Citibank Global Account and Transferwise - For those who are intending to use them

There was a number of threads about this before, namely

https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/391365

and

https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/410561

To recap, in those forums it has been advised that people should use Transferwise in order to purchase the FX of your choice and have them wired to your Australian Citibank Global Currency Account so for example if you want to travel to Japan, the forum suggests using Transferwise to buy JPY and then send it to your Citibank Japanese Account in Australia.

Why do you want to do it? Best FX rate. Transferwise uses near spot rate but charges one fixed fee vs all others which can screw you up and down so a $100 TT can become effectively $50 in the end.

I can confirm to the citizens of Ozbargain community that not ALL currency can be purchased and deposited in this fashion.

For example, if I want to buy JPY, I would go to Transferwise website and start the purchase process but when entering the recipient, Transferwise does NOT provide facility for you to enter your SWIFT Code which means you cannot transfer your JPY into your Citibank Japanese Account.

Likewise for SGD, there is no SWIFT code field available for you to enter the details.

However, for USD, the option to transfer to your Citibank USD Account is available because the SWIFT field is available. So for USD dollars, yes, you can purchase the USD and send it to your Australian Citibank USD Global Currency Account.

This means the ONLY way you can load up your say, JPY and SGD accounts would be to purchase directly from the issuing bank which is, Citibank. You are locked to their FX rate which is to be honest, not that bad vs HSBC which is really bad. Or if you receive cheque in that currency, you can mail it to Park Street Sydney branch and it would be deposited into your JPY/SGD account.

I am hoping the OzB travel and financial experts here can enlighten more so we (especially me) would be better educated on how to do this cost effectively.

Thanks

ZZ

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Comments

  • I'm waiting for the Transferwise Debit card to come to Aus.
    If that's the case do you think there a reason to hold on to the CitiBank account at all?

    • There is.

      According to Transferwise, you can only really transact in 5 currencies (AUD, NZD, USD, GBP, and EURO) since they will give you the IBAN, Routing Code, etc etc etc. The other currencies, you can only buy from Transferwise and put it into that Debit Card and hold it.

      Citibank can do 10 currencies (the limit of global currency account) but the only caveat is you must use the Swift network to make it work.

      Also, additionally, the Debit Card has some fees on withdrawl, add on fee, etc

      https://transferwise.com/au/borderless/pricing

      and this

      https://transferwise.com/help/article/2926561/basic-informat...

      Transferwise is not bad but the whole idea of borderless account with no fee or minimal fee is a mirage or not well developed I think.

      Even with Citibank Global Currency you have to change your Currency linkage and that's a hassle but Citibank wins by fee less TT transfer.

      Comparison according to Transferwise:

      https://transferwise.com/au/blog/citibank-foreign-currency-a...

  • Quick update.

    You can use OFX to do a transfer into Citibank SGD/JPY accounts (OFX rates are shit - almost like Citibank normal rate or worst slightly and costs more too (AUD$15). I don't know why Ozbs are recommending them.

    CB rate JPY is 79.88. OFX rate 79.85 as of 11.10am.

  • Not being a current member of transferwise…….
    I'm not sure if this is any help, but on the transferwise website you can look up SWIFT codes for any bank
    Assuming you can find the SWIFT code, is there any way to use when you enter your recipient's details?

    • When you enter the recipient details during the payment screen, it will either show SWIFT code field or it will not show one at all

      FOr example, for Japanese Yen it will show as

      普通 Futsuu
      貯蓄 Chochiku
      貯蓄 Chochiku

      Whatever the hell these words mean….

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