If you're one of the many Canadians who likes to shop online at American stores or spend time in the United States for business or a vacation, you might be considering a USD credit card in Canada. Credit cards denominated in USD serve a primary purpose in facilitating hassle-free online shopping experiences from a wide array of American stores. Having a USD credit card in your wallet can save you hundreds of dollars per year in foreign transaction fees. Credit cards with zero foreign transaction fees can also be used by shoppers worldwide. However, if you generate income in USD, you stand to gain greater advantages by opting for USD credit card.

Although most USD credit cards in Canada don't come with the great rewards offered by the best Canadian credit cards, some do come with reward-earning potential and comprehensive insurance packages that frequent travellers need. We have compiled the best USD credit cards in Canada, comparing their annual fees, features, and more to help you choose the one that's right for you.

Should you get a USD credit card in Canada?

It depends on your situation. U.S. dollar credit cards are good to have if you have American dollars to spend, but if you have a USD credit card in Canada, you will need an American bank account to pay the statement. Unless you have an American address and a social security number, you won't be able to open an American dollar bank account in the U.S.

Fortunately, it's very easy to get a U.S. dollar bank account from any of Canada's major banks but keep in mind that you will also need a source of American dollars to fill it with. Otherwise, you'll be paying currency conversion rates every time you transfer money from your Canadian account to your USD account or directly to your USD credit card. If you frequently get paid in American dollars and do a lot of spending in the U.S. then it's worth it to get a USD credit card in Canada.

On the other hand, if you only travel occasionally to the U.S. or shop either across the border or online at American stores and don't have a steady stream of U.S. funds coming your way, then it's better to get a credit card that doesn't charge you for foreign currency transactions.

With a no foreign transaction fees credit card, you can still shop, but the charges are reflected in Canadian dollars. You won't get the best currency exchange rate, but you can pay the balance from your Canadian bank account.

USD credit cards avoid that currency exchange by only using American currency, so they're only good for purchases made in the U.S. or online charged in American dollars.

Shopping online is amazing, but buying things from American stores when you live in Canada isn't always easy. If you run into the problem of needing a US address to ship your package to, you can use a package forwarding service. It gives you a US address and you can have your packages shipped there. The package forwarding service will collect your package at this location and send it to your Canadian address.

Currency conversion fees vs. Foreign transaction fees

If you've ever purchased something in American currency (or any currency other than Canadian) with your Canadian credit card, you may have noticed two separate charges on your statement, a foreign transaction fee and a currency conversion fee. Although they sound similar, they are not the same thing.

The first charge is the foreign transaction fee, which is set by your credit card issuer. It's usually around 2.5% but can go as high as 3% and applies to any charges made in a foreign country or in a foreign currency. The second charge is usually 1% of the purchase price and is imposed by the credit card payment processor for converting from Canadian currency to whatever currency you're dealing in.

When you make a purchase in USD, either online or across the border, with a Canadian credit card, you're likely paying both of those charges, unless you have a Canadian credit card that waives the foreign transaction fee. While this credit card will save you that 2.5%, it won't give you a very good conversion rate, plus you would still be paying the 1% currency conversion fee imposed by the payment processor.

USD credit cards eliminate both charges. Charges are made in U.S. currency and you'll also need to pay the statement in U.S. currency. It is important to keep in mind that USD credit cards can only be used for purchases made in the U.S. or with U.S. dollars. If you use your USD credit card in Canada, you will be charged the foreign transaction fee.

BMO U.S. Dollar Mastercard

Annual Fee: $35 USD

Rate: 20.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances

The BMO U.S. Dollar Mastercard is one of the most commonly used USD credit cards in Canada. For Canadians who regularly travel to and shop in the U.S., it offers exactly what you need. The annual fee is $35, but they'll waive it if you spend over $1,000 USD per year.

If you're someone who does a lot of spending in the U.S., you can easily get this credit card for free. Plus, since it's a Mastercard, it's accepted just about anywhere.

It doesn't come with any reward-earning potential, but it has low yearly income requirements and a relatively low-interest rate. You'll also get an extended warranty and purchase protection for any items purchased using this card.

Meridian Visa U.S. Dollar Card

Annual Fee: $65 USD

Rate: 19.50% for purchases, 21.99% for cash advances

The Meridian Visa U.S. Dollar Card is one of the best USD credit cards available to Canadians. It comes with a fairly steep annual fee of $65 USD, but it's waived for the first year and has no minimum income requirements.

What sets this card apart is that it can earn you points, a feature that's missing from most USD credit cards in Canada. For every $1 USD you spend, you'll earn 1 reward point that you can use towards travel, gift cards, products, and statement credits.

Plus, the Meridian Visa U.S. Dollar Card comes with comprehensive travel insurance plans including trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage delay and loss, and car rental insurance. The interest rates are also slightly lower than most USD credit cards in Canada; 19.50% for purchases and balance transfers and 21.99% for cash advances.

Scotiabank U.S. Dollar Visa Card

Annual Fee: $35 USD

Rate: 19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances

Scotiabank has some of the best travel credit cards available to Canadians. Not only do they waive the typical 2.5% foreign transaction fees made with their Visa Debit cards, but their USD credit card comes with some pretty sweet travel perks as well.

