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Royal Bank of Canada International Transfers & Exchange Rates
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Published On:
November, 24 2022
Edited On:
March, 23 2023

Royal Bank of Canada International Transfers & Exchange Rates

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), also known by their French name Banque Royale du Canada, has proudly remained at the forefront of online financial solutions since its inception in 1864. From being the first Canadian bank to use a computer in 1961, to forming a new fintech banking group in 2020, RBC has built a solid reputation as an innovative Canadian bank. In this review, we will be investigating RBC international money transfers, to see if the bank upholds the same standard as alternative service providers.

About Royal Bank of Canada

What started as a regional merchant bank based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, has evolved over the years, transforming into the multinational banking authority it is today. RBC now serves over 16 million customers, with the bank’s golden emblem of a lion and a globe becoming recognisable worldwide. The corporate headquarters of RBC are located in Toronto, with official headquarters in Montreal and hundreds of other offices all over the world. The bank’s official institution number is 003.

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Can I Use Royal Bank of Canada for International Bank Transfers?

Yes, customers can take advantage of the 1,400 banking relationships RBC has established worldwide, by sending money almost anywhere, using the 30 foreign currencies available through the bank.

Other ways to send money with Royal Bank of Canada

Domestic transfers to other Canadian bank accounts can be set up using Interac e-transfer: more on email money transfers here.

Customers can also arrange money transfers in-person at their local RBC bank branch, over the phone with a customer advisor and online using the RBC website or mobile app.

Exchange Rates and Fees

Bank transfer fees are typically a lot higher than costs associated with an international money transfer provider. In this section we will review the exchange rates and fees employed by RBC.

Exchange Rate

When making an international money transfer, RBC offers customers 30 different currencies to choose from. According to RBC, the most in demand currencies include the US dollar, Euro, British Pound, Australian dollar and Japanese Yen.

Although RBC facilitates international money transfers, it is important to note that these long-standing, brick and mortar banks typically incur high operating expenses and overhead costs and, therefore, cannot afford to guarantee the same competitive exchange rates as specialist money transfer companies.

Our research shows that RBC adds an average 2% mark-up on exchange rates for standard currencies. This percentage mark-up may be even higher for exotic currencies not commonly traded on the foreign exchange market. While the profit margin of each transfer varies, the mark-up essentially pays for the cost of providing the conversion services.

It is important to always conduct your own research and we recommend finding out the exact mid-market rate by using XE’s conversion tool, before comparing it to the exchange rate provided by the RBC Foreign Exchange Currency Converter.

Transfer Fees

RBC international money transfers employ a transparent fee structure, unlike other banks that may mask the true cost of their fees. RBC is upfront about their flat-fee of $13.50 which is applied to all international money transfers.

Additional Costs

In the fine-print on the RBC website it mentions fees charged by intermediary and receiving banks; a cost worth considering ahead of time. Other fees for incoming payments and incorrect payment details include:

  • Any funds under $50 CAD, received from overseas, are free, but incoming payments of more than $50 CAD will incur $17.00 fee

  • If an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is not provided when one is required, customers will be charged $35.00 penalty fee

How Do Royal Bank of Canada Transfer Fees Compare to Using a Money Transfer Provider?

RBC transfer fees are all relative and depend on the value of your money transfer. For instance: If you are taking advantage of the maximum daily transfer limit and sending an overseas recipient $2,500 then the flat-fee will cost 0.54% of the total transfer; this isn’t too steep.

However, if you want to make smaller, more frequent payments overseas, $13.50 per transfer will quickly add up. In addition to this, when you consider how many money transfer providers specialise in low-cost transfers, being charged $13.50 each time you send money internationally is very expensive.

Royal Bank of Canada Pros and Cons

Here we will present the pros and cons of using RBC for international transfers, allowing you to compare their services to specialist companies like WorldRemit, Wise, XE, Currencyfair, Key Currency, Instarem and TorFX.


RBC has the largest branch network in Canada, and offers foreign exchange services at all branches; this includes foreign exchange cash pick-up services for international money transfer customers
Bank-level security is applied to all RBC international money transfer services and funds are covered by the RBC Digital Banking Security Guarantee
Sending money online is easy to set up and arrange through the RBC website and mobile app


With transfer speeds of 2 - 5 working days, RBC transfers take a lot longer than money sent by international money transfer operators like Wise or OFX
Considering the transfer speed, $13.50 is a high transfer fee for a delivery service which can take up to a week
30 foreign currencies might cover the most popular countries, but funds sent to more remote parts of the world cannot be accommodated by RBC

How to Open an Account and Transfer Money With Royal Bank of Canada

Sending money online with RBC is a straightforward process, thanks to their International Money Transfer service. In this section, we will run through the steps taken to arrange a payment.

Opening an Online Account

Personal and business customers can open an online account with RBC: simply select the Enrol Now option on the website or in the RBC Mobile app. To qualify for an online account, you will need one of the following RBC products:

  • RBC Royal Bank Client Card

  • RBC Royal Bank Credit Card

  • RBC Royal Bank Account Number

Online enrolment takes a matter of minutes to complete, and once enrolled, customers are able to make an international money transfer: only RBC customers can use this service.

Transferring Money

Whether you use your RBC Online account or log in via the mobile app, to make an international money transfer with RBC you will need the following:

  • An active RBC chequing or savings account

  • Be enrolled in RBC Online Banking and/or download the RBC Mobile app

  • The recipient’s bank account number/IBAN/CLABE (for Mexico) or the Business Identifier Code (SWIFT BIC/ABA) for the bank/branch

Step 1: Log In
Step 2: Enter the Details
Step 3: Confirm Recipient
Step 4: Review and Complete

How to Receive Money From Abroad With Royal Bank of Canada

The details you need to provide in order to receive money from overseas to your RBC account may vary, depending on the origin country. Canadian banks do not use International Bank Account Numbers (IBAN); however, the following bank account information will be available via your RBC Online Banking:


  • Institution number

  • Transit number

Customer Service Details for Users of Royal Bank of Canada

Toll-free phone numbers are available for customers around the world who have specific banking questions. Before dialling the following numbers, enter your international access code these can be found here on the RBC website.

  • Telephone banking service: +800-0-769-2511

  • Mobile banking and technical support: +800-0-769-2555

  • Credit card support: +800-0-769-2512


If you are a resident of Canada or sending money to Canada as an existing RBC client or customer, you may want to take advantage of their wide-reaching global network by arranging international money transfer through this bank. However, we would encourage all users to shop around for the best rate, before locking in any overseas remittances. This is because, even though using RBC may appear to be the most convenient option, their services will cost more than other international money transfer companies and does not guarantee the best rate of exchange. Use our comparison tool to see how much money you can save on your next transfer.

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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 Royal Bank of Canada

In this section we will provide a run through of all the need-to-know information about Royal Bank of Canada accounts and their international transfer services.

Can I open a Royal Bank of Canada account in any country?
Does Royal Bank of Canada have an app?
Are there transfer limits?
How long do transfers with Royal Bank of Canada take?
What is Royal Bank of Canada’s SWIFT code?
What customer support options are available?
Can I use a Royal Bank of Canada debit card when travelling abroad?
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