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Best exchange rates sending money from Canada

The holy grail when you send money abroad is finding an organisation that you can trust and one that offers the best exchange rates along with transparent, smart and straightforward customer service.

Guides CAD Foreign Transfers
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Here, we try to demystify the landscape of the foreign exchange market and services to help you to secure the best exchange rates sending from Canada, whether that be for buying a house overseas, paying overseas tuition fees, or paying your overseas business partners. Whatever the reason may be, the principles to securing the best exchange rates remain the same.

Ultimately, you want to save money and ensure that your money arrives when and where you expect it to.

In regard to the first criteria, saving money – there are two key factors to consider. These are – the current exchange rates, and the potential fees – both that of the organisation that you are dealing with and potentially any foreign banks/ financials institutions that may charge fees down the chain.

Of the two, exchange rates and fees, the most important when you are transferring a large sum of money is to secure the best exchange rate. This means, an exchange rate that is as close as possible to the mid-market rate (Read our guide: What is the Mid-Market Rate?).

Unlike the share market there are no standard exchange rates, the rate you are offered will vary depending on the provider, the market and the currency pair. Having access to information is the key, most importantly you need up-to-date information.

There are no standard exchange rates, the rate you are offered will vary depending on the provider, the market and the currency pair.

You can use the Best Exchange Rates calculator to see clearly who is offering the best deal for your International Money Transfers and Travel Money needs, and most importantly who is taking the lowest margin on the exchange rate and smallest fees to give you the largest possible converted amount.

The largest cost is the exchange rate margin not the transaction fee…but most FX providers only ever mention the fees!

Both banks and currency exchange providers apply a margin (a percentage charge) to the mid-rate you see on the news each night, the mid-rate is what it costs large banks and currency brokers to buy and sell foreign exchange and is also sometimes called the Inter-bank exchange rate.

On top of this exchange rate margin, the other cost to be aware of is the fee and any commission that may be applied.  All these add up to your Total Cost of Exchange.

Be sure to ask your chosen organisation if there will be fees down the chain from other organisations. This is particularly important if you are paying a customer or business partner.

Once you are sending over $1000 (or equivalent) the largest cost component is generally in the exchange rate margin not the commissions and fees.

Often banks & currency vendors advertise that their exchange is “Commission Free” but this is because they make all their profit through terrible exchange rates. The largest cost is in the exchange rate margin rather than the fees…but most FX providers only ever mention the fees!

Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Request a Multi-Vendor Quote ▾
Foreign Transfer Providers
Ratings & Reviews
Receive USD($)Exchange RateFee CADTotal CostTransfer ServicesTransfer SpeedDeal Links
 
OFX logo
7,367 USD
Best Overall
0.73670^1.46%Bank Transfers - Online & Phone, Foreign Currency Accounts1-2 days
HSBC logo
7,212.17 USD
155 USD
0.7223$153.53%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
Coast Capital Savings International Money Transfers
Coast Capital Savings logo
7,157.7 USD
209 USD
0.723$1004.26%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
Scotiabank logo
7,150.77 USD
216 USD
0.7223$1004.35%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
Banks - Average Rate
Coast Capital Savings logo Scotiabank logo Royal Bank of Canada logo HSBC logo TD Canada Trust logo
7,144 USD
223 USD
0.7203154.45%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
TD Canada Trust logo
7,120.08 USD
247 USD
0.7192$1004.76%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
 
Royal Bank of Canada logo
7,077.51 USD
289 USD
0.7149$1005.33%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
 
OFX: Foreign Transfer CAD→USD
CAD amount:$10,000 CAD
Fee:0^ - No fees for BestExchangeRates users (normally $15 for smaller transfers)
Exchange Rate:0.7367 (1.46% from mid-rate)
USD amount:7,367 USD
Total Cost:1.46%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Thu Apr 18 2019 22:04:36 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online & Phone, Foreign Currency Accounts
Rating:
 
: 4.8/5.0
Reviews:
 

HSBC logoHSBC

HSBC: Foreign Transfer CAD→USD
CAD amount:$10,000 CAD
Fee:$15 CAD (.15%)
Exchange Rate:0.7223 (3.38% from mid-rate)
USD amount:7,212.17 USD
Total Cost:3.53%
Difference:
155 USD less than using OFX
Time:0:02 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Coast Capital Savings logoCoast Capital Savings

Coast Capital Savings: Foreign Transfer CAD→USD
CAD amount:$10,000 CAD
Fee:$100 CAD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.7230 (3.29% from mid-rate)
USD amount:7,157.7 USD
Total Cost:4.26%
Difference:
209 USD less than using OFX
Time:0:02 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Scotiabank logoScotiabank

Scotiabank: Foreign Transfer CAD→USD
CAD amount:$10,000 CAD
Fee:$100 CAD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.7223 (3.38% from mid-rate)
USD amount:7,150.77 USD
Total Cost:4.35%
Difference:
216 USD less than using OFX
Time:0:02 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Banks - Average Rate

Foreign Transfer CAD→USD
CAD amount:$10,000 CAD
Fee:15
Exchange Rate:0.7102 (5% from mid-rate)
USD amount:7,144 USD
Total Cost:4.45%
Difference:
223 USD less than using OFX
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
 

TD Canada Trust logoTD Canada Trust

TD Canada Trust: Foreign Transfer CAD→USD
CAD amount:$10,000 CAD
Fee:$100 CAD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.7192 (3.8% from mid-rate)
USD amount:7,120.08 USD
Total Cost:4.76%
Difference:
247 USD less than using OFX
Time:0:02 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Royal Bank of Canada logoRoyal Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Canada: Foreign Transfer CAD→USD
CAD amount:$10,000 CAD
Fee:$100 CAD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.7149 (4.37% from mid-rate)
USD amount:7,077.51 USD
Total Cost:5.33%
Difference:
289 USD less than using OFX
Time:0:02 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
 
: 1/5.0
Reviews:
 
 

Note if you are making a one-off foreign transfer of less than $1000 (or equivalent) then using your bank’s internet banking foreign payment function might be convenient than using an FX specialist.

