Looking at the offers from Canadian banks it seems that the choice is quite poor for people who travel a lot. Every bank seems to charge 2.5% on top of dubious exchange rates for every transaction in a foreign currency, plus there are extra fees for foreign ATMs.

I thought I could get around the system by simply wiring CAD to Revolut, but here again every bank charges at least 30 CAD for transfers to foreign countries, so I would again overpay a lot just to use my own money. I guess I could just wire 3,000+ CAD at a time to Revolut, lowering the transaction fee to a reasonable 1%, but I'd rather not keep so much money in that account.

Are there any banks that don't have excessive fees for foreign currencies?

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    Voting to close as off-topic because it is "price-shopping". – fkraiem Jan 2 '18 at 3:50
  • I think the question was poorly extended with all the $$$ and %%%, but the legitimate question still remains: What's the best way to get money transfered from and into the Canadian banking system - which is very very painful. – Steffen Roller Jan 2 '18 at 4:23
  • Considering how large the HK community is in Canada, have you looked at offerings by the HK banks there, especially HSBC and Standard Chartered? – dda Jan 2 '18 at 4:43
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    @dda I've found an option that works will all banks and for all currencies - see below – JonathanReez Jan 2 '18 at 9:51

I used https://www.transfermate.com to move money from Europe to Canada. I found it was the best option. There is also http://www.xe.com/.

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To expand a bit on Steffen's answer - it seems that the best way is to do the following:

  • Use TransferWise to convert CAD to EUR, currently the fee for that is 1%
  • Transfer the EUR to a Revolut account and then spend it comission free wherever you are in the world

This allows you to completely sidestep the local banking infrastructure when it comes to foreign operations.

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