A guide to multi-currency accounts in RBC Royal Bank

Wise

People travel and work all over the world, making foreign currency accounts sought after.
We’ll take a look at RBC Royal Banks foreign currency accounts in this article and what to do, when there isn’t a suitable one available.

RBC Royal Bank foreign currency account basics

On RBC Royal Banks website the only foreign currency accounts for consumers we could find available were in US dollars.
Not to worry — if you need a different currency account, you’ll find information about an alternative for other currencies further down this article.
In RBC three different types of US dollar checking accounts are available and also a US dollar savings account². From targeting the occasional visitors to the United States to more demanding customers, the current accounts all have slightly different features.

One important thing you want to carefully consider in addition to the general fees and services, are the exchange rates offered. Banks set their own selling rates for currencies — hence why some accounts can get ‘better’ rates.
Many services will advertise 0% commission or fee-free exchange, but in the fine print often the exchange rate they use is different from the the rate, that they themselves buy the currency at. This has been the standard of currency exchange, but all of this means that you’ll end up with extra charges and you won’t know how much, exactly. That’s why it is best to avoid currency conversion when possible and to compare rates, to make sure you are getting the best deal possible. This is also why you may be interested in taking a look at a service like Wise. All conversions on their multi-currency account are done at the mid-market rate. The mid-market rate is the rate at which foreign currencies are exchanged without any commission, fees or other markup applied.

RBC Royal Bank US dollar account (USD)

RBC Royal Bank offers basic and 'premium' versions of current accounts. The Premium checking account is more costly, but you get access to better rates.¹ The U.S. personal account is the cheapest, pared down to basics.
You can also get a savings account, if you’re looking to save your US dollars. A US Personal Account charges fees of USD$2 per month and allows 6 free debits per month, after which a USD$1 fee applies to each subsequent transaction³.
You won’t be able to make any international foreign currency transfers from the USD accounts.⁴
The US personal savings account needs a $100 minimum deposit to open and to avoid monthly fees, you need at least a $300 balance⁵.

Savings accounts in general are meant for people to hold their money in and not for using it daily - so savings accounts usually have some sort of limits on how many withdrawals you can make and availability of other services. These vary by bank of course, as each decides which services it makes available and which it restricts.

Pound sterling (GBP), euro (EUR) denominated and Indian rupee (INR) accounts

RBC Royal Bank does not offer personal accounts that deal in any of these currencies, based on what we could find on their website. Fortunately you do have an alternative with even more currencies available.

Wise multi-currency Borderless balances

Wise borderless accounts support sending and receiving pound sterling, Indian rupee and US dollar as three of over 40 supported currencies. There is no minimum balance required and opening an account is simple.

The Wise borderless account may be the account that solves moving money across borders for you.

With the borderless account, you get your very own local bank details for several regions around the world, including United States — so you can pay and get paid locally.

You can store, send, receive and organise your money in dozens of currencies internationally, with all conversion done in the mid-market rate. And just a small charge when your money moves between currencies.

Here’s an overview of the Wise borderless account:

  • Sign up is free
  • No monthly fees and account balance minimums
  • You can receive domestic payments in several regions — like the UK, the EU, the US, and Australia — by generating your own domestic bank details
  • Dozens of currencies available for storing and converting. All conversions between balances at the real mid-market rate for a fee starting at 0.45%
  • Make international money transfers to over 70 nations

RBC Royal Bank foreign currency account fees

RBC Royal Bank only offers consumer accounts in one foreign currency, the US dollar.

Here’s an overview of some of the checking accounts fees.⁶ ⁷

Account Monthly fee Service fees
US Personal Account US$2.00 6 debits a month without charge; $1 thereafter, depending on the type of debitBank draft - $8.50 each, plus applicable Debit Transaction fee
Direct Checking $3.95 with eStatements, $5.95 per month with paper statements. 10 debits free of charge/ month. $1.00 each thereafter
Premium Checking Monthly fee with eStatements:$9.95, $11.95 per month with paper statements. Unlimited transactions, First 50 checks free(shipping & handling fees may apply)

RBC Royal Bank multi-currency account for business

RBC Royal Bank offers a US dollar Business checking account with the following features⁸:

  • Monthly fee $150 ($175 with ACH service)
  • Access to 50,000 ATM’s in the US
  • A visa debit card
  • Dedicated account manager

They also offer U.S. Business Money Market Savings account, which is primarily meant for earning interest on your US dollars.

On their website, we couldn’t find information about business accounts in other currencies.

Wise offers a borderless business account that offers much the same features as are available to consumers. In addition to the mid-market rate used for all conversion, you’ll get access to integration with the popular Xero accounting software, make bulk payments and the ability to automate payments with an open API. There are no account opening or maintenance fees, so it’s worth a try.

Foreign currency basics for RBC Royal Bank

RBC Royal Bank offers bank accounts in either Canadian or US dollars, based on the information we could find on their website. It is possible to send international money transfers and there is a charge of C$13.50 to $45.00 transfer fee for each transaction⁹.The fee depends on the sending method.

How much does RBC Royal Bank charge my account to receive foreign currency?

Receiving foreign currency international wire payments of up to CAD/USD$50 are free, but any over that amount are charged a fee of CAD/USD$17. Unfortunately we couldn’t find information, what the fees are, if the incoming payment is of a difference currency from USD or CAD.

Usually in this case banks simply convert the incoming payment from a foreign currency to the accounts currency at their own rate. After deducting the fees, they’ll deposit it into the account.

Can I deposit or send another currency to my RBC Royal Bank account?

In general receiving foreign currency to bank accounts is not an issue. There may be restrictions on certain accounts, so if you have an incoming payment in foreign currency, a quick call with a banker should help you clear any doubt.

RBC Royal Bank supports multi-currency accounts to a certain extent, based on the information we could find. Hopefully you’ll manage to find the best solution for your needs with a bit of research. Best of luck.


Sources:

  1. http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/usbanking/index.html#banking-accounts (25 November 2018)
  2. http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/usbanking/index.html#savings-accounts (25 November 2018)
  3. https://www.rbcroyalbank.com/accounts/us-personal-account.html (25 November 2018)
  4. http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/international-money-transfer/faqs.html (25 November 2018)
  5. https://www.rbcbank.com/cross-border/us-bank-accounts.html#savings (25 November 2018)
  6. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UzrOkBNsvYb1WFuSYyn4mydSvmZ6Jts4QVwim1Ur2M8/edit# (25 November 2018)
  7. https://www.rbcroyalbank.com/accounts/us-personal-account.html (25 November 2018)
  8. https://www.rbcbank.com/cross-border/business-banking.html#disclaimer-1 (25 November 2018)
  9. http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/products/deposits/wire-payments.html (25 November 2018)
  10. https://www.rbcbank.com/cgi-bin/tools/cadusd-foreign-exchange-calculator/start.cgi (25 November 2018)

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