US Credit Card for Canadians

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    Any Canadians have any advice on which US credit card works well for snowbird adventures down south?  I have a US dollar savings account that I transfer $ to when the exchange rate is good but I need a way to spend that without carrying lots of cash.

    Ray: I read your blog post about snowbird preparation (thanks! very helpful post) and you mentioned you used a US card?



    We bank with the Royal and have a US dollar saving account with them and then both have US dollar visas – I’m sure other banks have the same.

    Another option is to get a full fledged US bank account. Several Canadian banks have that.

    One trick when using the credit card to fill at pumps that want a zip code is to use only the numbers in the postal code and add 2 zeros. Works almost all the time so we don’t have to go into see the cashier. So V8Z 4P8 would be 84800


    At home in Canada, we make most of our purchases using our debit card. BUT, our bank charges us $1 everytime we use it in the US. So, after investigating, we discovered that the credit card does not charge the transaction fee other cards do for using it in the USA. Copied from their website…

    • You can start using your card today at after approval<sup>2</sup>
    • Get a $20 Gift Certificate instantly upon credit card approval<sup>1</sup>
    • Earn 2% cash back per $1 spent on<sup>3</sup>
    • Earn 1% cash back per $1 spent everywhere else your card is accepted<sup>3</sup>
    • No Foreign Currency Transaction Fees*
    • No annual fee*

    We are having no issues using it here in Arizona.

    When we want US cash, we use our debit card at a Walmart and get the added $100 cash back. But, beware, not all Walmarts seem to offer this to Cdn. debit cards. We do a test run with a small priced item first to check. You can always cancel the payment if you use the self serve checkouts, and then redo to pay with credit and skip the extra $1 fee. It’s working great for us!

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