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In today's open world of digital nomads, frequent travellers and global purchasing, multi-currency accounts and similar solutions are sought after, to make cross-border banking easier. If you’re thinking about opening a foreign currency account with TD — short for The Toronto-Dominion Bank — then this article is here to give you an overview. Read on.
TD currently offers Canadian personal and business customers several types of foreign currency accounts. When it comes to banking in foreign currency, Business Customers have four options: TD Every Day Business, Unlimited, Community Plans, and Basic accounts, which we’ll cover further on.
Here’s an overview of the personal account basics¹:
|Personal customer accounts||Currencies available|
|U.S. Daily Interest Chequing Account, USD Borderless Plan, Foreign Currency Accounts for rest of the available currencies||USD, AUD, GBP, HKD, NZD, EUR, CHF JPY|
You can also get a US dollar Visa credit card for spending your dollars frequently. And you can use the EasyWeb online banking gateway along with the TD app. We couldn’t find any information on the Toronto-Dominion banks website about USD denominated debit cards being available, but they do say in one of their offerings, that a TD Bank Visa Debit card can be linked to a US based account.²
Of the exchange rates used, TD Trust says this on their website: “For each foreign currency purchase where we set the exchange rate, the exchange rate we use is a retail exchange rate, except for purchases and sales between banks and other large financial institutions in the interbank (wholesale) market where an interbank exchange rate is used.”
The interbank rate, also known as the mid-market rate is something you probably want to know about. It’s the rate, that banks use to trade among each other. When money exchange services and banks set their own rates to sell you currency, it can be considered a additional fee. You may get very different rates, with varying levels of markup, from different providers. And should you frequently be exchanging currency or dealing in large sums, it can add up quite quickly to bigger amounts. While it is the standard practice of financial institutions to use a markup on the rate, the downside of this practice is, that you do not know the percentage of markup that’s being used. That percentage is still a cost that the buyer of the currency will take on. And as it varies by who is selling it to you, it would give a better overview of the total fees, if this was disclosed in a more clear way.
A modern financial service like Wise uses the mid-market rate on all transfers and conversions. No markup is used on rates. You pay a small fee and with it’s free to open a borderless multi-currency account, that has no monthly fees either. There you can manage and send dozens of different currencies all from the same account. All around the world. Soon you will also be able to get a multi-currency debit card.
TD offers a couple of different USD personal accounts. These enable you to convert and shift money across the border when you need it, using online banking or the TD app.
People who travel long-term to the USA are offered the premium Borderless Plan³. For transfers across Canadian and US-based TD accounts, made by Visa Direct, TD pledges to refund any transfer fees within 5 business days. A TD Bank Visa Debit Card must be linked to the US card to qualify for the refund.TD also promises "preferred exchange rates" with this account.⁴
For those banking with TD who don't travel often, and only need to exchange Canadian to US funds and back occasionally, there are TD US Daily Interest Checking Accounts.⁵
This account earns a small amount of interest calculated daily, starting from US$1,000.
|Account name||Monthly fees||Transaction fees||Minimum monthly balance required to avoid monthly fees|
|US Daily Interest Chequing Account||US$0||US$ 1.25 / No transaction fees with balances over US$1,500||N/A|
|Borderless Plan||US$4.95 / US$1.95 for TD All-Inclusive Banking Plan users||Unlimited transactions||US$3,000|
TD offers clients the possibility of opening a personal foreign currency account in pounds sterling. The monthly fee to operate this account is £1.50. Customers who maintain a balance of at least £500 at the end of each month pay no monthly fees whatsoever. You get unlimited transactions with no fees, but you can't bank via ATM machine, EasyWeb, or debit payment.
Customers looking for a personal account in euro can opt for a foreign currency account in exchange for a monthly fee of EUR 1.75. As above, they can make as many transactions as they wish without paying any additional service charges. However, they can't use ATM machines, EasyWeb Internet Banking, or debit payments to manage their transactions.
To enjoy the benefits of online banking, you can try opening a euro account with Wise instead.
TD Trusts personal foreign currency accounts do not enable you to bank in Indian rupee according to their website.
