TD Bank international transfer: Fees, rates and transfer time

22.02.18
8 minute read
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TD Bank offers a couple of different ways of processing your international money transfer. You can use the Visa Direct service if both you and the recipient have eligible Visa credit, debit or prepaid cards, or you can arrange international bank transfers if you visit your branch in person.

Whichever method you choose, there are some costs involved in making an international transfer with TD Bank and it’s likely that you could actually save money by using an alternative service like TransferWise to send your money abroad. Regardless, it’s a good idea to do some research in advance so you can find the best route for your payment and also minimise fees and avoid surprises.


A quick example before we get started.

A theoretical bank transfer in your branch (or online with TransferWise) sending C$1000 from Canada to a pound sterling bank account in the UK.

Provider Fee Exchange Rate Total Cost
TD Bank (Canada) C$30-C$80 Exchange rate + markup C$30-C$80 + exchange rate markup + likely fees from intermediary and recipient banks
TransferWise C$8.43 The real exchange rate - the same one you find on Google C$8.43

So while it may appear that the 2 services are comparable, that isn’t taking into account any exchange rate markup that may occur.

On average, banks often markup an exchange rate by 4-6% to make money on converting your currency. Which means it’s a good idea to compare the exchange rate you’re offered with an online currency converter to find out how much your international transfer is really costing you.

TD Bank itself even states, “the exchange rate being used may result in revenue being earned on the conversion by the bank.” TransferWise doesn’t add in profits by giving customers poor exchange rates. You get the same rate you’ll find on independent sources like Google, XE, or Reuters.

In addition, nearly all transfers sent internationally are sent via SWIFT. Which means there are likely 1-3 intermediary banks as well as the recipient bank that may levy fees of their own. Costing you even more.


Now that you have a better idea of what your transfer will really cost you, here’s everything you need to know on how to make an international transfer or Visa Direct transfer, with TD Bank.

What are the fees for an international transfer with TD Bank in Canada?

TD Bank’s rates vary depending on the specific circumstances of the transfer. Because the costs applied for bank transfers carried out in a branch can vary, the specific fees by country aren't published. That means you have to visit your branch to even find out what your wire transfer will cost you.

There are also some different terms attached to specific accounts. For example, if you’re a cross-border customer you might be able to get your Visa Direct fees repaid for transfers between Canada and the US. Some accounts also have opening offers which waive the fees for international transfers, so it’s worth looking at the small print for your account type.

TD Bank international transfer fees table

TD Bank Transaction Regular Fee
Intermediary bank fees There may be additional charges added by the recipient bank or any intermediary banks who handle the transaction along the way.
Incoming international transfer Money transferred by wire transfer - C$17.50 processing fee for incoming transfers sent in CAD or any currency other than USDMoney transferred by wire transfer -US$17.50 for incoming transfers sent in USDVisa Direct don’t charge the recipient
Outgoing international transfer Wire transfers can be arranged through your local bank branch, but fees vary between C$30 and C$80 depending on the transaction detailsVisa Direct charges C$8.95 for international transactions up to $1,000, and C$12.95 for transactions greater than $1,000.01 up to $2,500
Additional fees may apply See additional fees section

(Source 23 January 2018)

TD Bank exchange rates

When you want to process a transfer, TD Bank will apply a flat fee, but you also need to know the exchange rate that’ll be used for your transfer. Here’s what TD Bank says about the exchange rates used:

“For transactions in currencies other than that of the originating account, a foreign exchange conversion will occur. Customers will be advised of the rate used for the conversion prior to completing the transaction and informed that the exchange rate being used may result in revenue being earned on the conversion by the bank. Transfer fee is in the currency of the account from which the funds are sent. Recipient's financial institution may charge a fee to process the transfer and this fee may be deducted from the transfer amount. Recipient should check with their own financial institution for more information.”

This means that the exchange rate offered may vary quite a bit from the exchange rate offered on Google.

And as you’ll see, as well as TD Bank making a profit on the currency conversion, there may also be extra recipient fees deducted by other intermediary banks along the way. The amount received at the end of the transfer might be less than you expect.

In some circumstances, the exchange rate is actually set by the recipient’s bank. TD Bank explains:

“Some recipients may have Visa cards where there is one currency for international transactions and another for domestic transactions. Funds in this case are received in the international currency and then converted by the card issuing bank into the currency of the recipient’s card based on the applicable exchange rate.

