Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
Aschafer1994
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 10:48 pm

Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by Aschafer1994 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:32 pm

I have about $10,000 Euros in Cash that I would like to get deposited into one of my US accounts with minimal transaction fees, but am unsure what the best method would be.

My only checking account is with Schwab, but I also have Savings/Credit Cards/Brokerages with Marus, AMEX, Chase, Vanguard, Fidelity. Schwab is an online bank and will not accept cash deposits (same with Marcus). Not sure if a Chase branch would allow me to deposit this money and apply the balance to my credit card(s). I really don't want to use a currency exchange booth and eat the conversion fees to exchange this money into US dollars, but at this point I guess it may be my best option?

Anyone in the SoCal area going to Europe soon and need some cash? :D

Thanks in advance for the replies,
Andrew

User avatar
whodidntante
Posts: 5617
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by whodidntante » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:10 pm

That's a lot of bread. I sometimes come back from Europe with what some would consider significant cash, but you have me beat. I just put it in my safety deposit box then spend it on the next trip. Is that an option? The downside of this method is the money is not invested and you're taking some currency risk.

You shouldn't expect to get spot rate on foreign cash. American banks aren't ideal for foreign cash deposits. I have supposedly high tier accounts at Chase and BoA, and I've deposited foreign currency in each. They don't charge fees but do give you a poor exchange rate (they make money on the spread).

BoA will give you a quote online. It's accurate.
https://www.bankofamerica.com/foreign-e ... e-rates.go
BoA is going to charge you about $639 for the conversion through the spread.

TropikThunder
Posts: 1556
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:41 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by TropikThunder » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:14 pm

Aschafer1994 wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:32 pm
I have about $10,000 Euros in Cash that I would like to get deposited into one of my US accounts with minimal transaction fees, but am unsure what the best method would be.

My only checking account is with Schwab, but I also have Savings/Credit Cards/Brokerages with Marus, AMEX, Chase, Vanguard, Fidelity. Schwab is an online bank and will not accept cash deposits (same with Marcus). Not sure if a Chase branch would allow me to deposit this money and apply the balance to my credit card(s). I really don't want to use a currency exchange booth and eat the conversion fees to exchange this money into US dollars, but at this point I guess it may be my best option?

Anyone in the SoCal area going to Europe soon and need some cash? :D

Thanks in advance for the replies,
Andrew
Maybe try HSBC? My son-in-law had an HSBC account from when he and my daughter lived in Europe (he's from Finland), and ended up with some euros as a wedding present (<$1k though). HSBC will exchange euros for dollars for account holders and if I recall they don't rake you over the coals on exchange rate or with fees. They're great to have for international travel as well since they have branches all over the world.

Thesaints
Posts: 2827
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:25 am

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by Thesaints » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:23 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:10 pm
BoA will give you a quote online. It's accurate.
https://www.bankofamerica.com/foreign-e ... e-rates.go
BoA is going to charge you about $639 for the conversion through the spread.
Woe! That's more than 5% on the € !!

michaelsieg
Posts: 563
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:02 am

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by michaelsieg » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:33 pm

I would check out Transferwise, they have an option, which they call "borderless account"where costumers can open multiple currency accounts and apparently the transfer from one to the other account has very low fees. I have only used them to transfer money internationally (have not had a need for a borderless account) and have been very happy with the money transfer option they offer.
I am not sure if this works for US persons and how you would fund the account with cash - but it might be possible to do a wire transfer to your borderless Euro account. So when you are in Europe next time go to a post office and wire the Euros to your account and then, once you have funded your Euro account, you can transfer it into US dollars and use the money with a debit card for your account. Again, I am not sure if it will work, some of their services are only for European costumers, but it is worth looking into.
Good luck!
Michael

livesoft
Posts: 66990
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by livesoft » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:42 pm

It might be cheaper to fly to Europe and buy dollars at a major bank and fly back.

