Where to get the best exchange rate to buy a big USD bank draft in Toronto?
September 1, 2009 9:05 PM   Subscribe

How do I get the best exchange rate when I have Canadian dollars in hand and want to make a large payment in US dollars? I'm in Toronto and the recipient is not flexible with regards to payment methods so I need to end up with a certified cheque or bank draft to send.

The money is currently in a President's Choice account and they can get me a USD draft but their premium on the exchange rate seems to be 2.5%. Currency exchange businesses usually advertise better rates than that but is there someplace I can walk into with a draft in CAD and walk out of with a draft in USD? Or is there some other option? I'll only need to do this once.
posted by winston to Work & Money (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've heard that XE Trade works well and gives good rates, probably better than your bank. I won't link to it because I haven't used the service myself but a quick Google will give you their FAQ and let you get a flat rate quote. They deliver the money via wire or EFT.
posted by ChrisHartley at 9:38 PM on September 1, 2009

Find out the total cost of taking the cash to the exchange place, changing it , redepositing it, then getting a bank draft from your bank. I don't think the exchange place can give you a bank draft. (But call and ask. Also ask about any other fees - there might be some hidden costs they don't advertise).
Then call your bank and ask for a better rate.

Then take the best option -usually the bank has the best option - remember, online posted rates are averages based on forex buy/sell rates - not consumer bank rates.
posted by TravellingDen at 5:20 AM on September 2, 2009

Response by poster: Both those options require me to have a USD bank account, right? (to receive the wire/EFT or to redeposit into).
posted by winston at 6:41 AM on September 2, 2009

Does the person you are paying have a USD bank account? XE trade delivers the money to the recipient by wire or EFT. If they don't have a bank account you can use XE Cash (pay with your Visa, get hit with cash advance fees) and have a bundle of US dollars FedEx'ed to your billing address.
posted by ChrisHartley at 3:57 PM on September 3, 2009

Response by poster: I'm sure they have a bank account, but they don't care about what's convenient for me. Payment can be made by online bill payment (if one has a bank account at a bank located in the USA) or by cheque.
posted by winston at 12:12 PM on September 4, 2009

Response by poster: Looks like XE Trade can mail a draft to the recipient (though it looks like that affects the rate) so that seems like the way to go.
posted by winston at 6:23 AM on October 3, 2009

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