Guide
Canadian Banks in the U.S.

This Page's Content Was Last Updated: February 3, 2024

Learn about the best U.S. bank accounts for Canadians.

Whether you're a Canadian expat living in the United States, a snowbird seeking warmer weather, a frequent southbound traveller, or an entrepreneur conducting cross-border business, having a U.S.-based bank account can make your financial life easier. Not only does it provide a convenient way to access funds and manage expenses, but it also eliminates the hassle of constantly converting currencies.

Canadian banks offer cross-border accounts that Canadians can open without needing a Social Security Number (SSN) or U.S. address. With this guide, learn about and compare the best U.S. bank accounts for Canadians offered by Canada’s major banks.

What You Should Know
  • RBC, TD, CIBC, and BMO allow Canadians to open U.S.-based bank accounts with Canadian documents and without a Social Security Number (SSN).
  • Having a U.S.-based account can make it easier to spend and save in the U.S., such as for travellers, snowbirds, investors, students, and those working in the U.S.
  • Consider the footprint of the bank in the U.S., such as the number of branches and ATMs, or if you get no-fee access to other ATMs.
  • Cross-border bank accounts can be bundled with other services, such as U.S. savings accounts, credit cards, and mortgages.
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Compare the Best U.S. Bank Accounts for Canadians

Bank
Monthly Fee
Minimum Balance to
Waive Monthly Fee
RBClogo
$3.95
First Year Free!
-
RBC U.S. Direct Checking
CIBClogo
$0
-
CIBC Bank USA Smart Account
BMOlogo
$0
-
BMO U.S. Personal Checking Account
TDlogo
$15
$100
TD Convenience Checking
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Best U.S. Bank Accounts for Canadians

rbc logo
RBC U.S. Direct Checking
Summary

What We Like:

  • ✅ Over 50,000 no-fee ATMs in the U.S.
  • ✅ Apply online in minutes
  • ✅ Bundle with U.S. credit cards, savings, and even a mortgage

What We Don't Like:

  • ❌ Annual fee
  • ❌ Limited included transactions

While RBC is the only cross-border bank to not offer a monthly-fee waiver, they do have one of the largest networks of no-fee ATMs in the U.S. offered by a Canadian cross-border bank. That’s largely through RBC Bank’s partnership with Allpoint, which operates a network of over 43,000 no-fee ATMs across the U.S. in all 50 states. This provides customers with convenient access to their U.S. funds without having to pay any additional fees. You’ll get a RBC Visa Debit card that you can use to access ATMs, make purchases, or link on your phone to make mobile payments.

To deposit funds into your RBC U.S. account, you can instantly transfer funds from your Canadian RBC account online, transfer from other U.S. banks, deposit a U.S. check through the mobile app, deposit U.S. cash at an U.S. ATM, or with a direct deposit or wire transfer.

Applying for an RBC U.S. Direct Checking account can easily be done online and takes only a few minutes. You can also open a cross-border bundle at the same time to get a RBC Bank Visa Signature Black credit card using your Canadian credit history. If you’re not already an RBC Royal Bank client in Canada, you’ll need to apply in-person at any RBC branch. There, you will need to open a Canadian RBC bank account, such as the RBC Day to Day Banking chequing account with a $4 monthly fee.

RBC customers also have the option to bundle their U.S. checking account with other RBC products in the U.S., such as credit cards, savings accounts, and even mortgages. This allows for convenient management of multiple financial products within one bank.

However, it is important to note that the RBC U.S. Direct Checking account does come with an annual fee and limited included transactions. After you use up the 10 included monthly transactions, each additional transaction costs $1. This may not be ideal for those who frequently make a high volume of transactions. Those with lots of U.S. transactions may want to go for the RBC U.S. Premium Checking account, which offers unlimited transactions and a preferred foreign exchange rate when converting between USD and CAD online, for an annual fee of $99.50.

Both the RBC U.S. Direct Checking and RBC U.S. Premium Checking accounts have no minimum balance requirement, but you’ll need to deposit at least $50 at the start to open the account.

Things to Note

The RBC U.S. Direct Checking has a monthly fee of $3.95 per month, or you can opt to pay a discounted annual fee of $39.50. With the RBC Cross-Border Bundle, you can get your first year of U.S. banking for free. When applying, RBC will use your Canadian credit history and ID.

RBC does not support Zelle, but you can still use third-party apps such as Venmo, Paypal, or Cash App with a U.S. phone number.

Other Cross-Border Banking Services

RBC Bank’s Preferred Money Market Savings is a U.S. savings account that lets you earn interest on your U.S. dollars. It comes with an interest rate of up to 0.5% (APY), with no minimum balance requirement. However, it does require at least $1,000 to open and to maintain a $0 monthly fee. The account is FDIC insured up to $250,000.

