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US Dollar Savings Account
June 6, 2014
4:13 pm
Calan
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Hi there,

I'm thinking of opening a USD account (along with CAD chequing&savings) at Tangerine. It looks like I can deposit USD cheques through the smartphone app, which is great. However, am I unable to make any bill payments with this? Would I need to have a USD chequing account at another bank (since Tangerine does not offer one), transfer to that, and then pay out from that USD chequing account? Is transferring between an external bank as easy with the USD account as with CAD accounts?
I like the idea of no fees or minimum balances at Tangerine (as I keep getting dinged at my current bank), and the smartphone app for cheques, but if I have to manage accounts at 2 separate banks it might be better to just stay where I am. Thoughts?

If I was wanting to have everything under one bank, who would be my best bet to avoid minimum balances and fees while still having the USD capability?

June 6, 2014
10:03 pm
Loonie
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If you literally only want one bank, you may have to deal with one of the Big Five or Six. Banks like Tangerine all funnel their accounts through an external account at a bricks and mortar bank as far as I know. And for that privilege you will pay handsomely.
Canadian retail banking is really designed to deal best with Canadian dollars, not surprisingly.

June 6, 2014
10:11 pm
kanaka
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I don't know if this will help you.....but.

I used to have a BMO chequing and savings account and a BMO US dollar MasterCard and a BMO US dollar account.

I could transfer Canadian dollars to the US account for the exchange rate only, no service fee. I could pay the US dollar MasterCard by "transferring" funds from the US dollar account to the US dollar MasterCard......but no post dating of payment.

Could I pay my wife's Macy's or Kohl's bill.....no.....as most Canadian banks only allow you to pay vendors within Canada.

So even though Tangerine and other virtual banks offer US dollar accounts I always wonder how do you withdraw cash from the US dollar account for cross border shopping or holidays??

June 8, 2014
10:10 am
GS1
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kanaka said

I don't know if this will help you.....but.

I used to have a BMO chequing and savings account and a BMO US dollar MasterCard and a BMO US dollar account.

I could transfer Canadian dollars to the US account for the exchange rate only, no service fee. I could pay the US dollar MasterCard by "transferring" funds from the US dollar account to the US dollar MasterCard......but no post dating of payment.

Could I pay my wife's Macy's or Kohl's bill.....no.....as most Canadian banks only allow you to pay vendors within Canada.

So even though Tangerine and other virtual banks offer US dollar accounts I always wonder how do you withdraw cash from the US dollar account for cross border shopping or holidays??

I move my US$ from Tangerine to my Canadian based US$ RBC account for withdrawl.

If I am in the US and need cash I use my RBC US$ debit card at a PWC ATM or as cashback at Costco.

GS

June 8, 2014
11:48 am
kanaka
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GS

Now it makes sense....duh....I must be in a deep fog!!! sf-confused

So if you push from Tangerine to RBC ..... does RBC put a hold on the funds? If so, for how long?

June 9, 2014
4:52 am
GS1
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kanaka said

GS

Now it makes sense....duh....I must be in a deep fog!!! sf-confused

So if you push from Tangerine to RBC ..... does RBC put a hold on the funds? If so, for how long?

RBC does not put a hold on any pushes, Cdn$ or US$. I've moved amounts close to Cdn$100k many times using RBC as a hub, push from Tangerine to RBC and then pull from RBC to PC Financial for example. The only hold in that case is the one at PC Financial -- but the whole exercise was to have the money land in PC Fin.

I think it is safe to say that PULLs attract holds while PUSHes don't.

GS

June 9, 2014
5:43 am
Loonie
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OK, so what is a "push" and what is a "pull"?
you can always count on me to ask the dumb questions.sf-embarassed

June 9, 2014
9:01 am
kanaka
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Let is say you have an account with Hubert. Hubert has no ATM cards and no cheques. You can transfer funds to/from your Hubert account using their online facility. You can transfer money from bank X to Hubert = pull and you can transfer money from Hubert to bank X = push. You have to set up the accounts on Hubert beforehand and they will do a test for you to confirm that the account t numbers are correct.

June 9, 2014
1:58 pm
Loonie
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Oh, I see. So, the "push to" or "pull from" relates to the bank of origin, not the one receiving the money.

June 9, 2014
2:11 pm
kanaka
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I used a bad example as Hubert does not do push pull.

