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Paying off a UK credit card

Paying off a UK credit card

Old Jan 11th 2010, 4:06 pm
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Default Paying off a UK credit card

Hi all,

Ok so I've lived in the USA since last summer after moving here on a spousal visa, so it's a permanent move. Anyway I have a £2000 credit card debt with my HSBC visa card in the UK and am looking to now pay it all off in one go. My US bank charges $45 to do an international transfer (to my UK account to then pay the credit card) so I'm looking to see if there's a cheaper option, I know there is xe.com and the like but was wondering if anyone has ever simply paid off a UK credit card using a US debit card? This way it's just like paying any other type of bill, so avoiding the $45 charge by my US bank, but I'm savvy enough to know I'll get hit somewhere, most likely a poor exchange rate. Does anyone know?

Thanks,

James
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Old Jan 11th 2010, 4:44 pm
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Red face Re: Paying off a UK credit card

Originally Posted by thenoblesavage View Post
Hi all,

Ok so I've lived in the USA since last summer after moving here on a spousal visa, so it's a permanent move. Anyway I have a £2000 credit card debt with my HSBC visa card in the UK and am looking to now pay it all off in one go. My US bank charges $45 to do an international transfer (to my UK account to then pay the credit card) so I'm looking to see if there's a cheaper option, I know there is xe.com and the like but was wondering if anyone has ever simply paid off a UK credit card using a US debit card? This way it's just like paying any other type of bill, so avoiding the $45 charge by my US bank, but I'm savvy enough to know I'll get hit somewhere, most likely a poor exchange rate. Does anyone know?

Thanks,

James
Well as you stated xe.com if you can... I still have a UK bank account with bills coming out on direct debit every month. I was using PayPal but I just started using xe.com. I think it's fair to say that xe.com gives you the best rate possible. I am now saving $30 a month (transfering about 670GBP a month).

If it's a one off payment of 2000GBP then I suppose it's only a $45 one-off charge from your US Bank? It's not the end of the world... whereas if you paid large sums every month it may be worth looking more into xe.com?

I must admit applying for xe.com does have some hassle e.g. you have to copy and send them copies of your drivers license, green card etc etc.

GOOD LUCK THO!
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Old Jan 11th 2010, 5:26 pm
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Default Re: Paying off a UK credit card

$45? What bank is that? Even if it seems high, compare it with the worse exchange rate you might get taking another route. It might end up being a wash in the end.

Whatever you do, be aware that even after you think you've paid the card off there might be an interest charge that will roll over to the next billing period, which mean it's not actually paid off. So doing it through your UK current account and being able to mop up any straggling fees is probably going to tbe the way to go.
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Old Jan 11th 2010, 5:34 pm
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Default Re: Paying off a UK credit card

Thanks both for your contributions. The $45 charge is by Bank of America. Even if I go that route I'll probably still get hit by a poor exchange rate. I've emailed HSBC to ask what their exchange rate will be (I know it constantly changes but they must be able to give me an idea (they must have a formula based on the actual exchange rate)) so I can have a better idea of how much exactly paying off the £2000 will be in dollars. Once paid off I'll close off that card so it's final.

Thanks,

James
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Old Jan 11th 2010, 5:43 pm
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Default Re: Paying off a UK credit card

Originally Posted by thenoblesavage View Post
Thanks both for your contributions. The $45 charge is by Bank of America. Even if I go that route I'll probably still get hit by a poor exchange rate. I've emailed HSBC to ask what their exchange rate will be (I know it constantly changes but they must be able to give me an idea (they must have a formula based on the actual exchange rate)) so I can have a better idea of how much exactly paying off the £2000 will be in dollars. Once paid off I'll close off that card so it's final.

Thanks,

James
James on another thought, even though Bank of America might charge you $45, your UK account might charge you a wire transfer fee? I had a friend send me money once but he didn't have paypal, he sent a wire transfer for $75 BUT the 'middle man', a bank in the middle, took a $25 charge then my bank (Chase) charged me $15 so I only got $35 in the end!

It's up to you what you do. The xe.com route might save you some money but will take 2-5 days to set up.

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Old Jan 11th 2010, 5:46 pm
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Default Re: Paying off a UK credit card

Originally Posted by thenoblesavage View Post
Thanks both for your contributions. The $45 charge is by Bank of America. Even if I go that route I'll probably still get hit by a poor exchange rate. I've emailed HSBC to ask what their exchange rate will be (I know it constantly changes but they must be able to give me an idea (they must have a formula based on the actual exchange rate)) so I can have a better idea of how much exactly paying off the £2000 will be in dollars. Once paid off I'll close off that card so it's final.

Thanks,

James
Basically, go with whichever possible way saves you the most money - I'd say it will probably be xe.com or ukforex. I'd sooner have some minor inconvenience but save my money, YMMV.

Off topic, but you might want to consider hanging onto the card after you pay it off (especially if it doesn't have an annual fee) as its hard to get another one while living overseas, and you just never know when you might need one - just a suggestion.

Last edited by Dan725; Jan 11th 2010 at 6:03 pm.
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Old Jan 11th 2010, 5:59 pm
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Default Re: Paying off a UK credit card

Originally Posted by thenoblesavage View Post
Hi all,

Ok so I've lived in the USA since last summer after moving here on a spousal visa, so it's a permanent move. Anyway I have a £2000 credit card debt with my HSBC visa card in the UK and am looking to now pay it all off in one go. My US bank charges $45 to do an international transfer (to my UK account to then pay the credit card) so I'm looking to see if there's a cheaper option, I know there is xe.com and the like but was wondering if anyone has ever simply paid off a UK credit card using a US debit card? This way it's just like paying any other type of bill, so avoiding the $45 charge by my US bank, but I'm savvy enough to know I'll get hit somewhere, most likely a poor exchange rate. Does anyone know?

Thanks,

James
I used to pay my Barclaycard bill by sending a check drawn on my US bank account. Obviously, to pay off a very specific amount, you'd need to do an exatc conversion USD/GBP (and it might change between writing the check and the check being paid in) - but if you overpay it by a tenner or so, does it matter that much? As said previously, I'd keep your card active - in which case having a £10 credit on it won't hurt.
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Old Jan 11th 2010, 6:23 pm
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Default Re: Paying off a UK credit card

Originally Posted by thenoblesavage View Post
Thanks both for your contributions. The $45 charge is by Bank of America. Even if I go that route I'll probably still get hit by a poor exchange rate. I've emailed HSBC to ask what their exchange rate will be (I know it constantly changes but they must be able to give me an idea (they must have a formula based on the actual exchange rate)) so I can have a better idea of how much exactly paying off the £2000 will be in dollars. Once paid off I'll close off that card so it's final.

Thanks,

James
If it's your only CC don't close the account...same with your UK bank account leave it open. Both may prove to be extremely useful...once they're closed it will be nigh on impossible to open UK accounts if you are not a UK resident.
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Old Jan 11th 2010, 11:28 pm
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Default Re: Paying off a UK credit card

Originally Posted by ajcmals View Post
I must admit applying for xe.com does have some hassle e.g. you have to copy and send them copies of your drivers license, green card etc etc.
Interestingly XE didn't ask for any copies of documentation from me. The initial e-mail warned I may be contacted to provide it, but the next day I was told my account was fully activated. All very simple really. It might just be the luck of the draw though.
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