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How to Open a US Bank Account as a Canadian Citizen

October 6th, 2007 by

Call me ignorant if you will, but I wasn’t sure what the procedure was for a Canadian citizen to open a US bank account in the United States. I was under the impression that you probably needed a US mailing address, but this was not the case when I took a short road trip to Bellingham.

The main objective for this trip was to go shopping and see if I could score any good deals — I ended up buying a pair of shoes, jeans, and a couple other things — but I figured since I was going, I might as well look into opening a US account.

As a freelance writer, most of my projects are done over the web and several of these are for clients based in the United States. I typically accept payment via Paypal simply because it’s so convenient. The biggest shortcoming of this arrangement, however, is that I cannot withdraw money from that account directly. You see, Paypal refuses to send US funds to an account based in Canada, even if it’s a US dollar account. As a result, if I take money out, I get dinged with a ~3% exchange fee and that’s on top of the US-Canada exchange rate. With the currency parity, the Canadian dollars I’d receive would be less that their stated value in US dollars.

usmoney.jpg

So, by opening a US dollar account in the United States, I am now able to take money out from Paypal directly. Well, after transferring out of my Paypal account but there are no fees to do that. After the money is in my US dollar account — I opened with Key Bank because they have a location across the street from Bellis Fair in Bellingham — I can either spend it through a debit card when I travel through the States or I can withdraw the cash and do with it what I will.

For Canadian citizens to open a US bank account in the United States, all they need are two pieces of identification. You do not need a US mailing address to open a bank account.

Yes, that’s it. For my two pieces of ID, I gave the account representative my driver’s license and my passport. We sat down while she collected other bits of information like my employer (myself), my phone number, and (Canadian) mailing address. I opted for the zero fee checking account. On the downside, the rep said that I could not make use of their online banking services, because I needed a social security number (SSN) for that. I could, however, access my account via telephone and I’d receive statements every month. That’s a bummer, because I’ve come to rely on Internet banking for most of my banking needs.

So, the long and the short of it is that the process for a Canadian to open a US checking account in the United States is fundamentally no different than opening a bank account here in Canada. There are no complications (or at least none that I encountered). No tax return forms or proof of income were needed. The entire meeting with the Key Bank account manager took maybe 15 minutes.

I’m not sure how this extends to citizens of other areas of the world like Asia, Europe, or Australia, but I now know that the process is very easy for Canadians.

UPDATE (05/16/08): I just received an email from reader Kamil Jiwa, saying that “in lieu of an SSN, you can obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) by mailing Form W-7 per the instructions on this page.”

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97 Responses to “How to Open a US Bank Account as a Canadian Citizen”

  1. Matt says:

    Paypal’s exchange rate seems to be wrong, usually, anyways…

  2. Peter says:

    Good meeting you yesterday Michael! I’ll try and make it along for lunch again sometime soon.

    Peter

  3. Michael says:

    I need to do this soon also. All my payments come from the states, and in USD. I hate paypal’s rate. Also, if anyone was wondering why Paypal’s exchange rate is wrong, it’s because they knock the rate down a bit so they make a few cents on every dollar you exchange as well.

    So they double-ding us (just saying “ding” reminds me of the credit union commercial that’s always on TV).

    Anyways, I have to head down soon so I’ll probably set one up. And, instead of online banking. Perhaps you could use something like MyMint, which syncs up your bank account. It has some API that it uses with the banks, so maybe it will work for all accounts, not just people with online banking.

  4. Harry says:

    Interesting. Didn’t know it was that easy to open an American account, but then again, i guess that bank gets a lot of Canadian customers since we’re so close to them.

  5. Megan says:

    Its even easier than that. If you go to any Royal Bank branch you can open an account with their US bank RBC Centura. The best thing about this is you can link it online to a RBC account and transfer money between them for free.

    • harman says:

      could you explain how you would create the account with US bank RBC Centura?
      I’ve opened the account, and have the routing # and transit, branch, account number.
      The deposits have been made, but I do not see them in my account….

