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Best Euro Bank Account Alternatives

Your guide to the 4 best Euro bank account alternatives in Canada

Managing your finances across multiple currencies can be a challenge. A dedicated Euro account can let you spend, send and receive Euros in Canada, and there are some good options out there to choose from. However, you’ll want to consider key details such as account fees, conversion costs and interest rates in order to find the perfect Euro account for you.

4 Best Euro Bank Accounts in Canada

1. Wise Multi-Currency Account

Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is a leading currency exchange platform that offers Canadians access to multi-currency accounts, including Euros. A Wise account can hold, send, spend and receive in 50+ currencies currencies. You’ll receive a Euro account with local bank details, as well as IBANs for 9 other countries. This makes it easy to conduct business overseas, spend your money while abroad as well as receive money from bank accounts around the world.

Wise Personal Account

N/A
Bonus Offer
$0
Monthly Account Fee
unlimited
Free Transactions
Wise automatically converts your money at the mid-market rate, with a small conversion fee — typically between 0.35% and 2.00%. Unlike most foreign exchange services, Wise is genuinely low-cost and transparent when it comes to exchange fees and rates. It's also relatively quick and easy to sign up, with the option to complete your application entirely online.
  • Get the mid-market exchange rate
  • Hold funds in nine currencies
  • User-friendly platform
  • Transfer fees apply
  • Doesn't accept cash or cheque deposits
Min. Age N/A
Account Fee $0

2. RBC Euro eSavings

The Royal Bank of Canada is one of the country’s biggest banks, and their Euro savings account makes it easy to receive, hold and spend Euros from within Canada. This account comes with no monthly fee, no minimum balance requirement and you’ll earn 0.05% interest on your savings, although some foreign exchange fees do apply to bank transfers.

RBC Euro eSavings account

RBC Euro eSavings account

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Interest Rate
N/A
Account Fee
N/A
Transaction Fee
If you're an existing RBC customer, this account might appeal to you simply due to convenience. Receive, hold and send Euros, and easily manage your funds at your convenience. Plus, earn interest and enjoy a no-monthly-fee account with no minimum balance requirements. You can set up your Euro eSavings account online, or book an appointment to get set up in person. If you're not already a client with RBC, then you'll need to visit a branch in order to open a Euro account there.
  • Earn interest on your funds
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • No monthly account fee
  • Banks tend to charge higher FX rates
  • Branch cash withdrawals will cost you
Min. Age N/A
Account Fee N/A
Transaction Fee N/A
Interac e-Transfer Fee N/A

3. Simplii Financial Foreign Currency Savings Account

One of Canada’s leading online banks, Simplii Financial offers a foreign currency savings account that lets you hold and send money in a range of currencies, including Euros. This account is intended primarily for those looking to send money regularly in foreign currencies.

Simplii Financial Foreign Currency Savings Account

Simplii Financial Foreign Currency Savings Account

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Interest Rate
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Account Fee
N/A
Transaction Fee
You can fund your Simplii Financial Foreign Currency Savings Account via your Simplii No Fee Chequing Account, or High Interest Savings Account. Simplii's Global Money Transfers (GMTs) are made at competitive interest rates, depending on the current market rates at the time of transaction. While you can't spend or receive foreign currency through this account, it could be the right fit for existing Simplii customers who just want to send money back home without costly transfer fees.
  • Affordable for sending money overseas
  • No transfer fees
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • You can't make cash deposits or withdrawals with this account
  • No ATM access or point-of-sale capabilities with this account
Min. Age N/A
Account Fee N/A
Transaction Fee N/A
Interac e-Transfer Fee N/A

4. Scotia Euro Savings Account

Scotiabank also offers a dedicated Euro savings account, if going with a traditional bank is more your thing. Allowing you to make or receive payments in Euros from within Canada, this account comes with a €1 monthly fee that is waived if you’ve got a daily closing balance of at least €200 (senior citizens also pay no monthly fee).

Scotia Euro Daily Interest Savings Account

N/A
Interest Rate
$1.50
Account Fee
€1.25 per transaction
Transaction Fee
Make or receive payments in Euros with the Scotia Euro Daily Interest Savings Account. While you'll pay a small monthly fee of €1, it's possible to have it waived. You also get two free teller-assisted transactions per month, with subsequent transactions coming with a fee of each. Interest rates for this Euro savings account are currently at 0%, but if you're an existing Scotiabank customer looking for a simple Euro account with competitive foreign exchange rates, this could be an easy fit.
  • Get the monthly fee waived
  • Get 2 teller-assisted transactions per month for free
  • Competitive foreign exchange rates
  • You won't earn any interest
  • Small monthly fee of €1
  • In-person transactions over your limit will cost you
Min. Age 18
Account Fee $1.50
Transaction Fee €1.25 per transaction
Interac e-Transfer Fee N/A

What should I look for when choosing a Euro Account?

