Author Topic: Saving Exchange Fees - Child Overseas  (Read 6189 times)

Rollin

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Saving Exchange Fees - Child Overseas
« on: November 06, 2013, 02:17:21 PM »
I would like to provide money to my daughter who is overseas and want to avoid exchange fees.  Also, she is a minor so I don't think she can open an account in Norway.  I was thinking of a way to provide some form of debit card that I can add to on a monthly basis (to make sure she doesn't go beyond a set spending amount).

Any suggestions?

farmstache

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Re: Saving Exchange Fees - Child Overseas
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2013, 02:32:03 PM »
I would like to provide money to my daughter who is overseas and want to avoid exchange fees.  Also, she is a minor so I don't think she can open an account in Norway.  I was thinking of a way to provide some form of debit card that I can add to on a monthly basis (to make sure she doesn't go beyond a set spending amount).

Any suggestions?

When I went for a summer course in Canada, my father got me a debit card (Visa travel money), that had a pretty good exchange rate. A regular international credit card here in Brazil charges you 5% on international transactions (govt tax), so I'm sure they had this built-in... Not sure how to escape that. However, every time I went to the bank there to cash a Traveller's Check, if I picked the bank right (BankofMontreal became my go-to), they didn't charge any fees. The problem was I had to leave home with all the checks on me (it was a small amount for just a month).

I get my money from work here through PayPal (from Canada to Brazil), and transfer directly to my local account. While they don't say I have to pay any fees, their exchange rate is quite a bit lower than the commercial dollar of the day (my loss).

Edit to say: neither Visa Travel Money nor the regular International Credit Cards had any extra exchange fees. On my student credit card (that I keep to this day), they don't charge anything extra for an international transaction other than the govt tax. I just pay the $12 yearly fee to own the card (because I couldn't negotiate it to zero). But really, not sure if a Brazilian example is any good in this situation... so, over and out.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 02:39:27 PM by farmstache »

daverobev

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Re: Saving Exchange Fees - Child Overseas
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2013, 02:33:18 PM »
How minor a minor?? 16 years old and over should be able to get a bank account.

Home country debit card? The exchange rate will be horrible. The best way would be to open a bank account and use something like OzForex to set up 'regular payments' from your home country into Norway.

If she can't do that... hm. There are some credit cards that allow purchases with no forex fee (in Canada, the Amazon Chase card is the best example I know of). You can over-load the card (ie it has a + balance), then withdrawals are not too expensive I think. You could have it with a low limit...

Rollin

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Re: Saving Exchange Fees - Child Overseas
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2013, 06:42:48 PM »
Daverobev I'll check into my Chase Visa and see what they have.  We are also going to see if she can open an account too.

Farmstache I do believe there will be an exchange fee.  After I posted I checked with Citibank (since there is one in Oslo) and they said 3%, but that the child would need an account.  I then could do an international transfer for no charge.

Thanks.

daverobev

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Re: Saving Exchange Fees - Child Overseas
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2013, 11:07:44 AM »
Daverobev I'll check into my Chase Visa and see what they have.  We are also going to see if she can open an account too.

Farmstache I do believe there will be an exchange fee.  After I posted I checked with Citibank (since there is one in Oslo) and they said 3%, but that the child would need an account.  I then could do an international transfer for no charge.

Thanks.

If you have the two bank accounts in different currencies going, have a look into OzForex or another forex company - they will charge much less than any bank (insane really but there you go).

ZiziPB

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Re: Saving Exchange Fees - Child Overseas
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2013, 11:40:08 AM »
I travel a lot and have a child who is attending university abroad full time, so I deal with this issue all the time.  My child has a local bank account where she is.

Best bet would be if your daughter could open a local account where you could just wire funds.  If not possible, find a bank in the US that does not charge foreign transaction/ATM withdrawal fees on debit transactions and get her a debit card.  Everyone in Europe uses debit cards all the time.  She may need to sign for transactions like for a credit card because US cards don't have chips but it's a minor inconvenience.  My local bank does not charge any fees on foreign debit card transactions, so when I travel I use my debit card for free ATM withdrawals in local currency.  In addition, get a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees - I have Capital One Visa with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.  Get one in your name and add your daughter as an authorized user.  This way you can keep track of what she is spending (you may want to limit her use of the CC to pre-agreed expenses and emergencies, if you are worried about her abusing the credit).  I get very good exchange rates on both the debit card and the credit card. 

acorn

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Re: Saving Exchange Fees - Child Overseas
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2013, 12:54:12 PM »
I'm based in two countries (US and Asia) and I use Citibank for the free international transfers. https://online.citibank.com/US/JRS/pands/detail.do?ID=InterCiti Citibank also has a good sizable presence so I don't have to venture too far to find a service branch if there are problems.

I have a Citi account in the local currency, and a Citi account in USD in Asia. I periodically transfer USD from my US account to my Asia USD account (no charges!). If I need money in Asia, I transfer USD from my local USD account to my local Citibank account to get the local currency. The only charges that I incur is the administrative fee for the forex, which is ~2%. This ended up being the best way for me because I didn't want to deal with wire transfer charges. That being said, I didn't know about OzForex and other online forex companies - for those who use OzForex, do you have to pay charges to wire the money in and out of OzForex?

When I studied abroad, I opened a local account and got a local debit card as well. It doesn't make sense for your daughter to rack up a long list of foreign transactions on your cards. She'll need regular access to local cash/ATM too; not everything can be charged to debit cards.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2013, 01:04:30 PM by acorn »

daverobev

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Re: Saving Exchange Fees - Child Overseas
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2013, 01:43:14 PM »
For me, as long as I transfer 3000 GBP at a time, OzForex is 'free' but for the commission. For USD it's cheaper, but I do GBP-CAD so it's about 1.5% I think.

My other alternative is my GBP current account debit card, where I can pull cash out of the atm for a 2% fee. But only 300GBP a day. So I do the former when I have large chunks of cash coming in, the latter when I don't.

For a while I was getting paid fairly regularly so I set up a 'regular payment' which avoided the 7GBP fee for transfers under the 3kGBP. However, the commission (which is actually embedded in the quote, it's not disclosed elsewhere) gets worse for smaller amounts.

Chris

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Re: Saving Exchange Fees - Child Overseas
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2013, 03:23:10 AM »
When INGDirect became CapitalOne 360, they dropped the foreign transaction fee. I use my 360 Checking debit card overseas and get money from an ATM. Just remember that when the ATM offers to perform the currency exchange for you, to decline it and accept your bank's rate.  It's worked out well for me so far.

There is also a special account for teens (MONEY), that is basically a checking account with easy parental account access.

Here's a referral link with a bonus if you're interested: https://home.capitalone360.com/referafriend?save=dDGiH5JnFL

ZiziPB

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Re: Saving Exchange Fees - Child Overseas
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2013, 06:59:06 AM »
Quote
Just remember that when the ATM offers to perform the currency exchange for you, to decline it and accept your bank's rate. 

Very true.  This also applies to other transactions.  When using my credit card abroad, I often get asked if I want the charge in USD or local currency.  The correct answer is always "use local currency" and let the CC convert as the exchange rate is invariably better that way.