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US Dollar Credit Card?


trixiee
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Hello,

We have an expensive cruise coming up soon.  Would it be worthwhile for me to put that on a US credit card?  How much would i be saving?  The % for converting to USD?  (I think that's about 3% IIRC)

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You would need to do the math

 If you use  a USD account you still need to buy USD 

Ask the cruise line what their rate is if you use  CAD  then compare to the bank exchange rate

 Lately  the cruise line rate  was a bit better than me buying USD to put aside for my USD VISA payment

We also have  a NO  FTF Visa card  we use for travel

YMMV

 

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There are several Canadian credit cards that do not charge a conversion fee. While I don't use one as my everyday credit card, I do use one (Home Trust Preferred VISA) for travel and for online purchases outside Canada.

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There is a new option on the market. EQ Bank (an online only bank) has introduced the EQ Bank Card. It is sort of a combination of a prepaid Mastercard and a debit card. I think this is about to become my preferred travel option.

The card is linked to an EQ savings account which currently pays 2.5% interest with no fees.

The balance that you hold on the card (the prepaid amount) earns the same 2.5% interest.

If used for purchases, there are no foreign exchange fees; it uses the Mastercard rate directly. In addition, you will get 0.5% back on all purchases, whether in Canada or elsewhere.

The card can also be used as a cash card at an ATM; in Canada they refund all fees to use the card. (EQ has no machines of its own; this was the only drawback of the account previously. I tested this last week; I took out some money on Friday, and the fees were refunded on Sunday.)

You can transfer money instantly from the EQ savings account to the card if you need more than your current balance.

https://www.eqbank.ca/personal-banking/payments/card?icid=card-hpbanner-learnmore

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5 minutes ago, gnome12 said:

There is a new option on the market. EQ Bank (an online only bank) has introduced the EQ Bank Card. It is sort of a combination of a prepaid Mastercard and a debit card. I think this is about to become my preferred travel option.

The card is linked to an EQ savings account which currently pays 2.5% interest with no fees.

The balance that you hold on the card (the prepaid amount) earns the same 2.5% interest.

If used for purchases, there are no foreign exchange fees; it uses the Mastercard rate directly. In addition, you will get 0.5% back on all purchases, whether in Canada or elsewhere.

The card can also be used as a cash card at an ATM; in Canada they refund all fees to use the card. (EQ has no machines of its own; this was the only drawback of the account previously. I tested this last week; I took out some money on Friday, and the fees were refunded on Sunday.)

You can transfer money instantly from the EQ savings account to the card if you need more than your current balance.

https://www.eqbank.ca/personal-banking/payments/card?icid=card-hpbanner-learnmore

Sounds like too much work 

I use a Brim CC for traveling 

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10 minutes ago, Ex-Airbalancer said:

Probably writing about the conversion fee on top of the exchange fees 

Maybe like some other cards  no transaction fee

I cannot see any card not charging a conversion/exchange fee  for any foreign currency

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46 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

How does that work ?  

surely  they do not exchange  GBP for CAD at par??

Sorry, wrong terminology. No, it is the usual. Exchange rate from Mastercard; they don’t tack on the 2 1/2% or more TRANSACTION fee. 

Edited by gnome12
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We’re RBC customers and have both US and Canadian credit cards. And bank accounts with RBC and RBC Bank USA. We use that account most for taking out US cash when we’re in the States - no exchange rate risk since we keep US dollars in the account.
 

You can also get Amex cards in Canada or the US. I have a US Amex that gives me Delta points and perks. Granted, we lived in Atlanta for a long time so Delta was/is our preferred carrier. Amex gives excellent travel insurance, which is the main reason we keep it.

 

What benefits are you hoping to have with a US dollar credit card? 

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38 minutes ago, mrgabriel said:

We’re RBC customers and have both US and Canadian credit cards. And bank accounts with RBC and RBC Bank USA. We use that account most for taking out US cash when we’re in the States - no exchange rate risk since we keep US dollars in the account.
 

You can also get Amex cards in Canada or the US. I have a US Amex that gives me Delta points and perks. Granted, we lived in Atlanta for a long time so Delta was/is our preferred carrier. Amex gives excellent travel insurance, which is the main reason we keep it.

 

What benefits are you hoping to have with a US dollar credit card? 