Is there a major European bank in your neck of the woods? They probably have daily limit for cash exchange transactions (as would airport exchange places).
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

User avatar
Artsdoctor
Posts: 3929
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:09 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by Artsdoctor » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:52 pm

Aschafer1994 wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:32 pm
I have about $10,000 Euros in Cash that I would like to get deposited into one of my US accounts with minimal transaction fees, but am unsure what the best method would be.

My only checking account is with Schwab, but I also have Savings/Credit Cards/Brokerages with Marus, AMEX, Chase, Vanguard, Fidelity. Schwab is an online bank and will not accept cash deposits (same with Marcus). Not sure if a Chase branch would allow me to deposit this money and apply the balance to my credit card(s). I really don't want to use a currency exchange booth and eat the conversion fees to exchange this money into US dollars, but at this point I guess it may be my best option?

Anyone in the SoCal area going to Europe soon and need some cash? :D

Thanks in advance for the replies,
Andrew
Yes! I'm going to Portugal . . .

But I don't usually travel with much cash. How did you get 10,000 Euros?!? I don't know how you're going to cash it into dollars at a reasonable rate. The banks will kill you with fees. I had several thousand British pounds and spent them in Cuba since the dollar was being penalized at the time. I've given euros to friends traveling (but not thousands and thousands). I'd think about putting it in a safe or safe deposit box, and then I'd plan another trip to the Eurozone soon. You can pay for your hotel and all other expenses with the cash . . .

SoHobo
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:39 am

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by SoHobo » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:05 pm

I don't have a good answer to your question: banks don't like cash that much. Once, in France, at HSBC, the teller paled when we tried to deposit $1000,-.
Anyway, what I do know: HSBC is not your friend in these transactions, maybe not worse than other banks, but definitely not better

paisano
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:44 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by paisano » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:07 pm

Fidelity accepts 20 foreign currencies including euros:
Fidelity can take delivery of the following foreign currencies, convert them to U.S. dollars, and credit the proceeds directly to your Fidelity brokerage account.
See http://personal.fidelity.com/accounts/s ... orex.shtml

User avatar
whodidntante
Posts: 5617
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by whodidntante » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:11 pm

paisano wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:07 pm
Fidelity accepts 20 foreign currencies including euros:
Fidelity can take delivery of the following foreign currencies, convert them to U.S. dollars, and credit the proceeds directly to your Fidelity brokerage account.
See http://personal.fidelity.com/accounts/s ... orex.shtml
The OP has cash, which must first be deposited before a wire transfer is in play.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 16517
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by Watty » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:23 pm

Just for brainstorming you might check the casinos in Las Vegas.

7eight9
Posts: 143
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 7:11 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by 7eight9 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:31 pm

Watty wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:23 pm
Just for brainstorming you might check the casinos in Las Vegas.
You beat me to it but that is exactly what I would suggest (especially since the OP is in Southern California). Bellagio used to have the best rate. I can't tell you if they still do. The only caveat is that if you are looking to change the whole amount in one transaction they may want to give you 50% cash and 50% chips (so that you will hopefully give them some action).
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.

staustin
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:36 am

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by staustin » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:40 pm

I work at a bank. As a normal part of our services, we provide customers with various foreign currencies. We accept it back upon return, convert the euro's (or whatever currency it might be) back to dollars and deposit the funds back into the checking account. Most Banks provide this service upon request. That said, it's usually never more than 500 total. The $10,000 level requires the bank to file a currency transaction report with the federal reserve documenting various things regarding the source, etc. That will be complicated. Perhaps just call your local schwab office and ask. Otherwise your options seem to be to open a local bank account, consider transferwise, use a service such as travelex to convert and obtain a cashier's check which can be mailed, or just hold on to it.

ohai
Posts: 821
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:10 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by ohai » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:04 pm

If it were me, I'd just hold onto the money and use it next time in Europe. Euro interest rates are negative, so in theory, you are earning money by keeping the cash (??).

