Personal Finance

Where To Get A USD Money Order In Canada?

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  • Dec 5th, 2020 10:14 am
[OP]
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Mar 31, 2017
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Where To Get A USD Money Order In Canada?

I've just opened a new BMO Harris Chequing Account in the USA and now they are asking me to send a cheque and/or a money order to initial fund the account (can't do a wire transfer as the account will only become active once the initial fund is deposited).

As someone who only has virtual bank accounts with Tangerine and Simplii, I can't think of an easy way to get a USD Money Order (I'm guessing that neither of my banks will issue a US bank draft).

I spoke to Money Mart and Canada Post but unfortunately, neither of them issue USD money orders anymore. Furthermore, TD said they can't help me either unless I were to open a TD Canada USD account first (which is a bit ridiculous but not really surprising I guess).

I could try contacting BMO Canada I suppose and see if they can help me but I was wondering if any of you fine folks here had any better/other recommendations as well?

Cheers!
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Dec 20, 2017
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kooltilltheen wrote: I've just opened a new BMO Harris Chequing Account in the USA and now they are asking me to send a cheque and/or a money order to initial fund the account (can't do a wire transfer as the account will only become active once the initial fund is deposited).

As someone who only has virtual bank accounts with Tangerine and Simplii, I can't think of an easy way to get a USD Money Order (I'm guessing that neither of my banks will issue a US bank draft).

I spoke to Money Mart and Canada Post but unfortunately, neither of them issue USD money orders anymore. Furthermore, TD said they can't help me either unless I were to open a TD Canada USD account first (which is a bit ridiculous but not really surprising I guess).

I could try contacting BMO Canada I suppose and see if they can help me but I was wondering if any of you fine folks here had any better/other recommendations as well?

Cheers!
You might as well establish an account with BMO Canada, which makes transferring USD between two banks easier/free. The online banks don't do USD bank drafts from what I've googled, so you can't order one either.

It's still a good idea to keep one big 5 bank in Canada when you need teller services / drafts down the road.
[OP]
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Delight wrote: You might as well establish an account with BMO Canada, which makes transferring USD between two banks easier/free. The online banks don't do USD bank drafts from what I've googled, so you can't order one either.

It's still a good idea to keep one big 5 bank in Canada when you need teller services / drafts down the road.
I would've done so if their USD account was free - I'm not keen on paying a monthly fee just to hold an account

As for needing the account to transfer money, I don't think I need it to be honest (please correct me if what I'm thinking won't work...)

I am thinking of using Transferwise/Knightsbridge to convert my CAD to USD and then wire it directly to the BMO USA account (incoming wire transfers are free at BMO USA + both Transferwise and Knightsbridge will send it for free as well)
[OP]
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Mar 31, 2017
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Delight wrote: You might as well establish an account with BMO Canada, which makes transferring USD between two banks easier/free. The online banks don't do USD bank drafts from what I've googled, so you can't order one either.

It's still a good idea to keep one big 5 bank in Canada when you need teller services / drafts down the road.
Just spoke with BMO Harris and they said for account opening deposit, I can't transfer money directly even from a BMO Canada account - it'll have to be a money order (which will cost me 7-8 bucks to be issued + can be issued by any Big 5 bank - as long as I open an account with them)

I'm still not happy about paying 7-8 bucks just to be able to transfer my own money but it does seem like I'm running out of options at this point...
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Jan 19, 2017
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kooltilltheen wrote: I've just opened a new BMO Harris Chequing Account in the USA and now they are asking me to send a cheque and/or a money order to initial fund the account (can't do a wire transfer as the account will only become active once the initial fund is deposited).

As someone who only has virtual bank accounts with Tangerine and Simplii, I can't think of an easy way to get a USD Money Order (I'm guessing that neither of my banks will issue a US bank draft).

I spoke to Money Mart and Canada Post but unfortunately, neither of them issue USD money orders anymore. Furthermore, TD said they can't help me either unless I were to open a TD Canada USD account first (which is a bit ridiculous but not really surprising I guess).

I could try contacting BMO Canada I suppose and see if they can help me but I was wondering if any of you fine folks here had any better/other recommendations as well?

Cheers!
All Canadian major banks offer money orders in major currencies, including $US.
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Jul 15, 2009
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kooltilltheen wrote: I've just opened a new BMO Harris Chequing Account in the USA and now they are asking me to send a cheque and/or a money order to initial fund the account (can't do a wire transfer as the account will only become active once the initial fund is deposited).

