• Page :
  • 1
  • Text Only
Voting History
rated:
This has been asked before here, but it seems that one of the best solutions, XE.com, no longer will transfer money from Europe (at least the country that I am interested in: France), so I will ask again.

I need to find an inexpensive way to transfer approximately 1500eur a month for a year from a European, probably French, bank account, to my US bank account. I already have a Schwab brokerage/bank account. (Also have Citibank, and am willing to open something else if need be.) I have not yet opened a bank account in France where the money will be deposited, so that can be flexible.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I actually don't even need to transfer once a month -- I could do 3000eur every two months if that would help with saving on fees. Looking for some alternative to a regular bank transfer or PayPal, both of which seem to cost a substantial amount.

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
Each country has their own asset/relationship requirements; typically around the 200k level.

Zaos (Aug. 01, 2012 @ 4:55p) |

If you have accounts in both EUR and USD you could do the Interactive Brokers trick. Fund IB in EUR. Trade EUR for USD t... (more)

TravelerMSY (Aug. 01, 2012 @ 7:19p) |

If I am translating that correctly then its pretty much the same as my BofA terms. The international fee is $3 (maybe $... (more)

RedWolfe01 (Aug. 02, 2012 @ 7:15p) |

  • Also categorized in:
Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

stephaniet said:   XE.com, no longer will transfer money from Europe (at least the country that I am interested in: France)Any way to move it from France to Britain, and then to the US using XE ?

If you own both accounts, and are physically in the US, can you simply withdraw USD from an ATM and deposit into your USD bank account? You may need multiple withdrawals depending on the daily ATM limits. Check to see what fees, if any is charged by the French bank for ATM use in the US.

One caveat: I dont know if multiple periodic ~$500/1k cash deposits into a US bank account would raise any suspicions.

Or deposit euro checks in us account

uutxs said:   
One caveat: I dont know if multiple periodic ~$500/1k cash deposits into a US bank account would raise any suspicions.
Irrelevant, if legal

Are you sure they don't transfer from France? I see Euro member country in the drop down

check out HSBC.. they allow you to link accounts with different currencies.. and you can do online transfer between them.. no transfer fee.. just the spot rate for foreign transaction..
caveat.. you must have HSBC accounts in both countries.. and currenciess.. ie.. one in the US, and the other in France.

(adding more info)
Sorry the transfer is free for HSBC premier member. If you're not Premier, the fee is $7 USD or 5 Euro, per transfer.
http://www.expat.hsbc.com/1/2/hsbc-expat/ways-to-bank-with-us/gl...

Also, you might look at BNP Paribas, they are the French member of the ATM alliance. You can take ATM withdrawals from any Bank of America ATM with no fees.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_ATM_Alliance

Jojosung this looks like an interesting option, though in order to get the Jersey/Offshore account, it looks like I need to maintain a balance of £25,000, which isn't going to happen. (I'm a broke PhD student getting a minimal fellowship from France next year.)

I assume that if I open one account in the US, and another in France, there is no link between the two of them?

Thanks everyone for the responses thus far. To answer people's quesitons:

1. UK is not an option.
2. 95% sure that XE is not an option, as you cannot register an account from France, and as far as I understand, you need to register in the country from which you will be sending. If someone knows something to the contrary, please let me know.
3. Regular French banks usually charge hefty fees for ATM withdraws outside of the Euro Zone. I.e. 3€ + 3%. BNP Paribas does look like a good option, as it seems that they charge neither the flat fee nor the % commission. http://www.bnpparibas.net/banque/PA_CanalnetApp/documentum/canal...
I do wonder what their exchange rate is, however. (I believe that in reverse, Citibank doesn't tell you they are charging you a % exchange fee, they just give you what seems to be a horrible rate.)

stephaniet said:   Jojosung this looks like an interesting option, though in order to get the Jersey/Offshore account, it looks like I need to maintain a balance of £25,000, which isn't going to happen. (I'm a broke PhD student getting a minimal fellowship from France next year.)

I assume that if I open one account in the US, and another in France, there is no link between the two of them?


Depends, if you go with HSBC then they will link your accounts and you use a "Global" page to access. (I looked into this option for an overseas contract) The overseas contract wanted to pay me a USD salary but to a Singapore bank -- and the work was in a third country.

For the amounts you are looking at I would just use ATMs or wires. The fees on special accounts are going to cost you more than just wiring the money. If the global alliance works as advertized then you can just use ATMs instead. (I know it works between BofA and Banco Santander just fine)

Ironically its actually harder to do this sort of thing between Canada and the US. None of the US banks have active consumer access to Canada that I could find. However the Canadian banks usually had subsidiaries/branches in the US.