If you’re looking to open a Euro account as a Canadian, there are a few key elements to watch out for and consider:

Monthly Account Fees

One of your first considerations will likely be account fees. Most online banks won’t charge you anything per month in order to maintain your account, but traditional banks often do charge monthly fees. You’ll want to watch for minimum balance fees, too, and any other standard fees that you may be exposed to.

Exchange Rates & Conversion Fees

The cost of currency exchange rates will fluctuate over time, but it’s still important to look for a banking provider that can offer you a genuinely competitive exchange rate. You may also want to consider transparency when it comes to conversion fees, as some providers will be more upfront about why and how they’re charging you than others.

Interest Rates

Some Euro accounts available in Canada will offer an interest rate on your savings. If that’s important to you, you’ll want to compare the different rates available, although keep in mind these will generally be lower than the rates you’ll receive on your CAD holdings.

Additional Services

While you may be solely interested in holding, saving or transferring Euros, keep in mind any other additional services that a bank provider can offer. Even if your banking needs are simple today, you might want access to a more comprehensive banking experience somewhere down the line.

Customer Service

Choosing the right bank always involves considering customer service. You can check out review websites and social media in order to see how satisfied other customers are with any particular banking provider. You may also want to consider how you feel about online banking service versus in-person banking service.

What details will I need to open a Euro account?

The exact processing for opening a euro bank account in Canada will vary from between banking providers. If you choose to go with a neobank or financial services company, such as Wise, you’ll be able to apply for and open your account online with minimal wait times. However, if you choose a euro account with a traditional bank like RBC, you may need to visit a branch to verify your documentation and complete your account set up.

That being said, here’s a look at the step by step process you’ll generally need to go through when opening a foreign currency bank account in Canada.

  • Choose your account and banking provider
  • Register for your account online or in person at your local branch
  • Provide your personal information including required documentation and ID
  • Complete the required verification steps
  • Await confirmation from your bank
  • Fund your account

All financial service providers, whether a big bank or a fintech platform, will be required by law to verify the identity of anyone opening a new account. For personal bank accounts, you’ll typically be asked to provide one or more of the following documents:

  • Government-issued ID, such as a passport, driver’s licence or Canadian Permanent Resident card
  • Proof of address, such as a recent bank statement or utility bill

It also helps to know your rights as a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or non-citizen when opening a bank account. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada provides details on all you need to know when opening a bank account in Canada.

Are there any disadvantages to opening a Euro account in Canada?

Opening a Euro bank account in Canada does have its benefits, especially for those who have personal or business ties to European markets. However, there are some difficulties and downsides to keep in mind:

Reduced Competition

There isn’t a whole load of options to choose from here, and with competition relatively low that results in less attractive benefits for Canadians wanting a Euro account. Interest rates are low or non-existent with savings accounts, and transfer fees in most cases are not particularly competitive.

Currency Conversion Rates

The rate at which you’ll be charged to convert your CAD into EUR and vice versa will fluctuate from banking providers. Some banks offer better, and more transparent, rates than others. If you plan on regularly converting money from one currency to another, make sure to look out for costly conversion rates.

Exchange Rate Risk

While you can choose when and how to manage your Euro holdings, there may be times when you simply have to conduct transfers regardless of whether the exchange rate is good or bad. In a challenging economy, you could potentially get caught out with fluctuating exchange rates between CAD and EUR.

Limited Features

Most Euro bank accounts available to Canadians are limited in services and features. If you’re looking for a simple account to send and receive Euros, that may not be an issue, but you may be disappointed with your options if you’re in need of a more comprehensive Euro bank account within Canada.

Bottom Line

While the market for Euro accounts for Canadians isn’t huge, there are still some good options to choose from. Whether you would prefer the convenience of online banking or the familiarity of in-person service, you’ll find the right fit for your Euro banking needs among the options we’ve covered here.

FAQ

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Steven Brennan is a freelance finance writer working from Vancouver, B.C. He has a BA and an MA in English Literature at the University of Ireland, Maynooth, and also spent time working in Italy and Vietnam as an English teacher. Today, he writes regularly on a range of personal finance topics including banking, loans, mortgages, insurance and tax. His work has appeared on sites such as LowestRates.ca and WealthRocket, as well as in print with Canadian MoneySaver. See full bio

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