Topic Author
Aschafer1994
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 10:48 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by Aschafer1994 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:38 pm

Thank you for the suggestions everyone. It's sort of a complicated situation I have; I'm an American living in Mexico, my girlfriend is a European working in China for the next few months. The money belongs to her and represents what she has saved over the last year while working. She wants to get the funds to her EU bank account eventually and the most cost efficient way, due to Chinese banking regulations, has been to withdrawl in cash the maximum daily amount which is around $500 USD. She has been withdrawling this amount whenever possible and giving me the money to "hold" whenever one of us visits each other. She would like the money to eventually end up in her EU bank account so that she can purchase an simple apartment before we both move to the US. Btw, she works in a completely legal profession and I'm not money laundering or anything like that for her.

The HSBC account sounds like it might be a good bet, so I will look into option. Also I hadn't considered the Vegas possibility; I travel to So Cal often and would be fine making a trip or two to accomplish this task. I guess I would just buy some chips, "gamble" moderately for a couple days and then cash out? I also have about a million airline miles so I might just hold the cash as I'm currently doing and then just fly both of us to Europe once she's in the US so she can deposit the money directly. But we would have to stay within the customs declaration limits and that might require more than one trip especially if she will continue to withdrawl more (although I've told her to start requesting dollars which I obvoiusly should have suggested from the beginning).

User avatar
Artsdoctor
Posts: 3929
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:09 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by Artsdoctor » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:39 am

Aschafer1994 wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:38 pm
Thank you for the suggestions everyone. It's sort of a complicated situation I have; I'm an American living in Mexico, my girlfriend is a European working in China for the next few months. The money belongs to her and represents what she has saved over the last year while working. She wants to get the funds to her EU bank account eventually and the most cost efficient way, due to Chinese banking regulations, has been to withdrawl in cash the maximum daily amount which is around $500 USD. She has been withdrawling this amount whenever possible and giving me the money to "hold" whenever one of us visits each other. She would like the money to eventually end up in her EU bank account so that she can purchase an simple apartment before we both move to the US. Btw, she works in a completely legal profession and I'm not money laundering or anything like that for her.

The HSBC account sounds like it might be a good bet, so I will look into option. Also I hadn't considered the Vegas possibility; I travel to So Cal often and would be fine making a trip or two to accomplish this task. I guess I would just buy some chips, "gamble" moderately for a couple days and then cash out? I also have about a million airline miles so I might just hold the cash as I'm currently doing and then just fly both of us to Europe once she's in the US so she can deposit the money directly. But we would have to stay within the customs declaration limits and that might require more than one trip especially if she will continue to withdrawl more (although I've told her to start requesting dollars which I obvoiusly should have suggested from the beginning).
Interesting. A couple thoughts come to mind.

First, just be aware of the maximum amount of cash one can bring in to a country at any given time. Off the cuff, you're probably going to be limited to $10,000 or 10,000EUR per person. If you don't declare it over the amount, some of it can be confiscated. It has to do with limiting potential terrorist activity and money laundering.

Second, it sounds like conversion fees could be relatively small but you'd be paying those fees several times. If she's taking money out of a Chinese bank, there's going to be a fee although that is unavoidable (I take it she can only withdraw euros, and not dollars). Then, if you deposit the euros into a US account, you'll pay a fee to convert it into dollars. Then, you're going to convert the dollars back into euros because that's the denomination she's going to spend in. There may also be wiring fees from your US account to the European account.

The HSBC account appears to have an international feature which could suit your needs. You'll pay for the conversions but it might be the easiest.

User avatar
whodidntante
Posts: 5617
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by whodidntante » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:54 am

Artsdoctor wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:39 am
First, just be aware of the maximum amount of cash one can bring in to a country at any given time. Off the cuff, you're probably going to be limited to $10,000 or 10,000EUR per person. If you don't declare it over the amount, some of it can be confiscated. It has to do with limiting potential terrorist activity and money laundering.
One can enter the USA with any amount of cash so long as it is declared above 10k USD. It's important to know exactly how much you have in that case, and be ready to explain why you are travelling with so much money.

margered
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:56 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by margered » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:33 am

If you travel to Southern California, there are several walk-in currency exchanges. Might have to call ahead if you want to change euros to USD cash.

