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Cheapest Ways to Send Money From the US to Canada

Cheapest Ways to Send Money From the US to Canada

Are there genuinely cheaper ways to send money from the US to Canada, or is that claim best left to the many transfer companies that clog up the Internet like hair down a shower drain? There are ways to send money from the US to Canada “On The Cheap,” but they involve a trickle of cunning, a slathering or patience, and a strong sense of non-urgency. If you are willing to commit a bit of time to the endeavor, then you may transfer money more cheaply from the US to Canada. If you are looking for a quick way to transfer money, then you have found the wrong article.

Turns out the hare went to the barbers…looking for a short cut

Why You Should Stay Away From Transfer-company And Exchange-company Comparison Websites

There are two good reasons. The first is because every one I have looked at is being sponsored by different transfer companies. It is very easy for a website to sign up for affiliate programs with transfer companies because transfer companies are crying out for them. Even with fewer than 500 visitors per month, a website may sign up for a number of different affiliate programs. It is then in the interest of the website to promote one set of transfer companies over the others.

The second reason is because it is so easy to skewer the differences between each transfer company. There are so many tricks that I could probably write a book on them. Here are a few off the top of my head. One trick is to give users a free service the first time so that comparison websites show that the company has no fee. Another trick is to give people a better rate or a free rate for the first $1000 or $2000 and then ramp up the price. Another trick is to say that there are no fees at all, and then offer the customer a terrible exchange rate. A common trick is to claim there are no exchange fees, but to then charge the recipient, or charge for deposits or withdrawals.

There are plenty of ways that a transfer company or a comparison company may skewer the facts to make one appear cheaper than the other. That is why you shouldn’t trust comparison websites. We all want the cheapest transfer and exchange price, but only one can be the cheapest—the others have the job of making themselves appear to be the cheapest.

Why You Should Be Suspicious Of Review Websites That Review Transfer And Exchange Companies

There are hundreds of websites on the Internet that tell you how to make money from your website. One of the most common methods is to sign up for an affiliate program with a certain product, and then promote that product on your website.

Some affiliate programs will simply pay for clicks, but the most valuable ones will pay for sales. All you have to do is sign up for an affiliate program, and then convince people to sign up and make sales.

One of the easiest ways to do this with currency transfer and exchange companies is to compare a bunch of them and make claims that one is cheaper than the others. There are plenty of review websites out there that claim one transfer company is cheaper than another when it isn’t.

The crazy part is that many review websites don’t have to lie. There are plenty of ways to make one transfer company appear cheaper than another without actually lying outright; the section above on comparison sites laid out a few ways to make a transfer company look cheaper than it is.

You simply cannot trust comparison websites and/or review websites; even the ones that claim to show you how much you can send and how much you will be charged. You are always better off running your own tests.

Should You Even Bother Searching For The Cheapest Transfer/Exchange Company?

Transfer and exchange companies are one way to go. There are a few other ways to lower your transfer and exchange costs that I have listed in this article, but there is nothing wrong with doing a little research and seeing if you can find a good transfer company.

Run Your Own Tests

Instead of trusting comparison websites and transfer/exchange websites, you should run your own tests. Keep it as simple as possible. For example, try out each company with a set amount and see how much your recipient receives after using each company. Just keep in mind that some companies try to sucker you in with starter deals and discounts. Keep it as simple as possible, “I put in X amount and I got X amount out of it.”

If you tried company X where you started with $1000 and your recipient received $930 CAD, then make a note of it and try another company. The next company may give your recipient $990 CAD for your $1000. Again, do not trust their quotes, you need to run the conversion and transfer all the way to the end or you will not find out what their hidden fees are.

The Most Expensive Part May Be The Currency Exchange Rather Than The Currency Transfer

Moving money from one place to annother can be expensive sometimes, especially if you are transferring overseas. However, since there are things such as online wallets that do it for free (or very cheaply), you are probably going to find the currency exchange is the most expensive part of the currency transfer and conversion process.

Try to get the best rate you can for your exchange. Again, you need to run simple tests like the one I explained earlier—just be aware that most transfer and exchange companies make their money from the currency exchange rate.

Instead of offering you the market rate for your transfer from US dollars to Canadian dollars, they offer you their rate. It is what I call “Skimming from the exchange rate” and it is a standard business practice in the world of currency exchanges.

For example, if you Google “$1 into CAD” you will get a Google result that tells you how many Canadian dollars you will receive if you convert one dollar at the market rate.

