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Old 11-19-2011, 09:19 AM   #1
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How to pay up (to Canada)

This topic is an opportunity for U.S. Escape owners to give the benefit of their experience in converting U.S. dollars to Canadian dollars, the lessons learned, good, bad, and ugly.

For starters, our initial deposit of $500 cost us more than we expected. The tab on our credit card was almost $530. I think we could have handled this better somehow by not using a credit card.

Here is what Tammy sent us by email on the topic of paying for our camper:

To minimize the costs associated with paying the final balance on your trailer you have two options depending on your bank and account type. The first choice which normally costs about $5 – $20 is a Canadian Bank draft. The second choice is a Canadian Wire Transfer which can be included with your account.

I recommend contacting your account representative and discussing their process for obtaining a Canadian bank draft or Canadian Wire transfer. Depending on the size of your bank they may have to order in the bank draft which can take 3 – 5 business days. If they do Canadian Wire transfers then simply take in the attached form.

The last resort is a US wire transfer which will cost more money simply because when the money leaves your account it is still in USD. As it moves from bank to bank during the transfer process each bank converts the money according to their current exchange rate. Sometimes the customer sees a very little difference while other times they have experienced a $400.00 difference.

Tammy


Any input, you guys? --Liz
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:00 AM   #2
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Re: How to pay up (to Canada)

You really need to look at what your bank & credit card(s) offer. In my case HSBC wanted to add 2% to any Canadian credit card purchase on top of the exchange rate. They offered Canadian draft (physical check) for free, and a $20.00 charge for a wire transfer. My Capitol One credit card doesn't charge any more than their exchange rate for a credit card purchase.
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:11 AM   #3
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Re: How to pay up (to Canada)

5 years ago I contacted a bank in Abattsford, near Chilliwack, and negotiated a better exchange rate (a few cents on the dollar or so) then they normally offer a walk up customer because I was converting a large amount of money. I then gave then a cashiers check when I arrived and they gave me a check that I gave Escape.
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:57 AM   #4
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Re: How to pay up (to Canada)

Actually Thane, if you got it in Canada, it would be a cheque, not a check. A check is to restrain, or a mark, or to investigate up here.

Blame the Brits, that is where our English came from. Not sure where they learned it.
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:29 PM   #5
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Re: How to pay up (to Canada)

Liz,
Like you we are in the process of getting our 19 and our initial CC deposit was much like yours. After we sold our Casita I wanted to transfer those funds to Escape. And what a pain that was figuring out how to do that. Here was my process:

I initially went to my credit union but they will not issue any funds in CDN dollars, only US. This would have cost too much. Then I went to Wells Fargo. I established a checking account with them and got ALMOST to the point of sending a wire transfer (in CDN) but discovered that they were going to charge me a few HUNDRED dollars more than the exchange rate. Stay away from them! After some on line searching I discovered that XE Trade and Western Union will do on line transfers for modest fees. I was very skeptical because this is a significant amount of money, but at this point I felt I had no choice. I went with WU only because they have been around forever and felt this was the safer way to go. But be forewarned-you must provide ID documentation to them in order to establish an account. You may not be comfortable giving this information on line. Again, I was hesitant but felt I had not other options at this point. When you initiate a wire transfer they quote you US to CDN and this quote holds for a week, I believe. Then you have 2 ways to pay. Direct transfer from you account (cheaper this way) or go to the bank and order a wire transfer to WU (may cost a little more depending on your bank/CU). I have done 2 transfers this way with no issues at all. Tammy will provide you with the paperwork for their account numbers and bank names.

On a similar note-if you are deciding when to make a transfer follow the stock market. If it has a bad day, and there have been many of those lately, the exchange rate moves in our favor.

Hope this helps. Please feel free to ask me any questions.

Steve
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Old 11-19-2011, 01:57 PM   #6
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Re: How to pay up (to Canada)


I may be mistaken but, couldn't Liz go to her bank in Omaha and get a certified check to give/send to Escape Trailers for $500 Canadian. Send the check to Escape, then pay the balance when picking up the trailer? What am I missing? Today's exchange rate is only about $.03. The way the market fluctuates Liz, you have a couple of months to exchange your US dollars into Canadian dollars at possibly a better rate.
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Old 11-19-2011, 04:16 PM   #7
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Re: How to pay up (to Canada)

When my wife and I went to see what the trailers were all about, we talked to Tammy.
Deciding to get a trailer, I think my wife put the deposit on her debit card, no problem.

