Transferring Money Overseas from Australia

Ok, as the AUS/US dollar exchange rate is terrific right now, I need to transfer some money over to the US.

What I have is:

An AUS bank account
A US bank account

In the past, I have used a bank (ANZ) and Ozforex to transfer money. The problem is with fees.

My US account charges $15 incoming international wire transfer. AUS banks charge around $22 fee to transfer/exchange money overseas. Ozforex is $15.

The only other solution, I can see is Travelers Cheques which my US bank accepts for free. The exchange rates seem comparable to what the banks charge.

Anyone have any other ideas of cheaper ways to transfer money overseas?

Comments

  •  

    I guess another question would be, can an Australian bank take my AUD dollars and cut me a cheque in US dollars?

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    I think it might depend on the amount, and who are you transferring to? I too am keen on different solutions as I often need to transfer money to my bank account in Geneva… Nah just kidding :)

    For small amount, if you are just transferring to your own bank account in another currency, will PayPal be a cheaper approach? Since both deposit and withdrawal are free, and forex attracts 2.5% spread, you can keep the fees lower than OzForex if you transfer less than AUD$600 of fund and then do a withdrawal on the other end.

    Would that work?

  •  

    Hmmm..

    Ok, So as of right this second, paypals currency conversion is .8601 while a travellers cheque (no fees) is .8583.
    Add the cost of postage and it comes out to be pretty close. But my US Paypal account is premier so I would be charged 2 or 3% on top of that. Apparently, I can't downgrade it.

    I guess what I need is P2P money exchange (away from big banks and cops) where someone is in need to AUD dollars and can cut me a cheque.

  •  

    One more thing, just tried the travellers cheque route. Through Westpac and most likely most places that sell travellers cheques, you can pay by BPAY Credit Card. So with the BP Citicard, that bumps it up 1% which seems like the winner.

    We will see if I incur any fees along the way.

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    Neil

    What you are implying is that you can deposit the TC's in the US, so that would generally require you to present them to the bank or have someone else do that for you. If so then that would seem to be the best way.

    However if you have someone overseas who can make the deposit, then what Scotty says about PayPal might be an option. In this case you have your friend set up a paypal account - the funds then are transferred to that account and then to yours.

    The cheapest way to pay for goods overseas is by Wizard Mastercard, as they have no fees and their exchange rate is favourable

  •  

    My bank is an online bank, so I just send the cheque or whatever via snail mail to them.

  •  

    As for PayPal, I think foreign currency transfer within your own account does not charge transaction fee but only currency exchange fee, even if you have a premium or business account. It is only when you are receiving fund from someone else's account then it costs.

    So to transfer to your US bank account,

    1. AU bank account -> PayPal AU (free)
    2. PayPal AU -> PayPal US under the same account (2.5% currency exchange)
    3. PayPal US -> US bank account (free)

    That's how I understand it, but I could be very wrong :)

  •  

    Love to see if Scotty is correct - as I have a US account also and that opens up some great options for me.

    Neil If you find out could you post here.

  •  

    Just tested with my PayPal account. Converted AUD$50 to USD and gives me USD$43.23 (1AUD = 0.865USD). As 2.5% is the fee, so the real conversion rate is

    1AUD = 43.23 / (50 - 50 * 0.0025) = 0.887USD

    Which is not bad as currently XE.com shows 1AUD = 0.885USD

    My PayPal account is premium account but no transaction fee has been charged because it is a transaction within an account. I think it would be a very good method for small foreign currency conversion.

    Sorry don't have a US bank account to test out the final step.

  •  

    HiFX offers very competitive exchange rates, better than PayPal, OZForex etc. No transfer fees either..But using HiFX is feasible only if the amounts you're transferring exceed the amount of 10,000AU$…not sure if they carry out transactions for smaller amounts. Here's a link to their website: http://www.hifx.com.au

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    Thats great Scotty. I will have to try it. I see on my Paypal account that I can withdraw to either a US bank account or an Australian bank.

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