My real-life experience using CanadianForex

Bank wire transfers suck.

They suck in (at least) three ways:

  1. Banks charge a fee for every transfer (my bank, TD, charges $30-80 per transfer)
  2. Banks’ international exchange rates are terrible
  3. Sometimes, your money needs to pass through an intermediary bank, which may charge additional fees


So then, when when Jenna and I decided to move to France, I started looking around for alternatives to bank wire transfers. After looking at several options, we decided to try out CanadianForex, an online forex service that advertises better exchange rates and lower fees than the banks. I was skeptical.

So then, for the benefit of anyone considering CanadianForex, here’s a quick outline of how it all went:


I set up our CanadianForex account while we were still in Toronto. The process was pretty simple. It involved filling out an online form, taking a telephone call from a friendly CanadianForex rep to confirm a few details, then sending in proof of our Canadian bank account (a scanned bank statement).

After we arrived in Lyon and opened our French bank account (which is an entirely different story), I decided to try to actually move some money. I set up our French bank account as a beneficiary, then placed an order online.

Exchange Rate

I ordered Euros on January 11, 2012. That day, if I’d bought Euros through my bank, one Canadian dollar would have bought me 0.74867 €. At CanadianForex, the rate was 1 CAD = 0.7627 €

Bottom line: Using CanadianForex got me an extra 1.4 centime on the dollar, compared to TD Canada Trust. Not bad.


Because of the amount we transferred, CanadianForex didn’t charge us any fees.

Zero fees.

TD would have charged us at least $30 CAD per transfer.

Customer service

I telephoned CanadianForex a few times — once to confirm that my French banking details were set up correctly, and another time to confirm that there would be no intermediary bank involved. Both times friendly human beings with Australian accents (CanadianForex is owned by Austalia-based OzForex) helped me out and answered my questions.

The rest of my dealings with CanadianForex were entirely online, and very straightforward.

Side note: When I asked TD about their wire transfer protocol, they handed me a photocopied form, and told me that when I wanted to transfer money, I could fill it out and fax it to them. Fax!


From start to finish, the transfer took a few days. I ordered Euros on January 11, and received a confirmation that they’d been deposited in our French bank account on January 16.

When I checked, the transfer was exactly the amount quoted, and indeed, there were no fees or intermediary banks involved.

Again, not bad.


CanadianForex advertises itself as a cheaper alternative to wire transfers, and in my (lone) experience, it is. If you feel like saving a percentage point or two on international money transfers, they’re definitely worth checking out. I’ll definitely use them again.

Filed under: banking, France

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  1. Lorne Jacobs says:

    I too, am looking into using to exchange money. Do you have any links to legitimate companies that rate this company such as the BBB in Toronto? I would like some assurance that I won’t lose my money during the transfer.

  2. John Morton says:


    I don’t see anything in your post about how you get your money deposited with CanadianForex. How have you transferred Canadian Dollars to them five times while you are in France?

  3. Bill Sanders says:

    I was a little wary but decided to take a chance based on Dan’s recommendation. CanadianForex had better rates compared to my bank. Money arrived in London in three days. I’ll probably use them again.

  4. henry says:

    Always good to find good references on a company I was looking to try. Thanks.
    One problem: I need to transfer from USD to CAD. My bank (RBC) doesn’t allow me to setup a payee on US funds. For a domestic wire transfer in US funds RBC to BMO, RBC wants $25.
    (Their own international worldwide remittance is 1/2 that, but only works overseas)
    Has anyone found a workaround to send USD to CanadianForex?

  5. Steve says:

    I have recently noticed that TD have dropped CanadianForex as a supported EBill payee (Canadian Forex confirmed this when I contacted them). I am trying to work out if there is any other method that you can use to complete the transfer.

    To me it’s looking like TD have done this to force people into either making a wire transfer from their TD account to CanadianForex or use TDs own forex services – both of which incur a hefty fee.

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Steve,

      I ran into this exact problem last night, so I called Canadian Forex and they gave me a simple solution!
      You just have to call them and they’ll e-mail you a pre-authorized debit agreement form, fill it out, e-mail it back, they’ll set it up and take the agreed amount directly from you TD account.
      Hope this helps.

