International wire transfers from U.S. to Europe: Transferwise/Wise or someone else?

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LeftCoastIV
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International wire transfers from U.S. to Europe: Transferwise/Wise or someone else?

Post by LeftCoastIV »

I regularly transfer from from a US bank account to a European bank account, generally on a monthly basis. My U.S. bank (Bank of America) does not charge a wire fee, but more than compensates for that by providing a poor exchange rate.

I have seen Transferwise (now Wise) recommended on this forum. Any other advise, or "tips and tricks" for personal wire transfers, for the best overall rate?

Thanks
Marseille07
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Re: International wire transfers from U.S. to Europe: Transferwise/Wise or someone else?

Post by Marseille07 »

I believe Interactive Brokers can do a free wire once a month, and their exchange rate is very good.
85% US + FM | 15% Cash
EddyB
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Re: International wire transfers from U.S. to Europe: Transferwise/Wise or someone else?

Post by EddyB »

Marseille07 wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:35 am I believe Interactive Brokers can do a free wire once a month, and their exchange rate is very good.
That’s the best choice I’ve found (for transfers among one’s own accounts).
fujiters
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Re: International wire transfers from U.S. to Europe: Transferwise/Wise or someone else?

Post by fujiters »

Marseille07 wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:35 am I believe Interactive Brokers can do a free wire once a month, and their exchange rate is very good.
+1 but the wire transfer must be into an account you own (not into someone else's account).
“The purpose of the margin of safety is to render the forecast unnecessary.” -Benjamin Graham
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LeftCoastIV
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Re: International wire transfers from U.S. to Europe: Transferwise/Wise or someone else?

Post by LeftCoastIV »

fujiters wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:50 am
Marseille07 wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:35 am I believe Interactive Brokers can do a free wire once a month, and their exchange rate is very good.
+1 but the wire transfer must be into an account you own (not into someone else's account).
I own the accounts on both sides. For simplicity, I'd prefer to not have to do two transfers (from Bank of America to Interactive Brokers, and then to the European Bank). There would also be nothing in it for Interactive Brokers, as I don't plan to trade with them. I am just looking to transfer money once a month.
ivk5
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Re: International wire transfers from U.S. to Europe: Transferwise/Wise or someone else?

Post by ivk5 »

Many threads on this topic. Somewhat dependent on which currency pair- IIRC from another thread you’re in CH so likely USD/CHF. I do monthly transfers in the other direction (CHF to USD) and have found Revolut to be better rate/pricing. I pay for their middle tier (Metal, I think- CHF 8.99/mo - allows unlimited transfers - I factor this into xfer fee). You do have to avoid weekend transfers when they charge a premium. I’ve been doing this monthly for couple years, overall satisfied.

It does require two transfers, though for the first leg I have a standing order in my Swiss account.
Marseille07
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Re: International wire transfers from U.S. to Europe: Transferwise/Wise or someone else?

Post by Marseille07 »

LeftCoastIV wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:56 am
fujiters wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:50 am
Marseille07 wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:35 am I believe Interactive Brokers can do a free wire once a month, and their exchange rate is very good.
+1 but the wire transfer must be into an account you own (not into someone else's account).
I own the accounts on both sides. For simplicity, I'd prefer to not have to do two transfers (from Bank of America to Interactive Brokers, and then to the European Bank). There would also be nothing in it for Interactive Brokers, as I don't plan to trade with them. I am just looking to transfer money once a month.
OK, then just try out Wise or Revolut. I wasn't aware you didn't want another financial institution in the mix.
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German Expat
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Re: International wire transfers from U.S. to Europe: Transferwise/Wise or someone else?

Post by German Expat »

What are the amounts? Interactive brokers is by far the best rate but will require the 2 transfers you don’t want to do. Revolut and Wise are both ok but e.g. Revolut also requires 3 transactions but like IB it’s quick on your cell phone. You can look into automating at least some of the steps.
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LeftCoastIV
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Re: International wire transfers from U.S. to Europe: Transferwise/Wise or someone else?

Post by LeftCoastIV »

German Expat wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:42 pm What are the amounts? Interactive brokers is by far the best rate but will require the 2 transfers you don’t want to do. Revolut and Wise are both ok but e.g. Revolut also requires 3 transactions but like IB it’s quick on your cell phone. You can look into automating at least some of the steps.
Typical transfers are around $10K.

This is what I saw yesterday regarding fx rates.

