• Page :
  • 1
  • Text Only
Voting History
rated:
I am American and I accepted a job in Europe that pays in Euros. I will have about 3,000 euros in savings per month. (Or I guess 3.000 in the euro style!) What's the best, cheapest way to save my money in dollars? I naturally don't want to lose a lot in conversion fees. Are there good American banks? (I have used Schwaab to convert usd to local currencies. But how to go the opposite way, local to dollars?)

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

There was a pretty good thread here if you can find it. I'll summarize.

Open an account at a bank that has both US and Euro branches and do the conversion internally there. Like HSBC.
Open a local euro account at any bank, then use web currency shops like Oanda to do the transfers to your US bank account. Or Interactive Brokers.
Do nothing and just save/invest in Euros and roll the dice. Plenty of Europeans are already doing it.

It's a bit of a game between foreign exchange/transfer companies between fees and spread. It often depends how much you're sending at a time. Bottom line is easy to compare though. How much you get in USD in the receiving account based on fixed initial amount of EUR transferred. For my transfers, I've used Transferwise and USforex for the lowest combination of fees and exchange rate but YMMV. Any of those will work with any US bank account and in my experience, will have lower fees/better exchange rate. But if you find otherwise, let us know.

Why not just hold the EURO...think of it this way...(i live in Europe for the military so I'm paid in USD, but I know the deal)....the lowest EURO has ever been is 1.04 dollar to 1 EURO (not ever but in the last 10 years)...ever was like .998 Dollar to 1 EUR....so it's at 1.12 right now..back in 2014 when I moved here it was 1.32 to 1...you can always exchange it..why don't you just hold the EURO now if it's straight savings and if it ever goes back to 1.25 or 1.30 then change it right away...even if you paid 4-5% commission who cares you just made 15-20% on your money...for little to no risk..just food for thought...

redsox9547 said:   Why not just hold the EURO...think of it this way...(i live in Europe for the military so I'm paid in USD, but I know the deal)....the lowest EURO has ever been is 1.04 dollar to 1 EURO (not ever but in the last 10 years)...ever was like .998 Dollar to 1 EUR....so it's at 1.12 right now..back in 2014 when I moved here it was 1.32 to 1...you can always exchange it..why don't you just hold the EURO now if it's straight savings and if it ever goes back to 1.25 or 1.30 then change it right away...even if you paid 4-5% commission who cares you just made 15-20% on your money...for little to no risk..just food for thought...
  
And if EUR drops lower than historical lows vs. the dollar?

As soon as you can, if you don't already have one, work on opening your local EU bank account, that you'll need for payroll deposits, paying bills, etc. With FATCA, many foreign banks look at U.S. citizens as radioactive. It could be difficult.

You say you already have Schwab? They have international services and a presence in Europe, and cater to ex-pats. Use them to transfer from your EUR checking account to your USD Schwab account. They have an excellent exchange rate - the only way you will beat their exchange rate is if you use Interactive Brokers.

redsox9547 said:   Why not just hold the EURO...think of it this way...(i live in Europe for the military so I'm paid in USD, but I know the deal)....the lowest EURO has ever been is 1.04 dollar to 1 EURO (not ever but in the last 10 years)...ever was like .998 Dollar to 1 EUR....so it's at 1.12 right now..back in 2014 when I moved here it was 1.32 to 1...you can always exchange it..why don't you just hold the EURO now if it's straight savings and if it ever goes back to 1.25 or 1.30 then change it right away...even if you paid 4-5% commission who cares you just made 15-20% on your money...for little to no risk..just food for thought...
  

The lowest ever was around .85 Dollar to Euro.  Historically, the Euro was worth less than a dollar for about two years between starting in January of 2000:

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/euro-area/currency 

It might be worth it to essentially gamble a small portion of Euro savings, as your suggesting.  If I were in the OP's place, however, I wouldn't want my Euro savings to be more than 5-10% of the total.

(Edited to add quote)

Somebody else already mentioned it. Just use the Schwab transfer option, works like a charm, I do the same from Switzerland every month to move my savings to the US (most banks in Europe won't allow you to do much investing and the local fees are high anyway). I automated the transfer on the Swiss side. For Euro just send the money to the bank in Frankfurt as in the instructions found here:

http://international.schwab.com/public/international/nn/open_an_...
Euro (EUR)

  • Destination Bank: Citibank AG Frankfurt
  • SWIFT ID: CITIDEFF
  • BLZ Number: 50210900
  • Account Name: Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
  • 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.


Make sure to add your 8 digit account number and name. Takes about 1-3 days for me. Also I still do use US credit cards to get better bonus (e.g. Amex Platinum and now Chase Reserve) and their exchange rates are good enough to make it worth my while (I loose a little bit but with the points being worth more then 1 cent for me make it easily back). Also the sign up bonus is much higher in the US. 

I second the recommendation for Interactive Brokers. Very easy to convert between currencies. And they have access to a ton of markets, so you could just invest your euros directly (if you wanted something other than a low interest savings account).

The FATCA regulations are a pain, and it's true a lot of banks won't touch you, but a few still will so it shouldn't be impossible to open a European account.

Out of curiosity, which European country are you in?



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.

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2017