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No USA account, emigrating, bringing money from UK to USA?

No USA account, emigrating, bringing money from UK to USA?

Old May 2nd 2011, 10:49 am
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Default No USA account, emigrating, bringing money from UK to USA?

Folks,

I've seen a couple of helpful threads on moving money from the UK to the USA including good recommendations for online Forex dealers - my question is a little more specific:

What's the most efficient way to move between £3,000 -> £4,000 to the USA if I don't have US bank account. Take cash? ATM in USA? Travellers Cheques? Something else?

Background:

I'm moving to Washington DC later this month for a new job. When I arrive, I won't have a US bank account or a social security number. After 2 weeks, once I start my job, my employer will get me set up with a bank account in their credit union and help me get other stuff sorted out.

In the mean time, I need to find and rent a house and I expect I'll need a deposit and the first months rent to do so. My employer can provide a reference etc so I think the only thing I need to figure out is the money... For reference, I bank with Barclays in the UK and have Visa, Mastercard and Amex cards.

Thanks in advance!
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Old May 2nd 2011, 11:00 am
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Default Re: No USA account, emigrating, bringing money from UK to USA?

hi dont know if this will help but you could get a prepay master/visa card for the us
if you google them there are a few diferent ones where you load it up and they dont charge you at the atm to draw out money.its just an option.

i know thomas cook do one but the atms charge you for withdrawing cash

thanks dean h
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Old May 2nd 2011, 1:58 pm
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Default Re: No USA account, emigrating, bringing money from UK to USA?

Hi,

I'm afraid this is a "me too" post - I'm moving to Boston on an H-1B at the end of the month, and hunting for accommodation in the meantime, so I need to move a few thousand dollars to secure an apartment. I'm actually starting work on the 6th June, and my new boss has offered to pay for flights out in May to find accommodation (shame it'll be on a government carrier...).

I'm kind of operating on the assumption that I can wire money for the deposit, fee and 1st month's rent (and last if required) from the UK using xe.com or one of the other services. I'm also considering travellers cheques as another option, or to put a downpayment with the rest of the funds to be wired. At least I should have a couple of weeks between finding somewhere and getting keys/actually moving, and hopefully I can use the visit to also set up a bank account (and trigger the transferral of information so that I can get an SSN soon after arrival).
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Old May 2nd 2011, 3:05 pm
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Default Re: No USA account, emigrating, bringing money from UK to USA?

Originally Posted by dyqik View Post
I'm kind of operating on the assumption that I can wire money for the deposit, fee and 1st month's rent (and last if required) from the UK using xe.com or one of the other services.
They allow you to wire the money to a recipient of your choice, it doesn't have to be your own bank account. For the US you will need the account and routing numbers for the account you are sending the money to.
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Old May 2nd 2011, 3:17 pm
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Default Re: No USA account, emigrating, bringing money from UK to USA?

Originally Posted by dyqik View Post

I'm afraid this is a "me too" post - I'm moving to Boston on an H-1B at the end of the month, and hunting for accommodation in the meantime, so I need to move a few thousand dollars to secure an apartment. I'm actually starting work on the 6th June, and my new boss has offered to pay for flights out in May to find accommodation (shame it'll be on a government carrier...).
Some kind of research position or you got the visa from last years fiscal allocation? Just curious how you got around the October start

Welcome to BE, second new poster from Oxford moving into the area

In Boston, you'll need first, last and minimum of a months rent for deposit, if it's a nice place and especially with no credit history you might be asked to pay up to 3 months worth as a deposit. Also, in down town, you might have up to 3 months worth of rent as a realtor fee, but that can be often negotiated with the owner and can be down to one months rent...it's rare to get that covered or half covered down town, unless you find privately on craigslist.

Best off just using a credit card for the first couple weeks till you open a bank account and can then transfer the money into it.
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Old May 2nd 2011, 3:47 pm
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Default Re: No USA account, emigrating, bringing money from UK to USA?

Hi Bob,

I'm going to be working at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory doing research building superconducting radio receivers for radio-astronomy, so I get to start when I want. Plus I get to travel to Hawaii, Chile and Greenland for work

I've been keeping an eye on Craigslist and a few other sites for accommodation. Most of what I'm after (1-2 bed apartments in Cambridge, Somerville, Watertown or Allston) have less than 1 month's fee as advertised, and there's a good choice in my price bracket.