When It was time to pick up the 19' we mailed a certified cheque, to Tammy.
again no problem.

Some banks and stores seem to have a problem with Canadian Money, and refuse to give the exchange rate accurately, or in some cases refuse to except Canadian money.
A few weeks ago on a trip to the lower 48, a few stores we were in even refused to accept Canadian pennies when making change.
In Alaska it is not a problem as quite a few of the customers are from the Yukon.

Doug
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Old 11-19-2011, 04:41 PM   #8
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Re: How to pay up (to Canada)

Hi: Yukon Escape... Just wait till you try to pass one of the new plastic Canadian hundreds in the U.S!!! They're touted as being "Recycleble".
I thought they were made flat to fly!!! Alf
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:22 PM   #9
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Re: How to pay up (to Canada)

J Mac,
You would think that it would be that easy (and it may well be for some) but in my case my credit union would not deal in CDN currency. Some banks do, so don't. It was at this point that I then had to find a bank that would do the foreign exchange and then figure out the best method to do this exchange. You would think that in today's electronic world these types of transfers would not be that complicated. When asking around about a possible loan for my Escape you would have thought that I was buying from a company on Mars! Really frustrating.

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Old 11-19-2011, 10:26 PM   #10
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Re: How to pay up (to Canada)

Take a look at the weather map in your local and national papers. There is nothing beyond the borders of the U.S.A.

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Old 11-20-2011, 12:06 PM   #11
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Re: How to pay up (to Canada)

When paying for my trailer I used xe.com as my bank is a small credit union and does not do currency conversion. It takes about a month to set up the account. They are very thorough in the account activation as they are trying to prevent money laundering. I was sceptical of this service but looked them up through the Better Business Bureau to find an A+ rating.http://www.bbb.org/kitchener/busines...ket-on-1083675

For example, today the exchange rate is 1.00 US to 1.02740 Canadian. When you book the transaction, XE gives you 1.00 US to 1.0053 Canadian. If you have them send a check no addition fee are incurred. Once I booked my transaction, the check showed up six day later at Escape.

So if you send $30,000 US = $30,822 CAD, at the actual exchange rate.
So thru xe this $30,000 US = $30,159 CAD, thus xe makes $663 on this exchange.
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Old 11-20-2011, 01:53 PM   #12
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Re: How to pay up (to Canada)

Thanks to everybody for the good information so far. We had already established an XE account, but when 182king so clearly translated an example transaction into real money, we were taken aback by the fees. We didn't know previously just what kind of rate XE would charge.

Interesting also that Steve has seen a link between a bad day in our stock market and a favorable exchange rate for the U.S. dollar. Seems counter-intuitive. We'll be watching for that.

--Liz
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:11 PM   #13
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Re: How to pay up (to Canada)

Now that we have plastic money up here, we will have to get plastic wallets so we can keep our money in our pockets when swimming.

I think tat is why the Australians went for plastic bills.

On a more serious note. Just ask Tammy what the equivalent is in US to Canadian funds0, Then mail a cheque to that amount.

Let Tammy do the exchange. Canadian banks have no problem exchanging funds from any nation.

As an aside it was minus 34C when I went out this morning, so I turned on the furnace in our 19.
It is still minus 28C and with better insulation in the floor, our 19 would be very livable, but hard on the propane.

Nice thing about low temps. encourages the occupiers to move from the parks. I noticed there were no mosquitoes either.

Doug

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Old 11-20-2011, 03:19 PM   #14
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Re: How to pay up (to Canada)

We just did a wire transfer from our bank.. it probably wasn't the absolute best exchange rate, but the convenience factor was well worth it.. and then just wrote a check up there when we purchased the WDH ( they just did the exchange rate for US dollars..).. easy..
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:59 PM   #15
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Re: How to pay up (to Canada)

Hi: All...We always pay a transaction fee when exchanging money on top of the exchange rate. Then we pay again when we return any leftovers. We have taken to hiding any thats left under the ^^@!!*&$$. I always feel like a million when I wake up. Alf
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:22 AM   #16
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Re: How to pay up (to Canada)

For the benefit of anybody who is considering paying for their camper through XE Trade, we have been learning a lot about the process, and are very satisfied so far with XE. You can follow the changing conversion rates through their website (on their Currency Converter Widget at http://www.xe.com/ucc/) Right now, for example, their Widget says 1.00 USD = 1.02276 CAD. From this screen you can also "View Chart" to check out graphs of conversion rates over the past 12 hours, week, year, etc.

