Author Topic: How to send money abroad?  (Read 2463 times)

ZiziPB

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How to send money abroad?
« on: March 12, 2018, 04:29:48 AM »
I remember this topic coming up in the past but can't find it now.  If you have sent money from the US abroad, can you please chime in what service you used and what you recommend?

Thank you.

Malaysia41

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2018, 04:39:07 AM »
I use TransferWise. 

https://transferwise.com/us

Far and away the lowest rate, most reliable, fastest $ exchange that I've tried. Many people I know use it and they have more experience with other services.  Our dentist practices in London and Verona. He says no other service comes close to transferwise for all of the metrics I listed.

I've only had good experience with them.

Also, we regularly use US based credit cards with no foreign transaction fees.

If you sign up with transferwise, there may be a program where we each get a small promo payment on your first transfer, so I wouldn't mind being part of that action. But no biggie if you'd rather not. Just sayin' :).
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 04:42:06 AM by Malaysia41 »

ZiziPB

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2018, 04:54:22 AM »
Thanks Malaysia41 - I'll check it out! 

We should compare notes on banking and such :-)  I'm moving to Poland next month.  I'm planning to send money for some large initial expenses (apartment renovation and car purchase) but after that I'm hoping to just use US based credit cards or debit cards.  I have a checking account at Schwab with a no fee debit card and a few credit cards.

Any issues with that approach?  Any particular problems you encountered?  I'm assuming that your stash is in the US and you don't keep much money in a bank in Italy?

Malaysia41

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2018, 06:05:48 AM »
We used US based ccs for a full 14 months til we finally got our residency cards and then were able to open a local account. I needed the local account to set up $ transfers through transferwise, so I'm not sure if TW would work for you. It depends on what the destination account is. 

I've heard Schwab is pretty good for international ATM withdrawals but that's hearsay to me.

Yeah - most of our $ is in the US.  We keep our Italian account stocked with 5,000 - 20,000 € or so. We fund it when it either starts approaching 5k, or when the exchange rate drops.   

ZiziPB

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2018, 07:04:27 AM »
We used US based ccs for a full 14 months til we finally got our residency cards and then were able to open a local account. I needed the local account to set up $ transfers through transferwise, so I'm not sure if TW would work for you. It depends on what the destination account is. 

I've heard Schwab is pretty good for international ATM withdrawals but that's hearsay to me.

Yeah - most of our $ is in the US.  We keep our Italian account stocked with 5,000 - 20,000 € or so. We fund it when it either starts approaching 5k, or when the exchange rate drops.   

That's great info, thank you!
I do have a local account already (dual citizen, so no residency issues), so it sounds like I can use Transferwise. 

Schwab is good - I opened an account there for my daughter to use while she was studying in Europe for several years and it worked with no problems at all, both for ATM withdrawals and making purchases.

Edited to ask: any issues making large purchases/transactions with your US based cards in Italy?  I'm always concerned about not being able to actually complete a purchase because the transaction is flagged as potentially fraudulent.  The credit card companies have bizarre ideas about fraud - like the time I was trying to buy a plane ticket directly from British Airways and my credit card was rejected because the CC company thought that ba.com was not a legit website :-)
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 07:10:44 AM by ZiziPB »

Trying2bFrugal

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2018, 07:36:22 AM »
Most online transfer are similar, just check the fee (if you dont meet minimum) and pick a average number (like $2000) to see how much in end gets transferred.
Checkout xoom.com too.

Malaysia41

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2018, 07:54:48 AM »

Edited to ask: any issues making large purchases/transactions with your US based cards in Italy?  I'm always concerned about not being able to actually complete a purchase because the transaction is flagged as potentially fraudulent.  The credit card companies have bizarre ideas about fraud - like the time I was trying to buy a plane ticket directly from British Airways and my credit card was rejected because the CC company thought that ba.com was not a legit website :-)

We use a Chase Sapphire card with no foreign transaction fee.  A few times we got pinged but it's rare. I can't even remember the last one. 

We pay tuition for our son's private school with that credit card. That's a big tab.  Never got flagged.  So - no not a problem for us.

pbkmaine

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2018, 08:41:38 AM »
We used US based ccs for a full 14 months til we finally got our residency cards and then were able to open a local account. I needed the local account to set up $ transfers through transferwise, so I'm not sure if TW would work for you. It depends on what the destination account is. 

I've heard Schwab is pretty good for international ATM withdrawals but that's hearsay to me.

Yeah - most of our $ is in the US.  We keep our Italian account stocked with 5,000 - 20,000 € or so. We fund it when it either starts approaching 5k, or when the exchange rate drops.   

That's great info, thank you!
I do have a local account already (dual citizen, so no residency issues), so it sounds like I can use Transferwise. 

Schwab is good - I opened an account there for my daughter to use while she was studying in Europe for several years and it worked with no problems at all, both for ATM withdrawals and making purchases.

Edited to ask: any issues making large purchases/transactions with your US based cards in Italy?  I'm always concerned about not being able to actually complete a purchase because the transaction is flagged as potentially fraudulent.  The credit card companies have bizarre ideas about fraud - like the time I was trying to buy a plane ticket directly from British Airways and my credit card was rejected because the CC company thought that ba.com was not a legit website :-)

Whenever we travel out of the US, I call our credit card issuer and tell them what countries we will be using the credit card in. That seems to prevent account flagging.

firelight

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2018, 09:23:31 AM »
This ^^^. Let your credit card company know your travel plans and they should not flag anything coming from that region.