As someone who only has virtual bank accounts with Tangerine and Simplii, I can't think of an easy way to get a USD Money Order (I'm guessing that neither of my banks will issue a US bank draft).

I spoke to Money Mart and Canada Post but unfortunately, neither of them issue USD money orders anymore. Furthermore, TD said they can't help me either unless I were to open a TD Canada USD account first (which is a bit ridiculous but not really surprising I guess).

I could try contacting BMO Canada I suppose and see if they can help me but I was wondering if any of you fine folks here had any better/other recommendations as well?

Cheers!
I have gotten US money orders from CIBC several times before despite not having an account there, paid cash.

Tangerine or Simplii might be able to mail you one or let you pick one up at Scotia or CIBC like they do with drafts. Call them and ask.
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Sep 14, 2012
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I have gotten a US money order from TD Canada Trust.

I believe that any brick & mortar (non online-only) bank will allow you to "purchase" a money order in US funds or Canadian funds.

By brick & mortar, I am referring primarily to the Big 5 banks and don't consider an online only bank that only has a presence in "cafes" like Tangerine to be a brick & mortar bank.

I haven't gotten a US money order in ages since getting a US chequing account and getting a US dollar credit card but don't see any reasons why a brick & mortar bank don't sell US dollar money orders any more since it is part of their business.
[OP]
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bubak wrote: I have gotten US money orders from CIBC several times before despite not having an account there, paid cash.

Tangerine or Simplii might be able to mail you one or let you pick one up at Scotia or CIBC like they do with drafts. Call them and ask.
lmcjipo wrote: I have gotten a US money order from TD Canada Trust.

I believe that any brick & mortar (non online-only) bank will allow you to "purchase" a money order in US funds or Canadian funds.

By brick & mortar, I am referring primarily to the Big 5 banks and don't consider an online only bank that only has a presence in "cafes" like Tangerine to be a brick & mortar bank.

I haven't gotten a US money order in ages since getting a US chequing account and getting a US dollar credit card but don't see any reasons why a brick & mortar bank don't sell US dollar money orders any more since it is part of their business.
TD didn't let me get one unless I opened an account with them - same for BMO.

Will try CIBC too and will call up Tangerine just to be sure as well

Cheers!
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Scotiabank's account is free with minimum $200 US and then allows free US$ drafts. As long as you keep $200, it's free and longer term might be nice to have to facilitate transfers.
https://www.scotiabank.com/ca/en/person ... count.html
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Since you're in the Lower Mainland, I'd recommend Coast Capital Savings.
Their USD chequing account is free, no minimum balance, one transaction included per month. Drafts are available to members for CAD$7.50 each.

Because it's a credit union, you have to pay $5 for shares when you join. I think you can sign up online.

Also, they have a free unlimited chequing account in CAD with no minimum balance as well - good to have when you need in-branch services.... however, unlike Tangerine/Simplii they do charge for Interac e-transfers still.
[OP]
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xgbsSS wrote: Scotiabank's account is free with minimum $200 US and then allows free US$ drafts. As long as you keep $200, it's free and longer term might be nice to have to facilitate transfers.
https://www.scotiabank.com/ca/en/person ... count.html
200 USD isn't free though and is still very much a monumental waste of my money to park in a zero/minimal interest account

Also, I'm sure I won't have any other use for a USD account in Canada so I'm not particularly keen on getting one

That said, if I can open a Scotiabank USD account, send a free US draft and then close the account without paying a fee then that certainly sounds interesting
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ejohan wrote: Since you're in the Lower Mainland, I'd recommend Coast Capital Savings.
Their USD chequing account is free, no minimum balance, one transaction included per month. Drafts are available to members for CAD$7.50 each.

Because it's a credit union, you have to pay $5 for shares when you join. I think you can sign up online.

Also, they have a free unlimited chequing account in CAD with no minimum balance as well - good to have when you need in-branch services.... however, unlike Tangerine/Simplii they do charge for Interac e-transfers still.
Oh yeah, I had their chequing account during the insane promo they ran (I think?) last year

Anyways, if I have to pay $7.50 for the draft + $5 for their shares then this is actually worse than opening a BMO account, getting the money order, and then closing the account for no fee (their CS rep is the one who suggested I should do this)

Its a lot of hassle and delay to get a simple money order though so I was hoping for a quicker (and preferably cheaper) option
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Aug 30, 2020
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Toronto, ON
kooltilltheen wrote: Just spoke with BMO Harris and they said for account opening deposit, I can't transfer money directly even from a BMO Canada account - it'll have to be a money order (which will cost me 7-8 bucks to be issued + can be issued by any Big 5 bank - as long as I open an account with them)

