CIBC has recently revealed a new and convenient service which allows users to purchase a wide variety of foreign currencies online. Furthermore, the foreign currencies can be arranged for delivery to home addresses or for pick up at branches in Toronto Pearson Airport. To use the service, you do not need to be a current CIBC customer; however, you will need to register in order to verify your identity. This consists of providing information about yourself and an Equifax verification check. Once you are set up, CIBC will update you on the status of your application by email at which point you can successfully sign in and start transacting.
This has come as a convenience and has been well received by customers who have traditionally had to go to locations to pick up foreign currency in cash. Furthermore, exotic currencies which traditionally must be ordered at a branch can now be ordered online, saving you a trip to the branch. In terms of amount limits, home delivery can be done up to the equivalent of $2,500 CAD with amounts between $2,500 CAD and $9,500 CAD available for pick up at CIBC’s Pearson Airport Branch in Toronto. For CIBC customers, up to $50,000 CAD equivalent can be delivered for branch pick up.
CIBC claims to offer competitive rates on roughly 75 different foreign currencies. While this is true when compared to other cash delivery providers such as Kantor, the rates are still not very good. For comparison, as of 2:53PM ET on December 1, 2015 the rate offered on the CIBC website for 1 Canadian dollar was .7297 USD. At that time, the market rate was sitting at .7476, while Knightsbridge FX’s rate was at .7449. The difference between the market rate and CIBC’s rate was roughly the same for EURO and GBP at the same time as well.
The CIBC exchange rate, while not the best is typical for cash exchanges and with the convenience of online ordering and free delivery, may be worthwhile. That being said, if you are looking for the best deal on larger amounts and have bank accounts in the foreign currency you wish to purchase, then the best option may be an independent provider such as Knightsbridge FX which offers the lowest rates guaranteed.
Compared to other cash delivery providers such as Kantor, CIBC provides a more cost-effective solution. To buy foreign currency online with CIBC, you can use your Credit card or Visa debit card and all applicable credit card and exchange fees will be displayed on a payments page before executing the transaction. These fees may depend on the currencies and amounts you are transacting; however, the delivery of the foreign currencies purchased is free compared to Kantor which can charge up to $15 for delivery on top of credit card purchase fees.
Compared to traditional foreign currency exchange providers, this service is much more convenient. Traditionally, you would have to go to a foreign exchange provider to exchange your funds and would have to bring cash with you. This process is cumbersome and sometimes unsafe if dealing in larger amounts.
(Tip: When dealing in larger amounts, try to avoid cash providers as cash rates include large mark-ups vs. providers such as Knightsbridge FX)
Now with CIBC, cash amounts up to $2,500 CAD equivalent, can be delivered securely right to your doorstep. However, if you are looking to exchange between $2,500 CAD equivalent and $9,500 CAD equivalent, a trip to a branch or Toronto’s Pearson Airport will be necessary. This is still more convenient than traditional approaches as you can at least order the foreign currencies online, saving you a trip. For CIBC banking customers, amounts up to $50,000 can be delivered to a branch at your convenience.
The amount of time it takes for CIBC to ship your ordered foreign currencies to your address will ultimately depend on where you live. CIBC advises that orders will typically take one to four business days to arrive with those living in remote areas more likely to have to wait around the longer end of that range. Overall, it is a good idea to purchase currencies online with CIBC a little in advance to avoid any last minute headaches.
Overall, the product has been well received and is simple to use. A great advantage to this product is that you don’t have to bank with CIBC in order to use this service. It is as easy as registering online and providing some information in order to be set up for an account. To register you can visit this website and click on the top right corner: https://fx.cibc.com/en-CA/customer-service/purchase-process/. The information you provide is pretty standard and is securely protected. You will also need to complete an Equifax eID verification in order to verify your identity and CIBC will also contact your financial institution to verify your identity. Once all the information is gathered, it takes about two to three business days before your account is active. Once you are set up, CIBC will send an email to you advising you that your account is open while providing information on the next steps.
Canadian snowbirds who are looking to transact currency exchange may want to take a look at this article for currency exchange tips for Canadian snowbirds.