I am wondering if anyone knows a fast, cheap and safe way of receiving money in Canada from US. I have a partner is states and I get 2 to 5 wire transfers per month in $1000 to $4000 range each, from him. Every one of those transfers costs us about $45 which adds up to not-so-insignificant amount over the year. I do not want to "cheat the system" but I would like to find a way to save some money. After 5 years of paying these fees banks got enough from us and something has to change. I know I am not the first one in this boat, so any advice is appreciated.
Drop a check in the mail. It just takes a few days.
Thanks, but I should have mentioned that we do 100% banking online and going to the bank every week is not an option. Additionally since 9/11 mail between US and Canada sometimes takes few days and sometimes few weeks. The system is broken the way it is right now and we do not need to keep wondering is the customs taking too long, or did the check got lost.
Ok, i think I found the solution - thanks stealthdevil
I will post it here is case anyone cares.
My partner will open "checking interest account" with CitiBank. He will link that account with his normal bank account. Transfer fees between those 2 accounts will be $0.50 per transaction and monthly fee for his CitiBank account will be $0.
I will open US savings account with Canadian Citibank (mothly fee $0) and "interest checking account" with them (monhtly fee $0) and then link that account to my normal bank account (transfers between those accounts are $0.50) per transaction.
Total fees to receive money from US will be:
$0.50 for my partner to move money to his Citibank account
$10 global transfer feee
$0.50 for me to move money to my regular account
$11 total per transaction and no monthly fees.
All transfers are instantaneous and can be done online.
This is odd, your bank charges YOU for getting Wire Transfers?
I also get a lot of Wires, but I never get charged, and I don't know of any bank in the US that does(yes international wire transfers, not domestic)
Banks charge between $35 and $45 to send wire and $0 to $10 to receive it. When your bank has no presence in US and uses intermediatery bank (TD bank uses Bank of America) then those fees can increase for another $10. The worst part is that those two $10 fees do not show up on any statements. You can see them by comparing money sent and money received but you cannot get printout for them. I spent hours trying to do so and it just did not happen. Someone at BoA told me over the phone that $10 is "September 11 fee" charged on wires going from US to Canada.
Anyway, CitiBank seems to be solution for this problem. There is minor issue with using business accounts in the setup I described above but as our businesses are registered as sole-proprietorship and partnership that is easy enough to work around as we both can get checks printed with our name rather then business name on them (requirement for application).
How close are you to your partner?
Have him open a US bank account, deposit money in it, and send you a debit card on the account. You then just go to any ABM in Canada and withdraw money. I think my US bank charges $5 per international withdrawl from Canada. I've used this method to make transfers to non-US relatives. The account is only used for transfers.
PayPal charges 3%.... but the cheapest way is by cheque. Customs does not hold envelopes - only packages. I usually get mail in 4 days ie sent Monday- get on Thursday-Friday.