TD USD visa card

qbacreative

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Hi Guys,

We bank with TD, we have a USD account to pay our USD credit card with TD, this card has a 39 USD yearly fee. Is there a way to open a USD card that doesn't charge annual fee? I read in this forum about Chase cards without a fee. How can I open a credit card with an American company if I'm not a resident of the USA? Do we have Chase in Canada? I don't care if it's Chase or not, I just one a card that doesn't charge us an annual fee.

Thanks
 
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efrant

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Hi Guys,

We bank with TD, we have a USD account to pay our USD credit card with TD, this card has a 39 USD yearly fee. Is there a way to open a USD card that doesn't charge annual fee? I read in this forum about Chase cards without a fee. How can I open a credit card with an American company if I'm not a resident of the USA? Do we have Chase in Canada? I don't care if it's Chase or not, I just one a card that doesn't charge us an annual fee.

Thanks
If you want an American card, i.e., a card issued by a U.S.-domiciled bank, then the only card you can get without some sort of address in the U.S., is the Signature Black Visa (https://www.rbcbank.com/cross-border/us-credit-cards/visa-signature-black-card.html) from RBC Bank (Georgia). There is no annual fee, it gives modest rewards and it is a true U.S. card (rather than a Canadian USD card) but, you need to be an RBC Royal Bank customer in Canada, and you need an actual U.S. bank account (not just a Canadian bank USD account) to pay off the card.

If you are not an RBC Royal Bank customer, and you are fine with the no-rewards USD Visa that you currently have from TD, you can have the US$39 annual fee waived by keeping a minimum balance in certain accounts (I can remember which ones off the top of my head).
 

cdnSpinalTap

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Hi Guys,

We bank with TD, we have a USD account to pay our USD credit card with TD, this card has a 39 USD yearly fee. Is there a way to open a USD card that doesn't charge annual fee? I read in this forum about Chase cards without a fee. How can I open a credit card with an American company if I'm not a resident of the USA? Do we have Chase in Canada? I don't care if it's Chase or not, I just one a card that doesn't charge us an annual fee.

Thanks
Hello,

I think you also have to ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish - minimize fees? optimize exchange rate? reduce/eliminate FX fees? Depending on what you are trying to do, there are a lot of threads on here that discuss different strategies, some of which may be easier than what you are trying to do with having a true US domiciled credit card.

Just food for thought...
 
  • qbacreative

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2019
    Thanks for the reply efrant!
    If you want an American card, i.e., a card issued by a U.S.-domiciled bank, then the only card you can get without some sort of address in the U.S., is the Signature Black Visa (https://www.rbcbank.com/cross-border/us-credit-cards/visa-signature-black-card.html) from RBC Bank (Georgia). There is no annual fee, it gives modest rewards and it is a true U.S. card (rather than a Canadian USD card) but, you need to be an RBC Royal Bank customer in Canada, and you need an actual U.S. bank account (not just a Canadian bank USD account) to pay off the card.
    I could become a Royal Bank customer, but even if some how I'm able to open a U.S bank account without a U.S address that bank account will have a monthly fee right?

    If you are not an RBC Royal Bank customer, and you are fine with the no-rewards USD Visa that you currently have from TD, you can have the US$39 annual fee waived by keeping a minimum balance in certain accounts (I can remember which ones off the top of my head).
    I think $3000 USD have to be sitting on my USD TD account to avoid a $39 USD annual fee. That to me is not practical because I will have the money invested in the stock market making more money for me that $39 yearly.

    There is another way, the year we are not planning to travel to the Estates, I just move the credit of this USD card into my Canadian credit card, and close the USD card, in this way when I'm planning to travel to the USA again, I just open a new USD card and transfer the credit back into my new USD card, the benefit is that one avoid getting hits on the personal credit rating when opening a new card, but the catch is that this credit transfer between cards can only happens once every 12 months.
     

    qbacreative

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2019
    Hello,

    I think you also have to ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish - minimize fees? optimize exchange rate? reduce/eliminate FX fees? Depending on what you are trying to do, there are a lot of threads on here that discuss different strategies, some of which may be easier than what you are trying to do with having a true US domiciled credit card.

