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

  1. #51
    CGN Ultra frequent flyer Onagoth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    SW Ontario
    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCap View Post
    Just a side post...MBNA Mastercard offers 2% cash back on anything.
    The Roger's card has 1.75%....I switched to Rogers from MBNA because MBNA changed their cash back rewards formula last year....I think the MBNA (world elite) is actually 1.75% now.....MBNA has an annual fee, which Rogers does not

    I also ran the numbers on the 4% cards in select categories (grocery, gas, etc). A vast majority of our purchases are from Costco and Walmart, which do not qualify for 4%. So, 1.75% on everything is better than 4% on some things and 1% on everything else.

    Some people use multiple credit cards to capture the best of it all...that's too much effort for me.
    Last edited by Onagoth; 01-20-2020 at 09:16 AM.
    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.

    - Richard Feynman

  2. #52
    CGN Regular MikeyScuba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    GTA, Ontario
    I got the Brim card then recently upgraded to the WE version. It was $200 but it's 2% cash back up to $25,000 (it's then back to 1%) plus a whole host of extra insurance's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Onagoth View Post
    Some people use multiple credit cards to capture the best of it all...that's too much effort for me.
    You are so missing out. Using the Amex Cobalt at grocery stores for the 5X with the prepaid mastercards has netted me oooodles of Marriott points. Had over 50 nights stayed last year which cost very little. There is a cost to loading the prepaid cards and account fees. But....I've worked out my hotel stays are being essentially discounted by 80%

    Combined with Aeroplan hacking we get to shoot all over the US without breaking the bank.
    Last edited by MikeyScuba; 01-20-2020 at 10:41 AM.

  3. #53
    GunNutz bush1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Eastern Ontario
    The best deal for me and what I’ve been using for quite some time now is a CIBC, US Dollar credit card. There is no transaction fees or conversion fees as it’s a US dollar card and it’s paid off automatically by the bank towards the end of the month from funds from my CIBC US dollar account.

    The only thing I have to do is make sure I have enough US funds in my account to cover the payment near the end of the month. The yearly charge is $30 US. I worked in the US for many years and used it for all my purchases but now only use it for stuff I purchase from the US. Works great for me.
    Turf the TURD

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Bank of Nova Scotia Passport is no FX
    Rogers Bank, you net 1.5% Cash Back FX
    HSBC is another but the above two are not as difficult as HSBC with rules

  5. #55
    Newbie Low Velocity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2019

    HSBC needs the profits to cover their fines

  6. #56
    CGN Ultra frequent flyer
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Quebec city
    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.
    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.
    You can do a Norbert's gambit using any brokerage account, not just Questrade.

    My brokerage (National Bank of Canada) offers free transaction on any trade of 100+ units of any US or Canadian ETF ( is techically an ETF, it applies). I can exchange between USD and CAD for exactly 0$, as long as it's 100 units or more at a time (so about 1000$ US).

    So far I haven't found any way to get paid to exchange currency

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    They are talking about “above the board” service charges, not “included in” fees

  8. #58
    CGN Ultra frequent flyer st1264's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Windsor ON
    Scotiabank has the Gold AMEX with no Foreign Transaction Fees and if you have their highest level checking account (with a minimum balance) you get all banking fees waived along with your Yearly Fee on your credit card. When I signed up for the card, I got some upfront Scotia Points and a $100 gift card from (check current promotions).

    I have equivalent of $360 worth of travel points I haven't used yet.

    Canadian banks are fighting for your business.

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