Best US Credit Card for Canadians

Credit CardsMany Canadians shop south of the border either online or physically. With all your transactions, there is an exchange rate applied whether you pay with a Canadian credit cards or cash. Banks will rob you if you exchange your money at their counter – be warned. I have found that VISA has a decent exchange rate but nothing beats a good Forex.

When the Canadian dollar was at par with the greenback, you probably did not worry much but as the US dollar gains momentum against our Loonie, you can start to feel it. You start to include the exchange rate in your cost and compare more.

With a US credit card, you can ignore the rate when you purchase and establish a different strategy where you have control. You can keep US cash around and purchase it when you feel the rate is good or you can make your lump sum payment after using your favorite foreign exchange institution.

US Credit Card Options

Below are 4 US Credit Cards options. From my research, that’s pretty much all your options unless you have an ‘official’ account with a bank in the US. Your local options happen to provide you with the choice between VISA or Master Card. I have kept each option simple for the purpose of comparing them.

It’s all about the convenience of purchasing in US currency and avoiding the ding in my account. To that extent, I am only focusing on the cost of taking one of those credit cards and will ignore all the other potential benefits which are minimal.

Each of these cards pretty much have the standard exuberant interest rates. I pay my bills on time so I don’t really care about those rates. I hope it’s not of concern for you either …

1. BMO U.S. Dollar MasterCard®

  • Annual Fee: $35 – if you spend more than $1,000, your card is going to be free with a $35 rebate.
  • Additional Cards: Free
  • You can get more information over at BMO.

2. TD U.S. Dollar Visa Card

  • Annual Fee: $39
  • Additional Cards: Free
  • You can get more information over at TD.

3. CIBC U.S. Dollar Visa

  • Annual Fee: $35
  • Additional Cards: Free
  • You can get more information over at CIBC.

4. RBC Royal Bank® U.S. Dollar Visa Gold

  • Annual Fee: $65
  • Additional Cards: $30
  • You can get more information over at RBC.

Currency Exchange – a.k.a. FOREX

To manage your payments, you can benefit from the best foreign exchange counters with the lowest fees. For the record, exchanging your money at the bank is convenient but the most expensive. I tried using XE.com and I did not like the spread I got compared with Vancouver Bullion and Currency Exchange (VBCE). VBCE now does business online.

THE BEST currency exchange is using your discount broker and selling DLR for DLR.U and vice versa.

Related: Currency Exchange with DLR

Image courtesy of ddpavumba / FreeDigitalPhotos.net