• Text Only
Voting History
rated:
I just want people's input on this. Please dont red me, Im just seeking input or ideas.

I am planning to go my home country next month. I recently purchased a property there.

Question:
I wired $70K recently and got a horrible exchange rate. Now for the remaining $70K, I am thinking of carrying it with me. By doing so, I will save $2K in exchange rates.

I know its most likely not advisable to do so, but would anyone here in this forum carry $70K cash on a 20 hour flight to save $2K?

Is it unsafe? Yes, possibly. I have once carried $20K cash before and it was fine. I know most likely I would just wire the money, just seeking ideas.
Please dont suggest all those remit2India etc, as I am not from India. (and for my country, the rates arent that great). When you bring cash to a money changer in my country, they offer fantastic exchange rates.

Is it legal to bring out that much amount: yes. Is it legal to bring in that much into my country: yes.

FYI: $70K = 700 $100 bills. 350 pieces on one pocket and 350 in the other. Jeans.

Member Summary

Mr. T (36.79kB)
Thanks macosx
Disclaimer
Most Recent Posts
I still don't understand how the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) wields so much power in this arena. I mean... (more)

bytem3 (Feb. 20, 2012 @ 6:49p) |

Probably a smart choice, OP - would cost you a lot more than $1200 to hire a lawyer if the folks at TSA/Customs were ext... (more)

LifeAsISeeIt (Feb. 20, 2012 @ 8:38p) |

TSA _shouldn't_ have an issue here. They've explicitly agreed that carrying cash, in and of itself, is not something wi... (more)

cestmoi123 (Feb. 21, 2012 @ 9:13a) |

  • Also categorized in:

Why not go old school and sew a hidden pocket in your jeans?

Yes but as a baller I also carry my AMEX card. Never leave home without it.

BNizzle said:   Why not go old school and sew a hidden pocket in your jeans?
the tsa guy manning the body scanner machine is going to love that

get straps of brand new bills, they should take up less room. banks will have them right now because of the holidays

Does the country you go to not make you declare the cash and make you pay tax upon arrival? Have you checked if there's no import limit for where you are going?

I'd imagine the security/police may think you're either part of a drug ring or terrorist group if they find you carrying that much cash.

Don't you need to report it in the airport when leaving states

is there a global bank in the country you are visiting that also has branches in the states? You might get better rates this way and eliminate risk of carrying cash.

adamsmart78 said:   Don't you need to report it in the airport when leaving states

No, you only need to report money that is coming in. To my knowledge.

Bobalude said:   is there a global bank in the country you are visiting that also has branches in the states? You might get better rates this way and eliminate risk of carrying cash.

There are global banks but the exchange rates are not favorable.

For example, lets say the going rate is US$1 = 5 XYZ on FOREX. Banks will give you around $4.8, and money changers may give you 4.95

First, where did the 140G's come from?

aares said:   First, where did the 140G's come from?

Something very few people do....save!

Need a ride to the airport?

Don't transport it with your drugs. I would put in a briefcase and handcuff to your hand. Also have two large men in suits on both sides of you with ear pieces and sunglasses on.

I think I will most likely wire $50K and carry $20K. A kind forum member did point me to the following link:
https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/195

I'm curious how you're avoiding getting burnt on the exchange. The banks will burn you, but the cash FX counters will burn you more. Have you found someone who needs to make the reciprocal trade?

I once knew someone in the same situation... didn't like to get burnt on FX losses, so he carried ~10k at a time. It's not a legal limit.. but just less risk and hassle. I don't know how he actually exchanged it.

Another thought-- the $100 bill is tiny. If you're going to Europe, do the exchange before you go and get 500 notes.

Diamonds would enable you travel even lighter. Not sure if $70k in diamonds is enough to draw suspicion though (which could then lead to delays, interrogation, etc).

jigsaw1975 said:   I think I will most likely wire $50K and carry $20K. A kind forum member did point me to the following link:
https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/195

Are you sure you don't have to declare outbound transfers of cash? The penalty is severe (forfeiture) and there's absolutely no harm or taxes due if you declare it.

But I would be more concerned about the laws of the country you are bringing it into. They may have similar forfeiture laws, and are probably not conveniently listed in plain English on the Internet. In fact , it may be a law they "make up" when they see even $20k of cash .

