Get U.S. dollars from Canadian dividend paying stocks

Get U.S. dollars from Canadian dividend paying stocks

You can get U.S. dollar income from owning Canadian stocks.

It’s true – no currency exchanges to worry about.  No commissions paid to your broker.  U.S. cash, into your account, via Canadian stocks.  I know this is possible.  I do this.

Canada has a number of stocks that declare and pay out their dividends in U.S. dollars.  For all the reasons they do that, you’d have to talk to their Board of Directors.  One reason I can think of is because when most of the company revenues are in U.S. $$, it makes sense to pay out dividends from the company’s cash flows based on those revenues.

An overview of what dividends are and how I intend to use them in semi-retirement is listed here.

When it comes to whether the Canadian company would pay out dividends in Canadian or U.S. funds, or even still, when that dividend is converted on your behalf into Canadian dollars by your brokerage (who may or may not be taking a cut on the foreign exchange to do that) – you’re best to speak directly to the company’s investor relations team and your brokerage.

In many cases with my list below, dividends paid in U.S. dollars by Canadian companies are eligible for the dividend tax credit – for taxable investing.  This might be important to you because the tax rate on dividends that qualify for the enhanced dividend tax credit will be lower than the tax rate on your regular income.  You can read about my Dividend Tax Credit 101 article here.

Benefits?

By owning some Canadian stocks that pay dividends in U.S. dollars, I can “journal” shares back and forth between the U.S. and Canadian portions of my investing accounts as I wish.  Basically, it’s an easy way to get U.S. dollar income:  buy stocks on the Canadian-side and journal them to the U.S.-side.

Holding Canadian stocks that pay U.S. dollar dividends, in a taxable account after your RRSP is full, is also a good way to generate ongoing U.S. income for any foreign travel, especially any “snowbirding”.  Taking your dividends in U.S. dollars gives you more control over your cash.

Even if you don’t want to withdraw/take any U.S. dividends in cash for spending purposes, you can let those U.S. dollars accumulate.  Saved up U.S. dollars can be used to invest in more U.S. stocks or ETFs.

You can also build up the U.S. cash and then convert it to Canadian dollars when the CDN-U.S. exchange rate might become more favourable.

There could be the odd discrepancy of course (I hope to avoid those on this site whenever possible(!)), but with a big thanks to “agent99” on Canadian Money Forum, input from others, along with my own research, here is a list of Canadian dividend stocks that pay U.S. dollar dividends.

COMPANY CDN SYMBOL US

SYMBOL

Payment FREQUENCY
Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. AEM AEM:US Quarterly
Alamos Gold Inc. AGI AGI:US Semi-Annual
Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. AQN AQN:US Quarterly
American Hotel Income Properties REIT LP HOT.UN Monthly
Barrick Gold Corp. ABX ABX:US Quarterly
Brookfield Asset Management Inc. BAM.A BAM:US Quarterly
Brookfield Business Partners LP BBU.UN BBU:US Quarterly
Brookfield Renewable Partners LP BEP.UN BEP:US Quarterly
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP BIP.UN BIP:US Quarterly
Brookfield Property Partners LP BPY.UN BPY:US Quarterly
Colliers International Group Inc. CIGI-T CIGI:US Semi-Annual
Constellation Software Inc. CSU Quarterly
Cott Corp. BCB COT:US Quarterly
Dorel Industries Inc. DII.B DIIBF:US Quarterly
Encana Corp. ECA ECA:US Quarterly
Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. FFH FRFHF:US Annual
FirstService Corp. FSV FSV:US Quarterly
Franco-Nevada Corp. FNV FNV:US Quarterly
Gildan Activewear Inc. GIL GIL:US Quarterly
Goldcorp Inc. G Quarterly
Intertape Polymer Group Inc. ITP ITPOF:US Quarterly
Magna International Inc. MG MGA:US Quarterly
Methanex Corp. MX MEOH:US Quarterly
Nevsun Resources Ltd. NSU NSU:US Quarterly
Nutrien (POT and AGU merger 2018) NTR NTR:US Quarterly
OceanaGold Corp. OGC Annual
Open Text Corp. OTEX OTEX:US Quarterly
Pan American Silver Corp. PAAS PAAS:US Quarterly
Polaris Infrastructure Inc. PIF PII:US Quarterly
Restaurant Brands International Inc. QSR QSR:US Quarterly
Ritchie Bros Activewear Inc. RBA RBA:US Quarterly
Tahoe Resources Inc. THO TAHO:US Monthly
Thomson Reuters Corp. TRI TRI:US Quarterly
Waste Connections Inc. WCN WCN:US Quarterly
Wheaton Precious Metals WPM WPM:US Quarterly
Yamana Gold Inc. YRI AUY:US Quarterly

Disclosure:  I own some of these companies above.  Regardless, these are not recommendations for purchase.  Before making any major investment decision all investors are advised to complete their own due diligence, ensuring decisions are aligned to their goals and risk tolerance.