  6. Steve says:

    Bummer, it must be a relatively recent change because when I talked to them on Monday they didn’t suggest that and told me to talk to TD. Talked to TD and they got me to do a wire transfer (at this point I was 2 days into my 3 day window for the transaction so I just went ahead with it).

    Will try that for next time though, thanks!

  7. BillB says:

    Same problem for me. I used CanadianForex successfully late in 2012. Now I would like to use them again, but after booking the deal it turns out I cannot electronically transfer money to them from my TD account.

    I’m a little wary about giving anyone pre-authorized access to my personal accounts, so I’m just going to wire the money from TD to CanadianForex.

    Besides the additional wire fee, having to jump through hoops like this kind of defeats the purpose (for me, mostly convenience) of using CanadianForex, unfortunately.

    • henry says:

      I gave them preauthorized access to my RBC US account. Have done 6 deals (USD > EURO) already with no issues whatsoever.
      No transfer fees either in or out.
      The only comment is that it takes a full week between the time the deal is initiated until the $$ are credited.

      • BillB says:

        Thanks Henry.

        TD wanted $30 just for a wire to CanadianForex’s account at BMO. So I think I’ll bite the bullet and sign the pre-authorized withdrawal form.

        • henry says:

          For some reason, banks lately have improved their services and fees for overseas transfers (probably competing with Western Union, postal wires and the like) but they are still in the last century in regards to transfers within North America.

          RBC lets me wire overseas for less than $10, all through the web. To do the same to a CDN or US bank it’s $30 and a signed fax. Ridiculous.

  8. Henk Wondergem says:

    We have opened an account with them as well.
    The bank charges outrages fees and with a straight face they say: We do not charge for that, it is a service we provide”
    That happened when we tried to exchange 100k US$ to Canadian $. So I asked them how many CDN$ we would get, and how many US$ we would get if we changed that amount back to US$.
    They are correct they do not charge a “service fee”, but they make up for it big time with the buy/sell spread.
    So we paid $100 for a wire transfer to a broker account that could do it for $30 plus $90 administration costs.
    It took the bank over 1 hour to fill in the new forms they were not familiar with, so the bank manager had to be called to the rescue and they kept the bank open for an extra 20 minutes to complete the wire transfer. If they would have given us a better exchange rate on such a large amount, they would have made money with us, but it is hard to imagine they did not loose money with the wire transfer. Unfortunately the broke account can only change US to CDN$ for us.
    The Forex allows you to transfer to numerous currencies, and I do not know a simpler way. We only found out about it recently, but I feel it will catch on a lot more.

  9. Bill Sanders says:

    I had the problem with TD and wire fees.

    If you ask, CanadianForex will make up for it in the exchange rate they quote you. You just have to tell them you are using TD and incurred extra fees. They get it.

  10. Alan says:

    Just found this while looking for reviews for CanadianForex Ltd. It appears they are in good standing with the Better Business Bureau. Music to my ears as since I am considering using them. Hoep everyone finds this useful.

    • henry says:

      I’ve been using them practically every week since march. Everything works as advertised/expected.

      Only issue is time: it takes a week to get the exchanged funds in, regardless if the receiving bank is in Canada or Europe.

  11. Brian says:

    Just tried them based on this review and other web searches – thanks! You saved me at least $70 based on what my credit union would have charged me in a slightly higher exchange rate and higher fees. It was really easy to set up the account, make CanadianForex a payee in my bank bills, and the transaction took no longer for the money to be sent as it would have if I tromped down to my credit union. Less hassle, less cost, friendly staff – all make this my new service to wire money from Canada to the US.

  12. henry says:

    Two issues with CdnForex:
    1) I found out their rates are NOT the best.
    2) It takes a whole week to receive the proceeds.

    Just for testing I decided to give Knightsbridge a try. They are way better than CdnForex in these 2 aspects, but they introduce 2 new issues:
    1) no web access (you check rates and book deals by phone)
    2)only receive funds by wire transfer into BMo account, so it costs me $25 to wire them USD from RBC across the street.

    So neither is ideal… big discovery.

  13. Jon Ackerman says:

    Candianforex is great, great, great!!!!

    I used them after a recommendation from my aunt. Sent some money back home to Bristol. My funds arrived in two days. They had the best exchange rate of all the other FOREX services I compared. I saved about $110 compared to my bank.


