Copyright John T. Reed 2014
I have urged readers to follow my example and pay US routine bills out of a USD checking account at Bank of Montreal in Canada.
I was surprised by the wide number of billers who accept those payments which are electronic but free to us BMO account holders. Even my local CA water company and San Francisco Chronicle newspaper are on the list.
AMEX was, but they are not any more. It only took me about two hours on the phone to ascertain that.
AMEX now says that if I want to pay my bills with them out of my Canadian USD account, I have to use a SWIFT wire. Since those cost about $45 a pop, they should not hold their breath.
So I am still trying to pay as many bills as possible out of the USD account at BMO, but AMEX gold at least no longer works. The list of US billers you can pay out of BMO is dynamic. New billers are added and others are removed. So you should constantly be trying to pay all your US billers out of there, other than the obvious ones who are not going to register for international payments like your gardener or maid.
Why pay routine bills out of Canada?
1. I recommend that you move your rainy-day savings to selected foreign banks in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and that you buy and put into a Canadian safe deposit box Swiss francs. I you want two more currencies, I suggest Danish and Swedish krone. These foreign accounts need to be denominated in the foreign currency and in foreign banks, not U.S. banks like Everbank which will agree to let you hold foreign currency. As Everbank will admit, because they are a U.S. bank, they would be required to forcibly convert your foreign currency into US currency in the event of enactment of US capital controls. So the money must be in foreign banks outside of the U.S. that are not required to comply with possible future U.S. capital control laws.
2. I also recommend that as much of your routine bill-paying money as possible be in Canada in a USD checking account because that would put it outside of future U.S. capital controls. If and when the USD hyperinflates, the US government will decree that you cannot remove your money from the U.S. or possess any foreign currency (and probably gold as they did in 1933). If and when they do that, I an my readers will be able to immediately go online to BMO and switch our USD for CAD within minutes and the U.S. government will not be able to stop us. If, however, you do not follow my advice on this, your routine bill-paying money would be trapped in the US as the purchasing power of those dollars plummets. See my web article “A financial Berlin Wall is going up and you are on the wrong side of it.” A U.S. dollar account in Canada is on the right side of that financial Berlin Wall.
Your savings and checking accounts denominated in the currency of the bank’s country are federally insured like our FDIC in Australia and Canada, but not in New Zealand, which has no federal deposit insurance at present. Also, your account in Canada that is denominated in USD is not federally insured by Canada.
John T. Reed