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RBC Direct Checking Account Review

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RBC Direct Checking Account
Monthly Account Fee
$39.50
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Our verdict

Transfer funds, deposit cheques and pay bills in the US for one low monthly fee with this cross-border chequing account. 

The RBC Direct Checking Account is a US account that lets you cash cheques, transfer funds and make withdrawals in US dollars. It's best-suited for customers who regularly live, travel, work or make purchases in the US. Find out more about how you might benefit from the RBC Direct Checking Account and sign up today to get started.

Pros

  • First annual fee waived. Avoid paying fees to maintain this account in your first year (and only pay US$39.50 per year or US$3.95 per month after that).
  • Free Canada to US transfers. Save money on foreign exchange fees when you transfer funds from your Canadian RBC account to your RBC Direct Checking Account.
  • Instant exchange. Make transfers instantly between your RBC accounts, with no wait times for processing at any time of day or night.
  • No-fee US ATM withdrawals. Take money out at over 50,000 no-fee RBC ATMs or request a refund of a non-RBC ATM fee (subject to limitations).
  • Easy US cheque deposits. Easily deposit US cheques from anywhere in Canada or the US without paying additional fees.
  • Free debits. Get up to 10 free debits on your account per month, which means you can make purchases in US dollars without paying currency conversion fees.
  • Pay US bills. Pay your US bills in US dollars from anywhere in Canada or the US with the click of a mouse.
  • Credit card fee waivers. Sign up for an RBC Direct Checking Account and get a no annual fee Visa Signature Black credit card to use in your first year.

Cons

  • Fees are in US dollars. All of your fees will be in US dollars, which will make them more expensive when you factor in the currency conversion.
  • Limits on free debits. You'll only get 10 free debits per month, and you'll be charged US$1 for every transaction over that amount.
  • No interest on savings. You won't earn interest on the money you hold in your account.
  • Minimum deposit to open account. You'll have to deposit a minimum of US$50 to sign up for an account.
  • Additional fee for paper statements. You'll pay an extra fee of US$20 to get paper statements instead of e-statements included with your account.

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Your reviews

The RBC Direct Checking Account is similar to a US dollar account except with more flexibility. It allows you to transfer money between Canada and the US seamlessly, with no additional fees. You’ll also be able to deposit US cheques, pay US bills and take money out at select US ATMs without paying any extra costs. Just be aware that it will cost you US$39.50 per year to maintain this account (or 3.95 per month if you don’t want to sign up for a full year).

30-second take

  • Think about this account if you want an account that lets you pay US bills and manage your US funds for a low annual fee.
  • Choose something else if you rarely deal in US dollars or you want to earn interest on your account.
  • There are no minimum income requirements for this account.

RBC Direct Checking Account‘s ATM network and fees

You can expect to pay a monthly fee of US$3.95 per month with the RBC Direct Checking Account(or a reduced rate of US$39.50 if you decide to sign up for a yearly contract). You’ll also pay $1 for every debit that exceeds the maximum monthly limit of 10. Debits include bill payments, cheque deposits, debit card purchases, ATM withdrawals and wire transfers.

One of the most useful perks on this account is that it allows you to withdraw money at thousands of ATMs across the US for no additional fee. You may also be able to request a refund of fees for withdrawing funds from a non-RBC ATM if you can’t find an RBC ATM nearby.

How do I open an RBC Direct Checking Account?

Eligibility requirements

To apply for an RBC Direct Checking Account, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is at least 18 years old (19 in some provinces)

Required documents and information

  • Your name, residential status and contact information
  • Your Social Insurance Number (optional) and date of birth
  • Your email address and phone number

How do I deposit or withdraw my money?

It’s easy to take money out of your account using your debit card or by visiting an RBC branch in person to speak to a teller. You’ll also be able to withdraw cash at thousands of RBC ATMs across the US and Canada. You can also make free transfers between your cross-border RBC accounts with the click of a mouse.

To put money into your account, you’ll need to deposit a cheque or a lump sum of cash. You can either do this in Canadian or US dollars, depending on whether you want to pay currency conversions fees. It’s also possible to transfer money in from an external account to load up your RBC Direct Checking Account with funds.

Compare with other chequing accounts

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Name Product Monthly Account Fee Free Transactions e-Transfer Fee Bonus Offer Offer
BMO Performance Chequing Account
BMO Performance Chequing Account
$16.95 (can be waived)
unlimited
$0
Earn $600
Get up to a $600 cash bonus. Valid until July 2, 2024. Plus, earn a 5.50% promo interest rate when you open a Performance Chequing and a Savings Amplifier Account.
Simplii No Fee Chequing Account
Simplii No Fee Chequing Account
$0
unlimited
$0
Earn $400
Earn $400 when you become a new client and set up a direct deposit of at least $100 for 3 months. Offer ends October 31, 2024.
Scotiabank Preferred Package
Scotiabank Preferred Package
$16.95 (can be waived)
unlimited
$0
Earn $400
Earn a welcome bonus of up to $400. Valid until July 31, 2024. Plus, earn up to 6.05% interest for 3 months on your MomentumPLUS Savings Account.
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