Notes:  Dividend information above is based on third-party research and my own.  For some companies above (e.g., Tahoe) there may have been recent declaration changes; payments of dividends can change at any time at the discretion of the company.  Any discrepancies in the information above are appreciated via comments and sources for your data; to keep this post current and accurate for all. Thanks!                         

My name is Mark Seed and I'm the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, we're inching closer to our ultimate goal - owning a 7-figure investment portfolio for semi-retirement. We're almost there! Subscribe and join the journey. Learn how I'm getting there and how you can get there too!

63 Responses to "Get U.S. dollars from Canadian dividend paying stocks"

  1. Hi Mark,
    do you have a US dollar based RRSP account to be able to collect the US dollars paid out by the dividend? What should be be asking our brokerage firm specifically? Would this ideally only apply to a registered account such as a LIRA or RRSP or would it be advisable to consider this if you have some of these stocks in a TFSA? Thanks for your insights. Sue

    Reply
    1. You don’t have to own these stocks in an U.S. investment account (e.g., like your RRSP) but unless you want the U.S. dividends converted to CDN $$ (sometimes the brokerage will take a cut, not always exchanged at Bank of Canada spot rate) then yes, best to have USD $$ based account.

      Hopefully your brokerage allows for CDN $$ and USD $$ sub-accounts for your TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, etc. If so, you can simply confirm with them the list I have, if you own those stocks, and journal shares to the CDN or US-sub accounts accordingly.

      Reply
      1. Hi Mark. I own Brookfield and currrently receive my dividends in Canadian dollars in my non-registered account. I use RBC Direct Investing and asked them what I need to do to receive the US$ dividends in US$.

        Their response was not positive:
        1). If I hold the stocks in the Canadian side of my account, the dividends are converted from U.S. to Canadian
        2). If I hold them on the U.S. side of my account they said they will be converted from U.S. to Canadian and back to U.S. – so I double pay on the exchange.

        Reply
        1. Sounds about right. Personally, I prefer to use the inter-listed USD version (BIP for BIP.UN as an example) – then I get USD $$ dividends into my USD RRSP and I don’t get double pay on any exchange. I hope that helps.

          Can you have a USD $$ taxable account at RBC? I haven’t looked at it but I assume so – that might be an option for you. A quick call to them will confirm.

          Reply
        1. BEP.UN is CDN-listed, so CDN stocks inside the TFSA = no withholding taxes. However, your dividends will probably be converted from USD to CDN and there might be a fee for that.

          Reply
    1. Yes, the big 5 banks are inter-listed on the NYSE but depending on your brokerage, you will be charged fees/foreign exchange cut goes to the broker to be paid dividends in CDN $$ then to switch to USD $$. Look at Royal Bank for just an example. RY:US trades on NYSE but paid in $0.98 CDN per quarter, not directly in USD $$.

      Reply
  2. Great tip Mark, this is a fantastic opportunity for people who need US dollars on a regular basis. We usually reinvest our US dollar dividends into more US stock but I can see how this would be very useful for individuals who spend time in the US each year.

    Reply
  3. Can we ask (or demand) that our Canadian brokerage companies NOT convert the US dollar dividends to Canadian dollars? Mine, BMO Investorline, automatically converts.

    Reply
    1. Just journal the shares over to your USD account.
      is
      I bought BIP.UN in my CAD account and journal over to USD account. However, the first payment is converted to CAN$ as they are still in my CAD$ account at the record date. Afterwards, all the payments are in USD $.

      Thanks Mark for the list. That’s what I am trying to do to get a USD income stream. As we live only half hour from the border, we do lots of online shopping in USD and when we go to pick up those, we also shopping in the states. We also want to travel to abroad each year and USD $ is really needed. Unfortunately so far I got only $600 while I would hope to get $6000. Still a long way to go.

