What's the best way to transfer $ overseas?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by ellebeaux, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

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    I guess this is a 'homesteading question' - as I am moving from my place in Virginia to my new life in New Zealand.

    However, everytime I transfer money from my checking account over there it costs $40!!!

    I want to be able to transfer small amounts of money, say $50-200 at a time, from my account in NZ to my account here. Should I just write a check? Would setting up a PayPal account work?

    thanks,

    Beaux
     
  2. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    Paypal works pretty darn good for that purpose, as far as I know. Have you checked their help pages for details?
     

  3. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Open an account with check writing capabilities with Fidelity Investments. You can control/manage the account from NZ via your computer. The idle money can be placed in a money market account to generate interest income.
     
  4. rwinsouthla

    rwinsouthla Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Send me the cash and the address. I'll make sure to send it!
     
  5. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    When I lived in England, I had a bank account here in the USA. When I wanted to draw funds out, I just used my debit card from the USA at an ATM in England. I had to keep track of the exchange rate, but that was easy enough to do, and I had online banking access to check the balance. Mine was a Visa or Mastercard debit card, can't remember which at the moment. I could also use it to pay for purchases in the stores over there.

    I would think it would be the same in New Zealand. Best wishes on your new life there! You will have to send pictures from time to time, it's a beautiful place.
     
  6. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What Hip Shot Hannah said, plus I've written myself checks between bank accounts in the US and Canada, usually with funds going from the US to Canada. My Canadian bank gives me the going exchange rate on the day they post the deposit. I was told there might be as much as a thirty day delay in having the funds available, but it's been more like ten days so far. Good luck in finding a solution that works for you.
     
  7. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

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    Is there an International Bank that has branches in both USA and NZ ? As an example "Swiss Bank" ? This way, your only dealing with one bank.
     
  8. manfred

    manfred Well-Known Member

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    I also sometimes pay the $40. to wire transfer money to a foreign bank. I think it's a rip-off, probably costs the bank next to nothing to do it.
     
  9. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

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    Great! That sounds like the simplest and easiest solution. I may even be able to do it electronically, as I have electronic bill paying with my account. If I set myself up as a payee then the bank would just mail me a check. Hmm, I'll have to check this out.

    I knew there had to be an easier way then paying $40 everytime. If there's any case when I need money in my US account sooner, I can just have someone local deposit a check for me then I'll mail a check for them.

    Thanks all for your help. I have SO MUCH on my mind right now that I know I'm not thinking as clearer as I could about things!!!
     
  10. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    Can I ask how and why you decided to move to N.Z ? Wow what an adventure , I am a bit jealous. Good luck.

    Patty
     
  11. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

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    Well, since you ask... I'm going to start a PhD on rhinoceros reproduction! No joke, I'll be based out of a university in NZ but will be doing work in a safari park in Australia then in the bush in South Africa. It's the dream-come-true of a lifetime for me. So I'm really excited and also kinda sad about leaving all my friends and family behind for three years.
     
  12. Grandmotherbear

    Grandmotherbear Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How neat! and you won't be leaving your friends behind...we'll be here whenever you can access internet!
     
  13. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Oh... I missed the whole NZ thing... any links for it?
     
  14. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

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    Oh no, it's been in the works since March. But the time has finally come and I'm packing my 2 bags and backpack and everything else is going into my mother's basement.

    In the past year, I went from being laid off from my job a week after I bought my first house to being unemployed for six months to training to be a high school science teacher to putting my beloved dog to sleep to getting a new job and being offered the PhD both in the same week. So it's been a MAJORLY challenging year. Not including my father's illness and my brother coming out as a crack addict. But they're both still alive and sober, if not quite healthy, so I have to count my blessings for that.

    And I'm going to get a PhD and get to work with one of my favorite species and realize my lifelong dream of going to Africa. So I'm going to enjoy every moment and travel for three years and start a new homestead when I can!

    But thanks for asking!

    Beaux
     
  15. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I belong to USAA, 1-800-531-BANK which is for military, but their bank is public (my Mom joined it). Serving us all over the world they are great in that they do not charge anything for ATM withdrawal and in fact, since they are in TX and most of their customers are not, pay back several dollars a month up to a certain limit for any fee the bank in NZ or elsewhere in The US charges you for ATM w/d. So in Germany and in UK (until I had a job there and more pounds sterling than US dollars) all my pocket money and a lot of my bigger purchases was via cash in local currency from an ATM.

    I even wrote them to get out $600 instead of $400/day while we were in UK so I could get 300 pounds at a click instead of only 200, and once (in the US) I got caught without a bank certified check to buy a house (I didn't know it was needed!) and they let me take out $1500 that day based on my telephone call.

    However- maybe not avail to non mil- I also used Bank of America's Community Dept of Defense bank in London which let me keep side by side no fee (but no interest) pound sterling and US dollar checking accounts when no UK bank would give me a checquing account. I am still using those accounts now to slowly convert pounds to dollars and pay my final bills. Any bank with similar parallel accounts would be a big help- no fee to exchange, competitive rates for exchange, do it over phone.

    Also finally word of warning: beware internet companies for large overseas transfers. My dad just met a British couple who'd emigrated to Canada in 2001. They used a good rate company to move thier entire retirement savings over and then 9/11: the company was Al Quaeda run, all their assets vanished/were frozen- these folk have been living on Canadian charity (back at work as well) for years and just recently got back some of their assets.
     
  16. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Jenn, the bank in New Zealand has that side by side option. I was going to look into it when I got there. It seems like the NZ dollar is getting stronger and stronger compared to the US dollar everyday, so I'm not sure if I should just keep all the money as NZ dollars.

    Beaux
     
  17. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    To solve your dilemma you can send your money to me. ;)
     
  18. LagoVistaFarm

    LagoVistaFarm Well-Known Member

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    Although my bank gives us free wire transfers, its still a pain. THe bank is twenty miles away and the transfers have to be done in person. It takes about twenty minutes for the paperwork and new regulations from homeland security now require two new forms. The ATM route is the easiest.
     
  19. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    EB- do you know what that is? In investing it's the idea that if you buy say $100 of stock (or any shifitng in price commodity you don't need to get all at once) every month at the end you'll have more stock (more value) than if you take $1200 once a year and buy stock, because of the way stock prices go up and down, unless you accidentally and luckily hit the one time the price is way down.

    Having had to buy $35,000 worth of pounds at a high price I was eager to avoid (when I sold that car and also finally had extra from my job to convert) buying lots of dollars at a LOW dollar to pound rate- or concretely spending $35,000 for a £20,000 car, then later if I got back all £20,000 when I sold it, turning that money back into only $28,000!!!. Unable to guess when the price would be best, so I slowly converted only a £1000 pounds at a time so I would never look back at the shifting rates and curse my luck for having exchanged it all on the absolutely wrong day.

    Anyway I suggest you use a similar plan to convert money keeping in mind don't move $50 at a time if the fees/rate are better for $100 or $500 (we got a better rate- saved a few bucks- for over $1000 per transaction).