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Transferring money from the UK - costs?

Transferring money from the UK - costs?

Old Jun 27th 2010, 1:16 am
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Default Transferring money from the UK - costs?

Unfortunately, a close relative in the UK has just passed away. I am about to receive a bequest, and am hoping to transfer some of the money to the US when I return there. It's not an insubstantial sum (low five figures), so I'd like to know roughly what to expect in terms of charges if I was to ask my bank to do an international transfer, or if I used a third party company to do it. I have no idea what to expect - all I took over with me when I first moved to the US was a couple of grand that I just exchanged as cash. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old Jun 27th 2010, 2:11 am
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Default Re: Transferring money from the UK - costs?

There are already a lot of posts discussing this topic - maybe do a search. I use World First - they consistently beat most of the other currency exchange services and do not charge anything at all for exchanges of £5000 or over. I have accounts with a few exchange places, and used to play one off against another to squeeze the rate, but don't bother now because nobody can touch their rates. I also used to phone around all the places that come up on websites such as this one, but don't waste your time - I've done the searching.

It goes without saying to NOT use a bank.

Also, check if your US bank will charge receiving costs - I was flabbergasted to see my stupid US Bank (Regions) charged $30 to RECEIVE the US dollars! I now have a USAA account who assure me (I asked at least four times) that they DO NOT charge anything to receive funds. I haven't transferred funds into this account yet, so cannot be absolutely sure. Apparently if you open an account with a multinational bank such as HSBC (or any bank which has a presence in UK and USA) you are far less likely to get charged fees - often the money is routed through one of these huge banks.

Oh, and don't believe ANYTHING you read or hear about which direction the currency rates are heading - it's exactly like predicting roulette. I have seen numerous reports predicting doom and gloom / pure joy and they are all just stabs in the dark. If anyone could predict the fluctuations with any certainty, they would (obviously) be the richest person in the world. If you're really bored, you can look up these reports from the past (often a financial-type bloke doing a piece to camera) and laugh at how waaaay off they are. But they do manage to speak their complete random guesses with such authority!

And no - I don't work for anything to do with currency exchange or finance at all.

Shame the rate is so crap at the moment - but it's a bit better than a couple of weeks ago.
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Old Jun 27th 2010, 2:24 am
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Default Re: Transferring money from the UK - costs?

Thanks for the advice. I did do a search and some names did come up, but it's always easier to ask directly since everyone is in a different situation. World First look good - I've registered with them, and as soon as this unfortunate business with the will is resolved, I'll probably give them a go.

Thanks again.
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Old Jun 27th 2010, 11:46 am
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Default Re: Transferring money from the UK - costs?

Firstly sorry for your loss.

I'd never head of World First (although I will take a look based on HP's recommendation). Based on many threads on here on the subject it seems that most of us (me included) use XE - so maybe check them out too.
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Old Jun 27th 2010, 12:08 pm
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Default Re: Transferring money from the UK - costs?

Originally Posted by Rusty Chainsaw View Post
I'd like to know roughly what to expect in terms of charges
I was in this position a few years ago - a bequest from my uncle's estate, also low/mid 5-figures. Once we gave him the account/routing #s, the attorney who handled the will transfered the money directly to my bank account. The bank charged a nominal fee (>$50) for the international transfer, and we got the going exchange rate on the day of the transfer. Since it was "found money" to us, we didn't care whether or not we lost a bit of money in the transfer charges... which, as it turns out, we didn't.

Ian
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Old Jun 27th 2010, 12:15 pm
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Default Re: Transferring money from the UK - costs?

Originally Posted by Hellopaul View Post
It goes without saying to NOT use a bank.
Normally I'd agree with you, but not this time. If it was your own money to start with... yes, use something other than a bank in order to minimize charges as much as possible. That's not the case here.


I was flabbergasted to see my stupid US Bank (Regions) charged $30 to RECEIVE the US dollars!
I can understand your outrage... especially if you were receiving only a few hundred $$... but if you're receiving $20,000 (for example), then $30 is nothing - and your outrage is unwarranted.

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Old Jun 27th 2010, 6:25 pm
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Default Re: Transferring money from the UK - costs?

I just so need a rich dead generous relative. Heck an alive one would do too!
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Old Jun 27th 2010, 6:36 pm
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Default Re: Transferring money from the UK - costs?

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
Normally I'd agree with you, but not this time. If it was your own money to start with... yes, use something other than a bank in order to minimize charges as much as possible. That's not the case here.



I can understand your outrage... especially if you were receiving only a few hundred $$... but if you're receiving $20,000 (for example), then $30 is nothing - and your outrage is unwarranted.

Ian
Erm...getting charged ANYTHING by a bank, to whom I am lending, say $20,000 IS an absolute outrage! US banks are rip-off merchants. UK banks can continue to make obscene profits, and still give punters huge incentives to lend money to them. US banks are just even more greedy. As I mentioned, USAA claim they'll do exactly the same thing for free.

People seem to forget that they are not "saving" or "investing" , they are LENDING their money to banks, for a very low rate of interest.

...rant over.....I hate banks........in case you couldn't guess!
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Old Jun 28th 2010, 9:21 pm
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Default Re: Transferring money from the UK - costs?

Never heard of USAA but they sound good. Paul, do they need you to be a military member or spouse ?
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Old Jun 28th 2010, 10:17 pm
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Default Re: Transferring money from the UK - costs?

Have to say, I looked at using Currency Exchange to wire across >$100K to the US and the rate they offered was pathetic (2 cents below spot rate). Ended up using my bank (time was off the essence: Virgin One) and the rate I got was better than the Currency Exchange.

Had to pay a 20 GBP fee but funds were in the US account 45 minutes later.
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Old Jun 28th 2010, 10:49 pm
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Default Re: Transferring money from the UK - costs?

I've used HIFX 3 times over the past couple of months and each time I was charged a $15 incoming wire transfer fee by my bank. HIFX guarantee to refund any incoming bank charges so they were all refunded. They also try to get as close as possible to the inter-bank rate for you. The bigger the transfer, the higher the rate. No connection, just a very satisfied customer!
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