  6. RICHARD says:

    hi i am opening up a business in the states preferably where there is less red tape, but i am encountering one problem even though i have a successful canadian business with bank statements to prove it, i have called around the border towns close to montreal such as plattsburgh new york and since we are not opening up offices for at least a year how can we get around this the differnt banks say they need to check our store front which in our case is going to be a mail box for now

    if you have any ideas where to go or how to open up a bank acct commmercial acct that is and how to go about it once our new corporation is up and going

    let me know
    richard

    • Brian says:

      Hi,

      I own a Delaware, USA Corporation for my online retail business and I live in Victoria, BC, Canada. So far I have also been unsuccessful opening a US Commercial Account with any US Bank. If anyone has RECENTLY (due to US Patriot Act) opened a US commercial or business account as a Canadian Citizen please reply and you would help me out tremendously.

      At this point I am going to go to Washington State and open a personal US funds account so I can at least take my money out of PayPal without the ridiculous fees.

      Anyone else with any ideas how to open a US Commercial Account or any PayPal money transferring tips please let us know!

      Thanks.

      • Scott says:

        Contact Chase.com to open a US commercial account owned by the non-resident non-citizen. As far as I can tell they’re the only bank not worried about us Canucks rowing canoes into their skyscrapers!

  7. gomdori says:

    hi, your blog is so impressed.

  8. GINO says:

    Very interesting. I am thinking about opening a bank of America account in Bellingham or Blaine WA. Anybody else opened an account at Bank of America?

    Thanks

    • Alex says:

      Im trying to do the samething but i havent found any information Gino if you did and you were successful let me know plz

      • mikey says:

        Had a bank of america (BA) for 5 years and now they are canceling my accounts due to being Canadian (no US address).

  9. George P. says:

    I have the exact same problem, getting destroyed on this exchange rate. I wonder is there is any way to open the account from within Canada?

    • radz says:

      try tdbanknorth its an affilliate of tdcanadatrust and you can do it online..

      • Sherry says:

        Hi, if anyone has info about how to open the tdbanknorth account from canada, please let me know. I just got off the phone with TDCanadaTrust and the rep told me I cannot open a tdbanknorth account. Any help?

  10. Jay Z says:

    As someone stated above. The best and only bank in Canada where you can open a US based bank account is RBC. Your credit history from Canada even transfers over to your US account.
    Here is the website

    http://www.rbcbankusa.com/specialtybanking/cid-96799.html

  11. Christie says:

    Great info! But if you did want a US Mailbox, a great place to get one is http://www.ccmailmanagement.com They are close to Montreal and are really nice people!

  12. Patrick says:

    Go to http://www.usa2ca.com for usa mailing address. We make border package deliveries on the Vermont border which is 45mins from Montreal.

  13. [...] certified cheque (or certified check, if you prefer) is just like a regular cheque/check from your bank account. You do not need a special form and a certified cheque will largely look like any other cheque. The [...]

  14. Dan Matan says:

    Not sure if I’d be willing to go through the process of getting an ITIN, since I think you are then supposed to file US Tax Returns, which doesn’t sound fun at all.

  15. [...] I realize that you may have multiple bank accounts (I do too) and you may shift your cash around for a variety of reasons, but you should always make [...]

  16. viva says:

    WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW
    SUPER SUPER SUPER SUPER SUPER
    GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT.

    All my wondering questions are answered here.
    Greedy paypal takes lot of money, their greedy fee to receive money, and ex. rates usually 4/5 cents below market value.

    Yeahhh.
    Thank you all
    VIVAH

  17. Alex says:

    Hey guysss…
    im opening an acount with amazon.com but they asked me for an US bank account and a credit card… what should i do? how can i get a US bank acount in Blain? or Bank Of America? plz help me out

    • Michael Kwan says:

      As I mentioned in this article, I opened an account with Key Bank and all it took was two pieces of ID. I’m thinking that Bank of America has a similar policy.

      • Alex says:

        okay michael but i called the Bank of America and they said i need to have the social insurance number and i have to be US citizen.. on the other hand i called RBC for their US based bank account and they said all if have to do is go there and just open that account.. but will amazon accept that as my US account? what do you think Michael?

      • Michael Kwan says:

        Try contacting Amazon about that. Is there any reason why you don’t want to use Key Bank?

