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transferring savings from UK to USA

transferring savings from UK to USA

Old Jun 14th 2016, 1:44 pm
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Default transferring savings from UK to USA

We are relocating to NJ from London UK later in the year. If we transfer our savings from our UK bank account to our bank account in the USA (which we don't yet have) will we lose a lot of it through fees and exchange rates? Whats the best way to do this?
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Old Jun 14th 2016, 2:26 pm
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Default Re: transferring savings from UK to USA

Depends on the amount. For smaller amounts, upto say around $50k it will almost certainly e cheaper to use an on-line FX broker, such as WorldFirst, xoom, xe, etc (there seem to be dozens of them). You will need to register with the broker and provide identifying information exactly like opening a bank account.

For larger amounts it would be worth checking with your bank by asking for a "dealing desk rate", which is the rate that the banks offer their large customers. If you use a bank you will be charged a wire fee to send the money, and probably another to receive the wire in the US.

Using an FX broker will likely save you 3%-6% on the exchange rate compared to using a bank for a smaller amount, which would be $30-$60 on every one thousand dollars transferred!

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 14th 2016 at 2:29 pm.
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Old Jun 17th 2016, 1:31 am
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Default Re: transferring savings from UK to USA

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Depends on the amount. For smaller amounts, upto say around $50k it will almost certainly e cheaper to use an on-line FX broker, such as WorldFirst, xoom, xe, etc (there seem to be dozens of them). You will need to register with the broker and provide identifying information exactly like opening a bank account.

For larger amounts it would be worth checking with your bank by asking for a "dealing desk rate", which is the rate that the banks offer their large customers. If you use a bank you will be charged a wire fee to send the money, and probably another to receive the wire in the US.

Using an FX broker will likely save you 3%-6% on the exchange rate compared to using a bank for a smaller amount, which would be $30-$60 on every one thousand dollars transferred!
And check with TorFX and Halo Financial. In all my transactions over the last 12 months I have always found Halo to be the better deal. I've also always found TorFX online account quotes to be poorer than over the phone quotes. My transfers range from GBP 1000 to GBP 5 digit so far and I cannot recommend Halo strongly enough for their service level, even tho I should also say TorFX has never been bad service. It comes down to best deal really.

Edit: As Pulaski says, ask your bank but I have never (not once, yet) had a good deal from them

Last edited by Hanco; Jun 17th 2016 at 1:33 am. Reason: Ack Pulaski :)
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Old Jun 17th 2016, 1:53 am
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Default Re: transferring savings from UK to USA

Originally Posted by Hanco View Post
.... Edit: As Pulaski says, ask your bank but I have never (not once, yet) had a good deal from them
Unless you're talking at least £50k, or even £100K, an online broker is likely to give you the best deal

People here on BE who regularly transfer smaller amounts (few $000's) swear by Transferwise, which exchanges £<->$ at the midrate plus 0.5% commission, which is going to be hard to beat.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 17th 2016 at 3:01 am.
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Old Jun 17th 2016, 2:54 am
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Default Re: transferring savings from UK to USA

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Unless you're talking at least £50k, or even £100K, an online broker is likely to give you the bedt deal

People here on BE who regularly transfer smaller amounts (few $000's) swear by Transferwise, which exchanges £<->$ at the midrate plus 0.5% commission, which is going to be hard to beat.
Never heard of them Pulaski. I'll give them a go next time!

What about USD to GBP... Same advice or different approach?
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Old Jun 17th 2016, 3:00 am
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Default Re: transferring savings from UK to USA

Originally Posted by Hanco View Post
Never heard of them Pulaski. I'll give them a go next time!

What about USD to GBP... Same advice or different approach?
Not sure - the US licensing of money remitters (MSBs) makes things awkward as many of the popular FX brokers aren't registered in the US - and they have to register for each state individually. I know xe.com is registered, but they don't give the best rates after they were bought by Western Union.
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Old Jun 17th 2016, 3:04 am
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Default Re: transferring savings from UK to USA

Ah yes, I had heard as much.

I did say to a UK pal... Brexit and s £ crash I'd not a big opportunity for the single investors!
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Old Jun 17th 2016, 7:28 am
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Default Re: transferring savings from UK to USA

Originally Posted by Hanco View Post
Never heard of them Pulaski. I'll give them a go next time!

What about USD to GBP... Same advice or different approach?
I've used TransferWise a lot to transfer $ to £, and moved another $10k this week as the exchange is so low pre Brexit vote.
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Old Jun 17th 2016, 12:50 pm
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Default Re: transferring savings from UK to USA

Hello
I am pondering over the same issue. In buying property and a business I used Transferwise. The converted value was way better than others.
For a larger amount I wondering if there is another way.
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Old Jun 17th 2016, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: transferring savings from UK to USA

Originally Posted by hsc0307 View Post
Hello
I am pondering over the same issue. In buying property and a business I used Transferwise. The converted value was way better than others.
For a larger amount I wondering if there is another way.
Maybe smuggling it in?

JOKE!!!
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Old Jun 17th 2016, 1:27 pm
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Default Re: transferring savings from UK to USA

Good Shout
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Old Jun 17th 2016, 5:22 pm
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Default Re: transferring savings from UK to USA

Originally Posted by hsc0307 View Post
.... For a larger amount I wondering if there is another way.
I suggest you go back and read post #2, above.
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Old Jun 18th 2016, 1:04 pm
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Default Re: transferring savings from UK to USA

Worldfirst can transfer money to/from the US - just check that they are registered in your state.

I am going to keep bringing this up - be very careful when transferring with the banks, Wells Fargo for instance will give you "their" rate which may well be quite a bit lower than the market rate and if you don't check beforehand, then you're stuck.
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Old Jun 18th 2016, 1:16 pm
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Default Re: transferring savings from UK to USA

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
Worldfirst can transfer money to/from the US - just check that they are registered in your state.

I am going to keep bringing this up - be very careful when transferring with the banks, Wells Fargo for instance will give you "their" rate which may well be quite a bit lower than the market rate and if you don't check beforehand, then you're stuck.
The golden rule I follow with any business is to get a couple of quotes. The best one isn't always from the same vendor. I have noticed the best one is NEVER found online. Paradoxically, they give me the best rate when they have me involve people who they have to pay to answer the phone and speak.
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Old Jun 18th 2016, 1:16 pm
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Default Re: transferring savings from UK to USA

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
Worldfirst can transfer money to/from the US - just check that they are registered in your state.

I am going to keep bringing this up - be very careful when transferring with the banks, Wells Fargo for instance will give you "their" rate which may well be quite a bit lower than the market rate and if you don't check beforehand, then you're stuck.
Same for all banks .... and "quite a bit lower"!

For small amounts you will likely be given the bank's "tourist rate", which means a spread of about 10%, meaning that they will give you, say, £100 for $150, but only give you $135 for £100. So if one customer changes £100 for $135, (the bank now has £100l) and another customer pays $150 for the £100, the bank has made 11.1% on buying and selling the £100. The spread offered by FX brokers is typically in the range 1% (e.g. Transferwise - they take 0.5% commission "on each side", equivalent to a 1% spread) to 4% (e.g. xe.com, meaning 2% from the mid rate, again on each side).

I do not know at what point (size of transaction) you would be given a better rate than the tourist rate. At some point you would switch to a dealing desk rate, but that would likely be for $50,000 or more, and in any case you don't want to assume the bank will give you a "fair" rate, because that isn't likely, .... at all!

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 18th 2016 at 1:22 pm.
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