Lowest-Fee US$ American Currency Credit Card for Canadians

2013: Still just one $25 annual fee, and no more, since I use the card enough. If you're a frequent short-term traveller to the USA, look at the Desjardins no-fee visa card that has a 3 days of free out-of-country emergency health insurance coverage (but read the terms and conditions!)       

2012 FYI: I did end up getting charged the $25 annual fee, it just worked out that I got charged it as late as possible as it was charged on your anniversary date. The fee is rebated in future years as long as you do $1000/year, but you can't avoid getting dinged for it at least once.

Update: May 5, 2009 BMO US$ Mosaik Mastercard to start $25 Annual Fee

Others have stated that they've gotten letters stating that this card will no longer be annual fee-free.
I've confirmed this by emailing BMO, and they stated that "effective August 2009, a $25.00 annual fee will apply on our USD BMO MasterCard cards." I myself have not received any notice, and I consider myself a light (though regular) user of the card. Sept 2009 Update: Still no annual fee notice, I guess I've been grandfathered. Yay. See my follow-up article on no-annual fee US$ Mastercard and Visa options for Canadians.

So that means there are literally no options for Canadians that want a Canadian-based US Dollar Credit card for no fee, except for the TD Select Service one, which has its US$ Visa fee waived if you keep $5000 in the account.

Forget that!

Here are the main remaining options:

For the most part, I'll migrate to use by US-based bank account, which gives me a free US debit Mastercard/Visa:

Of course, the above options aren't for everyone.
I'll lose the cash back and the float though
Some international transaction fees will be unavoidable for me now

Just One No-Annual-Fee Option

It looks like there is only one option for Canadians that want to get a US$ Credit Card for No Annual Fee. This is a credit card issued by a Canadian Bank, but denominated in US$ Currency. Therefore, if an American site required you to use US-issued credit cards, this card would not work, though I suspect they would often mean that they only accept credit cards in US$ currency, which means that it would work fine.

What Your Application is Based On

Applications for cards like these are based on your CANADIAN Credit Rating (so check your credit rating!!!). Any Canadian can apply for them. As well, since they are issued by a Canadian bank, you can also use your Canadian bill payment to pay them, or go to an actual branch and easily talk to a living breathing human about the card.

These cards are good for those that want to make purchases in Canadian dollars and avoid the annoying 2.5% charge/commission for paying in a different currency.

I've only found one such card that has no yearly fee. The card that I've found is the BMO Mosaik US Dollar Card. Yes, that's right, the Bank of Montreal, so it is obviously legitimate. You do not need to have an account there to sign up, nor to pay the bill. Their $0 annual-fee US card even has 0.5% cash back (and you can pay to upgrade to 1.0% cash back).

Here's the link to their online application page:


Here is a BMO Phone Numbers site.

Update: It looks like, according to another user, that if you use this card with Paypal, they will properly charge it in US$ (if the transaction was in US$) with no other commissions, which is good news! I don't think it was like this before.

Other Option: a US$ Card from a US Bank

I've written a guide for Canadians and other foreigners on opening up a US Bank Account. The accounts there are usually free and include things like a free pack of checks and a US$ Debit Card (which is actually a Visa/Mastercard down there).



just called the american

just called the american express US. they said that you MUST have an US address in order for them to send the cards and other bills. I mentioned e-billing and sending the cards at my own costs but they said that's not the case. hope that helps.

From BMO website, "Get a

From BMO website, "Get a rebate on our low annual fee ($25): If your annual card purchases total US$1,000 or more, the annual fee for the next year will be rebated". That is why you are not charged annual fee. ($25).

where can I get a canadian CC while I live in usa?

I'm looking for a bank to apply for a canadian credit card, even though I live in USA. I want to build up some canadian credit if possible.. Can anyone help me? OR any suggestions? I'd really appriciate it..

US credit & CDN credit

Is there any way to connect US and CDN credit reports?
We use many of the same reporting companies.......
Any Ideas?

Cdn US$ card and paypal etc

I have used paypal and my TD US$ card both ways.

When you sell something and receive funds in usd, paypal will only send USD to a bank in the US. If it is a Cdn bank account denominated in US$, they will convert to c$...I am assuming that the bank will then convert again in order to credit the US$ account in USD. Too many conversions for me. The very reason I opened a US$ account in the US.....then write a cheque to transfer the funds to my US$ account with TD.

As for paying with the US$ credit card on paypal, there are no fees to me if billed by the seller or if paid via the seller's website. If I choose to remit funds (instead of a payment on the seller's website or the seller's invoice) , then there are fees to me.

I am looking for a TD visa with some kind of rewards though.......



I would like to have ausa credit card.

