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Transferring UK funds to US

Transferring UK funds to US

Old Jan 11th 2005, 6:20 pm
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Default Transferring UK funds to US

Hello everyone! I wondered if anyone might be able to answer a question regarding transferring funds from the UK to the US. My husband and I will be moving to the US (most likely this summer). We have already secured the immigrant visa for this and basically would like to know the best way to transfer funds to our account in the US. I've read the forums throughout and have heard that the best methods for this are to:

1. Send a wire transfer. Fees may be involved.
2. Have your UK bank wire the money to your US account. Apparently they do not charge a fee for this, however, the bank on the receiving end may well do.
3. Open a dollar account in the UK such as Citibank. With this you can access your account in the US as well and not incur a penalty fee/charges for this. However, there may be a charge for permanently transferring your account from the UK to the US.

Can anyone elaborate on exactly what kind of fees would apply here? Basically would it be a percentage on the amount transferred or is it likely to be a one-off fee regardless of amount transferred? I appreciate any advice on this. Thanks so much!
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Old Jan 11th 2005, 6:28 pm
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Default Re: Transferring UK funds to US

Originally Posted by Lilywolf
Hello everyone! I wondered if anyone might be able to answer a question regarding transferring funds from the UK to the US....
As a fourth consideration for your list:
4) Ask UK bank to write you check (cheque) in US funds against their US office. I did this successfully with Barclays: they wrote the check against their NY office. Worked fine, only it took about 15 days to clear the check at my out-of-state bank.
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Old Jan 11th 2005, 6:45 pm
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Default Re: Transferring UK funds to US

or... 5th option use www.xe.com

I just did a sample trader 5 mins ago, my rate was 1.8595

natwest tourist is 1.79, commercial is 1.81

xe has no fees for transfers and no commsion charged

no comparison really
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Old Jan 11th 2005, 6:51 pm
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Default Re: Transferring UK funds to US

[QUOTE=fatbrit]As a fourth consideration for your list:
4) Ask UK bank to write you check (cheque) in US funds against their US office...

Hi Fatbrit, thanks so much for responding so quickly . Would you happen to have any further info on the NY Branch. I've googled "Barclays US" and "Barclays NY" and every combination thereof, but haven't been able to find any info online.
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Old Jan 11th 2005, 7:02 pm
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Default Re: Transferring UK funds to US

[QUOTE=Lilywolf]
Originally Posted by fatbrit
As a fourth consideration for your list:
4) Ask UK bank to write you check (cheque) in US funds against their US office...

Hi Fatbrit, thanks so much for responding so quickly . Would you happen to have any further info on the NY Branch. I've googled "Barclays US" and "Barclays NY" and every combination thereof, but haven't been able to find any info online.
Nope. Just went into UK Barclays branch (see to remember it was Russell Sq.) and said I needed to transfer some GBP to USD. It was late Friday evening and I was leaving for the States early Saturday morning. They only had about half what I needed in dollar bills, so they asked if they could do the rest with a US cheque? As I didn't need it all immediately, I said fine and they drew me up a cheque drawn on "Barclays, New York". Paid in without problems at my US bank. Presume it's just an office in NY without general banking services for the public.

Last edited by fatbrit; Jan 11th 2005 at 7:25 pm. Reason: Clarity
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Old Jan 11th 2005, 7:14 pm
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Default Re: Transferring UK funds to US

Some UK banks also offer off-shore acccounts which can be accessed in both dollars and pounds. Your local high street branch will likely no nothing about this, so you might have to talk to someone up the food chain.

Downsides: A. You can't walk down to the bank and yell at them when you need to. B. They typically charge annual fees for this and have high minimum balances. (I chose not to use this method.)
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Old Jan 11th 2005, 7:24 pm
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Default Re: Transferring UK funds to US

Originally Posted by AdobePinon
Some UK banks also offer off-shore acccounts which can be accessed in both dollars and pounds. Your local high street branch will likely no nothing about this, so you might have to talk to someone up the food chain.

Downsides: A. You can't walk down to the bank and yell at them when you need to. B. They typically charge annual fees for this and have high minimum balances. (I chose not to use this method.)

yeah i looked at the natwest and rbos offshore accounts

they either charge a fee or you need to keep a bunch of money in them - why give them 20 grand when i can have that in my ing account?

AND the conversion rate was less than xe.com

but they would give you a us dollar denominated credit card (although this doesn;t contribute toward credit history)
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Old Jan 12th 2005, 7:10 am
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Default Re: Transferring UK funds to US

I don't know the amount you were thinking of transfering so this may be irrelivent but....

We used to write a check in GBP using our Barclays check book and pay it into our bank of America account using their international section. Just called them, they quoted the exchange rate and gave us a reference number. The local banks have the paperwork which is simple to complete and I would pay the check into the local US bank... All cleared in 3 days... NO FEES.
There is a limit on the amount.. I think it was £5000 tranfer for free...

For larger amounts... I looked into XE versus wire transfer and found that even though the online seemed better. I still had to pay a fee the bank end of the transaction... The difference wasn't much compared to the extra time and hassle it took to arrange... Chose wire transfer in the end...
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Old Jan 12th 2005, 8:55 am
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Default Re: Transferring UK funds to US

Thanks very much everyone for your advice, so many options available I didn't know about. Our move is a ways away but now I feel much more informed.
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Old Jan 12th 2005, 10:42 am
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Default Re: Transferring UK funds to US

Buy yourself a shoebox (or multiple shoeboxes depending on the amount) fill said shoebox(es) with crisp fifty pound notes and mail them to me.

I promise to keep them for you until you get here - honest injun
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Old Jan 12th 2005, 11:28 am
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Default Re: Transferring UK funds to US

I have found it exceedingly easy to move my money to and from accounts in the US and UK. A simple bank transfer is all that is needed - your US or UK bank will arrange this. Yes, it costs $30 a time for this, but I'm not moving $100 across at one time. It was just $30 as well to move the proceeds of my UK house sale to the US - and at a good rate. If you're moving to the US, then be aware it may take you some time to open a bank account here - usually they'll be asking for an SSN (including if your spouse is a US citizen) and they'll run credit and ID checks on both parties to say a joint account. Took me around 2 - 3 weeks before I had an account number - check (cheque) books need to be paid for (something we don't do in the UK), and don't forget that checks are written differently here (and it's not just the date!). If in doubt - ask your bank. Oh, and you may open an account with a Credit Union (like I did here) - a bit like a UK building society. Apologies if all this is obvious to you and I'm stating what you already know, but when I came across to the US from the UK then a lot of this learning curve stuff wasn't obvious and no-one across here will tell you...
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Old Jan 12th 2005, 12:50 pm
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Default Re: Transferring UK funds to US

Thanks very much Alan . I'm a US citizen and have already got an active US bank account so this looks to be much easier than I thought it was going to be . I didn't know, however, that it was only $30 to transfer! That's peanuts compared to what I thought it was going to be. Thanks for making my day .
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Old Jan 12th 2005, 4:30 pm
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Default Re: Transferring UK funds to US

I have a monthly income from England. It's transferred here every month via BACS. It takes 2-3 days to arrive and I'm not charged any sort of banking fees. I did have to haggle a bit with my bank on the no fees and I get the commerical rate.

Always worth trying to negotiate with your bank.
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