    Just food for thought...
    Thanks for the reply cdnSpinalTap,

    I'm trying to to avoid the fee of USD transactions with my Canadian card, this is why I always have a USD account with plenty of USD so I can pay my USD card without the currency exchange fee.
     

    cdnSpinalTap

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 9, 2007
    Thanks for the reply cdnSpinalTap,

    I'm trying to to avoid the fee of USD transactions with my Canadian card, this is why I always have a USD account with plenty of USD so I can pay my USD card without the currency exchange fee.
    Maybe cruise around the threads a bit, as there are some different strategies - including the no fee Rogers World Elite Mastercard, where you actually get 1.5% back on FX charges (pay the 2.5%, but get 4% back, netting 1.5%). As well, MasterCard gives you one of the best exchange rates you will get, including preferred rates at your local bank.

    The above is all assuming you are not travelling to Disney. As other threads point out, if you are travelling to Disney, it may be better to utilize Disney gift cards.
     

    isabellea

    Combining beach and Disney!
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2014
    We have a Brim mastercard. Doesn’t charge any FX fees and it’s free (no annual fees). It also gives some rewards but I don’t remember the details since we only use this credit card when traveling outside Canada.
     
  • qbacreative

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2019
    Thanks for the reply cdnSpinalTap!

    Maybe cruise around the threads a bit, as there are some different strategies - including the no fee Rogers World Elite MasterCard, where you actually get 1.5% back on FX charges (pay the 2.5%, but get 4% back, netting 1.5%).
    Wow I guess there is so much I don't know. We always use visa so I wasn't aware of this master card deal

    As well, MasterCard gives you one of the best exchange rates you will get, including preferred rates at your local bank.
    So there is a MasterCard card that is Canadian but as you shop in USD currency, it gives you better FX rates than if I was buying the USD first and then paying with my USD card?


    The above is all assuming you are not travelling to Disney. As other threads point out, if you are travelling to Disney, it may be better to utilize Disney gift cards.
    I heard about this but I'm not sure how it works. Let's say that we are planning to go back in 2022. So we wait until Disney's $100 USD gift cards are on sale in some store in the States that ships to Canada, and then I start buying $100 USD cards as they are on sale until I have enough for the trip?

    Sorry for my silly question but, we spend a lot of money in our Disney trips. Should we collect these physical cards and use them for purchasing our trip from the Disney website, when we are ready to book the trip?
     
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    qbacreative

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2019
    We have a Brim mastercard. Doesn’t charge any FX fees and it’s free (no annual fees). It also gives some rewards but I don’t remember the details since we only use this credit card when traveling outside Canada.
    Thanks isabellea, clearly we have the wrong card, there is a no annual fees MasterCard that doesn't charge you for FX fees?
     

    Donald - my hero

    <font color=blue>Aww yes. The dreaded "mouse hand"
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2006
    I heard about this but I'm not sure how it works. Let's say that we are planning to go back in 2022. So we wait until Disney's $100 USD gift cards are on sale in some store in the States that ships to Canada, and then I start buying $100 USD cards as they are on sale until I have enough for the trip?

    Sorry for my silly question but, we spend a lot of money in our Disney trips. Should we collect these physical cards and use them for purchasing our trip from the Disney website, when we are ready to book the trip?
    Seriously! This is the best way for us to pay for our Disney trips because we can buy them HERE now, in Canadian funds, however we want to pay for them. The cards are in CDN funds and you will be given the exchange rate from the previous business day, just hand over the card and it will work exactly the same as one you buy in the states. The exchange rate they give is almost exactly what you'll find online. Example here this is a $100 CDN gift card that i have in my online account (you can consolidate them online)
    457324
    and just plugging that into the online conversion you get this
    457325
    I've used my gift cards to book & pay for our upcoming trip (online and over the phone)-- both a package and a couple of room only reservations and when we are on site we will go to the front desk and pay off our account using these as well.

