How to Cash or Deposit Canadian Checks in U.S. Banks

Two government-issued Canadian checks resting on a table

When you live in the U.S. and you receive a Canadian check (or any other foreign check), cashing the check can be complicated.

To prevent fraud, many banks will hold the funds from your Canadian check, even as long as six weeks or more. You’ll have to deposit the check into a bank account before you can withdraw the cash, and you may also need to pay fees.

Below, we explain how to cash a Canadian check in the U.S., and we list the best U.S. banks for cashing Canadian checks.

Cashing a Canadian Check in the U.S.

First, it’s important to note that you can’t simply cash a Canadian check at a U.S. bank. In fact, you can’t directly cash any foreign check at a U.S. bank. Instead, you must first deposit the check into your checking account, and then withdraw the cash (if you wish). Because of this, you must be a customer at the bank where you’re cashing the Canadian check. Bring the check, as well as a valid, government-issued ID to your bank of choice.

Hold Times

Canadian checks can clear in two different ways: check negotiation and check collection. Check negotiation allows banks to clear foreign checks within three to five business days — this is the ideal option.[1]

Check collection is used to protect banks from potential fraud, and it requires your check to be sent to its originating bank.[1] The process can take anywhere from three to six weeks.[2] Banks send foreign checks for collection for various reasons; for example, your check may be sent for collection if you deposit one for a much larger amount than usual.


Foreign check deposits often come with high fees. The process of depositing a Canadian check in a U.S. bank account is complex, so many banks add charges for different stages of the process. We inquired about the fees at each of the banks below and listed them wherever possible. Note that you should expect to incur fees at the U.S. bank where you are depositing your check, as well as the Canadian bank it originated from. It’s likely one or both of the banks will charge fees for their services.

Currency Exchange

When depositing a Canadian check in an American bank account, you will receive its value in U.S. currency. The currency exchange rate you see online or in the news is not necessarily the rate you will get at the bank — most bank exchange rates are less favorable than rates advertised online. These rates will vary by bank and by day. You will likely receive the rate based on the day you deposit your check.

U.S. Banks With Canadian Branches

If it’s an option, you might want to try depositing your Canadian check at the same bank it originated from. This is possible, of course, through U.S. banks that have Canadian branches (or Canadian banks that have U.S. branches). This may simplify the process and eliminate a few fees. All of the banks listed below have branches in both the U.S. and Canada.

Comparison Table

See the table below for a comparison of the fees, hold times, and currency conversion rates at the U.S. banks that cash Canadian checks, then select any bank or scroll for more information.

Bank Fees Hold Time Currency Conversion
HSBCCost of any adjustments Up to 30 days HSBC rate calculated on the deposit date
Chase BankMay charge commission fee or other costs Up to six weeks Rates vary by transaction and customer
Bank of AmericaNone Varies based on multiple factors Bank of America rate
TD BankVary by location Minimum of three days Vary by location
Wells FargoVary by customer Typically three days; up to 30 days if sent for collection Vary by location and customer
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The List

We contacted each of the following banks to verify their policies for depositing Canadian checks. Keep in mind, you must first deposit Canadian checks into a checking account before you can withdraw the cash. Most American banks will actually allow you to deposit Canadian checks; however, many are notorious for high fees and long hold times. We’ve ordered the list below starting with the best overall options.

HSBC logo


  • Restrictions: You agree to be responsible for all exchange risks; this can be avoided if you request the check be processed on a collection basis for applicable fees.[3]
  • Fees: You’re responsible for the costs of any necessary adjustments.[3]
  • Estimated hold times: The process can take up to 30 days.[4]
  • Currency exchange policy: Currency conversion rates are provided by HSBC, not rates posted in the media. The rates applied will be the rates of the day you deposit your check.[5]
  • How to deposit your check: You can deposit your check in person with an HSBC teller or through mobile deposit.[3][6]
  • Find an HSBC

Chase Bank logo

2. Chase Bank

  • Restrictions: Dollar amount of check must be equal to or less than your account’s available courtesy limit, generally about $5,000[7]
  • Fees: Chase may charge a commission fee or other costs charged by its affiliates, its vendors, or itself. [8]
  • Estimated hold times: Up to six weeks[7]
  • Currency exchange policy: This service is only available at a limited number of branches. Rates vary by customer and transaction.[8]
  • How to deposit your check: You must cash your Canadian check in person with a Chase bank teller.[7]
  • Find a Chase Bank

Bank of America logo

3. Bank of America

  • Restrictions: Canadian checks cannot be deposited via mobile or ATM.[9][10]
  • Fees: Bank of America doesn’t charge a fee.[11]
  • Estimated hold times: Varies based on multiple factors[11]
  • Currency exchange policy: Rates are determined by the bank; see Bank of America’s foreign currency calculator for current rates.[12]
  • How to deposit your check: You must cash your check in person with a Bank of America teller.[11]
  • Find a Bank of America

TD Bank logo

4. Toronto-Dominion (TD) Bank

  • Restrictions: Canadian checks cannot be deposited via mobile or ATM.[13]
  • Fees: Varying fees may apply[13]
  • Estimated hold times: Minimum of three days[13]
  • Currency exchange policy: Foreign currency can be ordered online or in person; you can typically pick it up/exchange currency within two to three business days.[14] Foreign coins can’t be exchanged.[15] Rates vary by location.[13]
  • How to deposit your check: You must cash your Canadian check in person with a TD Bank teller.[13][16]
  • Find a TD Bank

Wells Fargo logo

5. Wells Fargo

  • Restrictions: Canadian checks cannot be deposited via mobile or ATM.[17]
  • Fees: Vary by customer[18]
  • Estimated hold times: Foreign checks are sent to collections. Funds aren’t released until the amount is sent from the foreign bank. Estimated times vary depending on check type.[19]
  • Currency exchange policy: Order foreign currency for exchange online, by phone, or in person. Delivery takes two to seven business days.[20] Rates vary by customer and location.[17]
  • How to deposit your check: You must cash your Canadian check in person with a Wells Fargo teller.[17]
  • Find a Wells Fargo

Places That Don’t Cash Canadian Checks

Although you can usually deposit a Canadian check at a U.S. bank, you cannot cash Canadian checks at retail stores. As explained above, Canadian checks cannot simply be cashed, but must first be deposited into a bank account. The following establishments don’t cash Canadian checks:

  • Check cashing stores
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Supercenters
  7. Chase Bank Facebook Messenger chat[][][]
  11. Bank of America Facebook Messenger chat[][][]
  13. TD Bank Facebook Messenger chat[][][][][]
  19. Wells Fargo Facebook Messenger chat[]

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