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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, MSN Money, Financial Post, Winnipeg Free Press, CPA Canada, Credit Canada, Wealthsimple, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

46 thoughts on “The Best USD Bank Account Options For Canadians”

  1. Thank you so much, Enoch, for this very thorough and helpful article! I am a freelancer in Canada who has clients in both Canada and the US. PayPal is taking a fair amount of fees and I am not earning any interest on my US funds that are sitting there. I am interested in signing up for a US account here in Canada as you’ve listed because I also travel there a lot and also live on the border. I would need it to transfer the US funds from PayPal so I can start earning some interest, but my main goal is so that my US Clients can just skip PayPal altogether and e-transfer me so I don’t have to deal with the fees. Will that work with the accounts you mentioned for the Canadian Banks? If I give my clients my email can they just e-transfer USD to that account? Also, do any of them offer a debit card so when I’m travelling in the states I can take USD out from that account? Thanks again for this awesome article! If you have a particular bank that you would recommend for what I’m looking for, I’m all ears!

    Reply
    • @Sherri: I don’t think that you are able to get Interac e-transfer-type payments from US-based clients to a US-dollar bank account domiciled in Canada. I may be wrong, but the kinds of direct deposits I have been able to receive are more like wires and EFTs and they come with fees.

      You should take a look at Transferwise and their borderless account to see if it meets your needs. I have a review of the service here:

      https://www.savvynewcanadians.com/transferwise-review-canada/

      Reply
      • Great work sir. Transfer wire is intriguing thanks for the lead, will read the https: listed above. How secure do you think these transfers are they regulated. Large USD transfers US and back? Is it wholesale FX intraday trading curency that you would be receiving or sending once money transfers? Thanks again!

        Reply
          • I do use Transferwise, Royal Bank, and RBC Bank USA for various business and personal purposes. I also run EUR accounts in the EU. I am satisfied.

            In general I usually use Transferwise for EUR-US bidirectional activity, and Usually Royal Bank and RBC USA for CAD-US bidirectional activity. All work fine and are capable of handling other bidirectional flow combinations. There are limitations on both but they are minor and I think most people would not be inconvenienced by them

    • Thank you Enoch, for the advice- I steered me in the right direction and allowed me I do further research. Sherri, my clients use Zelle to transfer money to my USD account for free with TD. All you need is a US address.

      All the best!

      Reply
  2. THANK YOU!
    I’ve been waiting for someone to write a comprehensive post about U.S dollar accounts and credit cards for Canadians. Thank you. So now that you have a U.S dollar account how is the transfer of funds with PayPal now?
    Please keep us posted on what you decide to do about the credit card.

    Reply
      • [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “Pending Moderation”. Reason: Failed Bot Test (expired) *]
        Yea, I just read that PayPal doesn’t allow you to withdraw U.S dollars into a U.S account in Canada only Canadian dollars. That sucks. Do you know of any of other options besides direct bank transfer? Thanks for your articles btw.

        Reply
      • Hi Enoch,

        When you receive a payment directly to your TD USD account in Canada does TD charge you a fee for the transaction?

        Thank you,
        Lauren

        Reply
        • Sorry, to clarify, I am looking for a way to receive payments from the US to my USD TD account without being charged a fee. Thank you.

          Reply
        • @Lauren: I’m honestly not sure how it works half the time. In some cases, I get the exact amount the vendor is sending to me. And, sometimes, a small fee is deducted…although I haven’t been able to figure out if they deduct a specific percentage. I’m not aware of options to transfer USD to TD free of charge.

          Reply
      • Hi Enoch,

        Could you please elaborate how do you receive USD funds into your TD USD account ? I understand that you have TD USD borderless plan account. Roxy has pointed out that Paypal doesn’t allow to withdraw USD into TD USD account. Just wondering how did your clients in US send money to your USD account.

        Thanks in advance

        Reply
        • @Murali: Clients who pay USD to my TD USD Borderless account use the bank wire details for the account i.e. bank account, institution number, and the USD routing number (TD gives you these details). I haven’t figured out a way to (or bothered to) transfer PayPal USD to the TD USD chequing. I have read some potential options online that require quite a few steps to accomplish.

          Reply
  3. This is an excellent article. I found it extremely helpful. I am trying to figure out a way to use my US$ from my Questrade account when travelling to the US, without having to convert them to Canadian dollars and back to US dollars. Most of the Canadian US dollar accounts make it challenging to access the money in the account. Ideally, I would like to be able to use my bank debit card in a US ATM and withdraw my US funds. However, most of the US accounts can’t be accessed using your debit card. Please let me know if you are aware of an efficient way to get US cash from any of the US bank accounts.

    Reply
    • @Dan: An option would be to open a US dollar account with a U.S. bank. Most of the big banks listed above have U.S. divisions and you can open an account with one of them and obtain a debit card.

      Another option that may work in the future is Transferwise… They have a debit Mastercard in beta that looks promising.