jminv
Posts: 900
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:58 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by jminv » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:51 am

Aschafer1994 wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:38 pm
Thank you for the suggestions everyone. It's sort of a complicated situation I have; I'm an American living in Mexico, my girlfriend is a European working in China for the next few months. The money belongs to her and represents what she has saved over the last year while working. She wants to get the funds to her EU bank account eventually and the most cost efficient way, due to Chinese banking regulations, has been to withdrawl in cash the maximum daily amount which is around $500 USD. She has been withdrawling this amount whenever possible and giving me the money to "hold" whenever one of us visits each other. She would like the money to eventually end up in her EU bank account so that she can purchase an simple apartment before we both move to the US. Btw, she works in a completely legal profession and I'm not money laundering or anything like that for her.

The HSBC account sounds like it might be a good bet, so I will look into option. Also I hadn't considered the Vegas possibility; I travel to So Cal often and would be fine making a trip or two to accomplish this task. I guess I would just buy some chips, "gamble" moderately for a couple days and then cash out? I also have about a million airline miles so I might just hold the cash as I'm currently doing and then just fly both of us to Europe once she's in the US so she can deposit the money directly. But we would have to stay within the customs declaration limits and that might require more than one trip especially if she will continue to withdrawl more (although I've told her to start requesting dollars which I obvoiusly should have suggested from the beginning).
What exactly is she doing in China with the ATM? Taking out renminbi and converting to euros to take home? If she works legitimately, she should be able to transfer her legal income out of China via a bank/money transfer service. What is going on is far too complicated and doesn't make any sense.

Where is she buying an apartment? In the USA or in Europe. If it's the USA which it seems like from your comment then converting to dollars to bring home would make more sense. Since what you have now is renminbi->euros>dollars and the way it's occurring she's probably 5% each time on a spread or 10% total. Or is the plan for you to deposit the money and then transfer it again into Euros into her European account?

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 16517
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by Watty » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:25 pm

Aschafer1994 wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:38 pm
Thank you for the suggestions everyone. It's sort of a complicated situation .....
That is complicated.

One thing to watch out for is that just like the dollar there can be problems with counterfeit Euros.

If the Euros were acquired in an unconventional way that will greatly increase the chances that they are counterfeit which could cause you problems when you go to exchange them.

ivk5
Posts: 711
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:05 am

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by ivk5 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:25 pm

jminv wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:51 am
What exactly is she doing in China with the ATM? Taking out renminbi and converting to euros to take home? If she works legitimately, she should be able to transfer her legal income out of China via a bank/money transfer service. What is going on is far too complicated and doesn't make any sense.
+1 Something doesn’t add up.

Topic Author
Aschafer1994
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 10:48 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by Aschafer1994 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:39 am

ivk5 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:25 pm
jminv wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:51 am
What exactly is she doing in China with the ATM? Taking out renminbi and converting to euros to take home? If she works legitimately, she should be able to transfer her legal income out of China via a bank/money transfer service. What is going on is far too complicated and doesn't make any sense.
+1 Something doesn’t add up.
She's not utilizing an ATM, she is going to an actual bank branch every couple days and withdrawing cash directly from her account in Euros instead of RMB. She is restricted from withdrawing more than $500 per day in a foreign currency or transfering more than that amount directly to an international bank. So her options are to either wire $500 per day directly to her EU bank and lose 7-8% on the wire fee, or withdrawl Euros directly into cash and eat the exchange spread which is not nearly so bad (although I don't think she factored in the fact that I'll have to convert this money into US Dollars and then back to Euros for her).

Again, thank you for the responses everybody. I think HSBC might serve my needs best.

ivk5
Posts: 711
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:05 am

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by ivk5 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:54 am

I’m no expert on RMB currency controls but I’d be concerned that the pattern of repeated EUR 500 cash withdrawals will attract attention (structuring transactions).

Not helpful to OP but perhaps the lesson is that any foreigner would do well to have a clear plan in advance for funds earned before working temporarily in countries with currency controls, weak rule of law, history of government takings, etc.

