Best CAD account in the US
If you send, receive, hold, or spend Canadian dollars (CAD) frequently, you might be considering getting a CAD account.
While it’s possible to open a Canadian dollar account from the US, you might find you can’t easily get an account with a traditional US or Canadian bank. Major US banks don’t typically offer CAD accounts, and while Canadian banks do offer accounts to non-residents, these are often meant for people planning to relocate north of the border permanently. Instead of relying on an old-school bank, you might be better off with specialist providers like Wise and Revolut.
In this article, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about opening a Canadian dollar account, including the best CAD account US, the costs, and how to open one.
Can a CAD account be opened in the US?
Few US based traditional banks offer CAD accounts to retail customers. That likely means you’ll need an alternative such as:
- A Canadian bank which offers non-resident accounts
- A global bank with an international banking division
- A specialist provider which offers flexible accounts in CAD
Many Canadian banks have newcomer programs which exist to help people moving to Canada full-time to get an account prior to moving. However, if you don’t intend to move to Canada, getting an account with a traditional Canadian bank may be trickier.
Global banks may allow US citizens to open CAD accounts through their international banking divisions, but eligibility criteria and high minimum balances do often apply.
For many people, the best option will be a specialist online service, which may be cheaper and more flexible.
This guide will walk through some smart options to help you find the best CAD account in the US for yourself or your business.
What are the advantages of a CAD account in the US?
If you transact regularly in Canadian dollars – either for yourself or your business – you may benefit from a CAD account.
A foreign currency account can cut the costs of international transactions, and also make it easier to manage fluctuations in currency exchange rates. Avoid losses by holding a CAD balance rather than selling when rates look poor. Or maximize gains by buying CAD when the rates are good, and holding them until you need them
CAD accounts can also make it far easier – and cheaper – to get paid from Canada if you’re a business owner, freelancer or online seller. Get paid for free by local transfer from Canadian clients, or use your account to collect CAD payments from PSPs like Stripe and marketplaces like Amazon. Hold your balance as it is, or convert it back to USD at your convenience.
Best CAD accounts
Let’s run through some of the options for CAD accounts for US based individuals and businesses. We’ll look at a mix of online specialists, and some international banking options from traditional banks, for individuals, online sellers and businesses.
|Provider||Availability||Fees||Debit card||Other features|
|Wise||Personal and business customers||No opening or monthly fees for personal accounts|
One time 31 USD payment for business account
|Revolut||Personal and business customers||Free standard accounts available for personal and business customers|
Paid plans available for up to 16.99 USD/month for personal customers and 149.99 USD/month for business clients
|HSBC||Personal customers in eligible states||No account opening fees|
No transfer fees – exchange rate markups will apply
|Natwest||Personal and business customers||Up to currency equivalent of 8 GBP/month||Available|
|OFX||Online sellers||No fee to open or operate account, but currency exchange rate markups will apply when converting currencies or sending international payments||Not available|
Wise accounts for personal and business customers can be opened free online with no minimum balance, and can hold CAD as well as 50+ other currencies. You can get your own bank account details for 10 different currencies including CAD to get paid from 30 countries just like a local. You’ll also be able to order a linked debit card for spending and withdrawals at home and abroad. All currency conversion uses the mid-market exchange rate with low, transparent fees.
Fees: No fee to open a personal account, 31 USD one-off fee to open a business account. No monthly fee for either personal or business accounts
Currency conversion: Hold and convert 54 currencies with the mid-market exchange rate
Other notable features: Receive payments like a local from 30 countries, send money to 80+ countries, spend with your linked debit card in 200+ countries
Revolut offers both personal and business accounts which can hold 28+ different currencies including CAD. For both individuals and businesses, standard plans are free and offer features such as 1,000 USD/month currency conversion with the mid-market exchange rate for personal customers. Paid plans offer higher fee-free limits, and perks like lounge access and insurance discounts.
Fees: Standard accounts are free. Upgrade to a fee paid personal account for up to 16.99 USD/month or a fee paid business account for up to 149.99 USD/month
Currency conversion: 28+ fiat currencies available
Other notable features: Broad range of account services including budgeting tools, savings and investments
HSBC US offers a Global Money Account in 8 currencies including CAD. It’s free to open the account, although you’ll need an HSBC deposit account to link to it. This account is operated entirely from your phone or mobile device, which will suit people who need to manage their money on the go.
HSBC US recently announced it would stop serving some states – double check the details for your state before you begin the application process.
Fees: No fees to open account or send global transfers – an exchange rate margin will apply when you convert between currencies in the account, or send to a different currency
Currency conversion: USD, CAD + 6 other foreign currencies offered
Other notable features: Not available in all US states – check the details before you apply
Natwest offers foreign currency accounts through its international division, which are available for US residents. Natwest’s International Select Account lets customers hold and manage 25 major currencies including CAD. You’ll need a minimum opening deposit of the currency equivalent of 25,000 GBP to open your account, which can also be paired with a Cash Management account for foreign currency savings.
Businesses can also open a Cash Management account to hold, grow and manage their foreign currency balance, including holding CAD.
Fees: Currency equivalent of 8 GBP/month
Currency conversion: 25 major currencies covered
Other notable features: Minimum deposit of 25,000 GBP. Cash Management savings and fixed term deposit accounts also available in CAD
Currency specialist OFX has a Global Currency Account for online sellers which lets account holders accept payments in 7 different currencies including CAD. Get paid from marketplaces like Amazon, and use your local bank account details to get paid in a range of global currencies without fees. You can also access OFX’s currency risk management products like forward exchange contracts which can be used to lock in an exchange rate for a future payment.
Fees: No fees to open or operate account
Currency conversion: 7 currencies offered
Other notable features: OFX transfers and currency conversion have no upfront fees but there will be a markup on the exchange rate used. Currency risk management products also available, with support of personal brokers
How to open a CAD account in the US
The easiest way to open a CAD account is likely to be with a specialist online service. If you intend to open an account with a physical bank in Canada you’ll usually need to visit a branch to present your verification documents and get started. In either case, the process is usually similar:
- Choose the best provider for your needs
- Register for your account online, through the provider app, or in a branch
- Give your personal and contact information
- Complete the required verification steps
- Fund your account – and you’re ready to go
When you open your account you’ll need to prove your ID and residential address. The exact documents you need will vary depending on the account type, but can include:
- Government issued photo ID
- Proof of address – a utility bill or bank statement in your name for example
- Business registration documents if you’re opening a business account
Despite being close neighbors it can be harder than you expect to open a CAD account with a traditional bank – either in the US or over the border. However, there are ways to get a CAD account as a US citizen or resident – and it’s well worth checking out the options to help you cut international payment costs and manage fluctuations in the exchange rate more easily.
For many customers looking for a CAD account from the US, an online provider may be the smart alternative to an old-school bank. You’ll often find you can get a flexible account with low fees and no minimum balance requirement, which you can open from home on your smartphone. Use this guide to kickstart your research and find the best CAD account for you, whether you’re a personal or business customer, freelancer or online seller.
1. Can I open a CAD account in the US?
You can open a Canadian dollar account in the US, but your normal bank might not be able to help you – often the easiest way is using a specialist online service. Use this guide to start your research to find the perfect CAD account for your needs.
2. How much does it cost to open a CAD account?
Many CAD accounts from online specialist services are free to open with low, or no ongoing fees.