However, if you see yourself making multiple smaller global transfers then we would recommend using a fx provider as the small savings will add up over time.

Best Exchange Rates with Foreign Exchange Payments specialists

For transfers, you should avoid paying a Total Margin anywhere above 1.5 per cent (of the amount being transferred) for major currencies (USD, EUR, AUD, CAD, NZD, CHF etc) and 2 to 3 percent for all other currencies.

Using your Bank’s exchange rates services (both via online banking and in bank branches) to make international money transfers can be very expensive – often 5% to 6% worse than you can get by using one of our foreign exchange partner for your transfer.

Bank International Money Transfers are often 5% to 6% more expensive than using a global payment provider.

Our BER partner Canadian payment providers deal directly with the currency markets which means they can offer highly competitive exchange rates on all major currencies, they can better the rates offered by banks – for a $10,000 transfer you could save over $500.

They can also offer you advice on timing your transaction and ways to manage currency fluctuations and risk so that you obtain the best possible exchange rate. Opening an account with the Foreign exchange provider is quick, simple and completely free.

I’m not familiar with the FX Specialists, can I trust them?

It’s all good if an organisation offers the best exchange rate, but not at all worth your while if you are not confident that your transaction will be executed.

Security is critical and you must ensure that your FX provider is a licensed and regulated organisation. All our partners on this website are.

You can also click through and check out the size of the organisation, it’s provenance, and reviews from other customers to allay any concerns. This is always a good way to judge whether or not you are comfortable dealing with a particular organisation.

Use our Foreign Transfer calculator to see how much you can save using an FX specialist for your International Money Transfers compared to your bank.

Additional Services

If you need to make regular international transfers, say, for an overseas mortgage payment, you can economise on your time as well as your wallet by setting up an automated international transfer with FX specialists such as World First and OFX.

OFX and World First also offer forward contracts where you can fix the exchange rate now, but transfer the money in the future.

Other side offers include rate alerts, apps, and more recently Receiving accounts which can be very useful if you are a small business or on-line seller.

Receiving accounts are accounts in multiple different currencies provided by the FX specialist, such as World First. This enables you to accept money into a local account in the country that you are selling to. The money is then transferred back to your home account at a time that suits you – i.e when the exchange rate is favourable.

If you are looking to save on travel money for an upcoming trip then read our guide: Pre-ordering foreign cash online for better currency exchange rates.
 

Compare & Save CAD with BestExchangeRates BestExchangeRates logo

Foreign Transfers Travel Money

Use our calculators to compare banks and FX specialists. Quickly calculate how much you could save on your next foreign transfer, travel money or card purchase.

 

 

Further Reading

 

Canadian Dollar to Lose a Further 5 Percent, Will Soon Buy Only US$0.71 (TD Securities)

Prospects for the Canadian dollar have turned “considerably to the downside” and the currency is likely to lose 5 percent of its value this year, TD Securities has said.

Updated: 19 Mar, 2019

Canadian Dollar Still Friendless After GDP; Fair Value Much Lower

canadian-flag-Canadian-dollar-news-best-exchange-rates

After a friendless Friday, the Canadian dollar has continued to lose value at the start of the new week. Now worth C$1.332 per USD, the loonie is at a 12-day low, but it has far further to fall if CIBC’s fair value estimation of C$1.4 is anything to go by.

Updated: 4 Mar, 2019

Canadian dollar forecast

Canadian dollar forecast

CAD Market Outlook CAD/USD – 3 month chart A fantastic January that took the Canadian dollar away from long-term lows against the US dollar was followed by a steady February and then a weak first-half of March. In the first week of March, traders reacted badly to news of Canada’s economy growing at a dismal […]

Updated: 29 Mar, 2019

Euro Struggles on Increased Recession Risk; Rand Outlook Worsens After Central Bank Changes Tune on Interest Rates

The euro is under siege following disappointing data and news this week that Germany barely escaped a recession in 2018. The ECB will now wait longer before raising interest rates, analysts say; however, EUR/USD will still end the year higher. In South Africa, a prediction by the country’s central bank that interest rates will be raised only once before 2021 put an end to the rand’s great start to the year.

Updated: 19 Jan, 2019

Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar to Outperform; Yuan at 5-Month High

The Australian dollar has rallied strongly following last Thursday’s “flash crash” and, like the Canadian dollar, is expected to outperform its peers in the near term. Investors remain willing to take on risk but the US dollar remains soft. In Asia, the yuan is expected to weaken beyond ¥7 within the next 6 months.

Updated: 11 Jan, 2019

  

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