Banking in Canada

Canadian Currency and Banking

It is your choice whether to open a bank account in Canada. If you do, most major banks offer great student accounts and services that can help you save on international transaction charges. A basic bank account costs approximately $5/month and most include personalized cheques that can be used to pay for large amounts like rent and bill payments. Internet banking is also quite common and has become a widely accepted method for bill payments and other transactions.

To find out more about student account options or to open an account, visit any Canadian bank or go to your current bank and inquire about partnerships they may have with those in Canada.

Canada's major banks are:

  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Scotia Bank
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
  • Bank of Montr√©al
  • TD Canada Trust
  • President's Choice Bank
  • HSBC Canada

Credit Cards

The majority of stores accept a variety of payment methods, including cash, debit cards and credit cards. Study Permit and MasterCard, the two main credit cards, are widely accepted by most major businesses, however American Express is not. Be sure to check with your bank before using your existing Study Permit or Mastercard in Canada and be aware of exchange rates and any other foreign transaction fees.

ATMs

Automatic teller machines (ATMs) are readily available in most shopping centres, tourist attractions and banks, as well as in some convenience stores and gas stations. Since most ATMs are operated by individual banks, making a withdrawal from an ATM other than the one operated by your bank can incur a fee of CAD$1 to $2.50 (more if you're making a withdrawal from a foreign bank account). Always check with your home bank to find out what fees or interest rates will be charged before using your ATM card or credit card at a Canadian bank machine.

ATMs can be used for:

  • Cash withdrawals
  • Depositing cash or cheques
  • Paying bills
  • Printing account statements
  • Transferring money between accounts

Before using your bank card in Canada, please check with your bank to find out:

  • What fees will be charged when making withdrawals from a Canadian ATM.
  • If the popular networks - Cirrus, Plus, Interac - are compatible with your card.
  • If they have any agreements with a Canadian bank.

Always make sure to tell your bank/credit card company that you are planning on using your card(s) in Canada in order to avoid having your account(s) frozen in error in case they have been stolen.

Bank Trading Hours

Most banks are open Monday to Friday at 10am and close around 4:00 or 5:00 pm. Some branches close later and some are open reduced hours on Saturday. Banks are most often closed on Sunday.

Money Transfers to Canada

There are a number of different ways to transfer money to Canada:

  • Traveler's cheques can be purchased at most banks and come in a variety of denominations. They are secure and can be immediately cashed at any Canadian bank or currency converter. Do not forget to make photocopies of your traveler's cheques in case they get lost or stolen.
  • Bank drafts from another country can take up to 8 weeks to clear in a Canadian bank and a fee will be charged for the service. Some banks can transfer money electronically to your Canadian account. Fees vary by institution, but costs average about $30.
  • Some banks can transfer money electronically to your Canadian account. Fees vary by institution, but costs average about $30.

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TESTIMONIALS

Dear Cango, You guys have been part of my life through out this process. Without Meera mam and Shalini I couldn't got my Study Permit I and my mom are grateful to Meera mam and ther lovable staffs.

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Dear Cango, I had a nice co-operation with the Meera mam while I had a confusion in selecting the course and Study Permit documents, preparation. But once I had a counseling with mam it was cleared.

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