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Old 02-22-2013, 06:56 PM   #1
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Using XE.com to Transfer Funds to Canada

I chose XE.com to transfer US funds up to Canada based on comments on this forum plus the fact that my niece, who owns Anacortes Dive Shop, recommended it. She has several Canadian vendors and pays them through XE. In my research, they have a much better exchange rate than my credit union or a credit card (by far!). There are no fees for electronic fund transfers (EFTs) or drafts (although there are for wire transfers); they make their money through a slight difference in official exchange rates and what they charge. I was somewhat intimidated the first time working on their site so offer this as a guideline to using them. Basically, there are four steps to take before sending a payment.

1. Setting up an account (your profile)
a. Go to XE.com.
b. Click on Trading tab, New to XE Trade?, Sign up Now.
c. Fill out the form for your profile. You will need two forms of identification; I used my passport and driver’s license.
d. Save this info. (You can always edit or update any info later.)
e. After completion, you will receive an e-mail confirmation (or telephone call) that your account has been accepted, usually the same day.
2. Adding your bank account
a. Click on My Accounts to add your bank account information.
b. This is relatively straightforward but you need to know your bank’s routing number (enter under “Bank Branch Number”). This usually appears in the long string of numbers at the bottom or your checks but you may need to call your bank to figure out which are the routing numbers and which are your bank account numbers (the last four are usually the check number). My account number was fourteen digits and the credit union’s routing number was nine digits.
c. I checked “Allow EFT withdrawal/debit…” since I was going to use that method of transferring funds to XE rather than initiating a fund transfer from my bank to them. This allows XE to make an ACH withdrawal from your account.
d. Save this info.
3. Adding a recipient (Escape Trailer Industries)
a. Click on Recipients to add one.
b. Fill out all the Escape Trailer Industries info (name, e-mail, etc.)
c. Save this info.
4. Adding their bank account
a. Tammy will send you a form with a Vancity header on it. Ignore the information for the Correspondent Bank; XE does not need or use that information.
b. The Beneficiary Account Number on this form is only good for transferring funds into their Citizens Bank US account. You do not want to do that.
c. Click on CAD in the Currency section.
d. Give the account a nickname. I just used Escape Trailer.
e. Fill in the bank name: Citizens Bank of Canada.
f. Under Account Number, use last nine digits of the number (ending with 827) from the sheet Tammy sent. This is important: Instead of using the first two digits of 63, I used 21. This is the correct routing code to get the funds into Escape’s business account. I got this number from Escape’s contact at Citizens after my initial fund transfer would not work. I spent a lot of time on the phone with XE and also with Citizens to finally get the correct account number.
g. In the Bank Branch Number section, enter the 13-digit number beginning with 200.
h. Enter the Swift Code (CTZ…) into the SWIFT/BIC Code section.
i. Fill out the rest of the section with the Citizens Bank address.
j. Save all this and you’re set to make a payment.

To make a payment: Simply go to Trading and click on Basic Trade. Go with the default “No” on the third-party sections. Fill out the four short sections that follow. Almost every choice is from a drop-down box. There is a time limit on the exchange rate quoted. You can use that to confirm or cancel the deal depending on when the exchange rate is in your favor. Exchange rates fluctuate greatly during the day so use this tool to your advantage.

I made a trial payment of $100CDN into Escape’s account. I wanted to make sure that if this didn’t work and the money disappeared into the ether, it wasn’t the end of the world. I called XE to do a “walk through” and they were absolutely the best. I’m glad I did this as my first payment didn’t work because of all the errors in Escape’s bank account number. After phone calls to Tammy and to Citizens Bank (even they gave me the wrong number the first time), I finally received the correct number, edited it on XE, and the payment went through.

I cannot say enough about how helpful XE was during this; they also have good help information on their website. They called me several times until I got the account number business straightened out and the walk through for the actual payment was confidence-building. And nobody laughed at me!
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:22 PM   #2
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Good information Karen.

