIS Veteran<font color=deeppink>
    Joined
    Aug 19, 1999
    I signed up for the Amazon reward card online. I was given a $25 gift card/discount after my first purchase. I have been using it here and there, not much but just had enough points they took off another $20 off my bill. I use it mostly for my US purchases since I don't have to pay the extra fees.

    I signed up for the Marriott Visa and will use it for the first year, I already used the points for one free night on my trip in Aug/Sept. I will cancel so I don't get charged the annual fee.

    I also have had the Alaskan Airlines Credit Card for years. I do not pay the annual fee on this one as I tried cancelling after the first year and they waived the annual fee for me.
     
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    FigmentSpark

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2016
    I'm trying to figure out if there's a downside to the Fido/Rogers card with 4% cash back and 0 annual fee. It sounds too good to be true. Does anyone have that one?
     

    FigmentSpark

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2016
    I found the 'catch', if you want to call it that. There are no extras with the Fido/Rogers cards, like purchase insurance, etc. Also, the cashback must be applied to your Rogers/Fido bill or spent in their stores. It doesn't look like you can just apply it to your credit card bill. But if you have Rogers and/or Fido services (cell phone or cable, etc), then it can be applied to that bill, which you probably charge to your credit card, so in a roundabout way, it lessens your credit card bill.
     

    efrant

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2017
    [snip]

    Also, the cashback must be applied to your Rogers/Fido bill or spent in their stores. It doesn't look like you can just apply it to your credit card bill. But if you have Rogers and/or Fido services (cell phone or cable, etc), then it can be applied to that bill, which you probably charge to your credit card, so in a roundabout way, it lessens your credit card bill.
    As I mention in the other thread: yes you can apply the cashback to your credit card bill (the cashback is not not just for Rogers/Fido bills, and spent in their stores) -- however, you can only do it once a year.
     

    DVC_Dad_Canada

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 27, 2017
    I have a US based TD bank account, with their debit visa card. I simply transfer money from my Canadian account to the US account through online banking. Both are hooked up to my paypal account, so if I buy anything online in US funds, it's paid for by the US account, and Canadian purchases go through the Canadian bank account.

    I set it up this way because I can pay my DVC maintenance fees monthly rather than getting one huge bill in January.
     

    JeannieJay

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2012
    I called RBC yesterday about getting a US visa. We have a US$ account with them. He told me that unless we do a high volume of shopping in the U.S., it's not worth it. And there is a $60 annual fee.

    He suggested going with their U.S. based Visa. I'm debating whether I want to even have an account based in the U.S. or not.
     

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