And then what are you going to do? Argue with the local officials why you should get your $20,000 back?

There are numerous low fee services like western union, xoom and many others which can safely get your money there without horrendous exchange losses.

Please see image attached:

On the left is what Wells Fargo will give you for $1000 USD in EURO = Euro 713
On the right, is what the going exchange rate is, which is USD$1000 = EURO 755

Just for US$1K, you already lose Euro $42 (USD$55)

Gargam3l: FX Counters overseas are not the same as FX counters in the US. Overseas, they usually give you much better rates than banks...a lot better.

Just out of curiosity, what country are we traveling to? Columbia?

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   jigsaw1975 said:   I think I will most likely wire $50K and carry $20K. A kind forum member did point me to the following link:
https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/195

Are you sure you don't have to declare outbound transfers of cash? The penalty is severe (forfeiture) and there's absolutely no harm or taxes due if you declare it.

But I would be more concerned about the laws of the country you are bringing it into. They may have similar forfeiture laws, and are probably not conveniently listed in plain English on the Internet. In fact , it may be a law they "make up" when they see even $20k of cash .

And then what are you going to do? Argue with the local officials why you should get your $20,000 back?

There are numerous low fee services like western union, xoom and many others which can safely get your money there without horrendous exchange losses.


1. Outbound transfer of cash (wire) more than USD$10K is automatically filed by the bank.
2. Western Union etc dont have the greatest rates, plus on top of that, they charge a fee.

gobigorgohome said:   Just out of curiosity, what country are we traveling to? Columbia?
A country in Asia.

gargam3l said:   I'm curious how you're avoiding getting burnt on the exchange. The banks will burn you, but the cash FX counters will burn you more.
Not in some countries

For example in Indonesia the street hut money changers offered better rates thAn any bank, quite a bit better.

Only you can judge if the risk of travelling with that much cash is worth saving the fees charged by organizations (banks, WU, etc.) who can help in reducing the risk of robbery, loss, confiscation, etc. I'd be so nervous with that much cash that I would undoubtedly be selected by customs for a thorough search.

Have you looked into traveler's checks? You could also simply call American Express and ask for advice on travelling with that much cash. They can explain options even if their fees would be more that you want to pay. You don't have to pay the fees to get their advice.

Jeans are very easy for pickockets. At least invest 20 bucks in one of those moneybelts that go under your clothes so pockets are zipped and not accessible

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   gargam3l said:   I'm curious how you're avoiding getting burnt on the exchange. The banks will burn you, but the cash FX counters will burn you more.
Not in some countries

For example in Indonesia the street hut money changers offered better rates thAn any bank, quite a bit better.


Exactly. If you have been to Mexico, you will see money changers offering much higher rates than any other place.

jigsaw1975 said:   Please see image attached:

On the left is what Wells Fargo will give you for $1000 USD in EURO = Euro 713
On the right, is what the going exchange rate is, which is USD$1000 = EURO 755

Just for US$1K, you already lose Euro $42 (USD$55)

Gargam3l: FX Counters overseas are not the same as FX counters in the US. Overseas, they usually give you much better rates than banks...a lot better.


Holy crap! Wells fargo is charging almost 6% for the conversion! FYI this is NOT the norm. I get wires from US to EU via Citibank all the time and the conversion rate is only at 2.2-2.3% above the mean.
For example, my last wire was on Nov 18, a transfer of 3390 USD from Citi converted to 2453 EURO (minus 2.45 EURO wire fee), an effective rate of 1.382. Looking at finance.yahoo.com I get the mean exchange for that date being 1.3524, so I got surcharged by 2.2%.

I could believe that for your specific Asian currency banks are charging more, however the example you posted is for EURO. So there is definitely something wrong with Wells Fargo.

make sure you are not violating any law carrying so much cash traveling .

for example here are the rules for India http://www.travelchacha.com/forex/guidline1.html

Ecuadorgr said:   jigsaw1975 said:   Please see image attached:

On the left is what Wells Fargo will give you for $1000 USD in EURO = Euro 713
On the right, is what the going exchange rate is, which is USD$1000 = EURO 755

Just for US$1K, you already lose Euro $42 (USD$55)

Gargam3l: FX Counters overseas are not the same as FX counters in the US. Overseas, they usually give you much better rates than banks...a lot better.