When I come over looking at apartments, I'm also planning on bringing references from my current (Oxford University) and new employers, a printout of my UK Experian credit report (where my rating is at the top of the scale), and bank statements showing plenty of cash on hand. Hopefully that will help somewhat with the credit issue, although I realize it won't count for too much.

I should be able to use the Harvard Credit Union to get a bank account, who I hope should be reasonably familiar with people coming in to work from abroad...

(oh, and apologies for the thread hijack bantamug)

Last edited by dyqik; May 2nd 2011 at 3:51 pm. Reason: ETA apology
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Old May 2nd 2011, 4:06 pm
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Default Re: No USA account, emigrating, bringing money from UK to USA?

Originally Posted by dyqik View Post

I've been keeping an eye on Craigslist and a few other sites for accommodation. Most of what I'm after (1-2 bed apartments in Cambridge, Somerville, Watertown or Allston) have less than 1 month's fee as advertised, and there's a good choice in my price bracket.
If you get a car, which is handy, Cambridge will be pricey unless it is included, expect $45 a day unless you pay a month up front can still be $500 a month....Watertown is a bit of a souless dump, but it is on the Redline...Somerville is a great location to get around and value for money. Allston is a dump of a student place, nightmare parking too
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Old May 2nd 2011, 4:07 pm
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Default Re: No USA account, emigrating, bringing money from UK to USA?

(oh, and apologies for the thread hijack bantamug)
@dyqik - Cambridge man here so I suppose it goes with the territory... :-) Have you used padmapper.com ? I've been using it for house hunting in DC and it's generally excellent (mashes up, filters and maps Craigslist + other housing ads)

They allow you to wire the money to a recipient of your choice, it doesn't have to be your own bank account.
@lansbury - thanks for pointing out that xe etc. can transfer to an arbitrary account; this does seem to be a good option.

It was also pointed out elsewhere that HSBC can help setting up a US account from the UK - I also bank with them and if they can set it up, i imagine it would make things even more convenient than waiting for my credit union account to get set up.
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Old May 2nd 2011, 4:18 pm
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Default Re: No USA account, emigrating, bringing money from UK to USA?

I've been using hotpads.com as well as Craigslist. Padmapper seems to have slightly different set of places, and does work well.

I'm originally a Cambridge man as well, did my BA, MSci and PhD at King's from 97-04.

Bob, parking-wise I'm definitely looking for places with off-street or preferably garage parking - I have an MGB/classic car habit that needs feeding I'll probably be commuting by T or bike though.
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Old May 2nd 2011, 4:39 pm
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Default Re: No USA account, emigrating, bringing money from UK to USA?

Originally Posted by dyqik View Post

Bob, parking-wise I'm definitely looking for places with off-street or preferably garage parking - I have an MGB/classic car habit that needs feeding I'll probably be commuting by T or bike though.
off street parking in those locations are a premium, but it will save on the insurance and you won't have to worry about zoned parking, moving the car around during winter between certain hours as they plough the roads etc....but if you've a classic, Somerville is probably your best bet for it not to get knicked or battered of those locations
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Old May 4th 2011, 6:54 pm
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Default Re: No USA account, emigrating, bringing money from UK to USA?

Originally Posted by bantamug View Post
Folks,

I've seen a couple of helpful threads on moving money from the UK to the USA including good recommendations for online Forex dealers - my question is a little more specific:

What's the most efficient way to move between £3,000 -> £4,000 to the USA if I don't have US bank account. Take cash? ATM in USA? Travellers Cheques? Something else?

Background:

I'm moving to Washington DC later this month for a new job. When I arrive, I won't have a US bank account or a social security number. After 2 weeks, once I start my job, my employer will get me set up with a bank account in their credit union and help me get other stuff sorted out.

In the mean time, I need to find and rent a house and I expect I'll need a deposit and the first months rent to do so. My employer can provide a reference etc so I think the only thing I need to figure out is the money... For reference, I bank with Barclays in the UK and have Visa, Mastercard and Amex cards.

Thanks in advance!

There is a company online called FairFX i use this travelling back and for to US. You will be provided with a Mastercard and given a pin number later, therefore all you have to do is open an account after you receive your card just top up the card.
Use it in any store in US or at an ATM machine to draw out cash.

