The Best Bank Accounts in Canada for International Travel 2019

Zack Fenech
by Zack Fenech April 2, 2019 / No Comments

Travelling to the United States or Europe can be quite costly, especially for Canadians. Considering expenses, travel insurance, and foreign exchange rates, in addition to ATM and admin fees, it’s easy to gather hefty charges from your bank that could be spent on making the most out of your trip.

That’s why the Ratehub.ca team put its travel cap on to conduct a competitive audit to find the best bank accounts for international travel. After some intensive research, we found out which bank from Canada’s big five helps stretch your dollar as much as possible when you find yourself across the border or overseas.

Scotiabank

Since the foreign exchange rate impacts the final amount of funds you receive, Scotiabank’s competitive rates make Scotiabank chequing accounts among the best bank accounts for international travel and a leading option for people looking to withdraw money abroad.

Scotiabank’s chequing accounts cost the least amount of money when withdrawing cash in Europe or the US, assuming you withdraw funds from an ATM belonging to the Global ATM Alliance network.

Scotiabank’s association with the Global ATM Alliance network allows its customers to withdraw money without the additional surcharges that come from making a transaction with an institution that is not in the alliance.

Scotiabank Student Advantage Account (View details) Open Student Account
Scotiabank ScotiaOne Chequing Account(View Details) Open Personal Account

For example, in the United States of America, Scotiabank customers can use over 15, 000 Bank of America ATMs with no additional cost from Scotiabank. In Europe, Scotiabank customers can use BNP Paribas or Deutsche Bank, depending on which country they visit. In the United Kingdom, travellers can access Barclays’ ATMs.

If you’re wondering how to find a partnered banking institution across the globe, Scotiabank’s Mobile Banking App features an ATM locator that can quickly guide you to the closest partnered ATM, whether you’re in North America, Europe, or anywhere else in the world. All things considered, Scotiabank truly is one of the best bank accounts for international travel available on the Canadian market. 

Scotiabank chequing account fees (Click to View)

 

Scotiabank Foreign Exchange Rates

(as of March 8, 2019)

EUR 1.5542%

USD 1.376%

Scotiabank ATM Access Fees in Europe $5.00
Scotiabank ATM Access Fees in the US $3.00
Scotiabank Admin Fee 2.5%
ATM Network Global ATM Alliance (US: Bank of America, Europe: Barclays, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank)

Plus or Visa Network

Withdrawing 100 euros will cost you = $159 CAD

(if withdrawing from a Global ATM Alliance network ATM)

Withdrawing 100 USD will cost you = $141 CAD

(if withdrawing from a Global ATM Alliance network ATM)

Using Scotiabank to withdraw 100 euros in Europe will cost you $159 CAD ($155.42 CAD converted at 1.5542% plus $3.89 CAD admin fee plus $0.00 CAD ATM fee assuming you are withdrawing with Global ATM Alliance network).

Withdrawing 100 US dollars using Scotiabank while travelling in the US would cost you $141.04 CAD ($137.60 CAD converted at 1.376% plus $3.44 CAD admin fee plus $0.00 CAD ATM access fee assuming you are withdrawing with Global ATM Alliance network).

CIBC

CIBC’s chequing accounts offer similar perks to Canada’s major banks. In partnership with Visa’s Plus or Visa Network, CIBC bank accounts allow their customers with a CIBC Visa Debit card to access funds using an ATM in the Plus Network around the world. Most of the best bank accounts for international travel are a part of this ATM network. 

Though it may seem like you’re using a credit card, the CIBC Visa Debit uses the Plus network to access the funds from your chequing account.

CIBC is a good option for Canadian travellers who feel more comfortable using their debit card in the same fashion as their credit card, without having to pay interest or bills once they return. However, additional fees may come with each transaction.

