Difficulties of banking in a new country

It has now been 9 days since I arrived in Canada and I am still not quite set up with access to all my money.  I switched from a Wells Fargo Bank account (of which I had been a customer since 1994 – so sad to leave!) to a TD Bank account because TD also has branches in Canada while Wells Fargo does not.  TD unveiled a new cross-border US and Canada banking program this fall called “me and me banking”.  The idea is that you have a US TD account and a Canadian TD account and they are linked so you can transfer money between the two just like you would transfer money between a checking and a savings account.  Great idea!  So anyway, I opened my US account with TD in late December before I came up to Canada and I opened my Canadian account with TD last Friday, January 4th.  However, apparently it takes 5-7 business days for the accounts to link up.  So as of now I still do not have access to the money in my US account through TD.

I don’t want to use my US debit card for TD because I know I will get charged a fee for using it at a different ATM (or ABM as it is called in Canada, and most other countries).  Having a few credit cards, I thought, okay no problem, I will just use my credit cards and then can just pay off the balance right away from my US account.  Visa is everywhere you want to be right?  Well, as it turns out, apparently not if you want to be in Canada.  Up to this point I’ve been charged up to $11 as an international transaction fee for using my Chase Amazon visa card here.

So I have been trying to live frugally for now and hoping that my accounts get linked up by this Wednesday at the latest so I have access to my money here.  And then I think I might need to get a Canadian credit card.

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2 thoughts on “Difficulties of banking in a new country

  1. Gillian January 13, 2013 at 5:18 pm Reply

    Actually, TD is a Canadian bank! Not just a bank with branches in Canada. The “TD” stands for Toronto Dominion. Another fun Canadian fact 🙂

  2. kerryco64 January 13, 2013 at 5:20 pm Reply

    Thank Gill! I didn’t know that. I did know that RBC was Canadian though… 🙂

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