Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lowest Cost Wire Transfers

Directly to the answer... (some savings comparisons below, FYI).

The website name is TransferWise. If you click on this link  (https://transferwise.com/u/b9886f) they should give you commission free up to $4k in your first transfer. For full disclosure, every 3 of those I get $150 in my account, but seriously, keep reading :) And if you don't want to use the link, don't :)

Heads up, the signing process is a bit annoying because they need to ID you properly (to avoid money laundering, tax evasion…). Nothing too bad, all online, but they ask you for some pic of your driver license or something like that… Can't remember. Done in 10 minutes, though.

Other than that, the service is truly excellent. They give you immediate email feedback on every step of your transfer and usually exceed expectations on schedules. So far, 2 day transfers although they usually cover themselves and give you a worst forecast. The whole process is ultra transparent and they also reply very timely emails.

The best thing (who would care otherwise about anything else) are the rates. Way better than anything else I found (but hey, please comment if you got something better :) ). For instance, to transfer $10k to Euro today, they would take $85 commission (which is basically 0.85%):

I am kind of surprised to see this today, as I had read somewhere 0.75%, but will investigate later... Still way better than others I saw before... Also, I am pretty sure it is lower (0.5%) for other currencies but no worries, they’ll show it to you before anything... As I said, everything is very transparent. After taking the $85, they would convert the rest at today's rate of 1.0593 $/Euro (1/0.9440) which is exactly what Yahoo displays at this time:

So, basically they are giving you a rate 0.5-0.85% worse than the number displayed in Yahoo, which as I said, it’s very competitive.

Note: there is one more transfer fee which is the one your bank will charge you to send your money to a local US bank account on the name of TransferWise (Wells Fargo). My bank charges me $20. So, you should add that, but yeah... And the number is fix, so, the higher the dollar transfer, the lower percent that it represents...

So, that's it... but if you want to keep reading about a quick comparison when I tried to send money through my bank to Europe, here it goes...

Basically there would be two costs. The transfer itself and the conversion to Euros from dollars, which can be done at origin or destination. Rate (yahoo) at the time was 1Euro=$1.135 more or less. I tried several banks (Texans Credit Union, BBVA, Chase) and the best was 1.18!! That is 4% and I believe included both commissions. Can't really remember the details... Anyhow, you can always ask them yourself ahead of anything. They may tell you that they can't tell what the exchange rate will be because it will depend on when it actually happens in the next days. If so, ask for the exchange rate "today" just for comparison...


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