Author Topic: Fast and Cheap - Foreign Deposit  (Read 2856 times)

LadyStache

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Fast and Cheap - Foreign Deposit
« on: August 02, 2015, 09:38:19 AM »
My SO is expecting a large sum of money from his family in Euros in the form of a check from a foreign bank.

If we take the check and deposit it into one of our existing US bank accounts, we will be charged for the currency conversion in addition to the foreign check processing fee and it looks like it could take up to 2 months for the money to actually hit our account. We're looking for a better way to do this since we want to avoid as many fees as possible and have access to the funds in less time.

Can anyone recommend a great bank that can handle this kind of transaction quickly and cheaply?

forummm

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Re: Fast and Cheap - Foreign Deposit
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2015, 10:11:46 AM »
I don't know if they will accept a deposit in the form of a foreign check made out to the account holder, but Interactive Brokers does business around the world and lets you convert dollars to euros for about $2 per $100k converted. I don't know if that's the best deal out there, but it seems to be pretty reasonable.

rpr

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Re: Fast and Cheap - Foreign Deposit
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2015, 11:49:06 AM »
My SO is expecting a large sum of money from his family in Euros in the form of a check from a foreign bank.

If we take the check and deposit it into one of our existing US bank accounts, we will be charged for the currency conversion in addition to the foreign check processing fee and it looks like it could take up to 2 months for the money to actually hit our account. We're looking for a better way to do this since we want to avoid as many fees as possible and have access to the funds in less time.

Can anyone recommend a great bank that can handle this kind of transaction quickly and cheaply?
I do not have any experience of receiving a check denominated in a foreign currency but I do occasionally receive funds from abroad. Most major banks will be fine. You are going to lose in currency conversion, usually this is around 2% normally. I am not aware of extra fees charged to cash foreign checks. Your bank may impose a delay on foreign checks.

In the past I have received bank-to-bank wire transfers in USD from abroad. Bank fees are between 15-25$ for receiving the transfer. In the case of wire transfer, the fees for the conversion are usually borne by the sender. In addition the senders bank may also have a wire transfer fee.

In my opinion, the wire transfer is the best way to go. It is the fastest. You can get the money in 24-48 hours. The only wrinkle is that some smaller credit unions (and banks) may not have the ability to receive foreign wire transfers directly.

daverobev

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Re: Fast and Cheap - Foreign Deposit
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2015, 12:10:26 PM »
If at all possible open a Euro bank account. I'm sure you can find a bank that has one. Then do the exchange yourself.

If not, shop around. Go to 3-4 banks. If it's a large sum, worst (I hope!) case is about 2.5% loss. You should be able to get them closer to 1%, 1.5%.

LadyStache

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Re: Fast and Cheap - Foreign Deposit
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2015, 12:31:41 PM »
I've been doing a lot of online research and it seems like foreign currency brokers are usually best for this situation. Here's what I'm thinking:

1. Open EU bank account
2. Deposit check into EU bank account
3. Use foreign currency broker to transfer and convert the funds to a US bank account

Has anyone done this before? I would really appreciate a recommendation on the foreign currency broker to use. I'm also wondering how long it usually takes for the funds to clear.

Tester

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Re: Fast and Cheap - Foreign Deposit
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2015, 12:38:38 PM »
I did not do it from abroad to USA.
What I did from USA to abroad:
1. Open bank account in USD.
2. Transfer USD to the USD account - wire transfer, 25 USD per transfer.
3. Exchange when I need the local currency.

I don't really know how the US banks work, but I have the impression it is harder to exchange from other currencies.

What if the foreign check will be in USD and not in EUR?
I mean, do the exchange in the foreign country and send directly USD.

LadyStache

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Re: Fast and Cheap - Foreign Deposit
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2015, 02:27:22 PM »
What if the foreign check will be in USD and not in EUR?
I mean, do the exchange in the foreign country and send directly USD.

From what I've read, I think this will take just as long to post and I imagine the exchange fee would just be placed on the sender rather than the recipient, which we would like to avoid.

Goldielocks

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Re: Fast and Cheap - Foreign Deposit
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2015, 02:32:14 PM »
A few years ago, we used customs house, a Forex company to transfer $100 k ( our home equity at that time).

Saved about $3k in exchange fees, over the lowest bank rates, but it took a couple of weeks to set up.  Other Forex brokers would be competitive too, I hear, check them out.