Available for just $35 USD per year, this card provides purchase protection and an extended warranty on all purchases and will save you 25% on AVIS and Budget car rentals. It's definitely worth having even if you only make spend money in the U.S. a few times per year. Plus, since they don't charge a foreign transaction fee, the Scotiabank U.S. Dollar Visa Card is great to have for travel outside the U.S. as well.

The purchase APR is 19.99% and a 22.99% interest rate is charged for cash advances. You can also add additional cardholders to the account for no extra charge.

TD U.S. Dollar Visa Card

Annual Fee: $39 USD

Rate: 19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances

The TD U.S. Dollar Visa Card is available for eligible users for just $39 per year. It has a reasonable interest rate of 20.99% on purchases and no minimum income requirements. You can also add additional cardholders to the account for no extra charge.

If you travel frequently, this USD credit card includes great travel insurance benefits like trip interruption, common carrier travel accident and emergency assistance, and baggage delay and loss insurance. It also offers collision and damage insurance on auto rentals and can save you between 5-10% at AVIS and Budget locations.

RBC U.S. Dollar Visa Gold

Annual Fee: $65 USD

Rate: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances

With an annual fee of $65 USD, the RBC U.S. Dollar Visa Gold certainly isn't cheap, but it comes with some great benefits. It's one of the very few USD credit cards in Canada that also offers travel rewards.

For every $1 USD spent, you'll earn 1 Avion point, which you can redeem for travel rewards or convert to airline loyalty reward programs. You can also use your Avion points to pay your credit card balance or other RBC financial products and even monthly bills.

The RBC U.S. Dollar Visa Gold card comes with no minimum income requirements and a great insurance package that includes extended warranty and purchase protection, travel accident and emergency purchases, trip cancellation and interruption, and collision, loss and damage of car rentals.

RBC Visa Signature Black

Annual Fee: $0

Rate: Prime + 9.99% – 16.74%

This card is a great option for Canadians who love to spend American dollars and collect reward points. This card rewards shoppers with 1 RBC Reward point for every $1 spent and offers the benefits of Visa's Signature concierge service, a special feature that makes travelling easier by helping you plan things like accommodations, car rentals, dinner reservations and tickets to shows and events, all of which can be redeemed with RBC points.

It also has some pretty competitive insurance plans that cover everything travel related from flight delay to travel medical insurance. Best of all, there is no annual fee, no minimum income requirements and a low APR, making this card accessible to almost any Canadian that needs it.

Visa Desjardins US Business Card

Annual Fee: $30 USD

Rate: 19.40%

The Visa Desjardins US Business Card is available for a $30 annual fee to Canadians who conduct business in the U.S. It won't earn you any rewards, but it's a great option for Canadians who make business purchases or travel frequently in the U.S. for business purposes. For example, you can pay bills from American suppliers in US currency with this card and settle entertainment expenses incurred by your employees while in the United States. It comes with travel accident insurance coverage, plus baggage delay and baggage loss or theft.

CIBC U.S. Dollar Aventura Gold Visa Card

Annual Fee: $35 USD

Rate: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances

The annual fee for the CIBC U.S. Dollar Aventura Gold Visa card is $35, but the fee is waived for the first year. This rewards card offers users 2 ways to earn points: for every $1 spent on travel-related purchases through the CIBC Rewards Centre, you'll earn 1 Aventura point, and you can earn 1 point for every $2 on all other purchases charged to this card.

Plus, new users can earn 7,500 Aventura points after making their first purchase and an additional 2,500 points by completing 5 simple activities (like adding a new user to their credit card account and adding the Aventura Visa card to Apple Pay) within the first 2 months of their approval. This offer is worth $100.

This card also comes with accident insurance and car rental collision, loss and damage insurance. Note that there is a minimum income requirement of $15,000 in order to be eligible for this card.

FAQs about US credit cards in Canada

Can a Canadian get a US credit card?

Yes, Canadians can get a USD credit card and a USD bank account in Canada from any of Canada's major banks. Canadians can't get a U.S. dollar credit card issued by an American bank unless they have an American address, a social security number and an American bank account.

Can I use a Canadian credit card in the US?

Yes, Canadian credit cards work all around the world. If you use your Canadian card in the U.S. your charge will be converted to Canadian dollars and you will pay the difference, which fluctuates depending on the conversion rate. Plus, you will almost always be charged a foreign transaction fee that's typically around 2.5%. To avoid these fees, find a credit card without foreign transaction fees.

Do Canadian credit cards work in the US?

Yes, your card will work the same way in the U.S. as in Canada. Remember that if you plan to use your Canadian credit card in another country, it's a good idea to let your bank know so your activity isn't flagged. Your bank might freeze your card if it detects suspicious activity like charges in another country or in a foreign currency. If you detect suspicious activity on your card, contact your provider and ask for a chargeback.

Can I buy things in USD with a Canadian credit card?

Yes, but you'll be charged in Canadian dollars and, unless you have a no foreign transaction fee card, you will likely be paying around 2.5% in the foreign transaction and conversion fees.

Do all credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee?

Not all credit cards charge foreign transaction fees. If you travel frequently or do a lot of shopping in the U.S. but don't have access to American dollars, compare credit cards to select a no foreign transaction fee card, which is a better option than a USD credit card.

Find the best credit card for your needs
Compare Canadian Credit Cards

Find the best credit card for your needs by answering a few questions.

Compare now