Foreign exchange advice

Make the most of your Canadian dollars

As the leader in cross-border banking, currency exchange is our specialty.  With the Loonie losing value to the U.S. dollar, you’re likely wondering what you can do to offset the costs of foreign exchange. We offer a variety of options to help you make the most of your Canadian dollars. 

Free¹, convenient and instant cross-border transfers

In one simple step you can automatically exchange and instantly² transfer your money across the border by linking your U.S. and Canadian RBC accounts. You’ll not only save money by avoiding wire fees, but all get access to some of RBC’s best exchange rates.

RBC Bank clients get access to great exchange rates! To make sure you’re getting the best exchange rate available to you:

  • Estimate how much money you’ll need for your time in the U.S. and transfer it at one time to your RBC Bank U.S. checking or savings3 account — you’ll know your exchange rate up front and can enjoy your time in the U.S. rather than spending time keeping track of the fluctuating dollar, plus you’ll get a better rate with larger versus smaller transfers.
  • Exchange more money at once to receive a better exchange rate. Converting smaller amounts on multiple occasions generally will cost more than exchanging all you’ll need at once.

Choose Premium Checking and receive one of RBC’s best exchange rates 

An RBC Bank Premium Checking account comes with one of RBC Royal Bank’s best currency exchange rates, saving you money with every cross-border transfer. With a Premium Checking account, you can also:

  • Conveniently convert and transfer money for free¹ directly from Canada to the U.S. in a single online transaction in Online Banking
  • Earn interest on your balances
  • Make an unlimited number of transactions each month

Save money by avoiding fees with an RBC Bank Visa Credit card

With an RBC Bank Visa Credit card, you’ll avoid foreign transaction fees when you use it to pay for U.S. purchases! The savings and extra value add up quickly:

  • Save up to 2.5% on your U.S. purchases when you use an RBC Bank U.S. based credit card instead of your Canadian credit card
  • Pay no annual fee4
  • Travel with confidence knowing you are covered by valuable insurance5 protections at no extra charge, including travel accident insurance, trip cancellation or interruption, lost luggage reimbursement and more
  • Earn valuable RBC Rewards points on every dollar you spend. Use them to help pay your credit card bill or redeem them for travel, merchandise, gift cards and more

Finance your U.S. dream home

There are many benefits to financing a U.S. property with RBC Bank6 instead of renting when you are south of the border. U.S. properties are still generally less expensive than properties in Canada and financing a U.S. property is a cost-effective alternative to paying cash, lessening the one-time impact of foreign exchange. In fact, all cash home sales decreased 5% between 2013 and 2014 while the number of Canadians purchasing their homes with a U.S. mortgage increased 5%.

Already own a home in the U.S.? Now is the time to take advantage of the increased value in your U.S. home by refinancing!

As the only national mortgage lender dedicated to helping Canadians purchase property in the U.S., RBC Bank:

  • Never charges a foreign national premium, saving you 1 to 3% to your mortgage rate
  • Is able to use your Canadian credit history and your full RBC relationship to help you secure your loan
  • Lets you repay your mortgage at any time with no pre-payment penalties
  • Provides you with a dedicated Cross-Border Mortgage Team who will expertly guide you through the differences between the U.S. and Canada and put the process in terms you understand

Compared to Canada, U.S. homes are highly affordable!

Canada   U.S. 

Calgary: $456,100                          

Dallas– Ft. Worth, Texas: $174,400

Ottawa: $380,075

Miami - Fort Lauderdale, Florida: $228,100

Vancouver: $947,334

Phoenix, Arizona: $213,000

Toronto: $630,786

Riverside, California: $294,800

Median price of single-family home. Source: Zillow, CREA  


All loans and lines of credit are subject to approval.
‡All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
1 Standard account charges may apply.
2 Maximum transaction limits apply and are subject to change. Availability of the money will depend on the time it is sent from RBC Royal Bank or RBC Bank. Transaction may not appear on your RBC Bank (U.S.) account transaction history until the following day but will reflect the date of the transfer.
3 Federal regulations allow only six preauthorized transfers out of the account per month. Each preauthorized transfer in excess of six will incur a $5 fee regardless of account balance. Continued excessive preauthorized transfers will result in account closure.
4 Additional credit card transaction fees apply as follows:  Balance Transfers - Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater (after the end of the introductory period, the maximum fee is $99). The Balance Transfer fee has no maximum during the introductory period (first 6 monthly billing cycles); thereafter, this fee will be a maximum of $99 per Balance Transfer. Cash Advances - Either $5 or 3.5% of the amount of each Cash Advance, whichever is greater. Foreign Transaction Fee - 1.5% of the U.S. Dollar amount of foreign transaction regardless of whether the transaction is made in U.S. Dollars or in a foreign currency (Exception: Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands). Late Payment Fee- up to $35. Returned Payment Fee - up to $35.
5 All insurance is subject to limitations and exclusions.
6 Mortgages are subject to approval, including verification of acceptable income, credit worthiness and property valuations. Minimum and maximum property values and maximum loan-to-value ratios apply. Homeowner’s insurance is required for all loans and lines of credit, and flood insurance is required if the property is located in a Special Flood Hazard area. Escrows may be required. There are closing costs associated with these products.