  14. Susan McLoughlin says:

    I really appreciate all the comments as I am talking to CanadianForex right now. I am definitely giving them a try. 2.45 point difference with bank right now. Never mind the fees.

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  16. dave jaszan says:

    I used Canadian Forex for a Money transfer into Mexico. The transfer had to be for a specific amount. By the time it got to the Mexican Bank the funds were depleted by the amount of fees the intermediate Bank charged.I have no Idea what these fees are so have no Idea how much was deposited into the Mexican Bank. The recieving bank in Mexico says they have no record of a deposit for the amount stated on the transfer information that Canadian Forex gave me to track the transaction which is for the original amount. The Mexican Bank does nothing to figure out what the intermediate Bank charged and Canadian Forex has done even less.The money is in someones account not doing anything for me. Until Canadian Forex can give me the exact amount transferred into the recieving account I find their service very risky

    • Tom says:

      Can you tell me how much you transferred. Did this ever get resolved?

    • Angel says:

      Hi Dave,

      What was the difference in percentage between the amount Canadian Forex gave you in the begging and the amount you finally got in the Mexican Bank account?

      Also, I wonder how much did you transfer?
      If you could mention a range that would be fine.

      I’m trying to figure out how much the intermediary bank would charge for a similar transfer Canada -> Mexico.


      • Angel says:

        Hi all,

        I want to update on my previous comment and mention my experience with CanadianForex.
        I opened an account with them this month (May 2016) and
        made two transfers (from ScotiaBank Canada to Scotiabank Mexico):

        1. On May 06, 2016 200CA -> MXN
        Arrived on May 12, 2016 on my account.
        Booked on website, debited from my account. There was no commission as they gave me 50 free trades.
        2. On May 12, 2016 100K CA -> MXN
        Arrived on May 16, 2016 on my account.
        Booked by phone, went to my bank and asked a wire trasnfer to them. No commission as it was more than 10K

        – If the amount is more, the exchange rate is better.
        – The first debit maximum limit is 25K.
        – The second debit maximum limit is 50K. And so, on for the next ones.
        – The maximum debit limit must be cleared before processing the next one. Cannot debit 25K the first time and 50K, the next day. It need to wait until the 25K funds are cleared (like 3 business days).
        – Both cases the intermediary bank fees were around 16 USD.
        My bank doesn’t charge fees for receiving a wire transfer.
        I know because I had done wire transfers using Western Union online and they arrived complete.
        – They only use wire transfers. There are no Electronic Funds Transfers (like in Western Union online).
        – The exchange rate was very good. Better than Western Union online (around 0.50 MXN more) for the same amounts.
        – The service was very good.
        I called like 4 times and everyone was friendly, with clear English (I guess they are native English speakers from Toronto or someone that speaks very good) and they answered all my questions.
        – I had no problems, the money arrived in the destination account 1 or 2 days after they changed the status to paid online. First time using it.
        – It’s true that they didn’t tell you how much the intermediary bank fee would be and how many intermediaries there would be.
        But, I don’t think is their fault. It looks that this is the way wire transfers work in America.
        What they told me is which bank was sending the wire transfer (Bank of New York).
        – They told me that they needed to confirm by phone every time in my case. But, I guess it would depend of the destination’s country.

        What could be better:
        – If the maximum limits were bigger (like 100K for debits).
        – If they could tell you an average of the intermediary bank fees (if there are) or a way to calculate them (if it’s a percentage of the amount or a flat fee).
        – I didn’t get email statuses of the changes in the transaction the first time. The second time I did get the emails.

        Overall my experience was very good.

  17. thomson says:

    Can we trust Canadian forex

  18. Henry says:

    I tried Cdnforex, knightsbridge and xe. All are professional, accurate and reliable. Never had a single cent getting lost or delayed.

    But none of them gave me the best rates, even with 5 figure trades every month.

    I currently use rbc for my trades, and get better rates.

  19. Dominique Moseley says:

    Did anybody ever transfer money from the Philippines to Canada?

  20. chris says:

    Hi I use canforex every two week to transfer my salary back to Canada. Never had any issues and no fee they take 2% or less.

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