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RBC Bank US for Canadians

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada

Hey all - can't find the exact thread for this discussion, but wanted to share my experience with Royal Bank.

I've just opened a CAD checking account, and a US cross border account with RBC.

$4.00 each per month service fees.

I plan to use the CAD account number for my Employment Insurance payments. I can transfer from my CAD account to my USD account (and vice versa) with no transfer fees other than the going exchange rate, and my USD account is fully accessible via ATM at PNC bank in Michigan (which happens to be where my husband banks). This access includes being able to e-deposit any US paychecks I might receive once I'm working.

The very nice Canadian bank rep here in my town told me he didn't think I'd be eligible for the US dollar VISA that RBC offers, since I was quitting my job here in Canada and would no longer be a resident, but he did allow that he wasn't totally familiar with how the cross border accounts were set up. I applied anyway.

24 hours after faxing my application, an RBC US rep from North Carolina called me to tell me I was approved, and that they issue VISA's to many folks in similar circumstances.

This VISA is great - the application is driven off your existing Canadian credit score (mine is excellent) and immediately begins building my US credit history since the cards are issued out of the US. No annual fees. - I'm very pleased.

I was also pre-approved for a line of credit with RBC US, and for $120 annual fee, I can have a "relationship manager" for any further borrowing and investing needs. These offers were made with no pressure at all.

The Online US Visa is attached to the US platform, so easy to pay direct from US account.

I've been employed by, and banked with one of the other "Big Five" Canadian banks for over 28 years, and I've sadly NEVER had as good an experience as I have with RBC this past week. Given that I will have to start paying service charges once I quit my job, I didn't feel any particular allegiance to my employer's bank. Will likely just move everything over to RBC!

One other note - I did look into TD's cross border accounts, but they are only accessible in the east, there were no options in Michigan.(and the service charges were higher).

Anyway, I just wanted to share this with any other Canucks looking for banking alternatives stateside.

Peace all.


Edited by Sylea

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I bank with TD Canada Trust, and established a US dollar account there years ago. With a (relatively high) balance in one of your accounts ($5k) you get "preferred" exchange rates (it also has no fees on the associated accounts)

I opened a TD US bank account in Florida, and applied for a visa.

Same as RBC, the Canadian credit was used to grant visa.

With a $1500 balance in an account in TD Canada Trust (my daily chequing), there are no fees for the CDN bank account...with a $100 balance in the US account, there are no fees for that account either.

Cash (up to $10,000 daily) can be transferred between the CDN and US accounts, with no fees. I use the US dollar account as my transfer out, and I get the preferred exchange rate, and free transfer (same day if transferred by 11 am, if after 11, it is transferred by 9 am next day).

This works well for me, but it does require a high balance in Canada...

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Filed: Other Country: England

Just in case anybody doesn't know, if a "US person" (http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Report-of-Foreign-Bank-and-Financial-Accounts-FBAR) has any foreign bank account(s) at all that in their aggregate amount to $10k during the year, they must report these. The penalty is really severe not to do it, even if you can legitimately plead ignorance to the law.

My understanding is that if you have a couple of foreign accounts and they are below $10k you need not mention them at all, at least according to that link.

Good luck!

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