TD cross border banking: a complete guide in 2022

Fernando Figueiredo

TD cross-border banking isn’t a singular product: it’s a variety of different ways to make banking easier for Canadians who spend a lot of time in the US.

This guide will explain what products TD offers its cross-border banking customers, and talk you through why they could prove useful for you. It’ll also talk you through a few alternatives, including the low-cost and convenient option offered by Wise.

Wise: Save on currency exchange fees

What is TD cross-border banking?

For Canadians, TD cross-border banking is a banking option with several solutions that could help you spend money across the US and Canada with ease. And though they’re both TD, there are two banks involved here: TD Canada Trust in Canada, and TD Bank in the USA. The different products involve different combinations of these two banks.¹

It’s also worth noting that opting for TD cross-border banking is different than having a U.S. TD bank account. If you have

What products does TD offer?

In a nutshell, here are the products that might be useful for you:¹

  • TD Canada Trust Borderless Plan
  • TD U.S. Dollar Visa Card
  • TD Bank Convenience Checking
  • U.S. Daily Interest Chequing Account

How does TD cross-border banking work?

TD cross-border banking reduces the hassle and extra fees you generally have to pay when spending money abroad, by letting you hold money directly in US dollars.

  • You can avoid the international wire fees when you’re getting paid in U.S. dollars, which could be around US$30 per payment. Even if you receive your money through PayPal, you’ll have to pay a high conversion mark-up fee to withdraw it to a Canadian bank account.

  • Paying your bills in U.S. dollars can also make your life easier, as you won’t run against problems with expensive exchange rates that make you lose money.

Simply using a Canadian credit card in the US – or, equally, making Canadian bank transfers to US accounts – is often a costly operation, particularly if done frequently. TD’s products are designed to take the sting out of that process, without requiring you to open a feature-heavy USD account that could end up costing you a lot in terms of both time and money to maintain.

Transferring money between the US and Canada with TD

Because TD operates in both countries, it’s well placed to make the money transfer process straightforward. Using one of the TD cross-border banking products will only make it more so.

To transfer money between your accounts, you’ll need to have Visa Direct linked to your US TD bank account. This way you can send daily up to $2,500 from your Canadian TD personal account to your U.S one. The transfer fees will be refunded within 5 business days.

⚠️ However, make sure you ask the bank about the exchange rate, to know how much you’ll be charged in mark-ups. Also, in other circumstances - like sending to another country - you’ll have other fees: TD will charge you an estimated wire fee of $25, not to mention the mark-up on the exchange rate.

How to send an international transfer with TD Bank

  1. First, you’ll have to register for the TD Global Transfer.
  2. Then, once you choose the country and the amount, the bank will give you an estimation
  3. You should then choose a transfer ‘Send to card’ in order to send money to an eligible Visa card
  4. Finally, you can confirm your own personal information, input the recipient’s data, and confirm.

But remember, this will allow you to send money to a Visa card recipient, and wire fees and mark-up on the exchange rate will apply.

Meet Wise, a convenient low-cost solution for all your cross-border transactions.

Wise saves you money when you want to send, receive or spend in different currencies - because there’s only a minimum conversion fee, and no hidden foreign exchange rates.

There are no costs to open and maintain a Wise account, no minimum balances, and you can open your account online and in minutes - you just need a laptop, or a smartphone to download the app. Whether you’re in the U.S., Canada, or one of many other countries, all it takes is a few minutes until you can start using your account.

Why over 11 million customers use Wise:

  • Low-cost international transfers: you can make international transfers between more than 40 currencies, always with the mid-market rate. There’s no hidden mark-ups or wire fees to send your money. You just pay a small transparent fee to send your money.

  • Debit card - spend abroad without hidden fees: you don’t have to, but you can also order your card (and you can receive it in the US or in Canada). There’s no maintenance fee either, and you can use it to pay and withdraw in 200 countries. All money gets converted (when needed) to

  • Receive payments like a local in 10 currencies: you’ll have banking details in many currencies, meaning that you can receive in USD, CAD, EUR, and many other currencies, just like if you had a local bank account. Say bye to fees when you receive in different currencies, and have them ready to spend when you want.

  • Convert and hold 40+ currencies: It’s free to hold the money in multiple currencies, and - again - Wise uses the real exchange rate to convert.

Get a Wise account online

TD cross border banking: the Borderless Plan

For Canadians spending a lot of time in the US, potentially even living there for part of the year, the Borderless Plan is TD’s premium option.² It’s run by TD Canada Trust, but nonetheless it’s a US dollar account. You can transfer money easily between this account and a regular, Canadian TD account, via online banking. There’s no limit on the transfers you can make.²


What does it cost? Nothing if you keep US$3,000 in the account. You’ll need to maintain that balance every day to waive the monthly fee of US$4.95.²

Borderless Plan with Dollar Visa Card: in tandem with this account, you can also get a U.S. Dollar Visa Card, also offered by TD Canada Trust. This normally costs US$39 per year, but with the Borderless Plan that’s waived.²

TD cross border banking: The U.S. Dollar Visa Card

It’s worth mentioning the credit card separately as well, because you can get it independently of the Borderless Plan. Although it’s only for Canadian residents, TD US Dollar Visa Card is a genuine USD card, not a multi-currency card, so there’s nothing to worry about here in terms of foreign currency conversion fees.


