Thursday, July 23, 2015

ZenBanx $250 USD for $250 CAD PLUS $10 signup bonus!

Update September 2015: ZenBanx is running a promo for INR (Indian Rupees) letting you exchange up to $250CAD to INR at a rate of 1CAD = 55INR. Usually 1CAD = ~49.5INR, so this is about a 10% bonus. The steps are the same as the previous USD. Do the transfer on September 30th, or before October 15th if you have account signup issues.

About the offer

ZenBanx is offering a promotion to get $250 USD for $250 CAD on August 3, 2015 (Note: ZenBanx will honor the this offer until August 17th, as long as you sign up by August 3rd). At the time of this writing, $250 USD is worth $325 CAD. This translates to a bonus of $75! Plus, if you signup through this link, you get an extra $10 bonus! The original ZenBanx site has info about the PAR offer here. I recently signed up and have posted some details below.

Once you have setup an account you can get a referral link to share the $10 bonus with friends also.

About ZenBanx

ZenBanx is a new virtual bank that with offices in US and Canada. They are first launching in Canada, but are planning to launch in the US as well in Europe and Asia. They let you exchange money in most main currencies with very low commission fees / very close to market rate. The person who started ZenBanx it had previously started ING Direct (now called Tangerine) and is looking to make a more flexible and cheaper bank for people who travel or deal with multiple currencies. Check the Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of this post for some extra info.

How to Signup

Here's some points to consider before signing up:
  • You need to be a Canadian Resident 18 or older to open an account and enter your SIN (Social Insurance Number), which allows them to verify your identity. They will not make a "hard" hit on your credit file.
  • They also need a Driver's License, Passport or National ID card to verify your identity.
  • When signing up through the mobile app, you need to take a selfie (personal photo) to verify your identity
Follow these steps to signup:
  1. Visit this link and proceed with the initial signup steps  (please note this is my referral link that gets you a $10 signup bonus , and I get a $10 bonus too).

      I've copied their Account Agreement and Debit Card Agreement that you accept during the signup into a Google doc for reference.
  2. Finish signing up and verifying your identity using their mobile apps or website. You will also need to enter a verification code that was sent to your email address.
  3. Deposit money into your account using one of the following options:

    3 a. Write a cheque for at least $250 CAD to yourself. Use the ZenBanx app to capture images of the cheque and make the deposit, or you can login to the ZenBanx website and upload pictures of your cheque there.

    3 b. If you don't have cheques, you can link an external bank account by entering your external account manually. To do this click on the My Info area, which is to the left of Sign Out in the top right of the page when you're logged in to your account. For me it says "Add Photo" since I haven't added a photo of myself yet.
  4. Wait several days for the cheque to be processed by ZenBanx and show up in your account.
  5. On August 3rd (or before August 17th if your account setup was delayed), login to the ZenBanx website or the ZenBanx app and do a transfer from $250 CAD to USD:

    5 a. In Account Overview, click on the Canadian Flag for your CAD position, or click the chevron / arrow to the right where it's showing your CAD position.

    5 b. Click Exchange Money

    5 c. Enter $250 in Amount to Exchange in the From Position on the left side of the page. You should see a Canadian flag and your CAD account balance on this left side.

    5 d. Under To Position on the right side of the page, select USD. The website will show a ZenBanx loading logo for a few moments while it gets the exchange rate.  NOTE: The $250 CAD will show up as less than $250 USD (perhaps $185 USD). It's OK, ZenBanx will credit the amount of USD within the following 3 - 5 days to bring your total converted amount to $250 USD.

    5 e. Click on Move Money it will load a confirmation page.

    5 f. Click Confirm on the new page.
  6. In the following 3 to 5 days you should see a credit of USD in your account, bringing the balance to $250 USD. Score!
Some Extra Notes / Tips:
  • Make sure to set a reminder to login to the account on August 3rd to convert the money!
  • You need to login to the account or make a transaction at least once every 12 months to avoid a $25 "Dormancy Fee" being charged. Details are in the Dormant Account Fee section in the account agreement.
  • If for some reason your account signup is delayed, they have said they will honor this promotion until August 17th, 2015.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I withdraw / access the USD?

You have a few options:
  1. Use the ATM/debit card they send while in the US to get the cash. A $3.00 "Out-of-Country ATM fee" is charged per transaction. You can make a cash withdrawal from a participating ATM network (Interac or Cirrus or THE EXCHANGE) throughout the world. 
  2. Use the ATM/debit card at a US retailer and get cash back. There's no fee for this as far as I know.
  3. Send the money to someone else with US account. A $5.95 CAD fee applies per transaction.
  4. Convert the money back to CAD in your account and transfer to your bank account. No fee for this (as far as I know).
Here are links ZenBanx provided to show ATMs and retailers in the US:

Are there any fees with ZenBanx?

There are no monthly fees. However, to send money to someone else, a fee applies. As per ZenBanx customer service it's $5.95 CAD to send money to someone else in another currency, and $3.00 CAD to withdraw directly from a bank machine in another currency in a foreign country.

There is a $25 "Dormancy Fee" if you don't login to the account or make a transaction at least once every 12 months. Details are in the Dormant Account Fee section in the account agreement.

You can see all of the fees listed in this PDF:

Other Questions

Also, if you don't already have an account with Tangerine bank, you can get a $50 signup bonus using my "orange key" 14149116S1 by visiting: They are a Canadian no-fee bank with chequing and savings accounts.