      Reply
    2. You can always ask Helen. It also might depend on the stocks you own. See example AQN:

      “The quarterly dividends payable on common shares are declared in U.S. dollars. Beneficial shareholders (those who hold common shares through a financial intermediary) who are resident in Canada or the United States may request to receive their dividends in either U.S. dollars or the Canadian dollar equivalent by contacting the financial intermediary with whom the common shares are held. Unless the Canadian dollar equivalent is requested, shareholders will receive dividends in U.S. dollars, which, as is often the case, the financial intermediary may convert to Canadian dollars. Registered shareholders receive dividend payments in the currency of residency. Registered shareholders may opt to change the payment currency by contacting AST Trust Company (Canada) at 1-800-387-0825 prior to the record date of the dividend.

      The Canadian dollar equivalent of the quarterly dividend is based on the Bank of Canada daily average exchange rate on the day before the declaration date.”

      The summary – it’s tricky! Let me know what BMO tells you, I’d be curious to know and write a follow-up post potentially.

      Reply
  4. I believe this is where Mark mentions that you Journal the stocks to a USD sub account. Then the Divs will stay in USD. My TD CAN TFSA automatically converts. But I’m going to call them and inquire about moving the stocks to the USD sub account I already have active.

    Reply
    1. No way Judy, but, as long as such stocks are in certain accounts. If you hold BIP.UN in CDN account but then BIP:US in US account, as long as BIP:US is inside your RRSP then no withholding tax. BIP.UN (CDN) but inter-listed as BIP:US (US). Again, your brokerage should be able to coach you a bit but they can’t offer tax or investing advice.

      Reply
  5. Very good resource for investors needing or expecting to need US$ from their investments.

    I’m using USD etfs in my registered acct which I access through annual withdrawals. About 50% of our dividend/distrbution income from equities is generated in USD. I expect in time some of these to move in kind into unregistered to help maintain geographic investment allocations.

    Or if I need CDN$ I’ll swap using norberts gambit. Our dollar has reached my target now so time to get working on that.

    I’m not familiar with journaling but see that term used a lot. Is this like owning BIP vs owning BIP.un – what I would do at my broker if I wanted to be paid in USD in any of my accts?

    Reply
    1. Journaling is the term used to move the security in question over from the CAD side to the USD side or vice versa. For example, to take the first stock in Mark’s list, you would journal AEM over from the Canadian side of your account to the US side. Norbert’s Gambit makes use of journaling but its usual purpose is to avoid high currency exchange charges rather than getting USD dividends.

      Reply
        1. Mark, if I understand correctly the journaling is a swap of the interlisted stock USD for CDN$, or vice versa.

          For example if I wanted to have bip.un pay in USD it would be swapped or journalled over to bip.

          I did this once to change from USD to CDN with bpy by calling broker and saying I wanted CDN dividends, and it was changed to bpy.un.

          Reply
          1. Correct. BIP.UN on CDN $$ side can be “journalled” to BIP:US on USD $$ of accounts – BIP:US continues to pay dividends in USD $$. Vice-versa works as well, back to CDN $$. Free of charge, just a phone call away with many discount brokerages. My understanding is this can be done by some investors on their own depending upon how brokerage account set up.

            BPY.UN to BPY:US is another example.

          2. Thanks for clarifying. Just as I thought, and I recall I had one stock (BPY) journalled back a number of years, by calling. (lol, didn’t know it was called that at the time) At my broker journaling can be done with written instruction as well, using their online secure email from my acct.

            Just did a “decent” gambit an hour ago using RY.

          3. Indeed. Lots of subject matter out there!

            In my case had USD cash and wanted to convert to CDN $ now that dollar drop made it more attractive. Lots of higher volume interlisted stocks to choose from or DLR, and I use my level 2 (live) quote. Don’t own RY in that registered acct- not worried about ACB, etc

        2. I’m mostly an ETF and TD e-series mutual fund person these days. I only have one Canadian stock (it’s on your list) that pays USD dividends but I’ve hung onto it for years now. I like that there’s no withholding tax (it’s in a non-registered account). I also hold a couple of Vanguard ETFs in the same account that trade on the US markets. The 15% withholding tax is charged on the dividends from the ETFs, of course, but I claim that on my tax return. I dump the dividends into TD’s USD Investment Savings Account (ISA) (TDB8152) and then sell out of that position as necessary to cover any costs incurred in USD. Just as an aside, if you are not with TD, there are similar such ISAs available through other issuers. E.g., the Renaissance High Interest Savings Account, again, available in both CAD and USD.

          Reply
          1. Yes, correct, withholding taxes may apply on non-reg. investing but you can claim that on your tax return. Yes, aware of ISAs but not going to use them for a while yet. How is the investing coming along with ETFs and TD efunds?

