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Old 01-04-2019, 08:24 PM   #1
GreatGreg GreatGreg is offline
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So while this may not be an outright deal, I think this may benefit some in the group here who are Canadian citizens buying online (or in store) in USD.

Some in the group asked me about a US Dollar Canadian credit card which is offered by some Canadian banks. I met with my bank lady yesterday and she explained to me why she never uses a Canadian credit card for US purchases.

Basically, it stems from the fact that Canadian credit card companies (all of them) make tons of money on USD conversions to Canadian currency. This I'm sure is no surprise to anyone. I was told that US conversions usually use

(1) an inflated US/CDN conversion rate; plus
(2) an embedded fee (usually 2.5%) that the credit card charges.

These two things apply to any/all Canadian credit cards and also to any/all Canadian banks if you were to withdraw US dollars from a Canadian account either in Canada or in the US.

The advantage of a US dollar credit card is that you will get a statement in US funds.

If you have a US dollar bank account, you can use that to pay for the US dollar credit card.

Even if you don't have a US dollar bank account, if you convert Canadian cash to a US dollar bank account, banks will charge you

(1) an inflated US/CDN conversion rate

but not the 2.5% fee.

If you are a preferred customer to your bank, you can even get a preferred US/CDN conversion rate.

A US dollar credit card costs $35.00 a year, but if you make $1000 US in purchases over a year, that fee is reimbursed.

I'm not trying to sell these things and I don't work for any major banks, but I'm just passing on information which I learned myself. The bank I spoke with was Bank of Montreal.

I'm going to give it a try this year to see if it helps.

Last edited by GreatGreg; 01-05-2019 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:30 PM   #2
danman227460 danman227460 is offline
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You can also look at Rogers credit card offerings. They give 3% back on all foreign purchases. So yes, even though they might charge an inflated rate and 2.5 % conversion fee, you are gaining 0.5% for every dollar you spend. If you qualify for their world elite tier card, you get 4% back which is a net of 1.5% after conversion fee.

Added bonus is that if you are with Rogers for any of their offerings, you can redeem the rewards you gain towards bills.

I do not work for Rogers or have any stake in them.
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:40 PM   #3
cfraser cfraser is offline
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Can we not just get a CC from an American bank, and also a bank account at the same bank to pay it? I know my mother has them, but she also has a house in the U.S. (principal residence is Canada). Does residency matter? How about a U.S. account with TD in the U.S.?

I haven't looked into these things since we talked about it a bit when amazon.ca cancelled their CCs. The reason being that amazon's disc prices went to hell around the same time, so it hasn't been a "big issue" like it would have been a few years ago.

Edit: it's generally true that you never want to exchange Canadian $$ for US$ in the U.S., you want to do it in Canada. (This is true for pretty much every currency AFAIK, you want to exchange it in its home country for best value.) So for this reason it may be overall cheaper to get the CC from a Canadian bank, but you never know, Canadian banks aren't rich from being generous to Canadians, whereas American banks are very competitive.

Last edited by cfraser; 01-04-2019 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 01-04-2019, 10:39 PM   #4
will oneill will oneill is offline
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My personal preference is to stick with a no-conversion-fee credit card, since the USD bank account option only helps with US transactions, and I buy as many blu-rays (actually probably more) from UK retailers, and a few in Euros as well. That said, if all of your foreign purchases are exclusively in USD, and you play the exchange rate game well, the bank account option may serve you better.
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Old 01-04-2019, 10:41 PM   #5
ran94 ran94 is offline
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If you live by the border, you can try to get a credit or debit card at one of the US Banks.
I have a US debit card with a US Bank and do all my Canadian currency exchange to US currency at the branch. I save a ton of $$$ by not using a Canadian Credit card for my USD purchases.
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Old 01-05-2019, 02:34 AM   #6
Rui Rui is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will oneill View Post
My personal preference is to stick with a no-conversion-fee credit card, since the USD bank account option only helps with US transactions, and I buy as many blu-rays (actually probably more) from UK retailers, and a few in Euros as well. That said, if all of your foreign purchases are exclusively in USD, and you play the exchange rate game well, the bank account option may serve you better.
any no-conversion-fee credit cards you'd recommend?
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Old 01-05-2019, 03:37 AM   #7
will oneill will oneill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rui View Post
any no-conversion-fee credit cards you'd recommend?
Here are some options
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:02 PM   #8
GreatGreg GreatGreg is offline
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The last time I tried to get a US credit card (from people stopping me in a US mall) you need a US social security number (social insurance number) to get one.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:25 PM   #9
solarrdadd solarrdadd is offline
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good thing I saw and recongnized the players in here, I saw the thread title and I was about to report this thread as one of those fake ass threads people create as a scam!
shit still looks and sounds kinda shady, so............
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:08 PM   #10
bdpf bdpf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danman227460 View Post
You can also look at Rogers credit card offerings. They give 3% back on all foreign purchases. So yes, even though they might charge an inflated rate and 2.5 % conversion fee, you are gaining 0.5% for every dollar you spend. If you qualify for their world elite tier card, you get 4% back which is a net of 1.5% after conversion fee.

Added bonus is that if you are with Rogers for any of their offerings, you can redeem the rewards you gain towards bills.

I do not work for Rogers or have any stake in them.
I've had the Rogers MC for about 2 years and I've been happy with that.
They lowered their cashback from 4% to 3% only recently afaik.
I wasn't aware that they had a world elite card (whatever that is), might need to look into that.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:54 AM   #11
ziggy66 ziggy66 is offline
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If you guys want no foreign exchange fees then your best off going with the STACK prepaid Mastercard. They were even offering a free year of Amazon Prime for signing up, although that may be expired.

Thing with the USD credit card is, unless your getting a staff rate on your exchange, your still paying more when you convert your Canadian dollars at the bank to help pay off the US $ account....yeah you don't pay the 2.5% your regular card charges....but your also not getting the going rate for currency exchange either as the bank puts in a markup.
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