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Thread: Canadian credit cards in Canada with no foreign transaction fees save 3 to 5 percent

  1. #31
    CGN Ultra frequent flyer Onagoth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Val_C View Post
    You are right.
    I remember Rogers has a condition that cashback can be spent only on their services when they launched the card. Seems like it was waved later. Good for the Rogers customers.
    Yes. I use my cash back for any eligible purchase, which seems to include almost everything

    In total, Iíve redeemed nearly 2k so far and I donít have any Rogers services
    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.

    - Richard Feynman

  2. #32
    CGN Ultra frequent flyer Onagoth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeepguy1 View Post
    I find this whole thread hilarious. I’ve travelled extensively in the US and Europe. Never have I been surcharged for transactions. I use my BMO M/C like it’s a debit card. Anywhere that accepts domestic/local debit will accept my Canadian BMO M/C without further fees.
    Matter of fact, I didn’t know that other banks charged as you are all describing that they do.
    I feel pretty lucky.
    Thank you
    I find it hilarious that you don’t know about the bank fees you’re paying
    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.

    - Richard Feynman

  3. #33
    CGN Ultra frequent flyer Onagoth's Avatar
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    For those that are really savvy, there is also a way to convert large sums of CAD to USD without any commissions, just a $10 charge

    You need a questrade brokerage account though
    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.

    - Richard Feynman

  4. #34
    CGN Ultra frequent flyer MapleSugar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onagoth View Post
    For those that are really savvy, there is also a way to convert large sums of CAD to USD without any commissions, just a $10 charge

    You need a questrade brokerage account though
    My little rat ears are perked up.

    Would that circumvent the bank exchange rate?

    I plan on buying a house in the US as soon as I can find an affordable one (they're in another bubble again.)

    I'd be looking at converting Canadian dollars into about three hundred grand USD.

    Here's some examples of the foreign exchange rates of Canadian banks and Knightsbridge:

    RBC – Royal Bank of Canada....2.60%
    TD – Toronto Dominion Bank....2.64%
    BMO – Bank of Montreal..........2.65%
    CIBC – CIBC Bank..................3.34%
    Scotia – Scotia Bank..............2.88%
    HSBC – HSBC Bank.................2.10%
    Desjardins.............................2.49%
    KnightsbridgeFX.......................0.8%
    Last edited by MapleSugar; 01-19-2020 at 09:26 AM.
    "Of this I am quite sure, that if we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future." Winston Churchill, "War Situation" speech in the House of Commons, June 18, 1940

  5. #35
    CGN Ultra frequent flyer Onagoth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MapleSugar View Post
    My little rat ears are perked up.

    I plan on buying a house in the US as soon as I can find an affordable one (they're in another bubble again.)

    I'd be looking at converting Canadian dollars into about three hundred grand USD.
    It involves buying an interlisted stock in CAD, having the broker journal it over to a US exchange, and then selling the stock for US$. Only fees paid are on the purchase and sale of the security, which Questrade charges $4.95....but in your case, the fees might come out closer to $20 (since you'll be buying a large amount of shares)

    The technique is called Norbert's Gambit. I've used DLR.TO for this in the past, since that is a very liquid ETF that trades on both the TSX and NYSE

    However, if you do this for very large sums of money, there are caveats

    1) You'll be subject to price fluctuations in the US dollar if you use DLR.TO...this can change your proceeds and result in taxable gains if you do it in a taxable account.
    2) It takes time to execute (minimum 4 days for trade settlement, plus around 2 days for Questrade to do the journal)
    3) The price difference between DLR.TO and DLR may not be exactly the prevailing exchange rate.
    4) There are specialty houses for converting currency that use way better rates....this is worth looking into as well

    Also, I've never actually withdrawn the USD. Questrade may apply additional fees for this. Usually when I do this technique, it's to invest in US listed securities. However, I can't see any fees being even remotely close to the expected $7,500 you'd paid to a bank to convert CAD/USD.
    Last edited by Onagoth; 01-19-2020 at 09:31 AM.
    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.

    - Richard Feynman

  6. #36
    CGN Ultra frequent flyer Onagoth's Avatar
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    Sorry...there is one other fee built into this technique that I failed to mention, and that's the spread on both DLR.U and DLR.TO. However, when you choose a very liquid actively traded security, the bid/ask spread is usually quite low. Can't remember exactly, but it'll only be 1 or 2 cents per share....this might be a couple hundred dollars on both the way in and out.

    But I checked out my trading history....I did this for $15k in 2019 and the fees amounted to about $20, plus whatever spread there was....but either way it was way better than the $375 I would have paid doing it the conventional way.
    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.

    - Richard Feynman

  7. #37
    CGN Ultra frequent flyer MapleSugar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onagoth View Post
    It involves buying an interlisted stock in CAD, having the broker journal it over to a US exchange, and then selling the stock for US$. Only fees paid are on the purchase and sale of the security, which Questrade charges $4.95....but in your case, the fees might come out closer to $20 (since you'll be buying a large amount of shares)

    The technique is called Norbert's Gambit. I've used DLR.TO for this in the past, since that is a very liquid ETF that trades on both the TSX and NYSE

    However, if you do this for very large sums of money, there are caveats

    1) You'll be subject to price fluctuations in the US dollar if you use DLR.TO...this can change your proceeds and result in taxable gains if you do it in a taxable account.
    2) It takes time to execute (minimum 4 days for trade settlement, plus around 2 days for Questrade to do the journal)
    3) The price difference between DLR.TO and DLR may not be exactly the prevailing exchange rate.

    Also, I've never actually withdrawn the USD. Questrade may apply additional fees for this. Usually when I do this technique, it's to invest in US listed securities. However, I can't see any fees being even remotely close to the expected $7,500 you'd paid to a bank to convert CAD/USD.
    Quote Originally Posted by Onagoth View Post
    Sorry...there is one other fee built into this technique that I failed to mention, and that's the spread on both DLR and DLR.TO.

    But I checked out my trading history....I did this for $15k in 2019 and the fees amounted to about $20....which is way better than the $375 I would have paid otherwise.
    Thanks! I'll look into it.
    "Of this I am quite sure, that if we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future." Winston Churchill, "War Situation" speech in the House of Commons, June 18, 1940

  8. #38
    CGN Ultra frequent flyer MapleSugar's Avatar
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    It was so much nicer when our dollar was on par with (or worth more than) the US greenback.
    Last edited by MapleSugar; 01-19-2020 at 09:41 AM.
    "Of this I am quite sure, that if we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future." Winston Churchill, "War Situation" speech in the House of Commons, June 18, 1940

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by MapleSugar View Post
    Thanks! I'll look into it.
    Iíve done something similar with TD; think it was a money market fund available in both US and Canadian

    But I would advocate for Home Trust VISA. For the occasional foreign purchase, itís a lot easier than the rigamarole of setting up accounts with the banks, etc etc.

  10. #40
    CGN Ultra frequent flyer MapleSugar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k_h View Post
    Iíve done something similar with TD; think it was a money market fund available in both US and Canadian

    But I would advocate for Home Trust VISA. For the occasional foreign purchase, itís a lot easier than the rigamarole of setting up accounts with the banks, etc etc.
    Thanks!
    "Of this I am quite sure, that if we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future." Winston Churchill, "War Situation" speech in the House of Commons, June 18, 1940

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