Moving funds from US account to a trading platform


I have recently moved to Canada from US. I have funds in USD and I want to buy US exchange listed stocks in Canada via Quest Trade. I am looking for the option by which I can transfer the funds from US to Canada in USD so that I am not hit by conversion twice as I do not want to transfer funds from USD to Canadian dollars and then while trading again convert it from Canadian dollars to USD. I have my funds in TD US bank.


  1. I can either open USD account in Canadan bank (TD Canada), transfer funds from TD US bank to TD Canada USD account (in USD) and then transfer the funds to Questrade (in USD) in order to protect myself from getting hit by exchange rate twice. In case if anyone has tried this option then let me know your experience. Not sure if there are any other caveats here.

  2. I can wire transfer funds from TD US bank account to quest trade account. One limitation using this option is that this is a very time-consuming option as it might take around 2-6 weeks to get the funds and they charge around $50 for each transfer.

Can you please advise on which of the above is a favorable option or is there any other option available?

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Obviously first option is best option… Thats what i would do too…

I recently opened a Scotiabank account and I was told that I can do a USD transfer in USD without hassle. I’ve not tried it though, so I dont know if there are any gotchas.

Moving money from a US based USD account to a CA based USD account is rather easy. I’ve done this multiple times with no fees. The only caveat if you’re doing this with new accounts is that your funds will be on hold for a very long time (upto 30 days). Subsequent hold times for my bank were only 3 days.

Another option is to transfer your account in kind to Questrade. You can transfer brokerage accounts from US brokerages to Questrade as well. Any USD cash is transferred in kind without currency conversion.

Thank you everyone for your responses!

What is the exact procedure to do USD transfer from US account to CA USD account?

I was told by the bank that as it is an international transfer, it will still attract wire transfer fee.

Kindly advice.

You write a personal check made payable to yourself from the US based USD account. Take this to a teller at your Canadian bank, tell them that you want to deposit USD into your US dollars account with them. The teller will accept the check, give you your receipt and tell you the hold period. The first time I did this, they held my funds for 30 days. There is no fees associated with this transaction.

If you want the money sooner, then you could wire the funds, there is no hold time on wire transfers at most banks. You would however pay outgoing wire transfer fees at your American bank and incoming wire fees at your Canadian bank. Since these are fixed fees, they’ll pinch you if you’re transferring a few thousand dollars and be insignificant if you’re transferring 6 figures or more.

So depending on how much and how soon you need these funds, you can decide on what works for you.

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The idea of writing a cheque never struck me. I might try this. The wire transfer is a bit expensive. Its costing about 60 USD both outgoing and incoming put together. Most banks seem to have a limit of around 25K USD for each transfer.

Is there any downside of using services such as Transferwise and all?

You pay fees if you use Transfer wise and the like. Some services have explicit fees for the transfer, whereas most other make money on the spread.

For small amounts under 10k USD, using Transfer wise is an excellent balance in between how quickly you get your money vs the fees you pay to access it. For bigger amounts creative methods can save you a pretty penny.