      • Alain says:

        Alex, I opened an account with rbc and it is acceptable by amazon. however if I want to compete well I need an us mail address (not a Postal Box number) and I don’t who I should trust on that. There is a lot of web site giving this service. But I did not sew customers feeling and evaluations on that.

  18. Alex says:

    No i have no reason to use Key Bank as long as i can get an US account ill be good. Do you think i should try key Bank before do anything with RBC? and should i call them first or should i just go there? cuz i live in vancouver witch is 1 hour from boarder so i can go there…

  19. Gloria says:

    Hi Michael,

    It looks like with RBC Centura, you need to open up a US chequing account which states: Access USA®

    * Avoid Monthly fees with $700 minimum balance (otherwise $3.95 US)
    * Includes free Online Banking and Bill Pay
    * Free check card
    * No-charge check writing
    * No RBC Bank fees for ATMs transactions; get rebates on fees charged by other bank ATMs1

    Therefore you are paying $3.95/month unless you keep a balance of $700. You get a credit card but again it will cost you approx. $48/year. It is a debit/credit card.

    QUESTION: With the Key Bank credit card, are you able to make purchases online with retailers that require a US credit card and a US billing address? If you have provided your Canadian Address, how does that work? I would love to know so I can zip down and apply for an account.

    Thanks again for the great info :)

    • Michael Kwan says:

      When I tried to purchase additional prepaid airtime with a cellular company, I was able to enter my credit card number but there was no way for me to enter my Canadian address. I tried to use the address of Key Bank instead and the transaction did not go through (account address does not match provided address), so I’m assuming that the same thing would happen with other online retailers as well.

      I think the best solution, if that’s what you need, is to open an account with a shipping company in Blaine or Point Roberts. That way, you have a US mailing address.

      • Gloria says:

        Thanks Michael. I already have one in Blaine. I was really hoping I would be able to get a US credit card with a US address. Thanks again for all the great info.

      • Brian says:

        Michael,

        can you give me a little more detail about opening an account with a shipping company?? btw, i know where is point reboerts but i have no idea where is Blaine, hehe

      • Michael Kwan says:

        Brian,

        I haven’t opened an account with them myself, but you can check out TSB Shipping (I think they’re called) in Point Roberts. In effect, you rent a P.O. Box.

        Blaine is the town on the American side of the Peace Arch.

  20. [...] a Canadian, it’s actually quite easy to open a US checking account and the Kindle Store does not require an American mailing address. After a little more poking [...]

  21. Derek Lau says:

    Hi Michael,

    I have a quick question regarding paypal. I just recently opened a us bank account from key bank in bellis fair. What do i have to change in my paypal account to have my money transferred to my key bank account.

    • Michael Kwan says:

      When you log into your PayPal account, you’ll find a place to add another bank account. From there, you’ll enter your account information from Key Bank. PayPal will deposit two small amounts (a few cents) into your Key Bank account. Check these amounts and enter them in PayPal a few days later. This verifies your account, just as you would with a Canadian chequing account. After verification, you can transfer funds between your Key Bank account and your PayPal account in US dollars.

  22. Chowdhry says:

    Hello Michael,
    Effectively July, 2009, Canadian citizens can open free checking account at Harris bank ONLINE (yeh, thats true!!!) without any US Social Security number or residential address.
    That’s a huge plus for non residents. All you need Canadian SIN, Driver’s License number, Canadian address and/or credit card/cheque.
    They require 100US$ deposit and offer free online transactions. BTW, Harris Bank is managed by Bank of Montreal.
    That’s a really good news eh!!!

    • Alex says:

      Wow Chowdhry this is the perfect thing :)… but i went to their website i had trouble finding the page… could you please send me the link or the name of the program or something?
      i would appriciate it thanks :)

      • Mark says:

        Chowdhry… thanks for the head’s up on Harris Bank… I just applied for an account… piece of cake.

        Alex… the link is https://www4.harrisbank.com/personal/0,2289,359877_362851,00.html

        I applied for Harris Free Checking which also comes with a no-fee Debit MasterCard. Be aware if you select this account option, the website will by default select “Statement Savings”. I called Harris and asked about it and basically it will mean I will have a monthly maintenance fee if my balance drops below a certain amount (can’t remember what).

