Best US Dollar Credit Cards in Canada

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Having a US Dollar credit card is a great addition to any Canadian’s wallet. It helps cut down on currency conversion fees and foreign exchange fees, which really add up! The unfortunate part is there aren’t many US Dollar credit cards in Canada to choose from.

The options for US Dollar credit cards in Canada are, sadly, hugely limited. They don’t come with great perks either. 🙁

But while there aren’t many choices and the perks are nothing to get excited about, anybody in Canada who makes a fair number of purchases in USD can benefit from holding a USD credit card.

The lack of US Dollar credit cards in Canada is disappointing. Each of the Big 5 banks only have one card to choose from, but you should still get a USD credit card as a Canadian. It significantly lowers the fees you pay when making purchases in US Dollars. My personal favourite US Dollar credit card in Canada is the BMO US Dollar Mastercard, but it is probably easiest just to get whatever USD credit card your bank offers.

In this post, we’ll discuss all five USD credit cards offered by the Big 5 banks.

Smaller banks and American Express don’t offer US Dollar credit cards in Canada. The five credit cards on this list are basically your only choices.

Best hotel credit cards in Canada

BMO US Dollar Mastercard

Of all the US Dollar credit cards in Canada, this is my favourite.

It is also the USD credit card I personally hold.

The BMO US Dollar Mastercard has an annual fee of $35 USD, but it is waived if you spend $1,000 or more on the card in a year.

Most people who get a US Dollar credit card tend to spend at least $1,000 on their card every year, so you most likely won’t have to pay an annual fee.

Even if you do have to pay the annual fee, it is very reasonable.

You will likely save more than $35 USD every year using this card. Currency conversion fees and that pesky 2.5% foreign transaction fee really add up quickly!

There are no other perks that come along with the BMO US Dollar Mastercard, so that is a womp womp.

But you will find that is the case for the other US Dollar credit cards in Canada on this list as well.

Sky Needle, Seattle

TD US Dollar Visa Card

Next up is the TD US Dollar Visa Card.

These are in no particular order by the way!

The TD US Dollar Visa Card is very similar to the BMO US Dollar Mastercard.

But it is inferior in my opinion.

The annual fee on the TD US Dollar Visa Card is $39 USD per year. There is no rebate of the annual fee like there is on the BMO card.

You don’t get any extra perks, points, or benefits with the TD US Dollar Visa Card.

I definitely think it is one of the best US Dollar credit cards in Canada. I like the low annual fee, and I’ve always found TD a nice bank to work with.

CIBC US Dollar Aventura Gold Visa Card

This is a very attractive card.

Some may say of all the US Dollar credit cards in Canada it is the best!

The CIBC US Dollar Aventura Gold Visa Card is the only US Dollar credit card in Canada to offer a sign-up bonus. You also earn Aventura points with the card.

The problem is that Aventura points aren’t a great program, and you shouldn’t prioritize earning them.

They are very restrictive, and a lot of people just let their Aventure points sit and go to waste.

But if you’re a fan of Aventura points, this is the US Dollar credit card for you!

It has an annual fee of $35 USD and a sign-up bonus of up to 2,500 Aventure points. There is no option for the annual fee to be rebated though.

In terms of the sign-up bonus, you earn 500 Aventure points for performing each of these activities:

  • Giving CIBC your email address
  • Signing up for estatements (which you should do in any event!)
  • Adding an authorized user to the card
  • Have an eligible CIBC chequing account
  • Add the card to your Apple pay, Samsung pay, or Android pay

The tasks need to be completed within 60 days of opening the card. If you miss that deadline and still perform a task, you will not receive points for it.

You don’t have to do every one of those steps. You earn 500 points for each step you take, so you can earn anywhere from 0 to 2,500 Aventure points with this card.

Most people will earn 1,000 Avenuture points. Sharing your email and signing up for estatements are pretty easy tasks to complete, and most people do them in any event.

Woman waiting in airport

RBC US Dollar Visa Gold Card

I know I said I wasn’t playing favourites earlier in the post, but this is my least favourite USD credit card.

