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Canadian Western Bank International Transfers & Exchange Rates
Canadian Western Bank
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Published On:
November, 22 2022
Edited On:
January, 27 2023

Canadian Western Bank International Transfers & Exchange Rates

Canadian Western Bank, which also operates as CWB Financial Group, is a Canadian bank with its main headquarters in Edmonton, Alberta. It was initially formed in 1988 when the Bank of Alberta and the Western & Pacific Bank of Canada merged.

About Canadian Western Bank

The bank is a subsidiary of the CWB Financial Group and operates in Canada. The company provides a diversified portfolio of banking services with over 40 branches in the country. The financial group has total assets of $20.7 billion.

CWB international transfers work through partnership with Western Union Business Solutions. The bank primarily aims to use its turnkey solution to make transfers easy. The service can send wires in 130 foreign currencies to over 200 countries.

Throughout the years, Canadian Western Bank has made multiple bank acquisitions. Today, it serves clients across Western Canada and other provinces with various financial services, including business banking, personal banking, and wealth management.

Canadian Western Bank exchange rates and fees

Anyone looking to send or receive money abroad should know Canadian Western Bank’s exchange rates and transfer fees. This is important, so you know exactly how much money is needed to make a transaction.

Customers sending money abroad understand the impact the exchange rate and fees have on the transfer cost. Banks typically charge higher fees and larger margins on exchange live rates. Let’s examine how CWB handles these costs.

Exchange rate

Customers get CWB exchange rates when creating a transfer order. The customer will see how much foreign invoices will cost in their local currency. The online banking system automatically fetches the set rate depending on the currency pair.

CWB encourages its customers to initiate transfers in local currency. This allows the transfer to avoid the potentially high conversion fee likely to be charged on the transfer value.

CWB doesn’t display the live exchange rates or the margin on mid-market rates. However, a third-party website quotes the margin at 5% above the mid-rate for the EUR and GBP.

Exchange rates for CWB have a substantial margin above the mid-market rate. This makes the transfer more expensive. Customers can use alternative international money transfer services that offer live exchange rates.

Transfer fees

CWB international wire transfer fees differ based on the type of transfer. Here’s the schedule of fees a customer should expect for outgoing transfers.

  • CAD sent to the USA: $39.

  • Funds in USD wired within Canada to the USA: $50.

  • CAD sent outside of Canada/USA: $47.

  • USD sent outside of Canada/USA: $60.

CWB outgoing international wire transfer fees are exorbitant. Customers can opt to use specialized money transfer operators that offer cheaper services. By using the money transfer operators, a customer can save upwards of $50 for transfers outside Canada/USA.

Additional costs

Apart from the correspondent fees, customers must look for other fees. Here are the details.

  • Incoming wire transfers: $9.4

  • Returned wire transfers: $25.8

How do Canadian Western Bank transfer fees compare to using a money provider?

Money transfer providers like Wise, Skrill, and WorldRemit have transfer fees of $2.28 - $4.22. Their exchange margin also ranges from 0.7% to 1.0%.

Compare this to Canadian Western Bank’s transfer fees which have a minimum of $45.00 with additional charges for return wires, and money transfer providers seem to be the better choice as far as costs are concerned.

One thing you should consider, however, is that Canadian Western Bank does not have a minimum transfer. In contrast, money transfer providers usually have a minimum transfer of 100.00 EUR/GBP/CAD/USD.

But then, even without a minimum transfer, the fees imposed by Canadian Western Bank make small transfers not worth it, so it might be better to transfer large amounts to save on fees.

Here’s a comparison of CWD international transfer fees and money transfer providers.

Assuming a customer wants to send C$1000 to a bank in the following select countries, here’s what they’d pay.

Send Money ToCanadian Western Bank Transfer Cost(USD)Money Transfer Provider Cost(USD)
the United States$39$5.5
United Kingdom$47$5.4

Canadian Western Bank pros and cons

With Canadian Western Bank, using them depends on whether you prioritize convenience over costs, as far as international money transfers are considered.


Security — International money transfers with Canadian Western Bank allow you to assign authority levels, set up approval limits, and set the number of approvals required per wire order
Autofill — Canadian Western Bank allows you to save wire orders as custom templates, saving you time for subsequent transfers to the same recipients
Transaction History — You can save all international money transfers with Canadian Western Bank into reports which you can view and print at your convenience
Partnership with Western Union for easy international transfers
Capability to remit money to over 200 countries


CWB exchange rates margin is high, making transfers costlier
CWB transfer fees are expensive
Exchange rate margins and spreads are not transparent


Canadian Western Banks is one of the major banks in Canada, so you might have a few questions, especially when opening and managing an account with them. We’ll try to answer some frequently asked questions about Canadian Western Bank.

How to open an account and transfer money with Canadian Western Bank

Tax residents of Canada can open an Apex Account, a Standard Chequing Account, a Student Account, a Gold Leaf Plus account, or a Summit Savings account through Canadian Western Bank’s online application. However, non-tax residents of Canada will have to contact the bank directly to open an account with Canadian Western Bank.