I travel usualy in usa. But i stayed in Montreal .Quebec .Canada

For a no fee US$ Credit card

For a no fee US$ Credit card look to Alaska Airways MasterCard. The last ime I looked (3 years ago) it appeared in Bank of America's long list of credit cards.

i think i found the answer why you are not paying any annual fee

Here is some info from the BMO website:

Spend as little as $1,000 and earn $25 annual fee waiver for the subsequent year.

Plus, if you spend $1,000 USD or more in a year on your card, the annual fee for the subsequent year will be rebated.

I agree, it's the best

I agree, it's the best option. It's so easy to spend over 1000 within a year. Booking one week hotel for vacation is half of that.... at least...

bmo us

yep..u gotta spend $1000 or more for no annual fee.

i have a us bmo card (linked

i have a us bmo card (linked with airmiles) and dont spend over 1000$. i never had any charges of fees.


I just received my letter from BMO. It states that on my next anniversary date (Feb 2011) I will start being charged a $25 annual fee. At least I have plenty of time to find another credit card issuer to replace this card.

What BMO US$ Mosaik Replacement?

Ya, but who are you going to change to? At least with BMO you'll only pay the annual fee once, and then it's waived the next year if you spend $1000. No other US$ Visa/Mastercard in Canada is no annual fee, unless you get TD's Select Service Account, which will cost you anyway. . Your only real other no-fee option is getting a US Dollar Bank Account with Debit Visa/Debit Mastercard.

Why are we Canadians such

Why are we Canadians such sheep about this. BMO makes a killing off these US cards by getting a healthy percentage of every transaction. This annual fee is simple greed. I am going by my bank next week and canceling mine and if more people did this they would have to change their policy. When I signed up it was advertised as a FREE card. They lied. We're talking about a company that had net income of over 600 million dollars for the first fiscal quarter of this year.

BMO US Credit Card

Hi, I have had one for years, it works fine with paypal and BMO gives 2% back in cash as well, so they are not so greedy. The only problem I have is most of my banking is at TD and I have to take cash over from TD to BMO to pay off the credit card (or a bank draft).

Totally agreed. I cancelled

Totally agreed. I cancelled my card already this week. But maybe the bank doesn't care. I wish I can find another card with no annual fee.

BMO Annual Fee on USD Card

Just got my letter today, May 5th, 2010 indicating a $25 US annual fee to be assessed on my next anniversary date......whenever that is. The fee will be waived is you spend $1,000 during the 12 months between anniversaries.

USD BMO Mastercard Annual Fee update

It is now March 2010 and I'd like to have another update on this. Did they charge you your annual fee? Last time we used it was Oct 2009 but haven't had any indication on any annual fee.
However, their website does show $25. We actually have a $2 credit on our credit limit

It's a no free US Visa Debit

It's a no free US Visa Debit Card. Not a US Credit Card.

No Fee US Accounts from RBC.

Go to RBC, they offer a free USD account (minimum $750 balance) from the RBC USA bank. This is a complete US account, not a USD account from the Canadian bank. They also offer a no fee USD Visa card (got mine today) based on your Canadian credit rating. The initial account setup has to happen at a Canadian RBC branch.

Took about 2 weeks to setup. Got my US no fee Visa in the mail today. You can also link your electronic banking to show both accounts on your canadian account dashboard. Great phone support as well. Very painless.

Bye Bye currency conversion gouging from Paypal and Visa.

Good luck,

Went to RBC today and they

Went to RBC today and they don't have such a package. When you look at their website, it's only the account with $5000 minimum that includes a no fee Visa card.

I though that too

but after I opened my RBC Bank USA account in Dec 09 , they contacted me and offered me a no fee Visa card and a line of credit. I pay no monthly fee for the account as long as I have a minumum of $750 in it, which is not hard since we use this account to save up $ for our next winter in Florida. The normal fee is $4/mo. I can also use the US debit/cheque card to pay for fuel at the pump with no fee unlike my Canadian debit cards.

BMO US Dollar Mastercard Fee


I'm sure by now you've received your November bill with your Annual Fee. No such thing as grandfathering, unfortunately.

No Annual Fee Mastercard

Negative. No annual fee on either my Oct 20th statement date statement nor my Nov 20th statement. I also have no other accounts whatsoever with BMO, just the US$ Credit Card.

BMO US Credit card

I just received a letter from BMO yesterday informing me that a $25 annual fee for my US dollar Credit card.

I also got a letter from BMO

I also got a letter from BMO indicating that if I spent at least $1000 by my next Anniversary Date (April 1, 2011) that they would waive the fee for the following year. I wasn't charged a fee for 2010. The wording did not indicate if this offer would follow past 2011.

BMO US$25 Annual Fee for Mosaik Mastercard

I also just got this letter, curiously dated April 15th (that was almost 3 weeks ago).

