U.S. citizen moving to Canada needs bank account
August 21, 2013 1:21 PM Subscribe
What's the easiest, best, and cheapest way for a U.S. citizen moving to Toronto to get a Canadian bank account? Ideally before I arrive, if that is possible.
posted by grouse to work & money (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I will be moving to Toronto in October. I will be flying in to look for apartments for several days starting 2 September. I have plans to view apartments the afternoon of the next day, and want to be able to pay a rent deposit then, which would be much easier with a Canadian bank account. A real estate agent said we could wire the funds to his firm and they would write a check, but I would definitely feel more comfortable dealing with a bank, which would also allow me to rent a place found on viewit.ca or otherwise independently of the rental agent.
Here are some of the options I've considered and my assessment:
- RBC allowed me to fill out their application online, had account packages with no monthly minimums or fees, and allowed me to choose U.S. passport and driving license as my two forms of identification. But after completing the application they say I need to make an appointment at a branch to finish.
- HSBC will let me open an account as a U.S. account-holder for about ten years, but the account will have a $25/month fee or a $25,000 minimum to waive that. Ouch. And once I go through the process I may find that I have to show up in person. They say they will transfer my credit history. Does that mean anything in practice? I'm betting it's not worth $300/year.
- Involves a lengthy process with certificates of identity from both my current banker and lawyer and lots of time-consuming mailing: BMO
- Can't open an account at the following with my U.S. address: Meridian Credit Union, Scotiabank, TD
- Need to show up in person: President's Choice, CIBC, National Bank
- Need a SIN (which I probably won't have until October or November): ING
So is my best option to get that appointment and show up at the RBC branch in two weeks, and then try to wire in the money right away? Or does something else make more sense?