For the U.S. equivalent of guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), RBC offers Certificate of Deposit (CDs) starting from $1,000, with an annual percentage yield (APY) of up to 5%. Terms range from 6 months to 5 years. You’ll need to call RBC to buy CDs.

The RBC Visa Signature Black is a U.S. credit card that has no annual fee, making it a great card to keep to build up your U.S. credit history. You can earn reward points on your purchases, equivalent to 1% cash back, and comes with perks such as travel and purchase insurance, roadside assistance, and a lower foreign transaction fee of 1.5% for purchases not in USD.

The RBC U.S. HomePlus Advantage is the cross-border U.S. mortgage for Canadians, which allows Canadians to buy a home in any state with their Canadian credit history. This mortgage requires a down payment of 20% if the property will be your residence, or 25% if it will be an investment property.

Get Your First Year of RBC U.S. Banking for Free!

Apply for RBC’s Cross-Border Banking Bundle, which includes both the RBC Direct Checking account and RBC Visa Signature Black credit card, and get a special no annual fee promotion on the checking account. That’s a value of $39.50 USD!

Plus, get an introductory APR of 0% for 6 months on the RBC Visa Signature Black credit card. As always, this credit card has no annual fee, making it a great keeper card to build up your U.S. credit history.

Apply for this offer before it expires on October 31, 2024.

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cibc logo
CIBC Bank USA Smart Account
Summary

What We Like:

  • ✅ No monthly fee
  • ✅ No minimum balance
  • ✅ Instant transfers between your Canadian and US CIBC accounts
  • ✅ Covers up to four non-CIBC ATM fees each month

What We Don't Like:

  • ❌ Requires a Canadian CIBC bank account
  • ❌ Limited physical branches in the U.S.

CIBC offers a free cross-border checking account with its CIBC Bank USA Smart Account. There’s no monthly fee, allows for unlimited transactions, and has no minimum balance requirement. Key features of the account include the ability to instantly transfer funds between your Canadian and U.S. CIBC accounts, deposit U.S. cheques through the CIBC mobile app, send Zelle transfers for free, and receive a U.S. debit card to make purchases.

You can withdraw U.S. Dollars at CIBC Bank USA ATMs without any fees, however, the availability of these CIBC Bank USA ATMs are limited. To make up for that, you can get up to four non-CIBC ATM transaction fees in the U.S. refunded each month, up to $20 U.S. It’s also possible to withdraw money through cash back when making a debit card purchase at select merchants.

To deposit U.S. cheques, you can deposit them through the CIBC mobile app, at a CIBC ATM in the U.S., at a CIBC branch in the U.S., or by mail.

Access to your account is available through online CIBC NetBanking, telephone banking, mobile apps, branches in the U.S., and ATMs. You can’t access your CIBC USA account from Canadian branches, but you can use your CIBC USA debit card, subject to currency conversion fees. You will receive your debit card in the mail within 10 to 14 business days of opening your account.

Limited physical branches in the U.S. may not be convenient for some users. The majority of CIBC Bank USA branches are located in the state of Illinois. Outside of Illinois, CIBC has one bank branch or ATM located in each of the following cities:

  • San Francisco, California
  • Palm Beach, Florida
  • Birmingham, Michigan
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Another downside of this account is that it requires a Canadian CIBC bank account. This may not be ideal for those who do not already have a CIBC account in Canada, which may come with monthly fees.

Things to Note

CIBC's USA bank account has a daily debit card limit of $1,500 at ATMs and $2,500 for Point of Sale transactions, such as purchases. There are also daily limits for Zelle payments, with new users limited to $500 per transaction or $500 per day.

CIBC charges a $2.25 USD monthly fee for paper account statements. You can avoid this fee by switching to electronic statements.

When you first open the account, you will need to fund it within 30 days. If it hasn’t been funded within 12 months, the account will be closed.

Other Cross-Border Banking Services

CIBC Bank USA offers a Foreign National Residential Mortgage, which allows Canadians to finance a U.S. home purchase using their Canadian credit history.

The CIBC US$ Personal Account is a savings account for U.S. Dollars, based in Canada. It’s meant for Canadians who want to save money in U.S. dollars. You’re able to transfer funds between your Canadian-based CIBC US$ Personal Account and your US-based CIBC Bank USA Smart Account without any currency conversion fees.

CIBC doesn’t offer any U.S. credit cards as a cross-border product, but they do offer a U.S. Dollar credit card: the CIBC U.S. Dollar Aventura Gold Visa credit card. This card allows you to make purchases in USD without paying the 2.5% currency conversion fee typical with most credit cards, and you can earn Aventura points on your purchases. There’s an annual fee that is rebated if you have a CIBC US$ Personal Account or CIBC Bank USA Smart Account, with another CIBC credit card that has an annual fee over $99. You can only pay this card’s bill using a Canadian bank account, which means the CIBC Bank USA Smart Account cannot be used to pay off your CIBC U.S. Dollar credit card bills.