In this case, you have no control or visibility of the rates used.

(Source 1, Source 2 23 January 2018)

Additional fees from TD Bank

TD Bank doesn’t disclose their country by country costs for wire transfers, and you have to visit your branch to find out the fees and arrange a transfer.

International transfers with TD Bank Additional fees
Intermediary and recipient bank(s) fees International money transfers are generally processed using the SWIFT system, which means that up to 3 different banks are involved in a single transaction. These banks naturally want to make a profit on the deal and might add their own flat fees to the transaction on top of anything TD Bank applies.
Recipient fee TD Bank says: “*Recipient's financial institution may charge a fee to process the transfer and this fee may be deducted from the transfer amount*.”

(Source 31 January 2018)

A cheap and transparent alternative: TransferWise

Transferring money abroad using your bank isn’t always the cheapest or most convenient choice - but you do have other options. You might save money by using a specialist service like TransferWise. As well as offering fast, secure international money transfers, using the real mid-market exchange rate and charging only a small transparent fee,TransferWise money transfers can be made entirely online.

If you have to make regular international money transfers, you might also benefit from a new TransferWise borderless multi-current account, which lets you quickly and safely move your money around the world. You can also accept payments in the EU, the UK, Australia or the US using local bank details. This cuts out international transfers altogether, meaning no intermediary banks, and no hidden fees, either.

If you don’t believe it, find out for yourself if you can get a better deal with TransferWise. Or try sending half your money via TD Bank and half via TransferWise and see what happens.

How do you make an international bank transfer (Visa Direct transfer) with TD Bank?

TD Bank customers can make an international wire transfer to move funds abroad, but only by going into a branch personally. These transactions can’t be handled online or through telephone banking. You can book an appointment at your nearest branch.

The alternative, if you don’t have time to visit a branch, is to use Visa Direct’s service. If you and the recipient both have an eligible account and hold a Visa debit or credit card, or if the recipient has a Visa prepaid card, you can make a transfer this way. If you’re sending money to someone with a Visa debit card, the funds will be placed in the recipient’s account much like a wire transfer. However, if the recipient only has a Visa credit card, the funds may be set against any outstanding bill, with fees applied to access the money as cash.

To arrange a Visa Direct payment you have to register your account online the first time you use this service.

(Source 23 January 2018)

What do I need in order to make an international money transfer?

If you choose to make your international money transfer in a branch, you’ll need some details about where your money is headed. Exactly what you have to provide will depend on where you’re sending the money to, but you can expect to be asked for the following:

  • Account holder name and full address
  • Account number or IBAN if the recipient is in Europe
  • Branch number and full address
  • Institution number
  • The SWIFT/BIC code, or routing number if you’re transferring to the US

If you want to use Visa Direct, you’ll need the 16 digit card number of the recipient, along with their name and address.

(Source 23 January 2018)

What should I give to the sender in order to receive an international bank transfer?

To make sure your wire transfer gets to you safely, you’ll need to give the sender some details including the following:

  • Your full name and address, and that of your bank
  • Your account number
  • The correct SWIFT/BIC code

Unlike some European countries, Canadian banks don’t use the IBAN system, so it’s especially important to give the correct SWIFT/BIC code and branch address.

You should also agree with the sender, who’ll pay the charges associated with the transfer.

If you’ve decided to use Visa Direct to get your money, you need to give the sender your 16 digit card number, along with your name and address. In this case, the sender must pay the relevant fee for the transfer.

How long does an international bank transfer with TD Bank take?

How long your transaction will take depends on where it’s headed and how long the recipient’s bank takes to process the transfer on their end. TD Bank advises customers that wire transfers will take between 3 and 5 business days in most cases.

(Source 31 January 2018)


Contact / Help - More questions around your transfer?

If you need a bit more help with your transfer, you can always log into online banking, or talk to TD Bank directly:

  • Book an appointment at your nearest TD Bank branch to get help in person
  • Give TD Bank a call - they have customer service operators working in various different languages including English, French and Chinese

Moving your money shouldn’t be hard work. However, to get the best possible deal on your overseas transfer, and make life easier for yourself, it pays to do some research. You might find that your regular bank isn’t the best place to go to send money abroad and using a specialist service like TransferWise allows you to save time, money and the hassle.

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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