B of A: 1 USD = 0.8924 CHF
Wise.com 1 USD = 0.9174 CHF

On $10K USD, that equates to a $250 difference based on fx rate.

Note that B of A does not charge a wire fee (how nice of them), whereas Wise.com charges around $75 depending on the method you use. Still a net $175 difference for a $10K transfer. I tried Wise.com for the first time yesterday and although the process isn't completed yet, setting everything up was easy.
ivk5
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Re: International wire transfers from U.S. to Europe: Transferwise/Wise or someone else?

Post by ivk5 »

Additional data point: Right now on Revolut I see USD 10,000 = CHF 9,155 after all fees (incl 9/mo subscription to eliminate transfer limits).

So about 50 better than wise, but at the price of extra steps (via mobile app).
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Re: International wire transfers from U.S. to Europe: Transferwise/Wise or someone else?

Post by Tinkerer-in-Chief »

I’ve regularly used Wise for over five years for conversions between pound sterling and US dollars. That includes the occasional five figure transfer. I have been very satisfied with them; no hiccups and the fees are modest and transparent. They have also decreased slightly as the company has grown.

However, I have never done a direct price comparison between Wise and Interactive Brokers.
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German Expat
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Re: International wire transfers from U.S. to Europe: Transferwise/Wise or someone else?

Post by German Expat »

LeftCoastIV wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:24 am
German Expat wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:42 pm What are the amounts? Interactive brokers is by far the best rate but will require the 2 transfers you don’t want to do. Revolut and Wise are both ok but e.g. Revolut also requires 3 transactions but like IB it’s quick on your cell phone. You can look into automating at least some of the steps.
Typical transfers are around $10K.

This is what I saw yesterday regarding fx rates.

B of A: 1 USD = 0.8924 CHF
Wise.com 1 USD = 0.9174 CHF

On $10K USD, that equates to a $250 difference based on fx rate.

Note that B of A does not charge a wire fee (how nice of them), whereas Wise.com charges around $75 depending on the method you use. Still a net $175 difference for a $10K transfer. I tried Wise.com for the first time yesterday and although the process isn't completed yet, setting everything up was easy.
If you would use Interactive Brokers with the current exchange rates shown online (can't look back to yesterday) you get:

Wise.com: 9,107.91 CHF
IB: 9,163.97 CHF (2 USD subtracted for the IB fee, so only exchanging 9998 USD)

I agree you will get large savings already by using wise vs BoA and in the example today you get an additional 56 CHF for this transaction by going one step further with IB. The disadvantage is it takes a bit longer (hold times) and a little more work. I am sending similar amounts the other way around monthly and I am ok doing a bit more work for an additional approx. 60 USD. But I also have some investments in IBKR with margin enabled so I can send money any time without having to wait that things clear (paying some small interest then). I don't really use margin and plan the timing accordingly but its nice to know I can in case of an urgent matter.
Last edited by German Expat on Fri Oct 22, 2021 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
SoHobo
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Re: International wire transfers from U.S. to Europe: Transferwise/Wise or someone else?

Post by SoHobo »

I have used XE to transfer money rom Europe to USA. Easy to set up, easy to execute. Excellent service. No wire fees. Good exchange rates.https://www.xe.com
Topic Author
LeftCoastIV
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Re: International wire transfers from U.S. to Europe: Transferwise/Wise or someone else?

Post by LeftCoastIV »

German Expat wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:51 am
LeftCoastIV wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:24 am
German Expat wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:42 pm What are the amounts? Interactive brokers is by far the best rate but will require the 2 transfers you don’t want to do. Revolut and Wise are both ok but e.g. Revolut also requires 3 transactions but like IB it’s quick on your cell phone. You can look into automating at least some of the steps.
Typical transfers are around $10K.

This is what I saw yesterday regarding fx rates.

B of A: 1 USD = 0.8924 CHF
Wise.com 1 USD = 0.9174 CHF

On $10K USD, that equates to a $250 difference based on fx rate.

