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JoeWelch
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-27-2013
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Using Bank of America Debit/Credit Card Fees in Canada?

I have a bank of america debit card and a worldpoints credit card.  I will be staying in canada for a few months and will be renting an apartment there.  I read that bank of america debit card, if i use scotiabank atm, the fees are waived and its just exchange rate that i have to pay.  I know $500 is worth about 525 canadian dollars.  So if i use my bank of america debit card to withdraw, how much fees am i paying if im withdrawing 525 CAD?  Would it be 505 dollars or so?

 

 

If i use my boa credit card to pay my rent, i know there is a 3 percent foregin transaction fee.  Is this the same with a boa debit card?  Is there a way to save money in paying rent where i dont have to pay this fee?  Such as would it be possible to write a check from my boa checking account?  But if i do this, then wouldn't there be a currency fee since the landlord who collects it wants CAD and not USD?

 

 

Another question i have is can i use a debit card from capitalone360 to pay rent?  Was told that there was no charge at all when using capitalone360 in canada so that mean i wouldn't get charged more?

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broseph23
Posts: 150
Registered: ‎09-09-2012
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Re: Using Bank of America Debit/Credit Card Fees in Canada?

[ Edited ]

Honestly, BOA probably has some hidden fee that you'll have no idea what for because that's how they like to do business. If you're staying out of the country for that long, I think you should truly consider applying for a credit card that has no foreign transaction fees. 

 


JoeWelch wrote:

I have a bank of america debit card and a worldpoints credit card.  I will be staying in canada for a few months and will be renting an apartment there.  I read that bank of america debit card, if i use scotiabank atm, the fees are waived and its just exchange rate that i have to pay.  I know $500 is worth about 525 canadian dollars.  So if i use my bank of america debit card to withdraw, how much fees am i paying if im withdrawing 525 CAD?  Would it be 505 dollars or so?

 

 

If i use my boa credit card to pay my rent, i know there is a 3 percent foregin transaction fee.  Is this the same with a boa debit card?  Is there a way to save money in paying rent where i dont have to pay this fee?  Such as would it be possible to write a check from my boa checking account?  But if i do this, then wouldn't there be a currency fee since the landlord who collects it wants CAD and not USD?

 

 

Another question i have is can i use a debit card from capitalone360 to pay rent?  Was told that there was no charge at all when using capitalone360 in canada so that mean i wouldn't get charged more?


Depends on if the landlord/property managemnt allows you to pay with a debit/credit card. Many still only allow checks, at least in the US.

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wheeee1234
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎05-01-2013
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Re: Using Bank of America Debit/Credit Card Fees in Canada?


JoeWelch wrote:

I have a bank of america debit card and a worldpoints credit card.  I will be staying in canada for a few months and will be renting an apartment there.  I read that bank of america debit card, if i use scotiabank atm, the fees are waived and its just exchange rate that i have to pay.  I know $500 is worth about 525 canadian dollars.  So if i use my bank of america debit card to withdraw, how much fees am i paying if im withdrawing 525 CAD?  Would it be 505 dollars or so?

 

 

If i use my boa credit card to pay my rent, i know there is a 3 percent foregin transaction fee.  Is this the same with a boa debit card?  Is there a way to save money in paying rent where i dont have to pay this fee?  Such as would it be possible to write a check from my boa checking account?  But if i do this, then wouldn't there be a currency fee since the landlord who collects it wants CAD and not USD?

 

 

Another question i have is can i use a debit card from capitalone360 to pay rent?  Was told that there was no charge at all when using capitalone360 in canada so that mean i wouldn't get charged more?


I don't know about CapitalOne, but I can tell you about my experience with BofA abroad:

 

Yes, if you withdraw from an ATM from a sister bank (inc. ScotiaBank) there is no withdrawal fee.  There is an exchange rate, which changes periodically (I can't remember if it's daily or monthly).  The rate tends to be pretty good/fair, especially compared to currency exchangers.  I doubt that any Canadian landlord would accept a US check.  You would be best off paying in cash, or getting a credit card that does not charge a foreign transaction fee.

 

From what I remember, if you use a debit card abroad, they charge you a flat fee per transaction as well as a foreign transaction fee.  So again, your best course of action would be to pay cash or with a credit card with no foreign transaction fee.  If you must pay with card, it's better to pay with a credit card than a debit card.