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bmo logo
BMO U.S. Personal Checking Account
Summary

What We Like:

  • ✅ No monthly fee
  • ✅ No minimum balance
  • ✅ Access to over 40,000 ATMs and 600 branches in the U.S.

What We Don't Like:

  • ❌ Cannot be opened online
  • ❌ Fund transfers between Canada/US BMO accounts are not instant

BMO offers a U.S. Personal Checking account option for those with cross-border banking needs. What sets this account apart is that it has no monthly fee and no minimum balance requirement. This makes it an attractive option for those looking to save on fees. Through the BMO Smart Advantage Checking account, you will get access to over 40,000 no-fee ATMs across the U.S., which includes both BMO and Allpoint ATMs. In addition to that, BMO has over 600 branches in the U.S. for customers to visit in-person.

Since BMO Bank is headquartered in Chicago, you can choose from three different fan debit cards that give you access to unique perks at sports games. The BMO Bulls, BMO Blackhawks, and BMO Bucks Debit Mastercards give you 20% off team merchandise at the United Center in Chicago or Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.

Things to Note

To apply for a BMO U.S. Personal Checking Account, you will need to call the BMO Cross-Border Banking Hotline or visit one of BMO’s branches in the U.S. Even if you already have a Canadian BMO bank account, you cannot open a BMO U.S. bank account online. BMO recommends that you call their cross-border hotline at least three weeks before visiting one of their U.S. branches to open an account.

BMO also doesn’t offer instant fund transfers between Canadian and U.S. BMO accounts. Instead, it can take two business days for funds to arrive in your U.S. BMO account.

Other Cross-Border Banking Services

BMO has a large physical presence in the United States, and that extends to their cross-border banking services. BMO offers cross-border mortgages to Canadians looking to buy or refinance a home in the U.S. through their Gateway Program. This program allows Canadian citizens to get a mortgage loan of up to $2 million U.S. with your Canadian documents and credit history.

For Canadians looking to transact in U.S. Dollars but don’t need a US-based account, BMO offers a USD credit card and bank account. The BMO U.S. Dollar Mastercard is a Canadian credit card that is in U.S. Dollars. Having this card won’t build up your U.S. credit history. Savings accounts are offered through the BMO U.S. Dollar account, which is a Canadian savings account in USD. You can use this account to pay your BMO U.S. Dollar Mastercard.

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td logo
TD Convenience Checking
Summary

What We Like:

  • ✅ Monthly fee waived with minimum balance of just $100

What We Don't Like:

  • ❌ Requires a U.S. address to apply for a U.S.-based credit card
  • ❌ Locations are primarily on the East Coast

TD Bank, which calls itself “America’s Most Convenient Bank”, also makes it convenient for Canadians to bank in the U.S. The TD Convenience Checking account comes with a $15 monthly fee that is waived if you keep a minimum balance of at least $100. With this account, you get access to TD’s 1,100 branches and 2,600 ATMs in the U.S. You can use Zelle with TD if you have a U.S. address on file.

Other U.S.-based checking accounts include TD Beyond Checking, which features no ATM fees at all ATMs in the U.S. for a monthly fee of $25, and TD 60 Plus Checking, an interest-earning checking account for those 60 years or older with a $10 monthly fee.

Within Canada, TD also offers Canadian-based U.S. dollar chequing accounts, such as the U.S. Daily Interest Chequing Account that earns interest with no monthly fee, and the Borderless Plan that includes unlimited transactions for a $4.95 U.S. monthly fee.

One thing that sets TD apart is that you can apply for their U.S. TD Convenience Checking without needing to be an existing TD Canada Trust customer.

Things to Note

Most of TD Bank’s branches are located along the East Coast, and includes these states:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington D.C.

This means you can’t access your funds outside of these states without paying non-TD ATM fees.

Other Cross-Border Banking Services

TD Bank’s wide footprint gives it plenty of services for Canadians. The TD Cash Credit Card is a great U.S.-based credit card that gives 3% cash back on dining, 2% on grocery, and 1% on all other purchases, all with no annual fee. Plus, the card has no foreign transaction fees, something that is rare among Canadian credit cards.

If you’re looking to buy a home in the U.S., TD Bank offers cross-border home lending with a minimum down payment of 20% on second homes and vacation homes, or 25% on investment properties. If you already own a home in the U.S., TD offers home equity loans and lines of credit if you’re looking to borrow more money.