          2. Sorry for not responding sooner, Mark. To your question about how the investing is coming along, I’d say it’s coming along quite nicely. Obviously, there has been a pull back recently, but that is to be expected. On the Canadian side of my non-registered account, I take the dividends generated from my stocks and CAD dividends and put them into the e-series funds, aiming to adjust them back to my target allocation. I’ve actually been whittling away at my stock holdings in two ways over the years. 1. Whenever a stock reaches a certain threshold, I sell a portion off and reinvest it in the e-series funds. 2. Each year, instead of donating cash, I donate a portion of the stock position that has the highest unrealized capital gain. The money goes to a donor-advised foundation which then distributes the funds to various charities as my wife and I have directed them, so we still have complete flexibility over where our donations go. Mark, I don’t recall of the top of my head, and perhaps it doesn’t fit into the range of topics covered on your site, but have you ever discussed charitable donations and the tax efficiency of doing so by making in-kind donations of appreciated securities?

          3. Interesting Russ….re: “take the dividends generated from my stocks and CAD dividends and put them into the e-series funds, aiming to adjust them back to my target allocation.” Do you own all the TD efunds or just international?

            I haven’t written about charitable donations too much re: tax tips but I have touched upon the topic here:
            https://www.myownadvisor.ca/year-end-tax-tips-financial-housekeeping/

            In-kind donations are smart but I’m not in a financial position to do that just yet:
            https://www.canadahelps.org/en/why-canadahelps/ways-to-give/benefits-of-donating-securities/

            Kudos to you for doing that.

          4. Hey, Mark. I don’t have the bond e-series fund in my non-registered account. The only fixed income component is held in GICs. The bulk is in the US (S&P 500) and International (EAFE) funds with a small position in the Canadian fund.

            In-kind donations are something we’ve only started in the last few years as our assets and unrealized gains in our non-registered account have grown. That, combined with a desire to simplify our portfolio by whittling away at individual stocks has made this a good choice for us (although the multitude of GICs in the account takes some of that simplicity away!).

      1. Thank Russ.

        I’m familiar with the purpose and procedure for norberts gambit having done somewhere upwards of 500K over the years now. Whatever journaling or accounting takes place must be behind the scenes as I just place my 1 buy and 1 sell order online, and 4-5 days later it settles out. (Perhaps the reason I’m not familiar with the term-never having used it before)
        For the journaling of a stock re dividends what I was asking is the stock simply swapped for the USD or the CDN $ in order to receive the desired dividend currency. ie the entire holding is now in the other currency and pays accordingly? As per my reply to Mark on BIP and BPY.
        It seems like that may vary with the stock company policy and/or with the broker.

        Reply
        1. If I understand you correctly, RBull, you are wondering whether the security will pay in USD in a US dollar account and in CAD in a Canadian dollar account. My understanding/experience (and there may be exceptions I am unaware of) is that companies only pay their dividends in one currency. If the currency of the dividend is the same as that of the account it is being held in, there is no conversion, but if not, the broker will take its cut through the spread it charges for the currency conversion.

          Reply
          1. I believe that is right regarding dividends in one currency only.

            However brokers don’t necessarily take a cut on the conversion if one is needed, which I believe you have already seen my reply on regarding Brookfield as one example. People will have to research broker and stocks individually to find this out, if this is a consideration

          2. Agreed: “People will have to research broker and stocks individually to find this out, if this is a consideration” – since not all companies deal with their dividends, dividend conversions, nor brokerages the same way.

  6. Hi Mark
    Good info, thank you. I own 4 of these stocks in a non registered account and I am paid the dividends in CDN. I had no idea that they paid in US and then converted, likely with a fee. However I am still dripping so I assume it makes sense to continue receiving the CDN dollar dividend in order to purchase more CDN shares? I dont see the wisdom in starting small positions of the same stock in the US version. Or am I missing something here?
    Thanks
    Chuck

    Reply
    1. Yup, likely with a fee depending upon your brokerage. Some brokerages honour the Bank of Canada spot rate, others do not. The U.S. version is also tricky in a non-reg. account because that could be viewed as a foreign stock, etc. subject to withholding taxes (but those U.S. withholding taxes are recoverable in a non-reg. account as I understand it). Not a tax pro. 🙂

      I highlighted some withholding tax concerns on this page here:
      https://www.myownadvisor.ca/dividends/

      All the best Chuck.

      Reply
      1. The other consideration is what company stock.