It comes with a US$39 yearly fee³, which you can avoid if you have it together with the Borderless Plan.

Interest rate and benefits

The interest rate is 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances, and the minimum credit limit is US$1,000. Up to 3 additional cardholders can be added for no fee.³

In terms of extras, you’ll get some travel insurance, purchase security, and extended warranty protection. So while this isn’t the credit card for you if you want to amass millions of points, it could still be worth a close look for the convenience that it offers.³

Other TD options

TD Convenience Checking

Talking of convenience, here’s another option for Canadians spending time in the US: the TD Convenience Checking account from TD Bank – the US one, that is, not the Canadian one.⁴

Although the monthly fee is US$15, that’s waived so long as you have US$100 in your account every day. It comes with a debit card, and there are no ATM fees at TD ATMs.⁴

If you’re a student or between 17 and 23, there’s no monthly maintenance fee at all.⁴

This is a basic checking account, then, but it could be a convenient option to have cash readily available while you’re in the US. Also, it comes with free mobile banking, with TD Bank Mobile Deposit

U.S. Daily Interest Chequing Account

As you can tell from how they spell “chequing,” the U.S. Daily Interest Chequing Account is a product of TD Canada Trust. But, as the its name also makes clear, it’s a USD account – and it earns interest.⁵

There’s no monthly fee with this account, and you earn interest calculated daily. As you’d expect, it’s easy to exchange and transfer Canadian to US dollars using this account.⁵

Is there a catch? Well, if there is one, it’s the US$1.25 transaction fee – but you can get around that by maintaining a balance of $1,500 every day each month.⁵

Note that there’s no mention of it coming with a card.⁵ That’s potentially a major difference between this account and the Borderless Plan, which throws in that credit card for free.

This is a card designed for short-term visitors to the US from Canada.¹

TD cross-border banking pros and cons

There are so many different ways that you can sort out your banking when travelling between the US and Canada.

The big benefit of what TD offers is that its cross-border products will certainly smooth the process over: rather than having to make foreign-currency transactions from your Canadian account while you’re in the US, they’ll let you spend directly in US dollars. Also, if you work in the U.S., your payments would likely get a cut from banks if your employer sends them to your Canadian bank account.

One con is that you’ll generally need to keep certain amounts in your account – and every day, not just every month – if you want to avoid paying the account fees.

How else might you organise your finances between Canada and the US, though? First of all, other banks offer some cross-border solutions too, much like TD. Secondly, don’t forget about the variety of no foreign transaction fee credit cards in Canada: it’s possible to use CAD accounts or cards abroad without paying extra for international transactions.

Thirdly, multi-currency accounts might be an option as well, like the Wise account. For your international transactions, your money gets converted with the mid-market rate, meaning that the only cost is a low fee shown upfront. No maintenance, minimum balance or hidden transaction fees. And you get a debit card and local bank details too.

Alternatives to TD cross-border banking

RBC’s Cross-Border Banking Bundle

RBC’s Cross-Border Banking Bundle is one similar alternative for frequent border hoppers. RBC’s US wing, RBC Bank, is solely dedicated to Canadians in the US. CIBC and BMO offer further cross-border options.

No foreign transaction fee credit cards in Canada include the Brim Mastercard, Scotiabank Gold American Express, HSBC World Elite Mastercard, and Koho Premium Visa (which is actually a prepaid card).

Travel cards

You might also want to consider travel credit cards, which may not have no FX fees but are still designed to reward frequent travellers in other ways through points and rewards. There’s a wide range available, from no annual fee ones like the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus to a whole range of Aeroplan credit cards from Amex, TD, and CIBC.

A prepaid card could work, too: just top it up with enough USD before a trip and you’ll be ready to spend in the States. The CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Visa is one example of a multi-currency prepaid card designed with travellers in mind.

All in all, even though TD offers a number of different options for cross-border banking, it’s not the only show in town. There are all sorts of ways to minimize fees and admin when you’re frequently hopping between Canada and the US. Whether or not TD has the perfect solution for you, good luck in the search.

And if you're looking for something convenient and with a minimal cost, then Wise is just right for you. There are no fees to open and maintain an account, no minimum balances, and you can open your account online and in minutes.

Open a Wise account and start saving


  1. TD Cross-Border Banking (Canada)
  2. TD Borderless Plan (Canada)
  3. TD U.S. Dollar Visa Card (Canada)
  4. TD Convenience Checking (US)
  5. TD U.S. Daily Interest Chequing Account (Canada)

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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