I did a test transfer of CAD to USD from Simplii Financial to a Wise USD account, and then back to another CAD account, just to test the rates.
My conclusion is that you'll get better rates elsewhere (such as at Scotiabank, EQ Bank, or Wise, based on my tests a few years ago: https://www.highinterestsavings.ca/2020/11/scotiabank-vs-eq-banks-international-money-transfers/).
End-to-end, the $100 CAD that I transferred ended up as $89.26, although some of that was due to the USD-CAD exchange rate getting meaningfully worse over the past week, and the exchange rate spread on Wise's end for the transfer back to CAD.
The fees in that transfer caused by Simplii Financial:
- On September 15, the mid-rate was about 1.352. Simplii Financial's rate was 1.3963, so the spread was about 3.28%. This spread appears to be the same no matter how much you transfer.
- Simplii Financial did the transfer to the USD account via a wire transfer, rather than an ACH transfer, thus triggering a $4.14 wire transfer receiving fee on Wise's end. At other banks, this fee can often be much higher. ACH transfers usually don't incur a fee on the recipient bank's end.
July 30, 2022
If the recipient USD bank is located in the USA their exchange rates are a lot better if you transfer CAD to a USD savings account first, about 1% premium over spot. Note you can't send from Simplii USD savings to USD accounts located in other countries.
I wouldn't place Simplii solely "at fault" for triggering wire fees. The recipient decides whether to charge you the fees. I've wired funds to Interactive Brokers and they don't charge fees. Neither does CIBC USA's chequing account. Also I'm no expert on this but it may depend on the ABA routing number and which/if an intermediary bank is used whether banks need to use a wire or ACH to transfer the funds.
April 14, 2021
January 23, 2013