They Say
As this time we cannot transfer US dollars electronically, this is a service we hope to provide in the near future. You can buy and sell US dollars on our website or you can mail us a US cheque to deposit to your account. If you need access to US deposits and wish to transfer to an external account you can request a wire transfer which costs $22.50.

June 9, 2014
8:34 pm
ItsOP
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I am unsure about depositing USD cheques though Tangerine as Tangerine is USD savings only. Within Tangerine it is supper easy to transfer CAD to USD, when ever I make a transaction it asks if I want to do it in CAD or USD. If you do USD to an account that doesn't support USD it will refuse.

I don't know if you can do the same to an other bank. But you can link accounts at different banks very easily with Tangerine but I don't know if they allow you to do so as easily with ACH as with EFT but I would think so.

Overall you will always have better service provided to you by having the best accounts that cater to your needs at the best banks. A USD chequing account at RBC is only $2 a month for 6 debits. So use that unless you need to make frequent USD transactions. Then use your no fee account at Tangerine for CAD chequing and while it's nice to have everything in one place it is worth it to have savings at other bank. It's worth signing up with Tangerine savings for the promotions and if there is an amount you may need quickly you can transfer from savings to chequing instantly. External bank is 1-2 days.

Really having accounts at 3 different banks will serve you most here. Since you only need to pay for USD account then that's $2 for 3 accounts with best rates that's good.

Also pay attention to exchange rates. All banks have a hidden fee in exchange rate. Big banks are usually about a 6 cent spread. Tangerine is a 3 cent spread. If you do large USD transfers though use an online forex broker when your spread is practicality none existent.

June 13, 2014
1:07 am
Loonie
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Don't forget that there is no deposit insurance protection for US dollar accounts in Canadian CDIC-insured banks, so you are on your own if anything goes wrong. Manitoba credit unions do insure them, but it is hard to access the money.

June 13, 2014
10:57 pm
kanaka
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Loonie said

Don't forget that there is no deposit insurance protection for US dollar accounts in Canadian CDIC-insured banks, so you are on your own if anything goes wrong. Manitoba credit unions do insure them, but it is hard to access the money.

US dollar accounts are insured in BC credit unions with the provincial insurance.

Hubert advises there is a plan to be able to push US dollars to a bank or credit union US dollar account from which you can do a face to face withdrawal. Only issue there is how long would your funds be on hold after pushed to the other account?

June 14, 2014
12:27 am
Loonie
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I think the issue may be, when are they going to do it? Is it going to be like Implicity planning EFTs?sf-frown
It will be great if and when they get it done. Perhaps there are some regulatory issues?
I didn't know the BC CU insurance covered US dollars. It seems though that BC CUs are harder for the rest of us to access than MB's.

June 14, 2014
11:00 am
kanaka
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Loonie said

I think the issue may be, when are they going to do it? Is it going to be like Implicity planning EFTs?sf-frown
It will be great if and when they get it done. Perhaps there are some regulatory issues?
I didn't know the BC CU insurance covered US dollars. It seems though that BC CUs are harder for the rest of us to access than MB's.

Here is what Hubert says about EFT for US Dollar Accounts. "We are currently waiting on Credit Union Central of Manitoba to complete some back end processing for this functionality which they have not provided a timeframe. It was scheduled to be completed in 2014 but I cannot guarantee this at this time."

Here is an article from a BC Credit Union in regards to offering national service. http://www.firstwestcu.ca/medi.....dit-unions
Also some credit unions have already stated they will not to national. But the above article makes you wonder how the Manitoba Credit Unions already do with spin off version from the main CU....but I understand that Steinbach Credit Union has being doing it for years.

By the way the BC Credit Union Insurance goes beyond covering US Dollars. http://creditunionsofbc.com/de.....-guarantee

I have only seen two credit unions in BC with higher rates.....Coast Capital and Revelstoke. BUT not as good as Manitiboa or Oaken. And to be very honest service at Coast Capital is poor.