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Comparing Cross-Border Bank Accounts

Canadian Bank’s U.S. Service Area

TD and BMO have the most significant presence in the United States, with TD having over 1,100 branches and 2,600 TD ATMs in 16 states. However, TD’s physical presence is limited to the U.S. east coast, stretching from Maine to Florida.

BMO Bank covers much more of the U.S., including the Pacific Coast, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, and the Great Plains. BMO also has branches in Florida.

CIBC is concentrated around the Midwest, but also has branches in California and Florida.

RBC does not have any physical bank branches in the U.S., although they do own City National Bank, a regional U.S. bank with 71 locations in 11 states. City National Bank has a strong focus on Los Angeles and other areas of California.

While BMO overlaps with many CIBC-serviced states, Canada’s major banks tend to have branches in states without competition from their Canadian counterparts. This is a particularly important consideration for Canadians who may be looking to purchase property or do business in a specific region of the U.S. It is always wise to research which banks have a presence in the state you plan on visiting or doing business in.

A notable exception to this is Florida, which features branches from TD, BMO, and CIBC, representative of how popular the state of Florida is for Canadians.

Map of Canadian Bank's U.S. Branch Locations

BMO Bank
TD Bank
CIBC Bank USA
BMO and CIBC
BMO, CIBC and TD

Note: The map shows states where the bank has at least one branch location.

TD Bank - U.S. Branch Locations

TD Bank
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington D.C.

BMO Bank - U.S. Branch Locations

BMO Bank
  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • California
  • Nevada
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Wyoming
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • Kansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Florida
  • Missouri
  • Iowa
  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin
  • Illinois
  • Indiana

CIBC Bank USA - U.S. Branch Locations

CIBC Bank USA
  • California
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Wisconsin
Are There Scotiabank Branches in the U.S.? 💡

Scotiabank does not have branches in the U.S., and they do not offer cross-border U.S. banking services. However, Scotiabank is part of the Global ATM Alliance, which allows Canadian Scotiabank and Tangerine customers to use Bank of America ATMs in the U.S. to make cash withdrawals with no ATM-fee. Besides the U.S., you can make fee-free withdrawals in over 40 countries from over 40,000 partnered ATMs. A 2.5% currency conversion fee does apply.

Number of U.S. Branches

BankNumber of U.S. Branches
TD Bank1,100+
BMO Bank600+
CIBC Bank USA24
RBC Bank0

TD Bank leads with over 1,100 branches across various East Coast states, offering a robust network for Canadians traveling or moving to these areas. Following closely is BMO Bank with over 600 branches, its network sprawling from the Pacific Coast to the Midwest and down to Florida, providing comprehensive coverage in several key U.S. regions.

CIBC Bank USA, while not as widespread, brings a focused presence in the Midwest, while also catering to customers in California and Florida through its 24 branches. As for RBC Bank, despite not having physical branches of its own in the U.S., it sustains a strong southern presence through its partnerships with Allpoint, allowing for access to no-fee ATMs in all 50 states. RBC Bank still offers full-service banking digitally, including cross-border banking services.

Number of No-Fee ATMs in the U.S.

BankNumber of Bank ATMsTotal Number of No-Fee ATMs
RBC Bank050,000+
BMO Bank1,400+40,000+
Scotiabank016,000+
TD Bank2,600+2,600+
CIBC Bank USA2222*

*CIBC will refund up to $20 of non-CIBC Bank USA ATM fees each month, up to four refunds per month.

Both TD and BMO Bank emerge as top contenders through their extensive networks of no-fee ATMs, with 2,600+ and 40,000+ respectively. All of TD’s ATMs are fee-free for its clients, but are only located on the East Coast, while BMO Bank offers a vast network of partner ATMs that do not charge a surcharge in all 50 states.

CIBC and RBC Bank are limited in their physical branch distribution, but still offer value for Canadians banking in the U.S. CIBC offers up to $20 per month in ATM fee refunds, while RBC Bank provides access to over 50,000 no-fee ATMs through its partnerships in all states.

Canadian Banks with No-Fee ATM Access in All 50 States

bmo logoRBC
bmo logoBMO

Both RBC Bank and BMO Bank customers have access to no-fee ATMs in all 50 states, through their partnership with Allpoint’s extensive ATM network. This includes locations such as select CVS, Target, Walgreens, and Chevron gas stations, which can be found in almost every major city across the U.S.

Some Allpoint ATMs can also accept deposits in addition to surcharge-free cash withdrawals. These special ATMs are called Allpoint+ ATMs. You can also add cash to your Amazon account through these ATMs.

Scotiabank and Tangerine clients, through Bank of America ATMs, have access to surcharge-free ATMs in 39 states. However, a currency conversion fee will apply.