Once you have started an account with XE Trade, you can also click for a quick "Quote" that tells you exactly how much your U.S. dollars are worth in Canadian dollars in real time. (Right now, for example, 1000 CAD = 962.46 USD.) The quick quotes already have deducted any fees that you would pay to XE Trade to convert your money. Once you get a tempting quote, you can move on to "Book Now", and enter more details about whom to pay and by what method. Most of this information (names, addresses, your bank account info, etc.) you will have entered in advance, so it is a matter of simple clicks at this point. The "Book Now" screens do not oblige you to finish the payment. In fact, you may refresh the quote as much as you like in the "Book Now" section. Each time you refresh the quote, the XE clock counts down from 40 seconds, and in that time you get to decide whether to accept that particular quote or let it expire. It's fun to try to time your payment to your best advantage. Hubby says, "So this is what it feels like to be Donald Trump!" Hehe.

In retrospect, we should have created an XE Trade account even before putting down our deposit for the Escape, since the fee for XE services seems very reasonable, and much better than what we paid by using our credit card. Since that first credit card deposit, so far we have made three payments through XE to Rease & Tammy, and we are keeping a spreadsheet of those payments, including how much the XE fee turns out to be for each payment. The three payments have each cost between 1.5 and 1.6%, and this was with a bank draft method, not a wire transfer.

FYI, it took 7-8 days for the first XE payment to get from our bank to Tammy's desk, so that's a consideration when going to pick up your camper.

And yes, bad days in the U.S. stock market seem to coincide with good days to convert U.S. dollars to Canadian dollars.

--Liz
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:46 AM   #17
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Re: How to pay up (to Canada)

Liz,
It appears that with your experience with XE is almost identical to mine with Western Union. Either of those appear to be very good options for us US buyers.

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Old 01-24-2012, 06:01 AM   #18
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Re: How to pay up (to Canada)

Here is a tip that could help other U.S. buyers save a bit when they pay the sales tax here in the U.S. on their Escapes. Keep a simple list of each payment you make for your camper with the dates and amounts in both Canadian dollars and U.S. dollars for each transaction. Also show the total you have paid in each currency. Use this little homemade spreadsheet to request that your sales tax be based on U.S. dollars.

Our sales tax officials automatically assumed that the paperwork from Tammy was in U.S. dollars until I pointed out the distinction. Then they quickly accepted the U.S. dollars on our spreadsheet as the proper amount on which to base the sales tax. --Liz
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:28 PM   #19
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Re: How to pay up (to Canada)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rvomaha
Here is a tip that could help other U.S. buyers save a bit when they pay the sales tax here in the U.S. on their Escapes. Keep a simple list of each payment you make for your camper with the dates and amounts in both Canadian dollars and U.S. dollars for each transaction. Also show the total you have paid in each currency. Use this little homemade spreadsheet to request that your sales tax be based on U.S. dollars.

Our sales tax officials automatically assumed that the paperwork from Tammy was in U.S. dollars until I pointed out the distinction. Then they quickly accepted the U.S. dollars on our spreadsheet as the proper amount on which to base the sales tax. --Liz
That's a great tip.. we had to point out the same thing when we registered in CA.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:04 PM   #20
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Brokerage Account To Do Foreign Wire Transfer

I wish I had the advice on exchange rates, sales tax and wire transfers before I bought and took delivery of my Escape. This entire thread is full of good ideas. I knew my Escape was Canadian tax exempt and also knew I would have to pay tax here in Wisconsin. What I failed to do was record the process in dollars. Making several payments there were a variety of exchange rates during the process. Fortunately the counter person at motor vehicles took the first rate and applied it through all the processes. Whoopee, it was the best rate for me.

Making that wire transfer was difficult. Not many banks and almost zero credit unions will do foreign wire transfers. Fortunately one of my banks was able to do it for a cost of $55. Not too bad.

Just to day I saw that my Fidelity retirement account offers foreign wire transfers. I did not know this and do not know the costs. If you have a brokerage account somewhere it may be an option to explore.
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