CIBC chequing account fees (Click to View)

 

CIBC Foreign Exchange Rates (as of March 8, 2019) EUR 1.5546%

USD 1.39%

CIBC ATM Access Fees in Europe $5.00
CIBC ATM Access Fees in the US $3.00
CIBC Admin Fee 2.5%
CIBC ATM Network Plus or Visa Network
Withdrawing 100 euros will cost you = $164
Withdrawing 100 USD will cost you = $146

As a CIBC customer, withdrawing 100 euros in Europe will cost you $164.35 CAD ($155.46 CAD converted at 1.5546% plus $3.89 CAD admin fee plus $5.00 CAD ATM fee).

In the United States, 100 US dollars, travelling as a CIBC customer, will cost you $145.48 Canadian dollars ($139.00 CAD converted at 1.39% plus $3.48 CAD admin fee plus $3.00 CAD ATM access fee).

Bank of Montreal (BMO)

Bank of Montreal works with Cirrus Network, which offers millions of ATMs across the world that are compatible with Mastercard. BMO customers can access over 2 million ATMs using their BMO Debit Mastercard, however, use may lead to additional fees and surcharges.

BMO chequing account fees (Click to View)

 

BMO Foreign Exchange Rates (as of March 8, 2019) EUR 1.5707%

USD 1.3742%

BMO ATM Access Fees in Europe $5.00
BMO ATM Access Fees in the US $3.00
BMO Admin Fee 2.5%
BMO ATM Network Cirrus Network  
Withdrawing 100 euros will cost you = $166
Withdrawing 100 USD will cost you = $144

BMO customers can withdraw 100 euros in Europe for $166 CAD ($157.07 CAD converted at 1.5707% plus $3.93 CAD admin fee plus $5.00 CAD ATM fee). 

As for the United States, 100 US dollars would cost $143 Canadian dollars ($137.42 CAD converted at 1.3742% plus $3.44 CAD admin fee plus $3.00 CAD ATM access fee).

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

Royal Bank of Canada also offers its customers compatibility while travelling abroad through the Visa Plus Network, meaning customers can use their RBC debit card at the point of purchase, with a fee per transaction. Money can also be withdrawn at any ATM with a Visa Plus Network symbol.

RBC chequing account fees (Click to view)

 

RBC Foreign Exchange Rates (as of March 8, 2019) EUR 1.5547%

USD 1.3711%

RBC ATM Access Fees in Europe $5.00
RBC ATM Access Fees in the US $3.00
RBC Admin Fee 2.5%
RBC ATM Network Plus Network
Withdrawing 100 euros will cost you = $164
Withdrawing 100 USD will cost you = $144

100 euros in Europe would cost RBC customers $164.36 CAD ($155.47 CAD converted at 1.5547% plus $3.89 CAD admin fee plus $5 CAD ATM fee).

If an RBC customer withdrew 100 US dollars while travelling in the US, it would cost $143.54 Canadian dollars ($143.00 CAD converted at 1.39% plus $3.43 CAD admin fee plus $3.00 CAD ATM access fee).

TD Canada Trust

Like the majority of Canadian banks, TD Canada Trust offers its customers access to most automated tellers across the world that are a part of the Plus or Visa Network.

TD chequing account fees (Click to view)

 

TD Canada Trust Foreign Exchange Rates (as of March 8, 2019) EUR 1.5748%

USD 1.3786%

TD Canada Trust ATM Access Fees in Europe $5.00
TD Canada Trust ATM Access Fees in the US $3.00
TD Canada Trust Admin Fee 3.5%
TD Canada Trust ATM Network Plus or Visa Network
Withdrawing 100 euros will cost you = $168
Withdrawing 100 USD will cost you = $146

Withdrawing 100 euros while visiting Europe will TD Canada Trust customers  $164 CAD ($155.46 CAD converted at 1.5546% plus $3.89 CAD admin fee plus $5 CAD ATM fee.)

In the United States, withdrawing 100 US dollars with TD Canada Trust would cost you $146 Canadian dollars ($146.00 CAD converted at 1.39% plus $3.48 CAD admin fee plus $3.00 CAD ATM access fee).


Best Canadian Bank Accounts for International Travel 2019 (INFOGRAPHIC)

Best Canadian Bank Accounts for International Travel Ratehub.ca

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