If you are already in Canada, you can contact one of Canadian Western Bank’s branches for additional assistance. Money transfers can be done online, whether through the mobile app or through online banking.

Opening an account

First, check out Canadian Western Bank’s complete list of products and determine the correct type of account for you.

The second step will depend on whether you are a tax resident of Canada or not. If you are, you can go straight to Canadian Western Bank’s online application portal. If you’re not a tax resident of Canada, you will have to contact them directly. You can do this by visiting one of their branches or contacting them through their contact form.

Once your application is under review, you can email them at for additional assistance regarding your application.

One thing you should know is that Canadian Western Bank is unable to open accounts for Quebec residents. However, those who are already clients of Canadian Western Bank can access their accounts even while in Quebec.

Transferring money

The most convenient way to make international money transfers is through Canadian Western Bank’s CWBdirect® Business Online Banking, which allows you to send money to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

Canadian Western Bank also has tutorial videos to help you get started on the money transfer process.

Additionally, if you will be transferring money internationally through their website, Canadian Western Bank will show you the transfer rates upfront, along with a quotation that shows you exactly how much you need to spend in order for the recipient to receive a specific amount of money. This is very helpful since you no longer need to consult external calculators or converters; Canadian Western Bank already does the work for you.

Additional information

There are four options for chequing accounts with Canadian Western Bank.

The Standard Chequing Account allows 15 free transactions for everyday banking, with free transfers and electronic statements. It has a monthly fee of $4.00, which is waived if you meet the minimum monthly balance of $1,000.00, a paper transaction fee of $0.75, and an outgoing Interac e-Transfer Fee of $1.00.

The CWB Apex Account has unlimited transactions and comes with free complimentary cheques and an optional line of credit. For this account, the monthly fee is $14.25, which is waived with a minimum monthly balance of $3,000.00. Outgoing Interac e-Transfer fees are $1.00, and withdrawals from ATMs that are not a part of the EXCHANGE Network have a $1.50 fee.

The Peak Performance account has only 2 free transactions, including cash withdrawals at Canadian Western Bank and EXCHANGE Network ATMs and Interac debit purchases. However, there is no monthly fee. There are, however, other fees like a $1.25 fee per transaction, a withdrawal fee of $1.50 per withdrawal from non-EXCHANGE Network ATMs, and outgoing Interac e-Transfer fees of $1.00.

The Student account has no monthly fee and allows for unlimited transactions. The only fee is for withdrawals from non-EXCHANGE Network ATMs, which is $1.50.

Finally, their only savings account, the Summit Savings account, has no minimum balance, free transfers, and no monthly fee. There is, however, a $5.00 transaction fee. The interest rate is 0.350%.

If you are not sure what account is correct for you, Canadian Western Bank has a personal account selector which helps you determine the correct account based on your needs, circumstances, and preferences.

One feature worth paying attention to is Canadian Western Bank’s option of sending money directly to the recipient’s local currency. Not only do you save money on conversion fees, but you also save time because the money no longer goes through a correspondent bank.

Customer service details for users of Canadian Western Bank

The primary way to contact Canadian Western Bank is through their contact form.

However, current clients with concerns regarding their accounts can contact their branch for quicker responses. If you need to contact Canadian Western Bank outside regular hours, you can phone them directly at 1-866-843-3917.

Support TypeY/NDetails
Email SupportYContact form
Telephone SupportY1-866-843-3917
Chat SupportNN/A
In-Branch SupportY40 branches available.


As one of Canada’s major banks, it’s easy to see why Canadian Western Bank has a wide array of financial services offered, including international money transfers.

However, like most banks, Canadian Western Bank charges high fees for international transfers, making money transfer providers a better choice for those looking to save time and money.

The option to send local currency directly is a good feature. If you really prefer to send money abroad through Canadian Western Bank, it might be best for you to send the money directly to your recipient’s local currency. This allows you to save time and money on conversion fees.

As with all international money transfers, regardless of whether you choose to do it via Canadian Western Bank or a money transfer provider, always check the exchange rates and the exchange margin right before you make a transfer, so you prevent unnecessary confusion.

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April Summers
April Summers
April is a trained journalist and the Content Editor for She has 10 years experience writing about a diverse range of subjects, from financial services to arts and entertainment. When she's not writing about global remittances she can be found daydreaming about her next holiday abroad.

Answers to Key Questions about Canadian Western Bank

Canadian Western Banks is one of the major banks in Canada, so you might have a few questions, especially when opening and managing an account with them. We’ll try to answer some frequently asked questions about Canadian Western Bank.

Can I open a Canadian Western Bank account in any country?
Does Canadian Western Bank have an app?
How fast are international money transfers with CWB?
Are there cheaper options than using CWB for international wire transfers?
Are there transfer limits?
How long do transfers take with Canadian Western Bank?
Can I use a Canadian Western Bank debit card when traveling abroad?
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