I can't answer for France but Charles Schwab has a bank in Germany (they work with Citibank) and I can just initiate a bank transfer from my German bank to the Citibank via the regular electronic transfer system in Germany. There are no fees for the transfer itself and Schwab gave me a pretty decent exchange rate and did not subtract any costs. It arrived also quite fast and was credited in US$ as I expected. I had to call them to get the account number but it is the same as shown here on the web site under Euro:

http://www.schwab.co.uk/public/schwab-uk-en/accounts_services/ac...

and here is the email they sent me:

Below is the incoming wiring instruction for wiring funds (in Euro - EUR) to your Schwab account:
Destination Bank: Citibank AG Frankfurt
SWIFT ID: CITIDEFF
BLZ Number: 50210900
Account Name: Charles Schwab Global Services-EUR Trade Master Account
Account Number: 0213203002
IBAN Number: DE89 5021 0900 0213 2030 02
Bank Address: Citibank AG, Frankfurther Welle, Reuterweg 16 60323 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
For Further Credit to: (To ensure your account is properly credited, provide the 8-digit account number and name(s) listed on your Schwab account.)

So the question is how much would it cost you from your french bank to transfer money to Germany ?

I did a little more research but unfortunately only found it in German. It seems like you can transfer money via a Sepa transfer from France to Germany for the price of an inland french transfer so it should not cost you any real money to send money from the French account to the German Schwab account and just use it for getting your money. Would be easy to try it out with 100 Euro to see how much arrives and what the costs were.
I would try to find a bank in France with a good web site that allows free or low cost money transfer.

Here is an explanation for Sepa and what countries are supported (obviously France and Germany is not a problem):

http://www.citibank.com/ipb/europe/manageyourmoney/bankingservic...

I am not sure if banks have an online option to do that. The only sepa transfer I did recently was initiated in a branch when I talked to the bank manager.

Btw, reading your statement about the fellowship couldn't you just talk them into depositing it into the Frankfurt Citibank Schwab account and use the correct information so it hits your account ? Then you would not even need a French account and the money just shows up.

This forum is so amazing! Finally people who give substantial, detailed answers rather than just "my mother always used travelers checks."

GermanExpat, that Schwab option looks great. I do wonder if they would transfer to a US Schwab account -- I can't seem to find a similar page on Schwab.com (rather than Schwab.co.uk) but I can give them a call and ask. (Another wonderful thing about Schwab!) A SEPA transfer would indeed be free (provided I do it online) from a Paribas account. Which it seems like I should probably get, since it seems that walking with fistfuls of cash from a BoA (Global Alliance) ATM to a Citibank ATM in the US is also a viable option. I should try both and report back on which is cheaper. Vielen dank!

stephaniet said:   This forum is so amazing! Finally people who give substantial, detailed answers rather than just "my mother always used travelers checks."

GermanExpat, that Schwab option looks great. I do wonder if they would transfer to a US Schwab account -- I can't seem to find a similar page on Schwab.com (rather than Schwab.co.uk) but I can give them a call and ask. (Another wonderful thing about Schwab!) A SEPA transfer would indeed be free (provided I do it online) from a Paribas account. Which it seems like I should probably get, since it seems that walking with fistfuls of cash from a BoA (Global Alliance) ATM to a Citibank ATM in the US is also a viable option. I should try both and report back on which is cheaper. Vielen dank!

My reply was for my US account and I don't even have a UK account. I just could not find a referenced US link on the Schwab web site but the part I copied was from an email from my Schwab rep in the US that showed the same information. You should be able to just give it a shot with the Citi information I gave you above (probably still good if you call Schwab to make sure things have not changed, mine was around 9 month ago).

PS: if you PM me your email I can send you the original Schwab email I still have (its from October 2011).

Alcibiades said:   stephaniet said:   XE.com, no longer will transfer money from Europe (at least the country that I am interested in: France)Any way to move it from France to Britain, and then to the US using XE ?
Most likely not as that would require having an account in the UK and opening one is a total nightmare and almost impossible for someone not residing in the UK.

uutxs said:   If you own both accounts, and are physically in the US, can you simply withdraw USD from an ATM and deposit into your USD bank account? You may need multiple withdrawals depending on the daily ATM limits. Check to see what fees, if any is charged by the French bank for ATM use in the US.

One caveat: I dont know if multiple periodic ~$500/1k cash deposits into a US bank account would raise any suspicions.