 

The T.D. US $ Visa has Trip Interruption, Travel Accident, Delayed and Lost Baggage, Car Rental Collision/Loss, and Emergency Travel Assistance Insurances.  But these insurance amounts are not nearly enough coverage, and we are looking for other insurance options.  Our trip is ~$15,000 USD, so if I can save a couple of %points in fees, it'll likely pay for half of the additional insurance coverage I need to buy.

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45 minutes ago, trixiee said:

 

The T.D. US $ Visa has Trip Interruption, Travel Accident, Delayed and Lost Baggage, Car Rental Collision/Loss, and Emergency Travel Assistance Insurances.  But these insurance amounts are not nearly enough coverage, and we are looking for other insurance options.  Our trip is ~$15,000 USD, so if I can save a couple of %points in fees, it'll likely pay for half of the additional insurance coverage I need to buy.

I would just find  insurance to cover the whole trip & not have to piece meal any claims if you  have them

We used RSA  & got most of our  $$ back when we had to cancel the day before the cruise

It was $15000 also  & we did use  our TD USD card  but  had our own insurance  so one stop to file the claim

JMO

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38 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

I would just find  insurance to cover the whole trip & not have to piece meal any claims if you  have them

We used RSA  & got most of our  $$ back when we had to cancel the day before the cruise

It was $15000 also  & we did use  our TD USD card  but  had our own insurance  so one stop to file the claim

JMO

Absolutely that is what we’re planning on doing.  
Thank you very much for taking the time to respond.

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We have started traveling a lot sense the "end" of covid. We ended up getting a ScotiaBank Visa Passport to avoid the the transaction fees in the US and other locations. Its also has fairly good insurance, (although like others we have travel insurance through RSA/Johnson). Plus this card gives us lounge access in many of the airports we frequent. We will also be looking at adding a NEXUS card to our staple in 2023, once they figure out the new process. Being that we live in Newfoundland we tend to have to fly early and get home late with long layovers in Montreal or Toronto (so the lounge access is great). But getting a NEXUS is that much more difficult trying to juggle everything. Plus with Scotia bank, we are getting all the scene points now, so we've been able to book hotels and enjoy the odd movie date with the benefits.   

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  • 4 weeks later...

So I just got WISE (formally TrustWise) bc my RBC account is garbage lol essentially, I am able to preload currencies from my RBC account and then I get a debit card to use internationally that automatically pulls those funds in the currency. I only paid a small conversion at the time of adding the funds to my wise account. I will be bringing my (hopefully, just applied for) home trust visa but the nomads use WISE with no problems. Def check into it. I currently have CAD, USD, Euros, and GBP on this one debit card. I can add money from my RBC as etransfer from anywhere and have access to my funds almost instantly. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

You may want to consider either a US credit card or a credit card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. We use to have a Rogers credit card with no foreign transaction fee but that has stopped. As we have trips to South Africa, Scotland and Japan in 2023, we started to search for a new no foreign TF credit card. We ended up getting the Brim Financial Mastercard and have used it on our South Africa trip. Surprisingly, the exchange rate when converting Rand to Can $ was better on that credit card  than the rate we got at Continental Currency when we bought Rand to take with us.

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7 hours ago, torontocruiser67 said:

Surprisingly, the exchange rate when converting Rand to Can $ was better on that credit card  than the rate we got at Continental Currency when we bought Rand to take with us.

Why does that surprise you? Buying cash will always cost you more because the cash has to be handled. In addition, the credit card exchange will use a wholesale rate.

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  • 1 year later...
On 2/1/2023 at 4:08 PM, Fouremco said:

There are several Canadian credit cards that do not charge a conversion fee. While I don't use one as my everyday credit card, I do use one (Home Trust Preferred VISA) for travel and for online purchases outside Canada.

What about paying your onboard account with a USD account issued by a Canadian bank? I just got the TD USD visa card but if I use it onboard does the system recognize it as a Canadian or US card. The first two numbers are 45 which all Canadian  visa cards start with.  

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1 hour ago, drakes2 said:

What about paying your onboard account with a USD account issued by a Canadian bank? I just got the TD USD visa card but if I use it onboard does the system recognize it as a Canadian or US card. The first two numbers are 45 which all Canadian  visa cards start with.  