The currency rates is far higher than any Bank, travel agency, or Building society approx 8C more.
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Old May 4th 2011, 6:59 pm
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Default Re: No USA account, emigrating, bringing money from UK to USA?

Originally Posted by cliff1961 View Post
There is a company online called FairFX i use this travelling back and for to US. You will be provided with a Mastercard and given a pin number later, therefore all you have to do is open an account after you receive your card just top up the card.
Use it in any store in US or at an ATM machine to draw out cash.

The currency rates is far higher than any Bank, travel agency, or Building society approx 8C more.
Thanks Cliff - that looks like a great tip.

Probably not that useful for the initial bulk transfer to pay a deposit etc. but for smaller purchases before getting a proper US card, it would seem to save a lot on transaction fees etc.
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Old May 4th 2011, 7:50 pm
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Default Re: No USA account, emigrating, bringing money from UK to USA?

Originally Posted by bantamug View Post
Thanks Cliff - that looks like a great tip.

Probably not that useful for the initial bulk transfer to pay a deposit etc. but for smaller purchases before getting a proper US card, it would seem to save a lot on transaction fees etc.
You will only have a fee to pay if using a ATM machine approx $3.00
They have other methods of transferring larger sums over $25,000.00
they tend to 2 new different cards in one year.
I plan to leave the finance in the bank until the currency rate goes up and then transfer it.
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Old May 13th 2011, 4:19 am
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Default Re: No USA account, emigrating, bringing money from UK to USA?

Originally Posted by bantamug View Post
Folks,

I've seen a couple of helpful threads on moving money from the UK to the USA including good recommendations for online Forex dealers - my question is a little more specific:

What's the most efficient way to move between £3,000 -> £4,000 to the USA if I don't have US bank account. Take cash? ATM in USA? Travellers Cheques? Something else?

Background:

I'm moving to Washington DC later this month for a new job. When I arrive, I won't have a US bank account or a social security number. After 2 weeks, once I start my job, my employer will get me set up with a bank account in their credit union and help me get other stuff sorted out.

In the mean time, I need to find and rent a house and I expect I'll need a deposit and the first months rent to do so. My employer can provide a reference etc so I think the only thing I need to figure out is the money... For reference, I bank with Barclays in the UK and have Visa, Mastercard and Amex cards.

Thanks in advance!
Hope the move goes well. I would take the cash over and walk straight into a bank and open an account. I opened a Chase account within 4 days of being in the US, it took 30 mins and required a UK driving licence and my passport. All you need is proof of address in the UK. You can then deposit the cash and walk out with a cheque book (the debit card took about 3 days to come through, and was sent to the temp apt. We were staying at)

The check book will be good for the deposit on the house/apt. you'll be renting and away you go.

Also, be aware that you won't be able to apply for your SSN until 9 working days after you hit soil. You can of course do what I did, and go to the office, take a queuing ticket from the machine, wait in a job centre esque room for 2 hours staring at a poster telling me to wash my hands to kill germs,finally get called to a booth for the most humourless woman in America to tell me to come back in a week.

Best of luck.
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Old May 14th 2011, 7:09 pm
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Default Re: No USA account, emigrating, bringing money from UK to USA?

To continue my thread hijack, I'm currently in Cambridge for a couple of days apartment hunting. I've successfully signed up for a lease on an apartment between Davis Square and the Alewife T stop, and the money for that should be crossing the Atlantic with XE Trade. Unfortunately I could only book the trade after UK banking hours on Friday, so it isn't registered as paid to XE yet (using Faster Payments on the UK end, as I'm with Barclays at the moment, as is the XE UK account you have to wire/pay the money to).

The rental agency (Apartment Rental Experts) were great (although they do have a Craigslist spamming habit), and just needed a cash/travellers check deposit of $300 to take the apartment off the market and start the lease proceedings. They seemed quite happy with my copies of my UK Experian report and credit score (it's the maximum possible), the offer letter from my new work and the usual references. I also had a good experience with another realtor who covers the Watertown and Belmont areas. Padmapper was a very useful tool in all this, so thanks for the tip-off.

The new apartment is only 1 mile from my new work, on a bus route, and just round the corner from a Zipcar point, so hopefully I can get away without a car for the first couple of months, which will mean one less thing to sort out immediately I arrive. All in it's been a pretty successful trip (and paid for by the US taxpayer )

Last edited by dyqik; May 14th 2011 at 7:11 pm.
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