The only thing I am surprised about is you saying that got better exchange rate than with your credit card? Maybe my info is old (from when we bought our Escape,) but my understanding is that credit card companies may charge up to a 3% service fee, but that they are legally required to use the current official exchange rate. That was why I got a Capital One card to for our travels as they are the only credit card company I know of that charges no service fee on foreign transactions.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:47 PM   #3
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I made the mistake of putting my $500 down payment on my Visa (Chase Bank) card. I can't find the details right now but I do remember being horrified at both the exchange rate and the $18 foreign transaction fee. Capitol One does not have a transaction fee and is the best one to use for foreign travel. I don't know anything about regulations regarding bank's exchange rate but I see that they can vary quite a bit. Even when looking at XE.com's exchange-rate graphs (hourly, daily, etc.), it is called a mid-market rate. I infer from this that the rate can vary greatly among various institutions. Beyond that, I'm going over my head.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:51 PM   #4
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Yes, I saw that. But once the funds are in their US account it is out of my control. I did not want to cede control of when the exchange is made as it can fluctuate hourly.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:08 PM   #6
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I had read the info about XE.com before in various posts by many but in all the info I didn't see what the actual charges were. Karen, on your $100 how much was received by Escape? I was providing this info because I couldn't find it in any of the discussion. On a $22,000 exchange, I can say that the total using Tammy's process was 1.5% or $330. The exchange rate at the time of the two transfers was right at $1.0068. You are right, it fluctuates hourly, but it is fluctuating by 100's or 1000's. It is easy to track the trend over several days and the difference might be a few dollars. Oh, and Tammy's bank charges a $5 wire receiving fee that is independent of the exchange rates and occurs each time you transfer money. Rate of exchange right now; .97862 or in the US favor. So buy that Escape now!!
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:12 PM   #7
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I'm at somewhat of a loss here as to how to figure this out (I was doing better with the WDH discussion) but to get $100CDN into their account, it cost me US$0.54; the rate was 0.9946 at the time. To extrapolate that up to $22,000, the number would be $119, but I may not be thinking about this the right way. It's been known to happen quite frequently.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:14 PM   #8
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About right, 1/2% is $110
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:57 PM   #9
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You can get some great deals buying from other countries with a credit card. The key is the card. A big-name bank will hit you with big-dollar fees. A small credit union will likely charge you far less. I believe Discover is another card without foreign transaction fees. I have used a CU for overseas purchases and saved plenty that way over cash. You can ask your institution's fees or maybe look them up.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenH View Post
4. Adding their bank account
a. Tammy will send you a form with a Vancity header on it. Ignore the information for the Correspondent Bank; XE does not need or use that information.
b. The Beneficiary Account Number on this form is only good for transferring funds into their Citizens Bank US account. You do not want to do that.
c. Click on CAD in the Currency section.
d. Give the account a nickname. I just used Escape Trailer.
e. Fill in the bank name: Citizens Bank of Canada.
f. Under Account Number, use last nine digits of the number (ending with 827) from the sheet Tammy sent. This is important: Instead of using the first two digits of 63, I used 21. This is the correct routing code to get the funds into Escape’s business account. I got this number from Escape’s contact at Citizens after my initial fund transfer would not work. I spent a lot of time on the phone with XE and also with Citizens to finally get the correct account number.
g. In the Bank Branch Number section, enter the 13-digit number beginning with 200.
h. Enter the Swift Code (CTZ…) into the SWIFT/BIC Code section.
i. Fill out the rest of the section with the Citizens Bank address.
j. Save all this and you’re set to make a payment.
This entire paragraph is incorrect. Despite clearly stating my intent to do an EFT of Canadian funds, it took four tries to get the correct bank information and account number (and cost me a $15 fee for funds being rejected by the recipient bank). The reps from XE were extremely helpful during this process and I cannot say enough good about them. Future transactions to complete the purchase should proceed smoothly. If anyone wants the correct info for the recipient bank to pay by this route, send me a PM.
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