Dude2
Posts: 817
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 3:40 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by Dude2 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:11 am

This may be off the wall, but I too struggle with trying to not get hit with currency exchange fees and other nonsense bank fees because they pay me in a currency not of my home country. I work in the middle east. One idea that I have had in the back of my mind although have not yet implemented is to simply buy physical gold in the foreign currency. For example, if one is a US person, they can buy US Gold Eagle coins in the foreign country using the foreign currency. (Today each is valued at about $1356.) Then hand-carry them back to the US. A technicality is that because it is a $1 coin, you could transport $10000 worth of them, i.e. carry 10000 coins or 13.5 million dollars. :happy However, even if wanting to remain under the $10000 limit due to fear of confiscation by customs, you're talking only carrying 7 coins back with you. In this scenario we have to be cognizant of not being ripped off when we buy and sell (counterfeiting), and, of course, gold prices will fluctuate. Fiat currency fluctuates too, and selecting 1st world versions of coins -- Eagle, Maple Leaf, Krugerrand, Kangaroo -- it shouldn't be that difficult to find reputable dealers in an area.

HawkeyePierce
Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:29 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by HawkeyePierce » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:38 am

Dude2 wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:11 am
This may be off the wall, but I too struggle with trying to not get hit with currency exchange fees and other nonsense bank fees because they pay me in a currency not of my home country. I work in the middle east. One idea that I have had in the back of my mind although have not yet implemented is to simply buy physical gold in the foreign currency. For example, if one is a US person, they can buy US Gold Eagle coins in the foreign country using the foreign currency. (Today each is valued at about $1356.) Then hand-carry them back to the US. A technicality is that because it is a $1 coin, you could transport $10000 worth of them, i.e. carry 10000 coins or 13.5 million dollars. :happy However, even if wanting to remain under the $10000 limit due to fear of confiscation by customs, you're talking only carrying 7 coins back with you. In this scenario we have to be cognizant of not being ripped off when we buy and sell (counterfeiting), and, of course, gold prices will fluctuate. Fiat currency fluctuates too, and selecting 1st world versions of coins -- Eagle, Maple Leaf, Krugerrand, Kangaroo -- it shouldn't be that difficult to find reputable dealers in an area.
The spreads on buying and selling physical gold kill this idea. You'll be paying 3-10%, compared to Transferwise or OFX which will charge you <1%.

OP's scenario is only complicated due to dealing with physical currency.

regularguy455
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:08 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by regularguy455 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:49 am

I had a strange though. Could you deposit it in a crypto exchange then withdrawal in dollars?

ivk5
Posts: 711
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:05 am

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by ivk5 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:42 am

Crypto, large amounts of currency notes, physical gold, etc are all expensive and inefficient ways of transferring funds or converting between currencies. The more cost-effective solutions are funds transfers and currency conversions. :idea:

The exception of course is when laws, regulations, or government action restricts or prohibits funds transfer and/or currency conversion. In that case efforts to evade such laws/regulations are precisely that.

I don't think discussion of unlawful activity is permitted by forum rules.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 55028
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:11 am

^^^ Correct. Discussions of dishonest behavior or bypassing the law is totally unacceptable. The OP has been given several options. Further discussion is outside the limits of this forum. This thread has run its course and is locked.

Update: See below.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 55028
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:01 am

After receiving a PM, this thread is unlocked to continue the discussion.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

Dude2
Posts: 817
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 3:40 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by Dude2 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:14 am

Thanks, LadyGeek. I see this subject as twofold. The OP has a bunch of currency he wants to exchange in the most expeditious manner, but also there is the on-going need to get money in a foreign currency back to home currency in an expeditious manner. I agree that going the gold route is not such a great idea, unless you are simply looking to buy gold as part of your investing. Nothing illegal about taking less than $10000 worth across the border. Nothing illegal about moving more than $10000 across the border, just have to declare it. (h/t to 7eight9) https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail ... nd-bullion

As to other options, I'm still unclear if Transferwise or OFX are viable for US Citizens. https://transferwise.com/us/blog/make-u ... r-transfer

It may be true that Transferwise or OFX charge small fees, but that may be on top of the fee it cost you to get the money to them.