    Check out these threads for more info

    Gift Cards for trip
    LONG thread skim and jump to the end
     

    qbacreative

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2019
    Wow Donald - my hero, so you end up buying the USD as if it was equal to the CAD? How often are they on sale for that price and where do you usually buy them from?
     
  • qbacreative

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2019
    Wow Donald - my hero, so you end up buying the USD as if it was equal to the CAD? How often are they on sale for that price and where do you usually buy them from?
    Never mind I just read your post again, they are 100 CAD for 74 CAD, so you save $26 CAD for every $100 you buy
     

    Donald - my hero

    <font color=blue>Aww yes. The dreaded "mouse hand"
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2006
    Never mind I just read your post again, they are 100 CAD for 74 CAD
    Not exactly -- I paid $100 CDN for the card and it is worth 74 USD, make sense now? These cards are in Canadian funds and available in *most* stores in the big gift card sections
     

    qbacreative

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2019
    Not exactly -- I paid $100 CDN for the card and it is worth 74 USD, make sense now? These cards are in Canadian funds and available in *most* stores in the big gift card sections
    So as right now the FX USD to CAD is at 1.33. So for you to buy 74.55 USD that represents the value of your current gift card, it will cost you $99.99 CAD, this is based on the exchange rate calculator on google.ca, so you pretty much bought for the same price as the google FX calculator.

    Forgive me for being so dense, but I really want to understand, the argument here is that the bank won't match the FX rates that google.ca is displaying on their calculator, so by buying it on gift cards you have a lower FX rate? Or is to save the fee of a Canadian USD card? or maybe both?

    I'm sure there is a catch but I'm missing it, thanks!
     

    Donald - my hero

    <font color=blue>Aww yes. The dreaded "mouse hand"
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2006
    So as right now the FX USD to CAD is at 1.33. So for you to buy 74.55 USD that represents the value of your current gift card, it will cost you $99.99 CAD, this is based on the exchange rate calculator on google.ca, so you pretty much bought for the same price as the google FX calculator.

    Forgive me for being so dense, but I really want to understand, the argument here is that the bank won't match the FX rates that google.ca is displaying on their calculator, so by buying it on gift cards you have a lower FX rate? Or is to save the fee of a Canadian USD card? or maybe both?

    I'm sure there is a catch but I'm missing it, thanks!
    No catch and don't apologize it was an eye-opening moment for a lot of us!
    • The banks will never match the posted exchange rate because they're wanting to make money so you can't buy US cash for what you see posted.
    • There is no foreign TRANSACTION fee buying these gift cards as well because you buy them here using whatever type of currency you want! Cash, debit, credit card- doesn't matter.
    • If you use a Canadian credit card in the states (or anywhere other than Canada for that matter, including online shopping) you will pay a transaction fee on top of the exchange rate and we see that as a complete waste of our hard earned $$
    • You can buy these cards gradually as you are able to put the money aside
    Depending on your banking methods, your saving methods and your reward programmes you might even feel comfortable pulling what my hubby refers to as the Shell Game. You can no longer use reward points/miles to straight up buy gift cards so you can do this:
    • spend whatever $$ value of the rewards you have on a transaction at the store those rewards are redeemable
    • Toss a gift card in for the same value as the products you are buying
    • Use your reward points/miles to pay for your products (not the gift card)
    • Tell yourself the reward points/miles bought the gift card
    • OR if you don't want gift cards take the money you would spend on the products and put it into your savings account to use as you wish
     

    efrant

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2017
    Wow I guess there is so much I don't know. We always use visa so I wasn't aware of this master card deal



    So there is a MasterCard card that is Canadian but as you shop in USD currency, it gives you better FX rates than if I was buying the USD first and then paying with my USD card?
    I've posted a list of Canadian credit cards that don't charge the 2.5% f/x fee here: https://www.disboards.com/threads/usd-bank-accounts-and-credit-cards.1678988/post-60014535

    Those cards will convert your USD purchase into CAD at either the Visa rate (for the Visa cards) or the MC rate (for the MC cards). By the way, the difference between the Visa rate and the MC rate is small, and varies daily, but roughly speaking both rates are usually within 0.8% of the spot rate, and usually closer to 0.4-0.6%.