There’s an alternative at hand though - the Wise multi-currency account supports INR among it’s 40+ other currencies. Store money and convert, when the exchange rate is just right. A multi-currency debit card is soon to be released as well.
Below is the official TD fee schedule for foreign currency accounts. They come with no transaction fees and they offer unlimited transactions. But banking via EasyWeb Internet Banking, ATM machines, and debit payment purchases are out of the question.
|Foreign Currency Account||Monthly Fees||Threshold for No Monthly Fee|
|Great Britain Pound||£1.50||£300|
|Hong Kong Dollar||HK$15||HK$3,000|
|New Zealand Dollar||NZ$3||NZ$550|
|Swiss Franc||CHF 2||N/A|
At TD Trust, Business Banking solutions are tailored to companies based on their size. We will focus on the small business offerings.
Small business clients are offered foreign currency accounts in several denominations. There’s sadly no information on the foreign currency accounts that you can get, besides US dollar ones. Instead you need to visit a branch for details, as their Small Business Foreign Exchange page instructs. Also, there’s a minimum balance required to avoid monthly fees for some currencies, and depending on the denomination, there may also be an excess balance fee.The latter means you need to pay a fee, if your balance gets too great.
There are also several business accounts⁶ in USD for small businesses. Here’s an overview of the offers:
|US Dollar TD Every Day Business||Three monthly plans with fees based on the number of transactions, 50 deposit items, and monthly fee rebates for balances starting from US$20,000.|
|US Dollar Unlimited||Unlimited transactions and deposit items for US$125 per month, monthly fee rebate for balances over US$65,000|
|US Dollar Community||Two plans for NGOs with, depending on the number of transactions and deposit items, either a monthly fee of US$1.95, waived above $5,000, or $4.95, slashed above $10,000.|
|US Dollar Basic||$1.25 per transaction , $0.22 per deposit item, $2.50 for every $1,000 cash deposit, $5.00 monthly plan fee. First 5 deposit items and transactions are free.|
You may also want to consider Wise Business. Opt for Wise and pay nothing for opening an account. No monthly fees either. With the borderless account, your business can get its very own local bank details for several regions around the world – so your clients can pay and get paid locally.
You can store, send, receive, and organize your money in dozens of currencies internationally, with low fees and all conversion done at the mid-market rate.
Give it a try and see what Wise has to offer.
When it comes to foreign currency accounts, you need to consider the rates at which the bank operates with, the possible markup and the various fees added to your monthly bill to understand all costs associated.
According to page 7 of the ‘About our accounts and related services’ document, when you receive a wire payment in USD, you're charged US$17.50 per payment. If it's in foreign currency, then you'll pay $17.50, but now the currency is the Canadian dollar. TD Trust also says: “If you are sending money in a different currency from the currency of your account, you will be purchasing the other currency from us at the exchange rate we set when the payment is made. Other banks involved in transferring the payment may charge additional fees”.
You can deposit or send USD to your TD Trust account using the Foreign Exchange Transfer service either in branch or via EasyWeb (up to US$250,000 or equivalent). You can also send over 25 major currencies by wire transfer or foreign currency bank drafts.
When it comes to receiving foreign currency, then that is allowed, as TD Trust has listed the fees for receiving such transfers. It also very much depends on where you want to send your money from and what kind of options are supported at the sending location.
To conclude, TD Trust has quite a diverse offering for personal and business customers looking for foreign currency accounts. But what it all comes down to for a Canadian who wants to bank in a variety of denominations is due diligence. A bit of research can go a long way, and hopefully you'll find the best solution for your particular needs.
- https://www.tdcanadatrust.com/document/PDF/accounts/513796-20171030.pdf (28 November 2018)
- https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/products/bank-accounts/us-dollar-accounts/ (28 November 2018)
- https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/products/bank-accounts/us-dollar-accounts/borderless-plan/ (28 November 2018)
- https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/products/bank-accounts/compare-accounts/ (28 November 2018)
- https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/products/bank-accounts/us-dollar-accounts/us-daily-interest-chequing-account/ (28 November 2018)
- https://www.tdcanadatrust.com/products-services/small-business/accounts/us-dollar-account.jsp (28 November 2018)
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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