Yes, Visa will know that it's a Canadian card, but that has no impact on the transaction. If you owe $100 USD on your onboard account, your TD USD card will be charged $100 USD converted to CAD at the going rate but with no conversion fee.

 

The only thing I'm uncertain of is whether, in the case that you have a USD chequing or savings account with TD sufficient to cover the Visa charge, you can pay off the credit card directly in USD rather than having to pay the converted CAD amount.

 

TD has a new (or at least new to me) Borderless Plan "A premium account designed for frequent U.S. travellers". I've not delved into it, as we seldom go to the US more than a couple of time a year.

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1 hour ago, Fouremco said:

Yes, Visa will know that it's a Canadian card, but that has no impact on the transaction. If you owe $100 USD on your onboard account, your TD USD card will be charged $100 USD converted to CAD at the going rate but with no conversion fee.

gnome12 No, it will not be converted. You will be charged $100 US dollars.

 

The only thing I'm uncertain of is whether, in the case that you have a USD chequing or savings account with TD sufficient to cover the Visa charge, you can pay off the credit card directly in USD rather than having to pay the converted CAD amount.

 

TD has a new (or at least new to me) Borderless Plan "A premium account designed for frequent U.S. travellers". I've not delved into it, as we seldom go to the US more than a couple of time a year.

If it is a US dollar credit card you should be charged in US dollars. For me, the issue is paying the bill, since I have no source of US dollars and would have to convert CAD dollars at fairly high rates. (These would generally be small amounts; if larger purchases I might consider keeping a reasonable amount of money is a US dollar account and replenish it when rates seem good.) However, for me, it is a lot of worry; it makes more sense for the amounts I generally spend to have a Canadian credit card with no foreign transaction fee.

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5 hours ago, gnome12 said:

If it is a US dollar credit card you should be charged in US dollars. For me, the issue is paying the bill, since I have no source of US dollars and would have to convert CAD dollars at fairly high rates. (These would generally be small amounts; if larger purchases I might consider keeping a reasonable amount of money is a US dollar account and replenish it when rates seem good.) However, for me, it is a lot of worry; it makes more sense for the amounts I generally spend to have a Canadian credit card with no foreign transaction fee.

I have the borderless account and keep 3K in US funds at all times to avoid transaction fees and will use that to pay my US visa. The whole point of getting that card was to pay for my cruise account from the cash in the borderless but if the card gets converted to Canadian then US its really pointless and becomes extremely expensive. What concerns me is the charges are all done through a computer system and it would recognize my card as a Canadian card issued by a Canadian bank. 

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41 minutes ago, drakes2 said:

I have the borderless account and keep 3K in US funds at all times to avoid transaction fees and will use that to pay my US visa. The whole point of getting that card was to pay for my cruise account from the cash in the borderless but if the card gets converted to Canadian then US its really pointless and becomes extremely expensive. What concerns me is the charges are all done through a computer system and it would recognize my card as a Canadian card issued by a Canadian bank. 

There is no reason that the charges would be converted to Canadian $. The card should be recognized as denominated in US$. It shouldn't matter that the card was issued by a Canadian bank, otherwise why would the banks bother issuing US$ credit cards. You can pay for it from your borderless account dollar for dollar.

 

Here is the information on the TD US$ Visa

https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/products/credit-cards/us-dollar/us-dollar-visa-card

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33 minutes ago, drakes2 said:

What concerns me is the charges are all done through a computer system and it would recognize my card as a Canadian card issued by a Canadian bank. 

While a POS terminal and the underlying computer systems may recognize your card as having been issued in Canada, what determines the currency of the charge is the input at the POS. So, as example, if you are using a normal Canadian CAD credit card, guest services will let you choose to be charged in USD or CAD. If you choose USD, the conversion will be made by your financial institute. Alternatively, you could ask guest services to charge you in CAD, in which case the conversion from USD to CAD is made at their end of the transaction and the charge is already in CAD when it hits your financial institute. In most cases, it's best to have the conversion done by your financial institute.

 

When using a Canadian USD card, the same applies. Normally, you would simply have the charge made in USD and that will be the currency of the charge reaching your financial institute. The computer system isn't going to change the currency of the transaction simply because the card was issued in Canada. 

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