LFS1234
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:13 am

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by LFS1234 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:05 pm

ivk5 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:25 pm
jminv wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:51 am
What exactly is she doing in China with the ATM? Taking out renminbi and converting to euros to take home? If she works legitimately, she should be able to transfer her legal income out of China via a bank/money transfer service. What is going on is far too complicated and doesn't make any sense.
+1 Something doesn’t add up.
According to OP, the wage-earner in China is European and only anticipates working in China for a matter of months. There is no reason to believe that she is doing anything improper. She has a bank account in China into which her earnings are deposited. Given her relatively low level of surplus earnings, The most efficient way of accessing her money is by ATM (for cash needed for local living expenses) or in person (for left-over cash to be converted into a different currency and taken home). Credit card availability for itinerant workers is rather limited.

At some point just prior to leaving China, she will want to close her account. In order to minimize the risk of complications, it is very typical to close down such an account by taking out the balance in cash, converting it to your destination currency, putting it in your pocket and flying home. It is not fun to find yourself back home, notice the money transfer you thought was made never arrived, and then to try to deal with this from the other side of the world with an institution with which you have no common language. It's one thing if you are a highly paid expat working for a Fortune 500 company with the resources of your employer behind you. It is a totally different world if you're a moderately paid individual with no such support.

For large sums of money (which is not the case here), a typical procedure would be to send most of the money home by wire transfer a month or two before leaving the country while ample time remains to deal with any complications, and then just to take the rest with you in cash when you leave.

If it weren't for the risk of theft of the cash, it seems to me that the most efficient thing to do is for her to hang onto the cash until she gets home and can deposit it in her European bank account. If that bank has to file a currency report, then so be it. There is no problem with this for somebody with a legitimate explanation for the source of funds, and it is unlikely that she would owe any European income taxes on her non-European earnings.

If there is a need to hang onto significant amounts of cash for a prolonged period of time, the choices include renting a safe deposit box in which it can be kept, or paying the necessary transaction costs involved in getting the money into the banking system at an earlier time. It is no fun losing your own cash, but it really isn't fun losing somebody else's.

Seems to me that the OP and his girlfriend most likely are young adventurers taking advantage of the opportunity to explore the world and trying to find a rational way of dealing with a vexing but surmountable problem. We're not dealing with the Cali cartel here.

All best wishes to the parties involved.

HawkeyePierce
Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:29 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by HawkeyePierce » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:59 pm

Dude2 wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:14 am
Thanks, LadyGeek. I see this subject as twofold. The OP has a bunch of currency he wants to exchange in the most expeditious manner, but also there is the on-going need to get money in a foreign currency back to home currency in an expeditious manner. I agree that going the gold route is not such a great idea, unless you are simply looking to buy gold as part of your investing. Nothing illegal about taking less than $10000 worth across the border. Nothing illegal about moving more than $10000 across the border, just have to declare it. (h/t to 7eight9) https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail ... nd-bullion

As to other options, I'm still unclear if Transferwise or OFX are viable for US Citizens. https://transferwise.com/us/blog/make-u ... r-transfer

It may be true that Transferwise or OFX charge small fees, but that may be on top of the fee it cost you to get the money to them.
Transferwise is perfectly viable for US citizens. I'm a US citizen living in New Zealand and I use them. They have a TOS document specifically for US customers: https://transferwise.com/us/terms-of-use

Dude2
Posts: 817
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 3:40 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by Dude2 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:08 am

HawkeyePierce wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:59 pm
Transferwise is perfectly viable for US citizens. I'm a US citizen living in New Zealand and I use them. They have a TOS document specifically for US customers: https://transferwise.com/us/terms-of-use
Thanks Hawkeye. Can you explain exactly how you use this service? Your situation possibly mirrors the situation of the OP's girlfriend. She works in a foreign country, and probably she is required to have a foreign bank account in which she is paid in local currency. How does she set up Transferwise for herself to get her money to her Euro bank account? How do you do this with your US bank account?