I recently flushed a Coast Capital (AGENCY) GIC through my branch level account and then moved the funds to Oaken. I did that for two reason....(1) higher interest than what my adviser could provide and (2) he cannot see who I am dealing with. I wanted to see what interest had accrued as the GIC had matured and the balance sat for a month or so and I wanted to see what the transfer fee was and if it was taxed. BUT they closed the RRSP account because I transferred the full amount. I was ticked off and sent them numerous secure emails before one of the numb nuts figured out that I never asked to close the account and that I was NOT going to visit the un-customer service friendly branch. I wanted the account open for two reasons to see the transactions and I want to use it to do the same thing next year. They are not customer oriented....... And who knows maybe they would have been part of my investment plan?? https://www.highinterestsavings.ca/forum/coast-capital-savings/arrogance-at-coast-capital-pitt-meadows/

I no longer find it hard to NOT be loyal to a financial institution.

ps I moved out of BC and had Coast Capital Agency GICs with my adviser and he said it would not be an issue....but just for his statements only we had them delivered to a BC address until we moved back to BC. So I would think it would be an easy work around to be a non-resident.

June 14, 2014
1:28 pm
Loonie
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Thanks for the articles, kanaka.
It would seem that there is a resistance among some BC CUs to having non-resident members due to the local control issue. But that is a false argument. They will never lose control just because they have more members and money from elsewhere. It's not like we're all going to show up at the AGM!

I think the way it will pan out is that some will be interested and most will not. Even in MB, it is only a minority of CUs that have websites that make it feasible for non-residents to join. There is also the possibility, I suppose, that it might become more difficult for the smaller CUs to compete, even locally, if local customers are getting a better deal online elsewhere.

June 17, 2014
10:55 am
northendkid
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Hi Calan:

I am a bit late, but:

Currently, you cannot push bill payments from a Tangerine USD account. Currently, there is no option to push bill payments from any Tangerine savings account, CAD or USD. Only the Tangerine chequing account can currently push bill payments. However, it would theoretically be possible to pull bill payments, via EFT, from a USD account, if your payee offers that option.

In addition, this account might be of interest to you: TD Canada Trust currently offers the "U.S. Dollar Daily Interest Chequing Account." This is a USD account held in Canada, with a Canadian transit number. It earns interest and you can write cheques on it, but I'm not sure whether you can push bill payments from it.

June 27, 2014
3:22 pm
james1900
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For those "snowbirds", a better idea is to open a US-based bank account. RBC, TD, BMO all have subsidiaries in USA. Among them, RBC and TD have better online banking integration for accounts on both sides of the border. One can easily transfer CA$ from TD Canada Trust to US$ in TD Bank (in US). The USD accounts are under FDIC insurance.

July 1, 2014
11:16 am
Doug
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james1988 said

For those "snowbirds", a better idea is to open a US-based bank account. RBC, TD, BMO all have subsidiaries in USA. Among them, RBC and TD have better online banking integration for accounts on both sides of the border. One can easily transfer CA$ from TD Canada Trust to US$ in TD Bank (in US). The USD accounts are under FDIC insurance.

Great answer, james! I just thought I'd 'chime in' with a small caveat regarding RBC's U.S. banking operations. They sold their U.S. branch network and branch-based customers, deposit and loan/mortgage books to PNC Financial Services Group approximately a year and a half ago. They did retain a U.S. banking subsidiary, RBC Bank, with a direct bank-based model (i.e., single contact centre-style branch with no physical footprint for customer-facing activities) basically to faciliate cross-border banking access. They might have a surcharge-free ATM alliance for cash withdrawals, perhaps with PNC I'm not too sure, but as far as branches go, they don't have any U.S. branches anymore. Basically, if you're going to be living in the midwest of the U.S., I'd go with BMO Harris Bank and, if you're on the east coast, I'd go with TD Bank. If you're out west, such as in California, I'd recommend going with a U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Key Bank or Chase Bank and transferring money via cheque deposit. :)

Cheers,
Doug

July 2, 2014
10:05 am
GS1
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Doug:

I have an RBC US account and wanted/needed to deposit a US$ cheque into my account while in Naples, Florida last October. I went to the PNC branch that used to be the RBC branch (Radio Road, for those who know Naples) and asked them where their ATM was as there wasn't one in the lobby. I also wanted to understand fees, etc.

One of the three (very un-busy) tellers asked what I was doing and when she heard it was an RBC related transaction actually walked me outside to the drive through ATM and showed me all the steps. If I had wanted she would have actually done the deposit. There were no fees.

Obviously, your mileage may vary at this or other branches.

Greg

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