November 27th, 2019
Canadian Cross-Border shopping Tips & Tricks for the holidays! (that will save you $$)
The holidays can be a stressful time of year, our minds are always ‘working’ to remember everything and fit it all in. I try to focus on what I can control and part of that is figuring out how to save some dollars during this season. Especially since becoming a mom, I’ve tried to slow down during the holidays and savour all the little moments that matter and not get caught up with the hustle and bustle. Last year was a whirlwind having just given birth to Georgia, it was pure magic and a pure sleep-deprived blur all wrapped in a bow.
This year however, I’m getting ahead of the game and I’ve partnered with RBC to give you two quick hacks for making your holiday shopping easier (and saving $$ too!)
Now, before I go on, let me say this: This post is perfect if you shop across the border frequently and are looking for new ways to save $$ and not get dinged by expensive shipping fees to Canada. If you know someone who loves a good U.S.-shopping haul send them this link so they can learn too 🙂
Okay, where were we! Ah yes…
TIP #1 – RBC’s Partnership with MyUS.com
If you’re like me and hate going to the malls / traveling cross border to shop / wait in long lines and prefer to shop in your PJs with cheesy movies and hot chocolate, then listen up…this one’s for you!
Here’s how it works: You sign up to get a U.S. shipping address in a tax-free state. Then you can shop at thousands of U.S. stores and ship your goods to your new address. MyUS then combines your packages to deliver in one single shipment saving you up to 80% on shipping costs. Boom.
Learn more about MyUS.com, here
TIP #2 – Get a U.S. Credit Card
Ko and I for a US credit card from RBC back in 2013 right after we got married before our honeymoon! We got one account with two cards and use this whenever we cross over to the US.
The main reason we did this was to avoid foreign transaction fees (which can range from 2.5% – 3.5 %) Click here to see how much you can save on these fees alone with RBC’s Foreign Transactions Fee Savings Calculator.
Plus, you won’t get dinged over and over on foreign exchange, which can lose you $ especially if you have to return an item etc.You can use your credit card to pay in U.S. dollars when you shop online as well.
Now for a limited time RBC clients who open a cross-border banking bundle have the annual fee waived receive 1-year free shipping with MyUS.com ($84UDS membership fee and $20USD set up fee waived as well)
Learn more about the offer, here
and here are a few more shopping hacks to save you money this Black Friday…
I. Do the Math
My mother may as well be a professional deal hunter. I have memories of lining up on boxing day in Canada to snag the best Christmas wrapping paper at more than 50% off that we would save the use the following year. For my mom, the thrill of getting a deal is just as exciting as buying the items.
I remember whenever we would do our annual trips across the border or while shopping at the outlets malls on vacation in the U.S., I would get SO excited by the seemingly “low” price tag. Of course, I didn’t factor in the currency exchange and even to this day I still have her voice in my head still saying “do the math.”
SO, before you get too excited by how seemingly low the price tags seem, be sure to remember not every deal is as good as it looks. Do the math and make sure you know the exchange rate. Luckily, nowadays we have handy apps on our phones that can calculate this for us!
II. Know your Limits & Don’t lie! (declare it)
Know how much you can bring back to Canada after shopping across the border.. When you leave Canada less than 24 hours, you can’t bring anything back without paying duty or taxes. When you go for over 24 hours you can bring back up to $200CND worth of goods. When you’re gone for 48 hours or more, you can bring up to $800CDN of goods without paying duty or taxes (rates as per Government of Canada: visit here for more information).
If you’re gone for just 24 hrs and come back with more than $200 – just declare it! Don’t lie y’all. If you get caught lying then that’s a whole other bigger issue.
III. Save $$ and have a better time…invite the gals (or guys!)
Shopping is better with company. Period. Save on gas & accommodations when you go with your fiends plus it’s almost always a better time with good company.
Happy Shopping Friends!
Lots of love, Anna