Holy crap! Wells fargo is charging almost 6% for the conversion! FYI this is NOT the norm. I get wires from US to EU via Citibank all the time and the conversion rate is only at 2.2-2.3% above the mean.
For example, my last wire was on Nov 18, a transfer of 3390 USD from Citi converted to 2453 EURO (minus 2.45 EURO wire fee), an effective rate of 1.382. Looking at finance.yahoo.com I get the mean exchange for that date being 1.3524, so I got surcharged by 2.2%.

I could believe that for your specific Asian currency banks are charging more, however the example you posted is for EURO. So there is definitely something wrong with Wells Fargo.

Wire rates are completely different from getting foreign currency at a bank. WF wire rate is much less than 6 percent

originalmillerman said:   Don't transport it with your drugs. I would put in a briefcase and handcuff to your hand. Also have two large men in suits on both sides of you with ear pieces and sunglasses on.

I think it would be appropriate for him to be dropped off in a limo just near the jet..with a couple girls with DD's? don't you think?

Please let me know what flight you are on so that I may assist with security.

jigsaw1975 said:   gobigorgohome said:   Just out of curiosity, what country are we traveling to? Columbia?
A country in Asia.


Why are you being secretive? You think we are going to figure out who you are by what country you are from?

It boils down to this: Fill out the forms and take the cash, or don't fill out the forms and pay the fees. How is this a dilemma?

Why not traveller checks? You can deposit them at the local bank.

In many Asian, and central asian countries the street level dealers will give a much better exchange rate than the forex counters, because Dollars and Euros can be used to buy things that local currency cannot.

Cash that's not declared to customs is cash that does not exist. When they confiscate it, you have no grounds to argue.
On the other hand, cash that is declared will still be confiscated because it'll make you an easy target for corrupt officials.

Just add the exchange fee to the cost basis of your property. It'll go up, right?

As an aside, are you able to put the property under your own name? Or do you have to go thru some relative to buy the property? Quite a few countries still forbid land ownership by foreigners.

Why not just keep the money in a US-based credit union and withdraw the money slowly using your ATM card at ATMs that don't charge transaction fees? That way you get the current day's bank rate for conversion, no risk of robbery, and no $10k limit or other issues with leaving the US or entering another country.

Is that 70k in your pocket or are you just happy to see me!

Carrying $70K to save $2k - Not a bad option
Paying $5k bribe to the customs and all the hassle when they stop you ( probably in India) - Priceless

your intention might be good , but not to the authorities...

Just to let you know, if you're ever get caught by custom in some Asian countries (not in US), light they'll make you pay a fine. Worst, your money will be confiscated, and you'll be detained for security purposes. Legally you'll required to report how much you're taking out of the US (over 10K i think), and how much you're bringing into your country when you arrive.

BEST bet, Citibank or other megabank here in US have branches over there..and thus you can take money out with less fees if any at all (although i've never done it before)

Yup, carrying 70k on an international flight is just asking for it. You seriously that cheap for 2k

Skipping 237 Messages...
bytem3 said:   dgoedken said:   jigsaw1975 said:   adamsmart78 said:   Don't you need to report it in the airport when leaving states

No, you only need to report money that is coming in. To my knowledge.


I believe you have to report to TSA any amt $10k or greater.


I still don't understand how the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) wields so much power in this arena. I mean, sure, weapons and sharp things can be dangerous in the air, but what kind of dangerous behavior can you engage in with several thousand dollars in cash? Papercut someone to death? Join the mile-high club?

I'm not condoning carrying large sums of money on planes (but if you do, let me know your flight number, date, time, and seat and maybe I can, uh, take some of it off your hands ), but in my mind, reporting the amount of money you're carrying to the TSA is like telling the bouncer at a club how much money you're carrying. It just seems ridiculous.

Last I checked (i.e. saw the huge signs whenever traveling), it is US Customs to whom you have to report whenever you are "exporting" $10,000 or greater.


TSA _shouldn't_ have an issue here. They've explicitly agreed that carrying cash, in and of itself, is not something with which they have any reason to be concerned. They do, however, have it in their policy (I don't think they should, but they do) that TSA staff are supposed to report evidence of criminal activity to law enforcement. If they deem your cash to be that evidence, then they can report you, and then it's off into Wonderland you (may) go.



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

TRUSTe online privacy certification

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2014