We also use Chase Sapphire preferred and it's been great. And we use Schwab for ATM withdrawals everywhere, in US and out. One of our best cards.

Tester

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2018, 09:52:49 PM »
I transfer by wire from my bank in USA to my bank in Romania.
40 USD fee/transfer.

Tried TransferWise and they first "verified" me (including getting my SSN), then they said everything is fine.
Then they took the money out of my bank account and heard nothing of them.
After 3 days of asking them what happened they finally replied that they need me to take a picture holding my passport because of "security reasons".
After 3 more days of bulshitting me I finally got my money back in my original account.
I also need to mention they have customer support at odd hours and that customer support won't help you at all.
So for me, although I read a lot of good feedback they are only scammers :).

Went back to using wire transfers - just sending more with each transfer to minimize the fees.
As you said that you will do a big sum once your bank wire fee may be a very small inconvenience compared to other ways of transferring the money.

TheExplorer

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2018, 11:30:32 PM »
I couldn't recommend TransferWise enough. Really good service.

Malaysia41

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2018, 02:27:31 AM »
I transfer by wire from my bank in USA to my bank in Romania.
40 USD fee/transfer.

Tried TransferWise and they first "verified" me (including getting my SSN), then they said everything is fine.
Then they took the money out of my bank account and heard nothing of them.
After 3 days of asking them what happened they finally replied that they need me to take a picture holding my passport because of "security reasons".
After 3 more days of bulshitting me I finally got my money back in my original account.
I also need to mention they have customer support at odd hours and that customer support won't help you at all.
So for me, although I read a lot of good feedback they are only scammers :).

Went back to using wire transfers - just sending more with each transfer to minimize the fees.
As you said that you will do a big sum once your bank wire fee may be a very small inconvenience compared to other ways of transferring the money.

I used to do bank wire transfers too - in Malaysia - $35 flat fee. but the exchange rate the bank used was highway robbery.

Weird your experience with tw. I had to send a photo with ID too. But was set up for transfers straight away

ZiziPB

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2018, 05:34:22 AM »
@Tester, @Malaysia41, interesting experiences. 

In the past when I needed to send money to Poland, I always used my local bank's wire transfer.  One option that I have used in the past is to send the money unconverted because my bank in Poland (ING) will accept an incoming deposit in USD.  I then have the option to convert it locally at a better rate.

Trifele

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2018, 05:55:14 AM »
Super timely post -- I have to send some money to Europe.  So what I am hearing for choices are (1) regular bank wires, and (2) TransferWise.  Any other options? 

ZiziPB

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2018, 07:02:37 AM »
I've been continuing my search and someone also mentioned xe.com

Any experience with them?

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2018, 07:12:03 AM »
Our Charles Schwab account service was great, and free, when we went to buy my expat sister a gift card to a store where she’s living. There’s a limited number of free ones but for occasional use it was perfect.

Malaysia41

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2018, 07:27:30 AM »
I've been continuing my search and someone also mentioned xe.com

Any experience with them?

I use xe to cross check the exchange rate that transferwise is giving me.  They're usually very close.

2Cent

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2018, 07:38:06 AM »
Transferwise is great for me. I like the fact that it is clear about what is going on with your money. Banks are terrible that way. They won't tell when the money will arrive if at all, or at what rate. Western Union is much faster, but they charge a lot in fees and exchange rates.

The absolute best way is to use an ATM at your destination. Depending on your bank that is mostly free up to a certain amount and instant. It does require you to be there though, and there is a daily limit.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 07:40:56 AM by 2Cent »

WalkaboutStache

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2018, 04:13:09 AM »
If you are transferring money to yourself, considering opening an HSBC account in both places.  They typically allow transfers from linked accounts for free.  Even if you are not transferring to yourself, you may be able to transfer internationally to yourself, and then domestically to the 3rd party.

jeroly

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2018, 04:54:41 AM »
Super timely post -- I have to send some money to Europe.  So what I am hearing for choices are (1) regular bank wires, and (2) TransferWise.  Any other options?

When I lost my ATM card in Argentina three years ago, I found Xoom to be a great option.  At the time Argentina had an official exchange rate (about 8 pesos/dollar) as well as a 'blue market' rate (about 12 pesos/dollar and not quite illegal, but not available through banks).  My Xoom transfer came through at close to 12/$, better than if I had made the ATM withdrawals I would have made if I hadn't lost my card. 

I think it's been acquired by PayPal.

I did read about some folks having authentication problems, but it was easy peasy for me to direct it to an office in Buenos Aires, walk over, and pick up the cash.


Malaysia41

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2018, 06:48:35 AM »
If you are transferring money to yourself, considering opening an HSBC account in both places.  They typically allow transfers from linked accounts for free.  Even if you are not transferring to yourself, you may be able to transfer internationally to yourself, and then domestically to the 3rd party.

"(HSBC) typically allows transfers from linked accounts for free.  "  ... in my experience free transfers are only available to the drug money laundering clientele.  I am not a member of said club, so HSBC to HSBC international tx's were alway $35 a pop for me (at an appalling tx rate).

ZiziPB

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Re: How to send money abroad?
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2018, 07:37:08 AM »
Just wanted to provide an update on what I ended up doing.  I decided to just wire USD from my local bank, without conversion.  The fee for the international wire was $35.  My bank in Poland accepts incoming wires in USD, so I can simply convert the amount I want when the exchange rate is good, either at the bank or using an internet currency exchange service.  I compared the cost of that to what it would be if I used Transferwise, and the total costs were within a few dollars of each other.