Google results for one US dollar in CAD

The Google result is based on the currency market rate (price) for Canadian dollars. In the example above (in the image), you get $1.22 CAD for $1.00 USD. That is what you get if you exchange with the current market rate. A transfer company will not give you that rate. A transfer/exchange company will skim the rate and give you something such as $1.15 CAD for your $1.00 USD.

Exchange rate skimming is not a con or a trick, but it can be deceptive. When people see a transfer/exchange company that says it doesn’t charge fees, they many not realize that they are still not getting good value for their money because the exchange rate being offered is so poor.

Cheapest Ways To Send Money From The Us To Canada With Bitcoin

How cheaply you get your bitcoin is a factor when transferring money with bitcoin. Currently, the price of bitcoin is up and down, but that may work in your favor because you may be able to buy when it is low priced and then transfer when it is high priced. However, the biggest reason why bitcoin is good for transfers and exchanges is twofold.

The first is that you may be able to get a good deal on your bitcoin when you exchange it, and a Canadian may be able to get a good deal on it, which means the costs of exchange are not going to cripple you.

Secondly, despite the fact that your transfer may take between 20 minutes and 6 hours, it is still faster than some other methods for transferring money. Plus, transfer costs are often rather low with bitcoin and there is little reason why that cost should go up anytime soon.

Why Is Bitcoin A Cheap Way To Send Money From The Us To Canada?

The transfer cost for bitcoin is very low no matter how much bitcoin you transfer. If you are transferring large amounts, your transfer fees are going to be tiny when compared to other transfer companies and other transfer methods. In fact, even if you are transferring $50 today, it will probably cost you about 18 cents worth of bitcoin to transfer. If you are sending more bitcoin and you want it to arrive a little faster, then maybe increase the transfer fee you pay. Nevertheless, it is possible to send large amounts of bitcoin for relatively small transfer fees.

Method One – Buying, Stockpiling And Paying With Bitcoin

This method is best saved for people who are making long-term transfers over to Canada because you really have to play the long game with this one. Your job is to hunt for cheap bitcoin on a regular basis. Keep your eye on the market and buy it when it drops in price. Stockpile the bitcoin and make your transfers when the cost of bitcoin is very high.

You are buying low and selling high, and it isn’t as difficult as its seems. There are websites that offer alerts. Figure out what bitcoin price you consider to be cheap and what you consider to be expensive, and set your price alert tool accordingly.

Set the alert tool so that you get an alert whenever the price of bitcoin drops to a suitably low level. When it drops low enough, you buy. Set the alert tool so that you get an alert whenever the price of bitcoin rises to a suitably high level, and send the money to Canada when it does.

Method Two – Finding Cheap Bitcoin And Sending It To Canada

Set up alerts with classified advert websites in your local area and set the parameters for people selling bitcoin. Set up a Google alert for it too, and maybe even consider an eBay alert for people selling bitcoin.

I grant you that this method requires a fair amount of luck, but there is no harm in giving it a try because you have nothing to lose. You set up all these alerts so that you know when somebody in your area is selling bitcoin. When you find somebody with bitcoin in your area, you meet up and negotiate a price for cash. The offer of cash in return for a quick sale may be very agreeable to some people, especially people who are looking to sell quickly.

At this time, late 2017, there are people who have panic bought bitcoin because they think it is the next get-rich-quick scheme and now they are strapped for cash so they are looking to sell. Capitalize on their poor financial planning by negotiating a good price for your bitcoin.

Cheapest Ways To Send Money From The Us To Canada With Transferwise

Transferwise is yet another money transfer and exchange company in an already overcrowded marketplace. The only difference is that Transferwise is the most transparent company online at the moment. It is the only transfer company where you are able to get a quote on the home page and see exactly how much you are going to send and how much is going to be received with no blurring of the issue.

There are plenty of ways that transfer and exchange companies may muddy the issue of transferring and exchanging to the point where you can never be sure which company is the cheapest or which is the cheapest right now. Transferwise is the only company that makes your transfer crystal clear every time.

Why Is Transferwise A Cheap Way To Send Money From The Us To Canada?

You only pay a fee, and the fee is shown upfront. There is no exchange rate skimming, no special offer rates, no tiered system, and nothing to make your transfer appear cheaper or better. If you are sending lower amounts, then Transferwise is less economical. The more money you send, then the less fee you pay per dollar sent, which means you save more.

The sheer amount you save on the exchange is valuable enough in itself because that is often where many people lose most of their money. When you use Transferwise, you get the market rate. That means you do not get the rate that Transferwise have come up with, you get the market rate that is shown on Google, Bing and Not only does this mean you get a good deal, but it also means you may easily plan your future exchanges and transfers.

