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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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.
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.