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Best (cheapest) way to send a lot of money from North America to Europe?

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  #1  
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Mr. Awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 6,065
Question

Best (cheapest) way to send a lot of money from North America to Europe?


I need to send about 8,000 Euros to someone in France, and I'm wondering what is the best (cheapest) way to do this.

My objective is to pay minimal (or no) service charges and to also try and get a good exchange rate.

The money can be sent in either Canadian or US funds -- either is fine. The money must "arrive" in Euros.

What is the best way?

- Wire transfer from my bank to their bank?
- Convert it here (Canada or US) to Euros and then send it as a foreign money order?
- Write them a check (in USD or CAD) and mail it to them. Then they cash it at their bank in France and it gets converted to Euro by their bank?

Thanks for any advice.

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  #2  
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Disabled
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 111
I would FedEx an International Money order in Euros funds.

  #3  
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Junior Guru Wannabe
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Miami
Posts: 65
I use Western Union, works good and it's very safe.

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  #4  
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Mr. Awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
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What do you folks think of XEtrade?

https://www.xe.com/fx/

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  #5  
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Disabled
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by mrzippy
What do you folks think of XEtrade?

https://www.xe.com/fx/
Never used it since I have never heard of it.

Sometimes you should follow what your guts say. If you are not sure about it, do not do it.

  #6  
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Web Hosting Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 476
tell them to open personal USD bank saving account (at local bank)
Is is usually very cheap or free to open such account
wire transfer direct to their account in USD

  #7  
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Aspiring Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Germany
Posts: 353
Just do a wire-transfer to their account and send it in Euro. The wire-transfer will cost you something like 10$ and the receiving is usually free or very cheap as well for them (depending on their bank).

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  #8  
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Web Hosting Master
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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The wire should be around $60 or more...

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  #9  
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Mr. Awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 6,065
OK.. I have done quite a bit of research and here is what I found.

Quote:
Originally posted by BleedingGum
I would FedEx an International Money order in Euros funds.
Creating an Internation Money order (also known as a bank draft) will cost a service fee of about $15 - $30 at the bank. Additionally, once you get the draft to your recipient it will take about 10 business days (minimum) before it clears and the money is available. If time is important, then this is not a good way to transfer money. However it is very secure.

Also watch out for the bank "spread" and make sure they aren't adding a few % to the exchange rate. This is very very common.

(What is the "spread"? The bank will add 3% or more to the actual exchange rate. This is how they pay themselves, in addition to the usual service fees, etc..)

Quote:
Originally posted by ezCore
I use Western Union, works good and it's very safe.
Ouch. Western Union charges a fee based on the sending amount. The more you send -- the higher the fee.

Also, they have one of the highest spreads in the industry. (They add about 5% to the exchange rate as an additional hidden "service fee".)

WesternUnion is good if you need small amount sent quickly, but I would never use it for a large amount. (ie: More then $1000 USD.)

Quote:
Originally posted by Lorenz
Just do a wire-transfer to their account and send it in Euro. The wire-transfer will cost you something like 10$ and the receiving is usually free or very cheap as well for them (depending on their bank).
1) Many European banks charge a wire transfer receipt fee. There's not much I can do about that.. but if I have the choice.. check each possible "receiving" bank and choose the one with the lowest fee.

2) The sending banks typically charge a higher "spread" on the exchange rate then if you did the transfer using a broker.


MY SOLUTION

I opened a "currency trading" account with XEtrade. It took a few days to do it, but it allows me to "lock in" an exchange rate, as well as other nice features.

They are basically brokers for Custom House, which is one of the worlds largest foreign exchange traders.. which means they have billions of $$ flowing through them.

1) They are highly respected and well known.
2) Their service fees (wire transfer fees, etc..) are the lowest I've seen.
3) They do not charge a "spread" at all.

Basically, they make their money on the sheer volume of $$ flowing through their system. They don't need to charge a spread or high service fees since they have tremendous volume.

It is #3 that makes them the winner. The only fees I pay are the wire transfer fees. That's it. No "hidden" service charges in the form of additional % points on the exchange rate


TIPS/TRICKS

It is very difficult to compare the actual exchange rate when comparing services. Most banks will tell you the exchange rate they use, but then they will not tell you about the spread that they add to it. You are forced to actually go through the entire transaction to get the ACTUAL exchange rate.. and then at the last minute you tell them you don't want to do it.

Do this for a few banks, and then compare that to the cost of doing it with XEtrade, and you'll be surprised.


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  #10  
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Disabled
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 111
Good research, mrzippy.

Good luck with your efforts.

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