Method One – Snipe A Good Deal Whenever The Market Rate Is In Your Favor

There are plenty of opportunities to snipe a good deal if you set up rate alerts and if you keep up with the news. There are free and paid alerts that you can sign up for where they email you if a certain currency drops or rises. Buy low and send high. I have been making a killing with US dollars and Great British Pounds this year and here is how.

I set up a rate alert that sends me an email at 11am if the rate has changed from yesterday to today. If the price of US dollars drops or rises by 0.05, then it sends me an email.

By using the alert tool and keeping up with the news, I have been able to make a reasonable profit from buying and selling GBP and US dollars. Whenever bad news comes out about Brexit, the GBP drops. Whenever bad news about President Trump comes out, then the US dollar drops. On the other hand, British companies do very well when the GBP drops, so there is always a sharp recovery. Plus, President Trump is building an unfathomably strong US economy, so US dollars keep recovering sharply too.

Buying and selling during these peaks and troughs is great for me, but what is more amazing is that the drops and rises happen so quickly that I have made money almost every month since the UK decided to leave Europe and President Trump was elected. I am not making thousands from exploiting this situation, but it is enough to keep me interested.

When you read this, maybe you won’t be in a situation where you may exploit a similar situation with US dollars and Canadian dollars, but peaks and troughs still happen. If you keep your eye on the news and you set up rate alerts, then you can snipe some good deals. Instead of selling when the price of Canadian dollars is high, you send them instead.

Method Two – Combine Your Transfers Into One Chunkier Payment

In some cases, you are able to buy currency in bulk and get a better deal. One problem with this is that some people worry about sending limits, but there are ways around it.

Transfers are often cheaper than exchanges, so all you need to do is convert/exchange your currency in bulk to make a saving, and then send it at a later date and/or send it in chunks.

There are limits on how much you can send out of the country at any one time, and they are based on the laws in your country. There are also limits that may or may not be set by the transfer and exchange company. Get around these limits by converting your currency in bulk and then portioning out how much you send to Canada.

Look for currency exchanges that reward larger transfers. For example, Transferwise was mentioned earlier, and they reward people who send larger amounts. Since they charge a fee rather and give you the market rate, the more money you send, then the better value your exchange becomes.

There are other transfer and exchange companies that will offer you a better rate and better fees if you send or convert larger amounts. If you are looking to convert a large amount, then maybe find an account where you may store Canadian dollars until you are ready to start sending them to Canada.

A Quick Word About Transfer And Exchange Companies

Firstly, remember that the transfer/exchange company may increase its rates without making it clear that they are increasing their rate fees or rates (where you get fewer Canadian dollars for your US dollars).

Secondly, a company may ask for a little bit of verification and ID confirmation, but beware of companies that ask for too much. Do not give away too much information to the point where you feel uncomfortable because transfer/exchange companies do not need lots of information to stay within the law and/or within their insurance company’s rules.

Thirdly, transfer/exchange companies change their rates and fees all the time in order to compete with each other. The company that is the cheapest today may not be the cheapest tomorrow.

Fourthly, it pays to learn all the tricks of the trade that transfer/exchange companies pull to make their quotes look cheaper. However, the best and most foolproof way is to try each one and record how much you started with and how many CAD you came away with, and then compare each company on a dollar by dollar basis.

Conclusion – Judge Each Method By How Much Money You Don’t Lose

Remember earlier in the article when I said, “Keep it as simple as possible, “I put in X amount and I got X amount out of it.”” You should use the same principle when judging which method to use and continue using.

I tried X idea, I put in $1000, and my Canadian recipient got $1050 CAD
I tried X idea, I put in $1000, and my Canadian recipient got $1123 CAD
I tried X idea, I put in $1000, and my Canadian recipient got $1186 CAD

Use the same principle when you are comparing transfer and exchange companies because it is the only fair way to test which method will save you the most money. The great thing about the methods listed in this article is that you may use your intellect, cunning and luck to get better deals than other people.

If you are still looking for more ways to send money from the US to Canada, then we have an article called, Cheapest Ways to Send Money From Canada to the Us and it has a few ideas that are not mentioned in this article. Try that article too and use the ideas for sending money to Canada rather than for sending it to the US.

About The Author

Ash The Great

After a varied career in different industries from the hospitality industry to the financial consultancy industry, Ash now spends his days working as a professional writer.

1 Comment

  1. Moses

    How do you transfer bitcoin to Canada for a cheap price? Everything I checked including coinbase have high fees….. I have a school debt in Canada and have a job in the US. So I need to move money over there often.


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