I'm still not happy about paying 7-8 bucks just to be able to transfer my own money but it does seem like I'm running out of options at this point...
For what it's worth, I think it's up to them on if they actually want to charge you for it. I asked for one and they just wrote it for me. I already had the 25 dollar deposit in my USD chequing account with them and they just used those funds. This was at branch in Toronto, not that that really matters.
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CarterC020424 wrote: For what it's worth, I think it's up to them on if they actually want to charge you for it. I asked for one and they just wrote it for me. I already had the 25 dollar deposit in my USD chequing account with them and they just used those funds. This was at branch in Toronto, not that that really matters.
I'm not an existing BMO customer though so I doubt they'll be that generous with me...but I plan to visit them in the next day or 2 anyways so we'll see
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kooltilltheen wrote: 200 USD isn't free though and is still very much a monumental waste of my money to park in a zero/minimal interest account

Also, I'm sure I won't have any other use for a USD account in Canada so I'm not particularly keen on getting one

That said, if I can open a Scotiabank USD account, send a free US draft and then close the account without paying a fee then that certainly sounds interesting
Or pay the $1 fee per month and get the draft, then close the account. Max cost, $1 or $2 US.

If you want to avoid the penalty of closing an account less than 90 days, then 3 months. $3. This is still less than Canada Post's old pricing for US money orders.
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[OP]
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xgbsSS wrote: Or pay the $1 fee per month and get the draft, then close the account. Max cost, $1 or $2 US.

If you want to avoid the penalty of closing an account less than 90 days, then 3 months. $3. This is still less than Canada Post's old pricing for US money orders.
The Scotiabank account fee is $1 per month? Wow yeah that's very reasonable

Seem like the next best thing to getting the draft for free (which doesn't seem likely) so I'll def have to look into it...cheers!
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kooltilltheen wrote: Just spoke with BMO Harris and they said for account opening deposit, I can't transfer money directly even from a BMO Canada account - it'll have to be a money order (which will cost me 7-8 bucks to be issued + can be issued by any Big 5 bank - as long as I open an account with them)

I'm still not happy about paying 7-8 bucks just to be able to transfer my own money but it does seem like I'm running out of options at this point...

I definitely was able to open a BMO Harris personal account without couriering a bank draft or money order. My Bmo Harris advisor just opened the account with $0 and told me I need to fund it within a few days, or it will close. I transferred the funds from BMO Canada and it deposited same day. It still has the same $100 initial deposit I transferred into it a few months ago.

It may be a bit different if you have no relationship with BMO or BMO Harris though. I already had a BMO Harris business account, and the rep that handled my account was referred by my private banker.

BTW, the BMO Canada US savings account is free, so no reason not to have one.
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Delight wrote: I definitely was able to open a BMO Harris personal account without couriering a bank draft or money order. My Bmo Harris advisor just opened the account with $0 and told me I need to fund it within a few days, or it will close. I transferred the funds from BMO Canada and it deposited same day. It still has the same $100 initial deposit I transferred into it a few months ago.

It may be a bit different if you have no relationship with BMO or BMO Harris though. I already had a BMO Harris business account, and the rep that handled my account was referred by my private banker.

BTW, the BMO Canada US savings account is free, so no reason not to have one.
I can transfer money between BMO Canada USD Savings account and BMO Harris Chequing account? I thought you could only transfer between Chequing accounts (with the BMO Canada one having a monthly fee). And while opening a BMO Canada USD Savings Account builds a "relationship" between me and BMO Canada, I'm not sure it'll help at all in terms of me getting a free money order (or even a money order at all, for that matter)

As for the transfer being done at no cost for you, that's surely because you were an existing BMO Harris business customer (they probably transferred money to your business account and then to your new account).

The rep I spoke to on the phone today (at BMO Canada) had no clue how I can transfer money to BMO Harris when I won't even get a BMO Harris account number until I've added the account opening deposit
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If you do not want to open account,why don’t you take help of any friend or relative who can use their bank account to buy a a US money order/draft
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kooltilltheen wrote:
... when I won't even get a BMO Harris account number until I've added the account opening deposit
Interesting. When I opened a BMO Harris account 3 years ago I got a package in the mail with a signature card to complete and send back along with request for opening deposit (to "activate" the account) - the account # was on that letter. I already had an RBC Bank (Georgia) account, so I used that to fund - I must have sent back a check but can't recall for sure.

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