      Reply
  4. Good afternoon,

    I just wish to add, while Simplii does not charge a transfer fee, check with the receiving bank. We were somewhat shocked to find that our US bank (Wells Fargo) charged a $16.00 fee for the transaction, as this is considered a “wire transfer”. Just a FYI.

    Reply
  5. It seems like Tangerine is my only choice??? Because, there seems like no one else will give me a decent interest rate to park $150k US currency. True? Tks, for any ideas.

    Reply
  6. TD offers .95% on US dollar ( cash account) held in your trading account. The only hassle is it takes a day or two to send money back to your US checking account, if needed.

    I trade, so no bother for me to transfer back to my checking

    Reply
  7. I’m wondering did you receive a U.S. debit card with this account? I’m a TD customer and have looked into this after a trip to the U.S. traveling across 4 states. Canadian debit cards most often DO NOT work! Thank goodness we also had credit card and cash with us. I hate using credit and wanted to use cash only for emergencies. Ask at the bank and they will say, oh yes your Canadian debit card will absolutely work in the U.S. this is wrong! Great article, very extensive!

    Reply
    • @Tamara: No, I did not get a debit card and don’t think they offer it. I ended up applying for the TD U.S. Dollar Visa Card and upgraded my account to the Borderless Plan so I can waive the annual credit card fees.

      It makes sense to use cash when you can abroad. If you do end up getting information about a potential U.S. debit card from a Canadian bank, please let us know.

      Transferwise recently introduced a debit Mastercard, however, I haven’t looked into it.

      Cheers,
      Enoch

      Reply
        • Thanks for this great list. I see Scotiabank USD being advantageous. I believe Wire Inis $15 CAD/USD. But not clear on other fees.

          1) How is USD USD pushed/pulled between banks and brokerages?

          My understanding is only Wire and PAD allow USD transfers and Wire could cost a lot on sending and receiving end.

          I would like to have a USD account to facilitate cross transfers between Questrade, National Bank Brokerage, Interactive Brokers essentially

          Can Transferwise act as a Multi Currency Hub to be part of this such that they can hold USD, CAD.

          Do they allow for PAD to be setup?

          2) Have you considered Interactive Brokers as a Multi Currency Hub?
          I read that can do PAD but I believe PAD is always setup as a “Pull” since it is a Debit.

          However, can you just set opposing PADs between Accounts to allow Pull both ways?

          That way USD/CAD can be initiated.

          Canadian banking is kind of frustrating

          Reply
  8. Hi Enoch, what is most cost-effective way to electronically transfer USD between two USD accounts domiciled in Canada? Ie., how can I send USD to another person in Canada who wants to keep the funds as USD?

    All the reviews I read on money transfer apps like TransferWise assume that I want to convert to a different currency, which is not what I want to do.

    So far the only electronic option seems to be an expensive wire transfer.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  9. Hello Mr. Enoch Omololu!

    Glad to message you again. I noticed you didn’t include Toronto Dominion (aka: TD)

    “U.S. Daily Interest Chequing Account”

    With:

    – Do monthly fee
    – Transaction Fee = $1.25 U.S. each
    – Minimum monthly balance for no transaction fees of $1,500 USD (aka: Your transaction fees will be $0, as long as balance is $1,500 USD by end of day)
    – An interest rate greater than 0%… its 0.01% daily.

    This is an ideal for accepting “US Dollar Payments” or Transferring Cryptocurrencies via services that dont accept Canadian Banks and/or if your bank has no SWIFT/BIC number, Like Tangerine or Simplii (like using UpHold to transfer BAT/etc in to fiat & then to your bank (mobile app only supports Canadian banks, AND they must support SWIFT/BIC transfers)

    Reply
  10. Hi Enoch, I’m a Canadian citizen starting an e-commerce business in the states. I’ll be buying shipments from China and selling only in the U.S. (for now). I will be drawing funds on a U.S. bank account from time to time. Mostly for reinvesting, shipping brokers, Chinese inspections, taxes… I already have my company formed, corporate documents, EIN number…
    I want to minimize my expenditures as much as possible by eliminating conversion costs and other banking-related costs as much as possible when withdrawing from Canada on a U.S. account.
    On the one hand I am being suggested a “Separate cross-border USD checking account, and you suggest the “TD USD Daily Interest Chequing Account”. Is there a difference between the two?
    Is one better than the other, and why?
    Please keep in mind that my bank here in Montreal is BMO, and I will eventually have to pay U.S. taxes in the states. Which bank do you suggest? Very grateful for having stumbled on your site!
    Best regards always Enoch and thank you!

    John K.

    Reply
    • @John: For a business like the one you have described that will be doing business primarily in the U.S., I believe a cross-border US account is preferable. You will be able to write U.S. checks, get a debit card you can use to pay for U.S. expenses (as opposed to only a US dollar-denominated credit card), build U.S. credit history for your business, access to cheaper USD bank transfers within the U.S., faster receipts of payments, deposit USD cheques online vs having to go into the branch every time, etc.