Having lived in Europe for some time I doubt that a French bank would not charge for something they can charge. The fees will add up of course. And my biggest concern would not be cash deposits in the US but instead periodic ATM withdrawals from the French account that may look suspicious enough over there for them to suspend the account.

jojosung said:   check out HSBC.. they allow you to link accounts with different currencies.. and you can do online transfer between them.. no transfer fee.. just the spot rate for foreign transaction..
caveat.. you must have HSBC accounts in both countries.. and currenciess.. ie.. one in the US, and the other in France.

(adding more info)
Sorry the transfer is free for HSBC premier member. If you're not Premier, the fee is $7 USD or 5 Euro, per transfer.
http://www.expat.hsbc.com/1/2/hsbc-expat/ways-to-bank-with-us/gl...

The problem with HSBC is that their exchange rate might be terrible. With XE you lock in the rate first and than do the transfer.
HSBC business has free wires (up to 5/month I believe) at least from the US to other counties. Could be the same into the US. I learned the hard way though that they will not open a business account for you unless you have a business license in the state where you're applying.

stephaniet said:   This forum is so amazing! Finally people who give substantial, detailed answers rather than just "my mother always used travelers checks."

Please, PLEASE, don't tell anyone. It would ruin our reputation.

Besides, the folks over in Hot Deals would never believe you.

RedWolfe01 said:   For the amounts you are looking at I would just use ATMs or wires. The fees on special accounts are going to cost you more than just wiring the money. If the global alliance works as advertized then you can just use ATMs instead. (I know it works between BofA and Banco Santander just fine)
I vote for wires too as long as there's a way to initiate a wire without physical presense in the French bank.

stephaniet said:   
2. 95% sure that XE is not an option, as you cannot register an account from France, and as far as I understand, you need to register in the country from which you will be sending. If someone knows something to the contrary, please let me know.
)
Not true. At least a few years ago. I registered in the US and moved money both to and from Australia.

Why don't you ask them?

Yoksel said:   Having lived in Europe for some time I doubt that a French bank would not charge for something they can charge. The fees will add up of course. And my biggest concern would not be cash deposits in the US but instead periodic ATM withdrawals from the French account that may look suspicious enough over there for them to suspend the account.

Haha, spoken like someone who has dealt with France. (I love that you have to pay to have an ATM card!) I did try to read the fine print re: fees charged for Global Alliance withdraws, but I will ask again when opening my account.

Here's what they say:
Retraits hors zone euro
• Aux distributeurs de banques partenaires (Global Alliance) : UkrSibbank (en Ukraine), Barclays (au Royaume-Uni, dans
certains pays d’Afrique* et à l’Ile Maurice), Deutsche Bank (en Pologne et en Inde), Bank of America (aux États-Unis),
Scotiabank (au Canada, au Mexique, au Chili, au Pérou, au Guyana et dans les Caraïbes), Westpac (en Australie, en
Nouvelle-Zélande et en Océanie). gratuit
• Aux autres distributeurs automatiques, par opération 2,90 % + 3 €
Avec Carte INFINITE, par opération 2 % + 1,50 €
• Aux guichets d’agences, par opération 2,90 % + 5 €
Avec Carte INFINITE, par opération 2 % + 2,50 €

And yes, I suppose I should ask when opening the account if draining it to zero every month through withdraws in the US will be a problem. I don't really see why it should be (I have a visa to legally reside in France), but just in case.

I have deposited checks made out to myself in Eur at my local bank in the US - the fee was pretty small(something like $4). Check with your local branch. I also believe that HSBC has come agreement with BOA which some of my other friends has used - don't know the details though.

RedWolfe01 said:   stephaniet said:   Jojosung this looks like an interesting option, though in order to get the Jersey/Offshore account, it looks like I need to maintain a balance of £25,000, which isn't going to happen. (I'm a broke PhD student getting a minimal fellowship from France next year.)

I assume that if I open one account in the US, and another in France, there is no link between the two of them?


Depends, if you go with HSBC then they will link your accounts and you use a "Global" page to access. (I looked into this option for an overseas contract) The overseas contract wanted to pay me a USD salary but to a Singapore bank -- and the work was in a third country.

For the amounts you are looking at I would just use ATMs or wires. The fees on special accounts are going to cost you more than just wiring the money. If the global alliance works as advertized then you can just use ATMs instead. (I know it works between BofA and Banco Santander just fine)

Ironically its actually harder to do this sort of thing between Canada and the US. None of the US banks have active consumer access to Canada that I could find. However the Canadian banks usually had subsidiaries/branches in the US.

If you can open a EUR account at Citibank, they have a free global transfer service, https://online.citibank.com/US/JRS/pands/detail.do?ID=InterCiti

Not sure where you could open it, though (doesn't look like France is an option).