    Those cards listed offer the simplest solution IMO, as you don't have to go through the hassle of opening up U.S. bank accounts and credit cards.

    Using any other Canadian credit card will convert your USD purchase into CAD at either the Visa rate (for the Visa cards) or the MC rate (for the MC cards) PLUS 2.5%.

    Purchasing USD at a bank usually results in you paying the spot rate PLUS anywhere from 2.5-3.5%. (If you have preferred rates through your account, you could end up paying much less.)

    The banks and credit cards don't explicitly show you the 2.5% fee -- they build it into their exchange rate so they can dupe people.

    As for your question on fees for U.S. bank accounts, there are various bank accounts that you can get for free. I believe RBC Bank has a money market account that doesn't change a monthly fee. I personally have the TD Bank (U.S.) Convenience Checking account, which has no fees if you maintain a minimum US$100 in the account. I use that to pay all my American bills, including my U.S. credit cards.

    For Disney specifically, as was mentioned above by others, Disney gift cards are probably the best option given that you can buy them in CAD with a Canadian credit card, and there is no fee when using them for USD purchases.
     

    qbacreative

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2019
    Thanks a lot efrant, that is a lot of important info you just shared

    I've posted a list of Canadian credit cards that don't charge the 2.5% f/x fee here: https://www.disboards.com/threads/usd-bank-accounts-and-credit-cards.1678988/post-60014535

    Those cards will convert your USD purchase into CAD at either the Visa rate (for the Visa cards) or the MC rate (for the MC cards). By the way, the difference between the Visa rate and the MC rate is small, and varies daily, but roughly speaking both rates are usually within 0.8% of the spot rate, and usually closer to 0.4-0.6%.
    WOW I thought that the Brim mastercard that Isabellea mentioned was the only card, but you have a list of cards!!!!!

    As for your question on fees for U.S. bank accounts, there are various bank accounts that you can get for free. I believe RBC Bank has a money market account that doesn't change a monthly fee. I personally have the TD Bank (U.S.) Convenience Checking account, which has no fees if you maintain a minimum US$100 in the account.
    I think this is the way I would like to go, try to find the cheapest way to change CAD into USD when I'm going to travel to the U.S., in that way I feel I already put the spending money of the trip to the side.

    By the way I just contacted TD and my current "US $ Daily Interest Chequing Account" doesn't have any monthly interest fee. So what would be the benefit of having the "TD Bank (U.S.) Convenience Checking account" then?

    I use that to pay all my American bills, including my U.S. credit cards.
    Can you have a U.S. credit card without being a resident of the U.S? That to me is the best possible scenario, because I don't remember when, but there are cases when I couldn't sign up for U.S streaming services because it required a U.S credit card.

    My Dad live in the U.S. so I could always use his address to open the card if it was needed, don't know the legality of it or how would that work.


    For Disney specifically, as was mentioned above by others, Disney gift cards are probably the best option given that you can buy them in CAD with a Canadian credit card, and there is no fee when using them for USD purchases.
    I know but I will pay money not to have to deal with the hazard of keeping track of many gift cards, specially when your other options are pretty close when it comes to avoiding extra fees.

    Efran one last question. What would be your approach if you want to convert 7 thousand CAD into USD? We typically just move it from our TD Canadian Checking account to our TD USD cash account.

    Thanks again for all your help!
     
    Last edited:

    efrant

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2017
    [snip]

    By the way I just contacted TD and my current "US $ Daily Interest Chequing Account" doesn't have any monthly interest fee. So what would be the benefit of having the "TD Bank (U.S.) Convenience Checking account" then?
    The USD Daily Interest account is a Canadian-based USD account. It is offered by TD Canada Trust (a Canadian bank, a subsidiary of TD Financial Group). There are no monthly fees, but each debit transaction costs US$1.25. (You can waive the transaction fees by maintaining US$1,500 in the account.)

    The Convenience checking account is a U.S.-based account offered by TD Bank (a U.S. bank, and a subsidiary of TD Financial Group, but separate from TD Canada Trust).

