In this guide, we will explain the best ways to send money to Canada using currency brokers for large amounts and money transfer apps for smaller amounts.
Our picks of the best accounts for sending money to Canada
Use our comparison of what we think are the best accounts for sending money to Canada to compare how many currencies they offer, what the minimum and maximum transfer sizes are, or if they offer currency forwards and currency options. You can also see how established a company is by comparing when they were founded, how many customers they have and how much money they transfer abroad.
We have chosen what we think are the best ways to send money to Canada based on:
- over 7,000 votes in our annual awards
- our own experiences testing the currency brokers
- an in-depth comparison of the money transfer app features that make them stand out compared to alternatives.
- interviews with the international payment company CEOs and senior management
OFX: Best for sending large amounts of money to Canada
If you are sending a large amount of money to Canada for a personal property purchase or for business OFX are a good choice. As these large money transfers are not regular occurrences and can often be quite daunting, having a personal account execution to help with administration and to ensure the process goes smoothly is a real help.
- Excellent for large transfers
- Bank beating CAD exchange rates
- Personal service and advice
- Not good for small transfers
- No cash or credit card deposits
Wise: Best for medium Canadian Dollar money transfers
Wise offer a very low-cost way to send money to Canada. There is an excellent tool for getting live quotes on the website and is most suitable for small and medium-sized transfers.
- Fixed exchange rates
- Transparent fees
- Simple to use
- Expensive for large transfers
- No personal service
Western Union: Best for small CAD transfers & cash
Western Union is one of the oldest money transfer providers in the world. The app has recently rebranded as WU which allows users to send money worldwide at excellent rates. This year they have significantly reduced fees for sending money to Canada and improved its exchange rates to compete with money transfer startups.
- Established network of branches
- Cash and credit card transfers
- Good app and online platform
- Better for small transfers
- No personal service or advice on large transfers
Compare exchange rates for sending money to Canada
Use our Canadian Dollar exchange rate comparison tool to request quotes from multiple providers and see how you could save up to 4% on large CAD currency transfers versus using your bank when you send money to Canada.
History of the Canadian Dollar (CAD)
The Canadian Dollar is the official currency of Canada, often referred to by traders as the ‘loonie’. This derives from the picture of a loon on its $1 coin. CAD is the canadian dollar’s foreign exchange abbreviation. Like the US Dollar, CAD is decimalised into 100 cents.
The Canadian Dollar is one of the most important currencies in the world. According to IMF data, Canada’s $1.8 trillion GDP is among the top ten in the world. Moreover the country is a member of Group of Seven (G7) which underlines its importance in the global trading network. The CAD is the sixth most traded currency by volume in 2019.
The Bank of Canada controls the origination of the currency and the level of interest rate in the country. Its aim, as stated on its website, is to ‘preserve the value of money by keeping inflation low and stable.’ The institution began as a private institution in 1935 and was nationalised soon after.
The central bank’s monetary board, currently led by Tiff Macklem, meets eight times a year to decide on the policy interest rate (overnight rate) and the appropriate monetary policy to address Canada’s economic concerns. As of June 2021, the policy rate is set at 25 basis points (0.25%).
The most important currency pair for the loonie is that against the US Dollar due to Canada’s proximity to the southern neighbour and its integrated trading pattern with the largest economic nation.
Factors that move the Canadian Dollar (CAD) exchange rate?
Throughout its history, Canada is a major exporter. The country is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, from oil to wood to precious metals. A natural engine of growth is derived from exporting these commodities to US and other parts of the world such as China. According to XXX, Canada exports about US$380 billion worth of goods, and more than $280 billion of these go to the US. Therefore, a significant part of CAD’s value is derived from commodity prices and commodity cycles.
To understand this relationship, look at the USDCAD’s long-term chart below. The loonie often appreciate during the commodity upswing and depreciate during the commodity bear market. In 2008, at the tailend of the bull market, the loonie even broke parity with the US Dollar.
Over the past year, the currency rallied significantly against the dollar as oil, agricultural and metal prices rebounded significantly.
Another driver of the loonie is of course quantitative easing. Interest rates have stayed low everywhere after the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. This reduces the effectiveness of the key tool in central banks’ arsenal – namely, lowering interest rates. To revive economic growth, central banks have enlarged their balance sheets during economic slowdowns to inject liquidity into the economy.
Look at the Bank of Canada’s balance sheet below. The onset of the pandemic in March 2020 resulted in a massive jump in the balance sheet of BoC. At its peak, the central bank was buying up to C$5 billion worth of securities per week. But as the economy recovers, the central bank is slowly reducing this amount to $3 billion. This has bullish effects on the currency.
On day-to-day data flow, important statistics include GDP, unemployment, inflation, retail sales and sometimes housing. All these data can move the value of the loonie, particularly if they come in significantly higher or lower than expectations.
Bottom line – Like the Aussie Dollar, the Canadian Dollar is often viewed as a ‘commodity currency’ because of its major commodity exports. Therefore, its value can swing wildly whenever turbulence hits the commodity market.
Live Canadian Dollar (CAD) exchange rates
The current best Canadian Dollar (CAD) exchange rate versus other G10 currencies is the mid-market price which is:
|Australian Dollar (AUD)||1.075354|
|European Union Euro (EUR)||0.6910373|
|Japanese Yen (JPY)||98.65747|
|New Zealand Dollar (NZD)||1.179105|
|Norwegian Krone (NOK)||7.626287|
|United Kingdom Pound Sterling (GBP)||0.619310946|
|Swedish Krona (SEK)||7.8611|
|Swiss Franc (CHF)||0.69116|
|United States Dollar (USD)||0.7465484|
Sending money to Canada FAQ:
The best way to send money to Canada is to use a currency broker.
As well as getting the best exchange rates, if you send money to Canada with a currency broker you also get:
- Expert help and advice to reduce your risk and exposure
- Dedicated account managers every step of the way
- Convert funds online and platform access 24/7
- Same day and forward currency exchange contracts
- Zero service charge, commission or transfer fees
- Transfer money direct to single or multiple beneficiary accounts
When you convert and transfer Canadian Dollars (CAD) with a currency broker your fixed exchange should be a maximum of 0.5% from the mid-market for currency transfers. To put this in perspective, banks traditionally charge 3-5% which means that if you are sending £100,000 worth of Canadian Dollars (CAD) you could save up to £4,500 with a currency broker versus the banks.
Request a quote to see how much you can save – you’ll find a better Canadian Dollar (CAD) exchange rate than by using your bank.
Our comparison tables and Candian Dollar (CAD) exchange rate quote request forms will help you find the best Candian Dollar exchange rate. Our exchange rate comparison tables highlight the key features of currency transfer providers whereas Candian Dollar exchange rate quote request forms will make currency brokers compete for your business by offering the best exchange rate.
Here are a few tips on getting the best Canadian Dollar (CAD) exchange rate:
- Always compare (read our guide to comparing exchange rates here)
- Never go with your bank
- Understand the fees
- Use a currency forward to lock in the current exchange rate
If you think the CAD exchange rate is going to go in your favour you should wait. Or, if you are worried the rate will move against you, it is possible to lock in the current rate for up to a year in advance with a currency forward.
Yes, you can send money using PayPal, but it is very expensive. If you are only planning on sending a small amount of money to Canada a money transfer app is much cheaper.
Yes, the best way to get the currency exchange rate if you want to send money to Canada is to use a currency forward where you buy the currency now by putting down a small deposit and pay the balance when you make the transfer.