I see that this service is great from what I'm reading. They are fair on exchange rates and make a little money on the transaction, no big deal.

The way the TOU link is written, it talks about transfers from a US bank account to another party in whatever currency they want. This is probably what the OP needs to get the money in Euros to his girlfriend's account.

However, could the OP's girlfriend have used this service off the bat? That's what I'd like to understand. Can we as foreign bank account holders transfer money to ourselves in our home currency? Perhaps Transferwise has no restrictions on this, but will the foreign bank allow the capability of it? Does it work in New Zealand?

If the foreign bank allows it, then it is just a transfer out of the account in local currency, like a bill pay transaction, no reason for the bank to take a bite in currency exchange fees, leave that up to Transferwise. On the other hand, if you end up having to do a costly wire to get the money to Transferwise, no point.

With all the complexity of US Banking regulations, I don't think it's anywhere near a slam dunk that a US person should expect the foreign bank would have a laissez-faire attitude toward this. My bank in the Middle East is like using an iPhone, you have x number of things you can do, no more. Most people use Western Union to wire money to their home country, and so they get hit with fees galore.

livesoft
Posts: 66990
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by livesoft » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:42 am

jminv wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:51 am
What exactly is she doing in China with the ATM? Taking out renminbi and converting to euros to take home?
She would not necessarily need to go to the ATM.

I have worked in China and been paid in renminbi cash with Chinese taxes already taken out. I took my cash and bought the daily limit of US dollars by walking into the nicest Bank of China that I have ever been in ... it would qualify as a cathedral in Rome or a museum in Paris. The exchange rate was superb and the fee less than 0.25%. That's much better than the 6% fee at the airport.

For the future, this woman needs to cut out the boyfriend middle man. It also seems that my idea of flying to Europe might end up being the least expensive solution.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

HawkeyePierce
Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:29 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by HawkeyePierce » Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:41 am

Dude2 wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:08 am
HawkeyePierce wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:59 pm
Transferwise is perfectly viable for US citizens. I'm a US citizen living in New Zealand and I use them. They have a TOS document specifically for US customers: https://transferwise.com/us/terms-of-use
Thanks Hawkeye. Can you explain exactly how you use this service? Your situation possibly mirrors the situation of the OP's girlfriend. She works in a foreign country, and probably she is required to have a foreign bank account in which she is paid in local currency. How does she set up Transferwise for herself to get her money to her Euro bank account? How do you do this with your US bank account?

I see that this service is great from what I'm reading. They are fair on exchange rates and make a little money on the transaction, no big deal.

The way the TOU link is written, it talks about transfers from a US bank account to another party in whatever currency they want. This is probably what the OP needs to get the money in Euros to his girlfriend's account.

However, could the OP's girlfriend have used this service off the bat? That's what I'd like to understand. Can we as foreign bank account holders transfer money to ourselves in our home currency? Perhaps Transferwise has no restrictions on this, but will the foreign bank allow the capability of it? Does it work in New Zealand?

If the foreign bank allows it, then it is just a transfer out of the account in local currency, like a bill pay transaction, no reason for the bank to take a bite in currency exchange fees, leave that up to Transferwise. On the other hand, if you end up having to do a costly wire to get the money to Transferwise, no point.

With all the complexity of US Banking regulations, I don't think it's anywhere near a slam dunk that a US person should expect the foreign bank would have a laissez-faire attitude toward this. My bank in the Middle East is like using an iPhone, you have x number of things you can do, no more. Most people use Western Union to wire money to their home country, and so they get hit with fees galore.
OP's situation is complicated by China's highly restrictive currency controls, which I have no experience with. I wasn't suggesting Transferwise to OP, just in reply to the general problem of transferring large sums across borders.

In my case, I linked Transferwise to my Schwab account (just like you'd link any two bank accounts). I can initiate transfers from Transferwise to Schwab and from there pay recipients in any supported currency. I also use TW to hold USD and NZD. The account has an NZ account number so anyone in NZ can transfer money to me just like they do between regular domestic NZ accounts.