      • Chowdhry says:

        Hello Alex,
        Mark’s link is good. alternately, visit their https site, hit checking & saving tab then hit checking again, It will take you to the same page as Mark has posted. Choose Harris Free Checking there.
        After finishing online registration, they will send you W-8BEN (IRS) in a prepaid UPS envelope with your account number. ATM card will arrive week later to start on line banking.
        Everyone, who finds this free info here, please google “us bank account for non resident’ and then click at Michael’s page ONLY to beat the money charging scams. (their rating/page will go down).
        My tags are
        US Bank
        US Bank Account
        US Bank Account for non resident
        US Banking for Canadians

      • Alex says:

        By the way is this account a US based bank account regardless of my residency in Canada?

    • Nancy says:

      This is exactly the info I was looking for, as I’m in the market for an american bank account too, thanks! If anyone using Harris reads this comment, how do you put money into your account? I want to do it in the lowest-fee highest-exchange rate possible.

  23. Quincy says:

    Hey cous

    Was looking to set up a US bank acct and came across your post. Great info!

  24. Greg says:

    I’m also looking into opening an Amazon.com Merchant Pro account as a Canadian small business owner, and this info helped me a lot!

    Thanks a bunch.

  25. David says:

    Anybody knows how to be able to publish in Amazon kindle as a Canadian? Assuming I have opened a US bank account and have US mailing address, how hard is it to get a ITIN number from IRS?

    and will Amazon accept ITIN?

    Thanks.

  26. David says:

    Hi Michael,

    I am not quite following you on the post you made, are you saying a Canadian doesn’t need a US bank account or mailing address or TIN to publish on kindle? from what I read on Kindle forum, it is not the case.

    Were you able to publish and make sales from Kindle store successfully?

    Thanks very much!

  27. emmanuel says:

    Hey this is a very interesting article!

  28. Derek Lau says:

    Hi Michael,

    I just got a letter from Keybank asking me for a TIN number. I guess that is equivilant to a SIN number. Have you ever encountered this???

    • Michael Kwan says:

      I got a similar letter last year and when I called it, they said that they would note in the system that I’m Canadian and I don’t have one of those. I got another letter asking again, but I haven’t called in to clarify yet.

  29. Rody Larose says:

    Really great information for my business, But does anyone know how to open a business in USA? I would like to move it in USA I just started and realize most of the client I deal are American any reply will be appreciate

    Thanks

  30. darlene says:

    Yes I have a U.S. account, I would guess you have not had to fill out your W-8 from the IRS yet? Have fun with that!

  31. islandgirl says:

    Hi Michael,

    I’m wondering how you get around paying taxes in the U.S. as a freelancer. Since you are not only working for U.S. entities, you’re now receiving your funds into a U.S. account.

    Do the parties who pay you from the U.S. not demand some kind of W-9 (or W-something)tax form from you?

    I ask this because I’m a Canadian living in Hawai’i, where I work as a consultant on a visa. I’m an English major and a writer who has been living in the Caribbean for many years, so I have no tax ties to Canada. But now I have them in the U.S. and all my research, and my Immigration attorney, have led me to believe I’m meant to have a visa for each new piece of writing I’m contracted to do!!! Huh?! I suppose this is because I’m resident here in the U.S. Just watch out for the double tax thing. Thanks for your advice.

  32. JadeDragon says:

    I’ve had good success with Bank of America. Opening the account was just as easy as you say.

    • o2bad455 says:

      Me too. As a bonus, the BoA Visa debit card can be used to withdraw funds at any Scotiabank ATM without fees (except for the typical exchange rate spread).

  33. David says:

    New regulations are in place, the bank requires an ITIN or EIN number to open a USD Commercial (business) bank account. You will need one of these numbers to sell on Amazon.com. Also, if you have a US based eBay/paypal account, you will also need one of these numbers as they will require you to complete Form W-9 for their records.

    To avoid withholding taxes, you then need to complete the form W-8BEN to certify that you are foreign and exempt from getting taxes withheld and from filing a tax return.

    http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=96696,00.html

    Call up the IRS (267-941-1099) and get either a ITIN (individual) or EIN (businesses) number. You cannot do it online if you don’t have a SNN number. When you speak to the IRS agent, let them know what you want…which is to basically open up a US based bank account.