        Brookfield for example does the conversion for the CDN side at BOC spot rate per their own policy. (nothing to do with the broker)

        We had a thread somewhere on here about this before.

        Reply
          1. As an example for others looking into this here is a statement from Brookfield (BIP) re currency exchange.
            https://bip.brookfield.com/en/stock-and-distribution/distributions/distribution-history

            I called broker and asked about this. The exchange is normally done at the broker (but not always) and they follow the policy of the company- in this example Brookfield which states CDN $ dividends will be paid at BOC spot rate on record date.

            They also confirmed some USD payers do have FX charges, so yes people should do their homework both on their broker and stock!

          2. You’re welcome.

            Re Mawer, no takeover. Just currently being shopped out by Scotia Capital. Nothing may happen, but certainly the trend is smaller players eventually gobbled up by bigger fish.

  7. That’s a good list, and something I’m interested in doing – generating US dollar dividend income. I have some shares in the American Hotel Income Properties REIT. The dividend is paid out and automatically deposited each month into my Canadian account (Questrade) even though I have a US account there too. Am I doing something wrong? Do I have to fill out paperwork specifying I want the dividend paid out in US dollars? They’re located in Vancouver so it didn’t occur to me I had the option of choosing the currency. Do I ask Questrade for a form to get the dividend in US dollars and deposited into my US cash account monthly?

    Reply
    1. I don’t own that one yet Cheryl. I suspect what is happening is because you might hold that stock on the CDN-side of your account, the USD $$ is being converted from USD $$ to CDN and Questrade might be taking a cut on the foreign exchange. You might want to call them to discuss their practices. There should be no paperwork, just a verbal confirmation but definitely chat with them. Questrade should have both CDN $$ and USD $$ TFSAs and RRSPs available to investors.

      Reply
  8. Nice list Mark. I am a recent owner of ITP and had no idea that they paid in US$. Didn’t really matter, but I like to know what is going on.
    When I had a big chunk of US cash, I just bought TD on the NYSE and then after it settled journalled it over to the Canadian side. However, when I called TD Direct investing to do this, the guy on the phone at first acted like he didn’t know what I was talking about. Quite strange. I have recently closed all my accounts with them, was not a fan of having to receive a text code to access my accounts.

    Reply
  9. Hey Mark,

    I also enjoy receiving both CAD and USD dividends as it gives me flexibility in making purchases when I go to selectively reinvest the proceeds.
    From your list, the one I’ve purchased recently is BEP. High yield, and we’ll see how the shares hold up over time.

    Take care,
    Ryan

    Reply
  10. I have confimed with BMOinvestorline that as I purchased the stocks in Cdn dollars, the dividend is automatically paid in CDN (after conversion). Had I purchased the stock in US dollars I would have been paid dividends in US dollars. However their clients have a choice going forwrad. So, while I DRIP I will continue to purchase the CDN listed stock. At the time I decide to start spending the dividends and stop DRIPing, I can receive them in US dollars. Just takes a phone call. (Hoping its that easy when I make the call!)
    Good stuff Mark. Thanks for starting this topic.
    Chuck

    Reply
    1. Great stuff Chuck and largely all I wanted to do. Make folks aware there are options and depending upon the company that offers the DRIP and/or brokerage you hold those stocks with – you can get U.S. income rather easily and/or convert it from CDN to USD and vice-versa 🙂

      Reply
  11. For HOT.UN which is not interlisted, can you still journal to a USD account? And would you avoid conversion fees for the dividend, or would the broker convert from USD to CAD and back to USD (double fees) as a user mentioned above?

    Reply
    1. Not sure about that one Cee. Have you checked with your discount brokerage? Those are the stocks I know of, the major ones, that are inter-listed AND pay out their dividends in USD $$.

      I know for a fact when I move my inter-listed stocks there is no fee 🙂

      Reply
  12. I see what you mean Cee, i have the same issue with ITP (intertape polymer), as you do with HOT.UN. ITP pays dividends in USD but its not inter-listed. My broker seems to automatically convert these dividends to CAD.

    Reply
  13. Hello Mark
    I like to read your blog posts and keep some of them to re-read them later and understand them in details. So I have a suggestion: giving a “print out” option of your articles with good formatting and no commercials.
    What do you think of it?

    Thanks again for all these info.

    Jean-Paul

    Reply
    1. Good point Jean-Paul. I do have a printable icon below every post you can use? As for the commercials I’ll see what I can do to limit those when printing any copies. I would need to do some research on that.

      Cheers.

      Reply

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