There are essentially two ways to use Transferwise: as an account to hold money and as a conduit between accounts. I do a little of both. E.g., if I wanted to pay someone in NZD but didn't have any, I could use Transferwise to pay them in NZD from my USD-denominated Schwab account.

I don't know if it would work in your situation because I don't know your specific currency pair and in any case wouldn't have any experience with it.

Johnfmh
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:59 pm

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by Johnfmh » Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:46 am

I just set up a Transferwise account because I will be in Europe for part of the year on a fellowship and getting paid a stipend in Euros. Transferwise provides “Borderless Account” holders with unique account numbers in four different banking areas: U.S., UK, New Zealand, Australia, and the EU. They also offer a debit card linked to the account which is chip and pin plus has contactless capability (popular in Europe). Transferwise is a Fintec and not a bank, therefore not as regulated as traditional banks and accounts are not insured.

For me, the advantage of the account is that I can receive inter-EU transfers, using my IBAN, which is associated with the Handelsbank Munich office. This is an easier and cheaper way for me to receive Euros from a European entity than a wire transfer to a US account—cheaper and easier for both parties. The account also allows me to spend the Euros locally with their debit card and through IBAN transfers to EU entities (for things like housing, utilities, etc). Swipe transactions with the card are unlimited but only €200 per month can be withdrawn in cash. Transferwise accounts allow one to hold up to 40 different currencies. Debits are aromatically routed to right currency or the best conversion pair.

Transferwise DOES charge fees for conversions and a variety of other transactions, but it warns you about fees BEFORE you make the transaction. Fees are better than Paypal but not in some cases than Fidelity. It’s cheaper for me to convert and hold Euros in my Fidelity account and then execute a SWIFT wire to my Transferwise account than have Transferwise pull dollars from my US bank account and then convert them. The Fidelity debit card allows one to pull out cash very cheaply at Visa ATMs in Europe at reputable banks. No foreign transaction fee credit cards might be cheaper to use than the Transferwise debit card. I will learn more about potential debit card fees once I receive the card and use it.

What I intend to use Transferwise for is sending and receiving funds to IBAN accounts within the EU. I will also use the debit card to spend down my stipend so I will not need to transfer money back to the US. Also, its important for tax purposes to spend that money on travel related costs and keep meticulous records for the IRS, so Transferwise statements will be handy.

Some other points. Customer Service at Transferwise is very good. I mispelled a name for IBAN transfer and Transferwise was very helpful in resolving the issue. All contact was through email.

There seems to be no way to deposit cash to a Transferwise account other than depositing it into another institution and transferring it to the Borderless Acct.

Transferwise required a scan of my passport, and driver’s license to set up the account and verify my identity. The license had to include my permanent US address. Transferwise also asked for my SS# and required login information to my local bank to set up a pull. I called my bank, Bank of America NA, and they said it was ok. Like Venmo, BofA has an established relationship with Transferwise.

In conclusion, I would recommend this account for students, and people working or traveling abroad for extended periods of time. However, for those moving permanently abroad, I don’t think it is a substitute for a traditional bank. Lack of insurance and regulation would make me hesitate to store large amounts of money in one of these accounts for an extended amount of time. The account also does not pay interest.

kxl19
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:41 am

Re: Best way to deposit Euros to a US Bank

Post by kxl19 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:16 pm

Another option - depending on which part of China your partner is in, she could fly to Singapore, which has a strong network of money changers, well regulated by the government, with very competitive rates, and often better than the ATM when I'm changing USD / SGD.

She could convert RMB to SGD->USD/EUR, but you'd probably have a 2% hit in the exchange rate since you'd have to go "through" SGD.

Mustafa Centre has examples of their rates online: https://cashchanger.co/singapore/mc/mus ... exchange/1

When I lived there, I closed my local bank account, converted all my SGD into USD, and flew back with cash.

Otherwise, Transferwise is a great option too, I've used that quite successfully.

Post Reply