    I spent days researching this….and found several websites asking hundreds of dollars for this simple information that I kind of figured out myself.

    Best of luck….

    • Alain says:

      Thanks Michael and David,
      I dont know if there are others like me doing business with border compagnies that give us address.. is there is any hidden fees, if there is any complications with IRS or americain authorities… thanks

  34. Chris says:

    |Hi everybody, really appreciate some advise:I intend to open a small online store with all the products coming from US vendors and the most of the clients being in US. I am Canadian and my company is registered in Toronto. The Pay Pal rep told me that I don’t have to pay anything but a small percentage of the value sold plus a fix amount, somewhere near 0.30 if I go with Pay Pal merchant account. But from what I know there is a fee for cross border transaction if my customers are from US and I have a Pay pal account with a Canadian address. Is it so? Some help..

    • Michael Kwan says:

      That’s more or less correct. With a merchant account, accepting money comes at a 30 cent charge per transaction, plus 2.9% of the value received. You can keep this money in US funds. If you withdraw to a Canadian account (and thus in Canadian funds), you will need to go through the currency exchange. PayPal typically charges about 2% more than the mid-market rate.

      So, for example, if USD and CAD are at par, the US$100 you have in your PayPal will turn into C$98 when deposited into your Canadian bank account.

      Bear in mind that these are just the transaction fees. Since you are a Canadian (with a Canadian company) and you are effectively conducting business in the United States, the taxation situation is a little more complex. I’d suggest consulting with an accountant who is familiar with such circumstances for small businesses.

  35. MJ says:

    I just opened up an account in Bank of America. They said you don’t need an SSN or ITIN in order to use our online banking service. My brother is with Chase and they say the same.

    • Candi says:

      Hey MJ, did you register via phone? were you able to specify the state in which you opened an account? Do you get a debit card? Did they ask for your SIN?
      Sorry for all the questions but I’d like to know what I’m going to deal with when I call…
      thx!! :)

      • MJ says:

        Hi, The information I can give you is for Bank of America if you are just visiting the US. Other banks may have different rules.

        I opened the bank account in person in New York. It IS important that you remember in which state your account was opened both for online and telephone banking.

        To open up the bank account, you do not need your Canadian SIN. You need a passport and one other piece of ID (I gave my driver’s licence.)
        Bank of America gives you a temporary visa debit card which is valid for 30 days. Once you get your permanent card with your name on it, you should activate the new one (it has the same number as the temporary card.) I live in Vancouver and the card took almost 3 weeks to get here from Arizona.

        *When you call customer service, the automated answering system asks you- 3 or 4 times- for your Social Security or ITIN number which, if you do not have any of them, you do not press anything. Then, it will connect you to a representative.

  36. Bev Hofmann says:

    Wow, this wonderful information!!!

    I need to open a U.S. bank account as I get paid in U.S. dollars but because of fees with on line pay processors the company I am with made NXPay available. But, they will not send my U.S. funds to my TDCanadaTrust Borderless account. I don’t know if it is law or why that is.
    So, my only option to actually receive U.S. funds is to open a U.S. bank account.

    I need the U.S. dollars when I travel to Costa Rica but NXPay converts to Canadian and I have to pay again to convert it back!

    Thanks so much for your help.

    Cheers,
    Bev

  37. sara says:

    I’m having trouble opening up a US bank account because you need 2 pieces of ID and I only have one (a Canadian passport). I do not have a driver’s licence. They said they’d take a passport and a utility bill that shows my name on it but I live with my mother so the utility bills are in her name. Any ideas?

    • Michael Kwan says:

      I don’t know what province you’re in, but in BC, you can get a BC ID. It’s just like a driver’s license, except it doesn’t license you for driving. Otherwise, perhaps they’d accept a cell phone bill? Or do you have anything else that has your name and address?

      • sara says:

        I’ve got my Canadian bank statements showing my name and address but they wouldn’t accept that. They said they need to see something that shows I’m living at that address. Problem is that I’m traveling outside Canada for an extended period and therefore can’t get a provincial ID. I wanted the US account since I’m working online and have the same PayPal currency changing issues as everyone else.