I called their long-distance number to avoid being held on hold excessively: BMO Mosaik Fast Access Number

They said that I will have an annual fee charged at my anniversary date (even though the card they recently sent me said NO Annual Fee), and that it can be waived THE NEXT YEAR if I spend at least US$1000. So, there's no avoiding at least one annual fee, regardless of how much I spend. Maybe it will be back to my US-based checking account for most things. The BMO card was only really good for never charging me international transaction fees when spending US$ outside of the US (like a Canadian Paypal acccount) and the minimal cash-back.

The annual fee began August

The annual fee began August 2009, but you only get charged once your anniversary date comes up. So if your anniversary date on your credit card was in July, then you wouldn't get the $25 annual fee until July 2010. There is no grandfathering.

US$ Credit Card - TD Bank

Just an additional note re the TD US$ Credit card. In addition to the TD Select Service you can also open a TD US$ Borderless account. The fee on the Borderless account is $4.95 US per month but
one of the benefits of this account is they will waive the $39 annual fee (primary card holder only)
for the TD US$ Credit card.

Yes, but for the TD U.S.

Yes, but for the TD U.S. credit card, you have to keep a balance of $3,000 in the borderless account.

The TD US$ Visa has no annual

The TD US$ Visa has no annual fee when you have a TD Borderless account, regardless of its balance. It's the monthly fee that gets waived with a balance of $3k.

canadian us dollar credit card

Are there any other Canadian institutions that offer a US dollar credit card? It just irks me to have to pay an annual fee!

US$ Debit Visa and Debit Mastercards

Just BMO and TD, and they're now both charging, unless you qualify for TD's Select Service Account Status. Consider getting a US$ debit Mastercard or debit Visa by opening up a US Bank Account, which is often with no charge.

Paying the bill

So, is get this card, do I have to pay the bill in US funds, or buy US dollars to pay the bill?
Thanks for your help.

You can pay the bill with US

You can pay the bill with US cash or a US$ Cheque. I think you can even do bill-payment if you have a US$ account at BMO, but otherwise you can't use your bank's bill-payment system.

BMO US$ Canadian credit card funding Ebay purchases

I have bought at least 10 things on Ebay and am always billed in the exact amount in US $ on my BMO US $ credit card issued from my local Canadian BMO bank. If it costs $100 US on Ebay with shipping I see a $100 US charge on my BMO US $ Mastercard. Please correct this error in your blog.

I'm now trying to link my BMO US $ bank account so when I sell something on Ebay I can move the US $ in my Paypal US$ denomination to Canada where I can pay my US $ credit card with no pesky 2.5% currency exchange fees. But its challenging. Paypal doesn't seem to like this. I'll try to update you on this if I'm successful.

Hi, thanks for the

Hi, thanks for the correction, I've updated it. I was in your boat with the selling goods problem (I used to sell far more than I'd buy), and the solution to me seemed to be to get a bank account in the USA. I haven't tried paying my BMO bill with a US Bank cheque though, but I probably will have to in due time. RBC Centura is another option. They actually open up a US bank account for you, without leaving Canada. With this arrangement, they'll let you quickly do transfers of US$ between their US-based accounts and Canadian-based accounts. However, watch out for monthly fees if you don't keep a high enough balance.

You can make payment in full

You can make payment in full US dollars via teller for free. They will not except coins so you may have a small credit balance.

I usually overpay it to the

I usually overpay it to the nearest US$20 because I know I'm going to spend it anyway :)

Canadian credit card in US# for Paypal

I just talked to Paypal and the guy who was a supervisor there said that I could use a Canadian Credit Card in US Dollars and I would avoid the 2.5% fee. (2 other reps there said I couldn't.)

What does this mean? You can

What does this mean? You can always use a Canadian CC in USD, however, you are normally charged the 2.5% fee, which is charged by the card issuing bank NOT paypal - so ???

I just don't understand what you are saying I guess - please be more clear.

I think he means if he uses a

I think he means if he uses a US$ Canadian Credit Card, he won't be charged any commissions or international transaction fees?

I've actually had this happen: my US-based US$ Mastercard will still charge me a 2% fee when I purchase things in US$ outside of USA.

US dollar accts

Just phoned bmo. My account this year is at approx. $800US If not up to 1000$us by month of anniversary date I will spend $220 canadian on us card and pay 2.5% conversion charge. Works out to $5.50 Cheaper than $25.

but can you just write a

but can you just write a cheque against your USD credit card and at the same time paid to the credit card so that it looks like you spend more than 1000 USD and avoid the annual fee ?

BMO Mastercard Annual Fee

I don't think they issue US$ Cheques for this credit card.

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