It has the highest annual fee of all US Dollar credit cards in Canada, and you don’t get a lot of benefit from paying that higher annual fee!

The annual fee on the RBC US Dollar Visa Gold Card is $65 USD! That is almost double the annual fee on the rest of the US Dollar credit cards in Canada. You also don’t have the opportunity to have the annual fee waived like you do on the BMO card.

The annual fee is a little bit ridiculous in my opinion.

You do earn some RBC points with this credit card, which is a plus.

You earn 1 RBC point per $1 spent. The points earnings are very low, but it is better than nothing.

Plus RBC points are quite valuable since they can be converted to other travel programs like British Airways Avois.

But it will take a long time to earn any meaningful points with only earning 1 point per $1 spent!

RBC does have some other US credit card options including the Visa Signature Black and Visa Signature Black Plus.

The difference is that the credit on those cards are extended by US lenders, and it is like actually having a US-based credit card rather than a USD credit card.

They are both pretty decent choices though. The Visa Signature Black doesn’t have an annual fee.

Overall, I think RBC needs to lower the annual fee on this credit card to be more in line with the other banks.

There is no reason for the annual fee to be $65 USD!

Scotiabank US Dollar Visa Card

Last but no least is the Scotiabank US Dollar Visa Card.

This card is very similar to the TD US Dollar Visa Card.

Same name and everything!

The Scotiabank US Dollar Visa Card has an annual fee of $35 USD and doesn’t give you the chance to have the annual fee rebated.

There are no additional perks that come along with this card, but it is still a decent choice.

Plus Scotiabank is another bank that I’ve had good experiences with, which can’t be said for some of the other banks on this list.

Okay. Actually, there is one additional benefit that comes with this card.

You get 20% off car rentals at select AVIS locations. I imagine that if you’re a travel hacker you have a better credit card to use at car rental locations.

It is still nice to have though!

Couple Travel Hacking

Why Get a USD Credit Card?

There are two main advantages to getting a US Dollar credit card:

  • No currency conversion fees
  • No foreign transaction fees

If you sat and added up all the fees you pay in currency conversion and foreign transactions, you would be stunned!

Those pesky fees add up very quickly, and using a USD credit card helps cut down on those fees immensely!

Most Canadians do the majority of their non-Canadian Dollar spending in US Dollars.

It just makes sense for people who vacation or shop from US retailers to add a USD credit card to their wallet.

Things to Know About Getting a US Dollar Credit Card in Canada

To make any of the US Dollar credit cards in Canada worthwhile, you should be paying them down in US Dollars.

This means you need a US Dollar chequing account.

Every Canadian bank offers US Dollar chequing accounts, and most don’t charge you a fee to open one.

I highly recommend you have both your USD credit card and USD chequing account at the same bank.

Otherwise what’s the point?

In Canada, etransfers and bill payments are done in Canadian dollars, so having your USD accounts at two separate banks isn’t a great choice.

You should 100% take this into account when deciding what USD credit card to get!

Even if you have the majority of your money at a different bank than the bank you get your USD credit card from, you should still open a USD chequing account with that bank.

You can easily transfer Canadian dollars into your chequing account at the other bank and pay your USD credit card in USD.

I hope that sentence wasn’t too confusing!

The important thing to remember is to have a USD chequing account and USD credit card at the same bank.

Benefits of travelling alone

Airplanes at Airport

Conclusion

There you have it! The top US Dollar credit cards in Canada.

I warned you there wasn’t anything too spectacular on the list!

Even though none of these credit cards are spectacular, they are still worth getting.

You may not earn a lot of points (if any), but you will save money in both currency conversion fees and foreign exchange fees when shopping in USD.

That is well worth the forfeiture of earning points.

There are plenty of other purchases you can make in Canada (and around the world) that earn you points.

I think the trade off between not paying fees and not earning points is well worth it!

Best US Dollar Credit Cards in CanadaBest US Dollar Credit Cards in CanadaBest US Dollar Credit Cards in Canada

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