    If you have U.S. credit cards, you CANNOT pay them from a Canadian bank account (whether it's a USD account or a CAD account). TD Canada Trust used to allow you to pay U.S. bills, but they charged something like US$2.50 per bill; they have since discontinued that service. So, bottom line is, if you want to get U.S. credit cards, you need to have a U.S. domiciled bank account.


    Can you have a U.S. credit card without being a resident of the U.S? That to me is the best possible scenario, because I don't remember when, but there are cases when I couldn't sign up for U.S streaming services because it required a U.S credit card.

    My Dad live in the U.S. so I could always use his address to open the card if it was needed, don't know the legality of it or how would that work.
    Yes, you can get U.S. credit cards without be a "resident", but you have to have a U.S. mailing address. So if your father lives in the U.S., then you won't have any issues.

    Since you don't have any credit history in the U.S., you are limited to three card issuers initially, until you build up your credit history:

    1) a card from TD Bank, such as the TD Cash Visa (no AF, 3% back on dining spend, 2% on gas, 1% on everything else). They use your Canadian history.
    2) a card from RBC Bank, such as the Signature Black Visa. They use your Canadian history.
    3) an American Express card -- Amex offers a program by which they will look at your Canadian history or your history with them specifically, and grant you credit in the U.S. based on that.

    Once you have a year's worth of U.S. credit history, then you can apply for Chase cards if you'd like. I have the TD Cash Visa, the RBC Signature Black Visa, a couple of Chase cards and a handful of Amex cards. (The first two I only got to build up my U.S. credit history.)

    Both TD Bank and RBC Bank can send you your card directly to your Canadian address if you'd like. For Chase and Amex, once they send you your first card to your U.S. address, I know they both are happy to send subsequent cards to your Canadian address if you so desire. That being said, all U.S. issuers (other than RBC Bank) require a U.S. address on file.

    Efran one last question. What would be your approach if you want to convert 7 thousand CAD into USD? We typically just move it from our TD Canadian Checking account to our TD USD cash account.

    Thanks again for all your help!
    I have access to preferred rates through my Waterhouse account. So if I need to convert CAD to USD, I typically transfer it from my TD Canada Trust account to my CAD Waterhouse account, then transfer it to my USD Waterhouse account, then transfer it to my USD Daily Interest account. The whole process takes less than a minute, as you can do the transfers one after the other. (If I were to transfer directly from my chequing account to my USD Daily Interest account, I would be paying the 2.5% f/x fee, which it sounds like what you are doing... By going through Waterhouse, I'm paying much less.) After than, if I need funds in the U.S., I transfer USD from my USD Daily Interest account in Canada to my Convenience Checking account at TD Bank in the U.S.

    If you have a Waterhouse (or any other discount brokerage account), another good way to convert CAD to USD (assuming you are converting large amounts, i.e., ~$10k+) is using ETFs. You can buy DLR and sell DLR.U, and you'll end up paying around 0.3% if you convert $10k, or obviously less if you convert more. Here is a link to the description of the ETFs: http://www.horizonsetfs.com/horizons/media/pdfs/productsheets/DLR-Product-Sheet.pdf
     

    qbacreative

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2019
    lol efrant,
    You are amazing, I just finished talking to US TD bank and the info I gained about having to have a U.S account to send the card and all that was exactly what you just said :)

    I like your approach of using the U.S cards from the TD and Royal bank to get the other genuine U.S cards, so you can just built credit history and then open the chase cards.

    We do have TD Waterhouse accounts for trading and US cash account, the good thing about this trip is that I accidentally deposited the spending money for this trip on the US Cash Waterhouse, then when I noticed that the transfer didn't show up on the U.S cash account, I called TD Waterhouse and they transfer my money back to the TD U.S cash account, so I guess that unknowingly I did the right step to get the best rate this time :) Thanks for the tip

    For what I gather from the TD call is that the best thing to do is to just walk into a Branch in Orlando, when we are in town next week and open the TD U.S account and the TD U.S visa (they don't have annually fee)

    I could do it at the beginning of my trip, but I guess all of that process for the U.S card once the application is done, will take days, so probably we are just going to use the TD Canadian U.S.D card we already have for this trip and just do the application, so when everything is done we can use it for our next trip.

