Just a few hours ago I decided to exchange some money in my USD account with Bank of America into my TD CAD account. I could do it the old fashion way of driving across the border, withdraw my money, bring it back to Canada, then exchange it at the bank or one of those currency exchange booth. However, this will not save me on gas and exchange commission fee so I decided to go with the online method.
There are two popular foreign exchange firms that I am aware of in Canada: CanadianForex and XE Trade. I’ve never used them for personal transaction but I’ve used XE Trade many times back when I still run my small business.
I’ve never used CanadianForex before so I decide to check it out and signed up for a free account. I wanted to transfer $1k USD (still keeping a few hundreds in my BoA account for my next US trip) to CAD so I get an instant online quote from them and compared it with XE Trade.
CanadianForex: $1000 USD = $1317.70 CAD
XE Trade: $1000 USD = $1325.03 CAD (I get more CAD)
As you can see, it’s very obvious who the winner is for this transaction but I do know the rate will get more competitive at higher amount.
My suggestion: sign-up an account with both firm, get a free quote from them by running the process all the way to the end but without confirming the trade (so you’ll see all the commission fee, etc.). By doing that, you’ll be able to compare between the firms and save forex commission. Majority of the time, their rate is much better than the big bank rate of 2.5%+ commission.