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TheConductor
Posts: 492
Registered: ‎07-24-2012
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Re: Using Bank of America Debit/Credit Card Fees in Canada?

wheeeee is 100% correct.  BoA waives fees at their partner banks' ATMs in foreign countries (and really this is just a handful of banks in a handful of countries), but that is all.  Otherwise you are on the hook for foreign-transaction fees when you use other ATMs or swipe your debit card like a credit card.  They do have decent exchange rates, so for the limited case of using the Scotiabank ATMs they will be a good card to have.

 

Ultimately, though, it's lacking in versatility.  You could spend your whole time in Canada using cash withdrawn from the ATM, but there are daily withdrawal limits to contend with and you miss out on rewards.

 

The dream team for foreign travel is a debit card that will refund ATM fees from any foreign ATM, teamed with a rewards credit card that has no foreign transaction fees.

 

For the debit card, Charles Schwab checking will refund foreign ATM fees.  So will Capital One 360.  Some credit unions will reimburse ATM fees, but read the fine print: some of them only reimburse any ATM in the USA, not in the world.  Here's a lengthy list of no-fee options and the fees from other major banks/CUs: http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/debit-card-foreign-transaction-international-atm-fees/

 

For the credit card, you have a larger array of no-fee options.  Ideally you want to get two cards from different networks, just in case you find yourself somewhere that doesn't take your preferred Visa/MC/Discover/Amex.  It's particularly recommended to have at least one be a Mastercard since they have the most global reach.  There's a pretty extensive list here: http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/top-credit-cards/no-foreign-transaction-fee-credit-card/  I don't see your Worldpoints card on it, but a lot of travel cards have been converting to no-FTF lately, so I would call BoA and ask.  If it does have an FTF, maybe see if they can change your product to one that doesn't.

 

Finally, be sure to insist that transactions are processed in local currency when using your card(s).  Many businesses will try to run your card in USD if they identify you as an American, and that usually means you are getting a worse conversion rate than your card would have given you.

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wheeee1234
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎05-01-2013
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Re: Using Bank of America Debit/Credit Card Fees in Canada?


TheConductor wrote:

wheeeee is 100% correct.  BoA waives fees at their partner banks' ATMs in foreign countries (and really this is just a handful of banks in a handful of countries), but that is all.  Otherwise you are on the hook for foreign-transaction fees when you use other ATMs or swipe your debit card like a credit card.  They do have decent exchange rates, so for the limited case of using the Scotiabank ATMs they will be a good card to have.

 

Ultimately, though, it's lacking in versatility.  You could spend your whole time in Canada using cash withdrawn from the ATM, but there are daily withdrawal limits to contend with and you miss out on rewards.

 

The dream team for foreign travel is a debit card that will refund ATM fees from any foreign ATM, teamed with a rewards credit card that has no foreign transaction fees.

 

For the debit card, Charles Schwab checking will refund foreign ATM fees.  So will Capital One 360.  Some credit unions will reimburse ATM fees, but read the fine print: some of them only reimburse any ATM in the USA, not in the world.  Here's a lengthy list of no-fee options and the fees from other major banks/CUs: http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/debit-card-foreign-transaction-international-atm-fees/

 

For the credit card, you have a larger array of no-fee options.  Ideally you want to get two cards from different networks, just in case you find yourself somewhere that doesn't take your preferred Visa/MC/Discover/Amex.  It's particularly recommended to have at least one be a Mastercard since they have the most global reach.  There's a pretty extensive list here: http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/top-credit-cards/no-foreign-transaction-fee-credit-card/  I don't see your Worldpoints card on it, but a lot of travel cards have been converting to no-FTF lately, so I would call BoA and ask.  If it does have an FTF, maybe see if they can change your product to one that doesn't.

 

Finally, be sure to insist that transactions are processed in local currency when using your card(s).  Many businesses will try to run your card in USD if they identify you as an American, and that usually means you are getting a worse conversion rate than your card would have given you.


I definitely agree with that.  Not only do merchants give you worse rates, but because it was purchased abroad (even if in USD), the credit card company will still view it as a foreign transaction and tack on the fee so you'll get double screwed.

 

I've always been able to use Visa and MC in Canada.  I don't know about the others.  They've also started using the chip widely, but they still accept non-chip cards. 

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DaveSignal
Posts: 2,111
Registered: ‎07-29-2011
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Re: Using Bank of America Debit/Credit Card Fees in Canada?

To OP:  since you bank with BoA already, you should apply for a Travel Rewards credit card.  This card has no fees.  It will save you a ton of money that would normally be paid in fees, plus you earn an anniversary rewards bonus for having a banking account there.

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