Yoksel said:   jojosung said:   check out HSBC.. they allow you to link accounts with different currencies.. and you can do online transfer between them.. no transfer fee.. just the spot rate for foreign transaction..
caveat.. you must have HSBC accounts in both countries.. and currenciess.. ie.. one in the US, and the other in France.

(adding more info)
Sorry the transfer is free for HSBC premier member. If you're not Premier, the fee is $7 USD or 5 Euro, per transfer.
http://www.expat.hsbc.com/1/2/hsbc-expat/ways-to-bank-with-us/gl...

The problem with HSBC is that their exchange rate might be terrible. With XE you lock in the rate first and than do the transfer.
HSBC business has free wires (up to 5/month I believe) at least from the US to other counties. Could be the same into the US. I learned the hard way though that they will not open a business account for you unless you have a business license in the state where you're applying.


I can't speak for EUR/USD, but in my experience, the SGD/USD rates are very competitive. It's a little worse now than it used to be, but still rather decent, below 1%.

An alternative for xe is oanda: http://fxglobaltransfer.oanda.com.

EugeneV said:   If you can open a EUR account at Citibank, they have a free global transfer service, https://online.citibank.com/US/JRS/pands/detail.do?ID=InterCiti

Not sure where you could open it, though (doesn't look like France is an option).

Is that only with CitiGold?

I don't see CitiGold requirement anywhere...

They do have a list of countries supported:

Australia
Bahrain
Belgium
China
Colombia
Czech Republic
Egypt
Greece
Guam
Hong Kong
Hungary
India
Indonesia
Japan
Korea
Mexico
Pakistan
Philippines
Poland
Romania
Singapore
Spain
Taiwan
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Vietnam

jojosung said:   EugeneV said:   If you can open a EUR account at Citibank, they have a free global transfer service, https://online.citibank.com/US/JRS/pands/detail.do?ID=InterCiti

Not sure where you could open it, though (doesn't look like France is an option).

Is that only with CitiGold?

I believe it's similar as HSBC, higher fee for non Gold members.

EugeneV said:   I don't see CitiGold requirement anywhere...
...


Each country has their own asset/relationship requirements; typically around the 200k level.

If you have accounts in both EUR and USD you could do the Interactive Brokers trick. Fund IB in EUR. Trade EUR for USD through their currency ECN, then withdraw in USD. All the accounts have to be in your name.

I doubt it would be worth it just to save the equivalent of 2-3% on 18k EUR total.

edit- This is substantially the same method as the Schwab transaction mentioned above.

stephaniet said:   Yoksel said:   Having lived in Europe for some time I doubt that a French bank would not charge for something they can charge. The fees will add up of course. And my biggest concern would not be cash deposits in the US but instead periodic ATM withdrawals from the French account that may look suspicious enough over there for them to suspend the account.

Haha, spoken like someone who has dealt with France. (I love that you have to pay to have an ATM card!) I did try to read the fine print re: fees charged for Global Alliance withdraws, but I will ask again when opening my account.

Here's what they say:
Retraits hors zone euro
• Aux distributeurs de banques partenaires (Global Alliance) : UkrSibbank (en Ukraine), Barclays (au Royaume-Uni, dans
certains pays d’Afrique* et à l’Ile Maurice), Deutsche Bank (en Pologne et en Inde), Bank of America (aux États-Unis),
Scotiabank (au Canada, au Mexique, au Chili, au Pérou, au Guyana et dans les Caraïbes), Westpac (en Australie, en
Nouvelle-Zélande et en Océanie). gratuit
• Aux autres distributeurs automatiques, par opération 2,90 % + 3 €
Avec Carte INFINITE, par opération 2 % + 1,50 €
• Aux guichets d’agences, par opération 2,90 % + 5 €
Avec Carte INFINITE, par opération 2 % + 2,50 €

And yes, I suppose I should ask when opening the account if draining it to zero every month through withdraws in the US will be a problem. I don't really see why it should be (I have a visa to legally reside in France), but just in case.


If I am translating that correctly then its pretty much the same as my BofA terms. The international fee is $3 (maybe $4 now) outside the Global Alliance plus the usual percentage fee for currency. When using Banco Santander my rate was as far as I could tell the interbank rate and no fees.

I wouldn't drain the account to zero, leave a certain amount like 500€ in the account. You could also link a FR Paypal account to it and use it for any EUR transactions. There is really no reason for the bank to mind, since EU accounts are rarely free -- they will be charging you for the ATM and account fees. In the US with so many "free" accounts its a lot more likely a bank will close the accounts of customers for "suspicious" (read "unprofitable") activity.



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