      • sara says:

        How bad do you think it would be to fudge one of my mother’s utility bills i.e. change her name to mine. They only want a copy. I could easily do that on my computer. Or, is there something I could set up for her in my name, pay for it for a month and cancel it?

      • Michael Kwan says:

        I wouldn’t recommend “fudging” one of your mom’s bills as that is illegal (fraud). Perhaps you could ask if your name could be added to one of the accounts, get a bill with your name on it, and then remove your name from the account?

      • sara says:

        You are right and I wouldn’t want to get Mom in trouble either. What type of bill do you think I could get added to?

      • Jeff says:

        You don’t fudge ANYTHING when dealing with the US, or US government. You will get caught, and you will be convicted, and imprisoned, as for the comment about placing a Canadian SIN in place of a SSN – It’s a FELONY to do so, Thiis isn’t Canada you’re dealing with, and you have no rights or protection from the Government of Canada when violating US law. When you cross that border, you surrender all rights as a Citizen of Canada, you are subject to full prosecution of US law, and do not have the same rights as an American.You lie to anyone in the US, it is fraud, and perjury. Once caught, there is no messing around, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of US law.NEVER, EVER, LIE or FUDGE! Sir Conrad Black thought he was above US law as a Canadian – Google how that worked for him!

  38. Jeff says:

    Just an update, was in Chase today. Just recently they made a policy change, prior to very recently a business account could be opened for a Mexican, Canadian or of course an American. Chase has changed their business account policy and will no longer open business accounts for any NON US resident with the exception of the Province of Ontario ONLY.

    ITIN numbers are no longer easy to get. You now MUST prove that you NEED one to pay taxes Ito the IRS, and the amount must be substantial (a few dollars in Interest or dividends does not warrant the issuing of an ITIN number) Up until recently you could go to an IRS office with original ID to have an ITIN issued, this processes was centralized, and a certified copy of original documents were, WERE accepted. Now, and application for an ITIN number MUST be sent to the Federal Processing Centre in Phila, there is NO counter service, and you MUST send ORIGINALS of your passport, and other ID. Not copies, ORIGINALS, by certified mail, They will be returned in 6-8 weeks, however the IRS does not, and will not guarantee that you will receive your documents back (meaning, if they’re lost by the IRS… Tough! – the will not be liable for any costs or incovnveniences associated with the replacement of lost documents) RBC Bank (Georgia) N.A. Is a domiciled US bank, accounts are opened in Canada by its correspondent (and owner) RBC Royal Bank, they are separate entities. One is a Canadian Bank, the other a US Bank, licenced by the Office of the Comptroller, and insured (some products) by the FDIC. Deposits can be made at ATMs at any branch of PNC Bank (teller services not available). RBC Royal Bank acts as agent for RBC Bank (Georgia) N.A. And must adhere to US laws, and Patriot Act. Foreign Nationals of some countries living in Canada may be I eligible for an account at RBC Bank (Georgia) N.A. To comply with US laws. Although they are separate entities, the ‘right of offset’ covers both institutions and either bank can confiscate funds in accounts in either country in the event of default on any accounts in either institution.TD Canada Trust (operating as TD Bank USA, N.A. In the USA) has an 1-800 number to open accounts for Canadians, funds transfer can be completed by phone (and credited the next business day) unlike RBC where funds transfers can be done online, in real time (BMOHarris Bank, is set up like TD, transfers by phone, next business day). TD however has an extensive branch network, limited to the East Coast of the USA. They will not open accounts for individuals who operate outside of their US markets. RBC Bank (physical branches) were sold to PNC and business accounts were transferred with the (grandfathered). US business accounts can be opened for Canadian businesses through the US banks international branches in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, however, unless your a mega-corporation, they’re not interested in doing business with you. US banking has become extremely regulated for foreigners, and the accounts are scrutinized for any ‘deemed’ abnormal activities, therefore businesses are ‘faceless, and have been used to fund illegal, even sinister activities, therefore – you have a snowballs chance in hell in opening a US business account as a Canadian anymore – deposits from Paypal accounts are consider ‘suspicious’ are scrutinized, and can be seized at anytime by Homeland Security (whether you have a US bank account or not) – like everything else ‘Caveat Emptor’!

