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Old 03-11-2013, 08:28   #31
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Re: Canadian credit card search

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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post

Both cards are "no fee", but with the Visa I can pay at the pump - when it asks for a zip code, I punch the 3 numbers from my postal code, then 2 zeros - it has worked every time. .
This is my biggest frustration with my US Visa card. Does this work with all US Visas? I have called Canada Trust and asked them if they could give me a fake US Zip Code but they say there's nothing they can do. How did you learn that this works?
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:51   #32
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Re: Canadian credit card search

Mike,

Just to make you aware, CIBC acquired First Caribbean International Bank a couple of years ago. We found many more FCIB locations than Scotia in the eastern Caribbean.

We used a CapitalOne Visa card there. It did not have any currency exchange fees whatsoever, and the exchange rate for Eastern Caribbean Dollars was exactly what the banks offered (2.6882 XCD per USD), which is the best you can get.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:19   #33
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Re: Canadian credit card search

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This is my biggest frustration with my US Visa card. Does this work with all US Visas? I have called Canada Trust and asked them if they could give me a fake US Zip Code but they say there's nothing they can do. How did you learn that this works?
I did the same thing; went to the card companies and asked for a zip or a work-around. Stumbled upon a travelling forum where this was the topic, and someone mentioned the Visa trick - they said it works at most but not all gas stations, but I haven't found any (up and down the east coast) where it hasn't worked. Apparently only Visa do this, so no MasterCard, Amex or whatever. I don't know if all brands of Visa work, but Royal Bank (Cdn with Cdn billing address) works.

To be clear, if your billing post code is K2H 1N5, then you punch 21500 in as your zip.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:36   #34
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Re: Canadian credit card search

Open up a TD Waterhouse trading account which you will need a Canadian dollar sub account and a US dollar sub account. Once the account is open you deposit Canadian dollars and then you phone the trading desk and ask to buy US dollars and pay for them with your Canadian dollars and deposit them into your US account. If you want to withdraw the US funds you simply call them and they will have a cheque for you the next day. These trading accounts are a wonderful way to really cut your currency exchange rates. For example about a year ago we exchanged Canadian to American dollars through a trading account, it's common to have a very wide spread between buy and sell, quite common close to 10% so you pay that fee on top of whatever the posted rate is. Going through a trading account your fee is about 1% off the posted rate. I asked you about throwing in a hundred grand but my wife tells me that is not a minimum it was just what we did so you can probably use this method using a smaller amount.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:35   #35
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Re: Canadian credit card search

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Open up a TD Waterhouse trading account which you will need a Canadian dollar sub account and a US dollar sub account. Once the account is open you deposit Canadian dollars and then you phone the trading desk and ask to buy US dollars and pay for them with your Canadian dollars and deposit them into your US account. ...
Thanks Robert. Makes sense. I'll look into it. Exceeds my current financial knowledge, but I'll look into it.

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Just to make you aware, CIBC acquired First Caribbean International Bank a couple of years ago. We found many more FCIB locations than Scotia in the eastern Caribbean. We used a CapitalOne Visa card there.
Thanks Hud, I did not know this. As for CapitalOne, when I check their Canadian site it only shows MC cards. None seem to offer the zero foreign currency transfer rate. I see the US VISA cards do.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:05   #36
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Re: Canadian credit card search

I know that Chase has a no foreign exchange fee card (don't know it it is in Canada). It was $35/yr (last I checked).

I don't know how anyone could consider BoA as a low cost anything as they are the masters of fees.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:07   #37
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Re: Canadian credit card search

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I know that Chase has a no foreign exchange fee card (don't know it it is in Canada). It was $35/yr (last I checked).

I don't know how anyone could consider BoA as a low cost anything as they are the masters of fees.
With respect, that isn't my experience but I accept that it might be so for others.

To the OP: Sorry about the thread drift and this non-Canadian centered response.

When I retired from overseas we flew into the Seattle, WA, area to buy our boat. Opened up a joint checking account with ATM card at BofA (with my non-US, no SSN, non-green card holding wife). With direct deposit of my monthly retirement cheque, the fees were and still are zero. We refused their Visa card. {CapOne is far and away more advantageous.}

More than nine years now and the ONLY fees we paid to BofA were when forced by circumstances to use an out-of-network ATM. (That was in New Zealand.) To remedy that, we now also have a zero-fee ANZ bank checking account with ATM card to cover the south-west Pacific area. {Minimum monthly balance at ANZ: 0.01 dollars; no automatic direct deposit required.}

Investment funds, of course, are handled by non-bank institutions. Silly to do otherwise, really.

But as for BofA being the master of fees? Not in my experience.

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Old 04-11-2013, 13:34   #38
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Re: Canadian credit card search

For those of you converting funds, Google Norbert's Gambit. It's a neat trick for converting loonies into greenbacks and vice-versa for little more than the cost of two stock trading commissions, the buy-ask spread and a tiny amount of market risk. The idea behind the trick is to buy a highly-liquid stock that is listed in the Toronto Stock Exchange and sell the same stock in the US markets (or vice-versa if you want to convert US dollars into Canadian dollars). You then call your discount broker & ask them to journal the transaction into USD. Check it out.
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Old 10-11-2013, 20:41   #39
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Re: Canadian credit card search

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For those of you converting funds, Google Norbert's Gambit. It's a neat trick for converting loonies into greenbacks and vice-versa for little more than the cost of two stock trading commissions, the buy-ask spread and a tiny amount of market risk. The idea behind the trick is to buy a highly-liquid stock that is listed in the Toronto Stock Exchange and sell the same stock in the US markets (or vice-versa if you want to convert US dollars into Canadian dollars). You then call your discount broker & ask them to journal the transaction into USD. Check it out.
One doesn't even need to take company risk any more. An ETF was set up for this purpose, I think the symbol is DLR. I used it once.

I also have the TD Canada Trust $US account and credit card and keep a $5000 minimum to have fees waived. These are my boat parts importing tools.

Another $US idea for Canadians is to own Canadian companies that pay their dividends in $US - yet still get the dividend tax credit. Buy the shares in your Canadian account with $Can, and phone the good folks at your brokerage to journal the shares over to your $US account. Then the dividends will show up in $US without any molestation by conversion fees. There are about 3 dozen Canadian publicly traded companies that pay out in $US, for example Encana, Methanex.

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Old 10-11-2013, 22:31   #40
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Re: Canadian credit card search

FWIW, a couple of friends who travel a lot outside of the US swear by HSBC and Capital One to avoid the currency swap fees.
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Old 13-12-2013, 09:05   #41
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Re: Canadian credit card search

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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post

Both cards are "no fee", but with the Visa I can pay at the pump - when it asks for a zip code, I punch the 3 numbers from my postal code, then 2 zeros - it has worked every time. With RBC I could also set up an automatic minimum payment, which is handy for travelling when you don't know the next time you'll get an internet connection.d.

It works!! For the first time in many years I drove to Florida last month and paid at the pump. No more waiting in line inside, behind three dozy people fumbling for change for their coffees, putting a deposit on the card, and then returning to complete the transaction in a line that just got longer. Thanks, Lodesman.
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Old 13-12-2013, 21:39   #42
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Re: Canadian credit card search

My pleasure.
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