      I don’t have a cross-border account myself, but I do know tha RBC, TD, BMO and probably CIBC have U.S. operations.

      Reply
  11. The RBC cross border account allows you to transfer US funds from your US bank (or source) to RBC in Canada. The funds are Not converted to Cdn funds until you transfer them to your US Savings Account also at RBC. You also have the option of holding them as US Funds. I transfer funds from B of A to RBC via my cross border account without issue.
    If you need to transfer US funds to a Cdn financial institution or vice versa, you require a 9 digit routing number, and that is precisely what the cross border account has. I discovered all of this info the long way, but it absolutely works. I also received a US debit card and a US credit card with the RBC cross border account. I haven’t used either. The borders remain closed at this writing.

    Reply
  12. Great article!
    I just opened a TD US Daily Chequings account and wanted to know how will the taxes work for this? I am a Canadian PR holder and I assume I’ll just have to convert USD to CAD at the end of the year and file taxes with CRA.

    Reply
    • @Shefali: If you earn interest on your account, TD will send you a T5 tax slip you can use when filing your taxes to account for interest earned. If you are using the account to accept business income (revenue) in USD, you will need to convert the amount at the end of the year to CAD and file taxes with CRA (two ways to do this – you can convert USD to CAD using the Bank of Canada’s (BoC) exchange rate for the day the income was received, or you can convert all USD receipts using the average USD-CAD exchange rate published by BoC at the end of the year).

      Reply
  13. Hi Enoch,

    I will start working at a US company but be based out of Canada. Am I able to receive direct deposits from the company into my Tangerine US$ Savings Account?

    Thanks,

    Reply
    • @Austin: I’m not sure whether that is possible…may be best to ask their support to confirm. From my recollection, you need to have a USD chequing account elsewhere before you can open a Tangerine US$ savings account. So the answer is probably “No.”

      Reply
  14. Hello Enoch,

    Such a great read and very instructional. I also have issues transferring US dollars from my PayPal account to my US dollar TD account. PayPal allowed to link my CA$ TD account but wont’ with my US $ TD account. So pretty much I need a US $ based account in order to avoid to avoid ridiculous PayPal conversion fees. Here is my question, what are the requirements to open a US based account. I have no US driver’s license, Social Security Number or US ID

    Please advise. Thanks

    Oliver G.

    Reply
  15. Hi Enoch, good information and you have done lots of research and good timing. From what you described it seems in your situation you had USD from your blogging activities and its for personal income transaction like salary. I am looking for USD account allowing me to do conversion-free transactions with Amazon and Ebay which is not exactlly same but I am able to use personal bank accounts as long as I am not operating a business. You list the TD Border-less plan as an account in Canada. Yet, TD bank lists is together with the Convenience account as Cross-border. The CPA Baranov blog talks about 3.5% currency conversion fees with USD denominated Canadian bank accounts to receive USD funds and avoid the exchange rate USD to CAD and again to USD. It unclear what is it that triggers the forced conversion. Baranov CPA blog gives link to the TD bank accounts the Bordeless and Covenience accounts. What puzzles me, if the account is in USD and the funds from Amazon and Ebay are being transferred in USD, what is it that triggers the bank think they need to convert the money twice, first from USD to CAD and then again to USD. And what is it with cross border accounts that doesn’t trigger the conversion.

    baranovcpa.ca/amazon-tax-canadaBusiness
    Section: Can I use my Canadian bank account for registration?

    The issue is nobody knows at the bank when I asked. Amazon doesn’t tell either. So the only way to know is to open the account and try to see if there is a conversion fee or not.

    Reply
  16. OK, I looked into it a bit further and what seems the factor is “ACH”. If USD account is on ACH system, then it can receive USD funds without the currency conversion or other foreign exchange fees. With regular USD checking accounts, banks still charge the foreign transaction fees.

    Enoch, how do you receive your USD funds? You have it wired or you have them deposited through ACH?

    Reply
    • @itolduandso: I believe the funds are deposited via wire transfer. Sometimes a “fee” is applied and sometimes I get the full invoiced amount. I can’t say for sure what causes the fees to be deducted (or not) as it varies even when the payment is from the same vendor.

      Reply
  17. OK, I solved my earlier question. Amazon.com requires for USD transfers an account with ACH and that is only US based USD accounts. If the bank is not on ACH (any-non US bank) then Amazon and Paypal will do the conversions charging in excess of 3-5% currency conversion fees and it gets actually worse because of their exchange rates are so bad. Same goes for Paypal.com for USD transfers.
    So off I go to BMO Harris to open USD account.
    Then Ebay.com on the other hand (…because they use Adyen instead of Paypal) now requires for USD transfers a Canadian bank USD local account and they can’t accept a US bank account because I am resident in Canada.
    .. So here I go again I need another USD account with BMO Canadian branch.
    Two separate USD accounts.
    It’s going to be mess when doing taxes and GST/HST. Need to think about this.

    Reply
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