Note that B of A does not charge a wire fee (how nice of them), whereas Wise.com charges around $75 depending on the method you use. Still a net $175 difference for a $10K transfer. I tried Wise.com for the first time yesterday and although the process isn't completed yet, setting everything up was easy.
If you would use Interactive Brokers with the current exchange rates shown online (can't look back to yesterday) you get:

Wise.com: 9,107.91 CHF
IB: 9,163.97 CHF (2 USD subtracted for the IB fee, so only exchanging 9998 USD)

I agree you will get large savings already by using wise vs BoA and in the example today you get an additional 56 CHF for this transaction by going one step further with IB. The disadvantage is it takes a bit longer (hold times) and a little more work. I am sending similar amounts the other way around monthly and I am ok doing a bit more work for an additional approx. 60 USD. But I also have some investments in IBKR with margin enabled so I can send money any time without having to wait that things clear (paying some small interest then). I don't really use margin and plan the timing accordingly but its nice to know I can in case of an urgent matter.
Thanks for the additional info on IB, with the fx comparison vs Wise. Helpful to see them side-by-side.
manuvns
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Re: International wire transfers from U.S. to Europe: Transferwise/Wise or someone else?

Post by manuvns »

ivk5 wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:59 am Many threads on this topic. Somewhat dependent on which currency pair- IIRC from another thread you’re in CH so likely USD/CHF. I do monthly transfers in the other direction (CHF to USD) and have found Revolut to be better rate/pricing. I pay for their middle tier (Metal, I think- CHF 8.99/mo - allows unlimited transfers - I factor this into xfer fee). You do have to avoid weekend transfers when they charge a premium. I’ve been doing this monthly for couple years, overall satisfied.

It does require two transfers, though for the first leg I have a standing order in my Swiss account.
+1 I have started using revolut to place limit orders on foreign currency to hold in multiple currency accounts/pots and transfer them fee free ( currently limit is $1k per month beyond that there is a tranfer fee )

https://www.revolut.com/en-US/help/maki ... nge%20fees.
Thanks!
ivk5
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Re: International wire transfers from U.S. to Europe: Transferwise/Wise or someone else?

Post by ivk5 »

manuvns wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 12:02 pm
ivk5 wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:59 am Many threads on this topic. Somewhat dependent on which currency pair- IIRC from another thread you’re in CH so likely USD/CHF. I do monthly transfers in the other direction (CHF to USD) and have found Revolut to be better rate/pricing. I pay for their middle tier (Metal, I think- CHF 8.99/mo - allows unlimited transfers - I factor this into xfer fee). You do have to avoid weekend transfers when they charge a premium. I’ve been doing this monthly for couple years, overall satisfied.

It does require two transfers, though for the first leg I have a standing order in my Swiss account.
+1 I have started using revolut to place limit orders on foreign currency to hold in multiple currency accounts/pots and transfer them fee free ( currently limit is $1k per month beyond that there is a tranfer fee )

https://www.revolut.com/en-US/help/maki ... nge%20fees.
PSA: I have been relying on Premium plan to get 1 fee-free cross-border transfer per month with no limit on size. However I now see that starting 08 July the fee-free transfers will be replaced by less generous discounts, at least for my location (not US). This looks likely to erode most of the cost advantage Revolut has had over Wise. I may switch to making Wise my primary as I've had other frustrations with Revolut.
manuvns
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Re: International wire transfers from U.S. to Europe: Transferwise/Wise or someone else?

Post by manuvns »

ivk5 wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 7:52 am
manuvns wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 12:02 pm
ivk5 wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:59 am Many threads on this topic. Somewhat dependent on which currency pair- IIRC from another thread you’re in CH so likely USD/CHF. I do monthly transfers in the other direction (CHF to USD) and have found Revolut to be better rate/pricing. I pay for their middle tier (Metal, I think- CHF 8.99/mo - allows unlimited transfers - I factor this into xfer fee). You do have to avoid weekend transfers when they charge a premium. I’ve been doing this monthly for couple years, overall satisfied.

It does require two transfers, though for the first leg I have a standing order in my Swiss account.
+1 I have started using revolut to place limit orders on foreign currency to hold in multiple currency accounts/pots and transfer them fee free ( currently limit is $1k per month beyond that there is a tranfer fee )

https://www.revolut.com/en-US/help/maki ... nge%20fees.
PSA: I have been relying on Premium plan to get 1 fee-free cross-border transfer per month with no limit on size. However I now see that starting 08 July the fee-free transfers will be replaced by less generous discounts, at least for my location (not US). This looks likely to erode most of the cost advantage Revolut has had over Wise. I may switch to making Wise my primary as I've had other frustrations with Revolut.
Hmm i keep both revolut and wise account free version , have you tried the wise limit orders to convert currency in a foreign currency jar and transfer the converted currency to you international destination ( which is cheaper and better than USD tranfers ) ?
you can have paycheck deposited to wise for free, convert it to foreign currency and send it for under a $ .
Thanks!
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