  39. mikey says:

    Bank of America now will close your account if you no longer have a US address since they no longer allow non-US residents to have accounts.

  40. Sam says:

    Can someone clarify the status of Bank of America or Chase on new accounts for Canadian citizens?
    I was going to head down and register a new personal account. I purchased a joint property with my cousin and wanted to open an account for my share of rental income to be deposited monthly.

  41. Cliff says:

    *bump* Checking if anything is new for creating accounts in 2014.

    • Michael Kwan says:

      One thing that has come up for me since this post was originally published was that I was required to submit a W8-BEN form, stating that I am a non-US person and that I will not be paying taxes on any income generated by my checking account. Something along those lines.

  42. Mike says:

    don’t you get a free shotgun or something like that when you open an account in the usa?

  43. Mario says:

    If you ever want to get US address/ Bank account in order to process sales,. the best way to do it is with USCA (US Canada) Private Brokers, they will collect the money in us or canada and will transfer funds to you in Us or Canada.

    Private broker I always dealt with is:
    Robert his email robert.colser@gmail.com

  44. I live in Toronto and work for clients all over the world, although more than 90% of my clients are American. I too get paid in US dollars via Paypal and I begrudge the fees associated with exchanging and transferring my money. I share the frustration of not being able to transfer my US dollars into my Canadian-based US dollar account. I finally drove to Niagara Falls, NY yesterday and opened a chequing account at Citizens Bank. I am waiting for a debit/credit card to be mailed to me, and I should have access to online banking sometime today, as soon as all my paperwork is processed in their system. I also ordered cheques so that I can write myself a cheque and deposit that into my US dollar account here at home. Done and done. Regards to all. R.

  45. Adirondack says:

    Holy Crap, I can’t believe how much this post helped! Although, it would be uselful if you could go into a bit more detail. Is there a site I can get further information? Thanks for posting and please continue to share your ridic insight with everyone.

  46. First glitch I’ve encountered, and it’s a big one. It somewhat defeats the point of having a US bank account. I tried to reserve a hotel in NY using my new Citizens Bank VISA debit card, and it was declined because my postal code is Canadian. I guess if I’d called the hotel directly, maybe they would have processed the transaction. I was trying to book it through Travelocity or Expedia, using their online booking gateway. They both declined. In both cases, things fell apart as soon as I entered my postal code. Same with the airline, and same with Amtrak. So in other words, most major establishments will not accept my American Credit/Debit card through online booking because my address is not American. So it’s like I’m back to square one a little bit. Disappointing to say the least.

    • athought says:

      Can’t you get an american P.O box?

      • Michael Kwan says:

        Many bookings and services won’t accept a PO box as a “legitimate” address, though there are mailbox rental services where you get a “real” address instead which might work.

      • The address on the booking form has to match the address on file with the bank. The bank requires the primary address of residence. I’m not comfortable lying to my bank about my address, even if I can find a postal box address that reads like a civic street address.

    • Natasha says:

      Did you have any other glitches, with American US account in Citizen Bank, beyond on-line booking? Were you able to cut American cheque and deposit into Canadian US account? Did it clear with no problem? Thank you.

  47. Robin says:

    From what I have done for research so far and been reading here, it seems like it is now impossible for a Canadian to open up a Bank Account in the USA.

  48. Chris says:

    @Rachel Landry – Citizen Bank allows you to do online banking? That’s terrific! Without a SSN, Key Bank won’t provide me that service. I may have to switch. Which Citizen branch did you go to in Niagara Falls?

    • @Chris, I used 1000 Portage Rd. You have to reside within 100 miles of the branch where you wish to open the account. That’s a Citizen’s Bank policy.

      @Natasha: I write cheques to myself regularly from the Citizen’s Bank account for deposit into my US account here at CIBC. No issues. I suppose your CAD bank may choose to hold the funds for a few days, but that depends on their own policies.

  49. Gerald says:

    We had US bank acct. with Wells Fargo. Had no problem signing up. They give you a Visa card and can use it anywhere in the US and probably else where. The 2 requirements are that you use 10
    transactions/mo. or have at least $15,ooo US dollars in your acct., otherwise a $12 charge is levied every mo.

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