Currency Exchange Toronto

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How to Open a US Dollar Account in Canada for Currency Exchange if You Don’ Have One?

If you have decided you need to purchase a large sum of US dollars but you don’t want a cheque or draft in US dollars, you need to open a US dollar bank account.

This is easy to do nowadays.

Simply go to any of the big five banks or the current financial institution that you work with and tell them you want to open a US dollar account.

You will need one or two pieces of ID and you may need to deposit $1 in the account.

You will need to fill out some paperwork but it shouldn’t take more than 15 to 30 minutes to open a US dollar account.


Switching Banks for Currency Exchange?

The answer is yes and no, well actually it depends.  It depends on the amount you are transacting.  If you transact a lot, such as you get paid in US dollars and you need to frequently convert it to Canadian dollars, then you want to consider using a bank that is going to give you the best exchange rates out of all the Canadian banks.

The problem with switching banks is convenience and hassle.  A good general rule of thumb is that if you have recurring requirements then you want to try to minimize your foreign exchange costs and it is worth it to switch to banks that have the best exchange rates because you will save on a recurring basis. 

If you do not have frequent currency exchange requirements, then it might not make sense to switch. There is hassle and paperwork involved plus regular fees.  Also if your dollar amount is large, then you will save more by switching.  If your dollar amount is less, then the savings won’t be that much.

A good rule of thumb is $10,000 annually.  If you transact more than that, then you want to get the best exchange rates.  Anything less than that and the savings might not be worth the hassle.

Lastly, banks are still quite expensive for currency exchange so you may want to consider a currency exchange company in Toronto that will allow you to save even more money with better than bank exchange rates AND will still allow you to keep your existing banking relationship.  Banks have all the marketshare so why should they give away currency exchange for free, they can practically charge whatever they want and get away with it. 

Most will allow you to do this so this is something you should consider if you are transacting a large amount.