    Now here are a few questions:

    What is the benefit of having a chase card?

    What about just keeping the TD U.S bank card?

    And if there are benefits and you want to built your credit:

    Is it better to have two cards one from TD one from RBC?

    We really buy only a few things from the U.S via amazon.com when we are in Canada. The big spending is when we go to U.S for vacations, like our upcoming Disney and Universal trip next week.

    How much do you have to use the U.S card to build a good U.S credit history?
     
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    efrant

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2017
    [snip]

    We do have TD Waterhouse accounts for trading and US cash account, the good thing about this trip is that I accidentally deposited the spending money for this trip on the US Cash Waterhouse, then when I noticed that the transfer didn't show up on the U.S cash account, I called TD Waterhouse and they transfer my money back to the TD U.S cash account, so I guess that unknowingly I did the right step to get the best rate this time :) Thanks for the tip
    I would verify the rate you're getting. Like I said, my account is different, so I get preferred rates (1.3% for amounts under $10k and 0.3% for amounts $10k+). If your rates are acceptable to you, then perfect. If not, then there may be other more economical ways for you.

    For what I gather from the TD call is that the best thing to do is to just walk into a Branch in Orlando, when we are in town next week and open the TD U.S account and the TD U.S visa (they don't have annually fee)

    I could do it at the beginning of my trip, but I guess all of that process for the U.S card once the application is done, will take days, so probably we are just going to use the TD Canadian U.S.D card we already have for this trip and just do the application, so when everything is done we can use it for our next trip.
    Yeah, you could walk into a TD Bank branch and open a bank account and a credit card when you're in Orlando. But since you are an existing TD Canada Trust customer, opening a TD Bank bank account can be done entirely online and only takes less than 10 minutes. To apply for a credit card, you CANNOT apply online as a non-resident, but it is really easy to apply -- all you need to do is fill out this form and fax (yes, believe it or not, fax) it in: https://www.tdbank.com/exc/pdf/Foreign-National-Application.pdf.


    Now here are a few questions:

    1. What is the benefit of having a chase card?

    2. What about just keeping the TD U.S bank card?

    And if there are benefits and you want to built your credit:

    3. Is it better to have two cards one from TD one from RBC?

    We really buy only a few things from the U.S via amazon.com when we are in Canada. The big spending is when we go to U.S for vacations, like our upcoming Disney and Universal trip next week.

    4. How much do you have to use the U.S card to build a good U.S credit history?
    1. No real benefit over other U.S. cards, but it depends on what specific cards you want and rewards you want to earn. Chase has a couple of Disney cards, which appeals to some here. They also have an IHG card for those that have a lot of Holiday Inn stays, and they have other cards, such as a Hyatt card, etc.. American Express and Citi are equally as good in my opinion, just different. The reason many people in the credit card world get Chase cards as soon as they can is that Chase has the most restrictions, i.e., they typically won't approve you for a credit card if you have less than one year of credit history, and they definitely will not approve you if you have opened 5 cards or more in the last two years.

    2. Absolutely. I still have mine. I occasionally put a charge on it, once every couple of months just to keep it active. It's a good card, but I have other cards I'd prefer to use.

    3. The RBC Bank card isn't very good in terms of rewards and it charges you an f/x fee if you use it outside of the U.S.. If you are going to get two or three cards, I would recommend the TD Cash card and one or two no-annual fee Amex card (Hilton or Delta). But the RBC Banks card is still a good option for building U.S. credit, and it is super easy to get. But yes, it's better to have two or three cards to build your credit history rather than one.

    4. I travel to the U.S. several times a year, so I use my U.S. credit cards during my trips. When I'm in Canada, I still make sure I put some charges on some of my U.S. cards to show activity. I have about two years worth of U.S. credit history now, so I tend to put less on my U.S. cards when I'm here in Canada.
     

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