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XE or others for converting CAD to USD

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  • Jun 26th, 2015 8:44 pm
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[OP]
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Dec 11, 2005
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XE or others for converting CAD to USD

Hi
I've been doing some research on XE here and don't seem to find enough reviews to make a decision if they're worth the hassle to convert cad into usd. I was looking into buying a short sale property down south and the bank would need funds by next Tuesday. Some things I noticed about XE is:
  • The mid-market rates they show, you/no-one can get them. You need to create log-in to account and see current rates
  • I believe when you setup account etc., they do credit check which is okay but not sure how long setting up account and verification time it'll take (does anyone here uses them?)
My other options are TD borderless account (would be suitable as i have a no-fee account in Florida too). They give you a better rate but the difference I came to know b/w xe.com and Td is around $400-500 for the amount I need to convert.

The only fee involved with XE i was told was that you need to tranfer funds from your bank into XE's account (so Wire fee or free via ACH) - not sure as I've never used them but wanted to know your feedback.

Thanks
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[OP]
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dani_toronto wrote: Norbert's gambit
Is that a recommended route? Seem a bit complicated to setup.
"You can't soar with the eagles if you're hanging with the turkeys - Gary Kent
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Jul 10, 2005
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TorontoEh wrote: Is that a recommended route? Seem a bit complicated to setup.
I already have a brokerage account connected with bank accounts in usd and cad, so it's all a matter of a few clicks.
You need to understand what you are doing and be comfortable with it. There are simpler ways, for sure.
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Jun 26, 2012
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dani_toronto wrote: I already have a brokerage account connected with bank accounts in usd and cad, so it's all a matter of a few clicks.
You need to understand what you are doing and be comfortable with it. There are simpler ways, for sure.
What about using a FOREX trading account since the pip spread would probably cost less percentage than a bank rate of 2.5 percent
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dontplaywithfire wrote: What about using a FOREX trading account since the pip spread would probably cost less percentage than a bank rate of 2.5 percent
You have to do the math every time to find the best deal. Spreads vary widely between companies and based on amount. The breakeven point is different for each transaction.
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Oct 27, 2003
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I've used Vancouver Bullion and Currency Exchange (VBCE) on occasion. Pretty straightforward and quick to set up (24-48 hours if I recall). They will do a credit check. Way better rates than my TD Borderless. http://online.vbce.ca/

However, if it is a reasonably large amount, go into your TD branch with the rate posted on XE or VBCE. I've had TD match the VBCE rate in the past. A bit hit or miss, depending on the experience level of the teller, and may require them to call their exchange desk for approval (so best to go during regular business hours), but they do match it more often than not.
[OP]
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Gursk wrote: I've used Vancouver Bullion and Currency Exchange (VBCE) on occasion. Pretty straightforward and quick to set up (24-48 hours if I recall). They will do a credit check. Way better rates than my TD Borderless. http://online.vbce.ca/

However, if it is a reasonably large amount, go into your TD branch with the rate posted on XE or VBCE. I've had TD match the VBCE rate in the past. A bit hit or miss, depending on the experience level of the teller, and may require them to call their exchange desk for approval (so best to go during regular business hours), but they do match it more often than not.
Hi Gursk, didn't know td branch will actually do that but doesn't hurt to try as I've got a branch across from me. If not, i'll try VCBE - in terms of time after account setup, is it pretty straight forward and fast transfer like banks to the US bank?
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Depending on how much you need, I wanted to convert some of my USD to CAD, PM me if you don't mind a private deal.
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TorontoEh wrote: Hi Gursk, didn't know td branch will actually do that but doesn't hurt to try as I've got a branch across from me. If not, i'll try VCBE - in terms of time after account setup, is it pretty straight forward and fast transfer like banks to the US bank?
I've only used Canadian domiciled accounts with VBCE, but they should be able to tell you pretty quickly if a U.S.-based account will be problematic. Currencyfair.com may be another option; I know they don't work with US citizens, but am unsure about US accounts.
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Oct 27, 2009
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I use xe.com all the time, usually takes 4-5 business days for the transaction.

The only thing I would be concerned is the limit of the amount you can convert at any given time. Mine seems to be about 10K CAD.. Probably could increase it though if called them (but not sure)
[OP]
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nickaslt wrote: I use xe.com all the time, usually takes 4-5 business days for the transaction.

The only thing I would be concerned is the limit of the amount you can convert at any given time. Mine seems to be about 10K CAD.. Probably could increase it though if called them (but not sure)
Yes you're right because of the timing I'm limited in my choices. They did mention once the account is setup you can call and increase limit.
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Jun 23, 2015
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It depends on what you're looking to do.

Norbert's Gambit is a good option if you already have trading account. Remember you'll pay transaction costs for the deal, and a lot of brokers aren't too keen on making this kind of deal.

I've never used XE.com before, but I've used www.knightsbridgefx.com before, and the experience was great. Takes one business day, and the markup is very small. It all depends what you're comfortable with.
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Jan 31, 2014
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USD/CAD spread is usually around 1-2 pip when trading fx not when you are converting funds. While it is true that you can convert the funds in your account to a different currency, fx brokerages most likely do not offer an option for you to wire the converted funds in a different currency to an account, from which your original funds did not originate.
dontplaywithfire wrote: What about using a FOREX trading account since the pip spread would probably cost less percentage than a bank rate of 2.5 percent
[OP]
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well just an update, you never know until you ask as I had good banking relationship with my local branch. RBC was able to beat XE's rate and even TD's borderless rate which wasn't that big of a spread from their normal rates.
"You can't soar with the eagles if you're hanging with the turkeys - Gary Kent

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