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can't avoid bank transfer so what's the best way to do it?

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We've been renting apartments around Europe for years and have always chosen places that give options for deposits other than bank transfer/wire transfer.

After searching for an apartment for a week in Paris in June 2014 for 7 adults and children, we found the best apartment by far but it requires a deposit by bank transfer. My impression about the dollar to euro bank transfer is that it becomes very expensive because of the additional fees.

Do I have options other than Western Union or my own bank, which is Bank of America, that are less expensive and still safe? We have to go to our bank if we want to do a transfer because it's over $1000.

I hope to research and understand the options before we go to the bank from contributors here who have made a bank transfer from the US. Thank you for sharing any comments or suggestions with me. Deborah

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