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International wire transfer or intl money order or??

International wire transfer or intl money order or??

Jul 13th, 2010, 07:28 AM
  #1  
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International wire transfer or intl money order or??

We're planning a long trip to Europe next summer and are already booking week-long self-catering units. The one we're set on in Normandy, France is requiring 100 British Pounds as a deposit. The owner doesn't acept credit cards or paypal. It's a small operation. Our credit union charges $50 for the wire transfer and the international money order is even more. Has anyone encountered this before? It's a highly rated B&B with self-catering cottage and the owner is friendly in emails. I'd love any suggestions about how to get the money abroad without spending loads of extra money!

Thanks! I've been enjoying getting MANY ideas on this forum for our big 6 week trip next summer. We'll be traveling with our 4 & 6 year old daughters so week long stays are our strategy for success!
AndiM is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 07:31 AM
  #2  
 
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Send an international draft, which is essentially a cashier's check in another currency. Should cost you about $5.00. Check with the owners in advance to find out if there are fees associated with them depositing the draft (my bank in France charges me for deposits in foreign currencies) and add that amount to the draft if the owner wants you to.
StCirq is online now  
Jul 13th, 2010, 07:33 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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I have sent personal checks to Europe with out a problem. I just try to estimate the amount in pounds or Euro and send it. Our bank charges $35 for an electronic transfer to Europe. Maybe you could shop around and get a better price.
bratsandbeer is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 07:34 AM
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Another thought is to find a different place to stay - a lot can happen between now and next year and would you get your deposit back.
bratsandbeer is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 07:35 AM
  #5  
 
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I've sent momney overseas by many means: cash, Moneybooker, Paypal, Bank Draft, Bank Wire Transefer, and Western Union ( order is, I believe,from cheapest to costliest)

A Bank Draft is essentially the equivalent of an international certified cheque. The money is taken out of your account, the cheque is in GBP, and it is made out to the one person/company that can cash it. If lost, can get refund. I've paid about $5-$6 for it. Much cheaper than a wire transfer.

Mail it and you are done. Cash is also an option.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 07:41 AM
  #6  
 
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I've sent a personal check as a deposit. The owner holds it and returns it to us when we arrive and pay in full in local currency.

I'm interested to hear about international drafts. Where do you get them, StCirq?

It's not unusual to have to reserve popular rentals a year in advance. Does trip insurance cover deposits like this? We've always decided to self-insure.
Mimar is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 07:41 AM
  #7  
 
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I've used Moneybooker,cash, Paypal, Bank Draft, Western Union and Bank Wire Transfer (cheapest to most pexpensive).

Bank Draft is probably the way to go. It is an internationl certified cheque. The money is taken out of your account, it is written in GBP, and made out to the one person/company that can cash it. If lost, can gt a refund. My bank charges me $5-$6.

Mail it and you are done. Other option is to mail cash, registered.

I would not send a personal cheque, since it makes it difficult for the receiver, and I cannot determine what their costs to cash that cheque is.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 07:42 AM
  #8  
 
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I've gone to my local bank for drafts and have never had an issue.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 07:48 AM
  #9  
 
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I get international drafts from my U.S. bank, but you can also get them at places like Travelex - probably pay more for them there, though.

I wouldn't send a personal check, either. It's a pain for the receiver. My French bank charges me 20 euros to deposit a check in a foreign currency, too.
StCirq is online now  
Jul 13th, 2010, 07:59 AM
  #10  
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Wow - thank you for all your speedy replies! I'm taking your advice about shopping around at different banks. The bank draft seems like a very reasonable option. This is a popular rental with half of next summer already booked. I'm sure you'll see my name again with more questions as I plan our 2011 European adventure! Thanks again.
AndiM is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 08:25 AM
  #11  
 
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http://www.xe.com/fx/ is another possibility.

When posters mention cheapest to most expensive, does that include the variations in exchange rates, i.e. that one agent might charge more than another to convert the dollars or pounds to euros?
Michael is online now  
Jul 13th, 2010, 11:18 AM
  #12  
 
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Perfect timing for this question. I am having the same problem finding a way to pay for our rental in Brittany. The owner requires 25% of the fee as a down payment in GBP only. We'll have to send the rest 6 weeks before we stay so I will need to do this twice.

I'll check with my bank to see what we can do.
trvlgirlmq is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 02:07 PM
  #13  
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I'm on a mission to get an international draft. US Bank had $30 in fees for a draft. Where did you find the $5-6 drafts? Was it a large bank? Bank of America wasn't much help either. The banker directed me to a website and the website directed me back to the banker. Figures! My credit union doesn't provide drafts. I live in Eugene, OR where we do have many banks. Thanks again!
AndiM is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 03:09 PM
  #14  
 
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Good luck. I have done this three ways.

Money Order (expensive)

Wire Transfer (even more expensive)

Cash - Euros (cheap, though the exchange rate wasn't great and I was nervous as a cat for 2 weeks until I got email conversation that the money was received).

I have decided there is no method without drawbacks.
bardo1 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 03:22 PM
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Here's another idea:

Go to your bank and open up a new checking account and get a debit card that's linked to it, and only it. Deposit the amount of money the landlord is asking for plus another few dollars to cover exchange rate fluctuations. Mail the debit card, along with the PIN, to the landlord. He/she can withdraw the amount needed. When it comes time to pay the balance, have the landlord repeat the process. Then close the account.
StCirq is online now  
Jul 13th, 2010, 03:32 PM
  #16  
 
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Ask the B&B owner if he/she will accept either a direct deposit in euro or a bank draft in euro. If so, open an account with www.xe.com/fx. Money will be taken from your checking account by electronic transfer. If the B&B owner is willing, the money can be deposited directly into the owner's bank account by electronic transfer. Unlike a wire transfer, there is no fee for this. Or you can have a bank draft in euro made payable to the owner and sent to the owner by regular mail. Again, there is no fee for this. The exchange rate you will pay will be only a little above the international rate on the day the transaction is initiated. For security reasons it takes a little time and effort to set up an account, but everything goes swiftly and smoothly after that. XE Trade also does wire transfers, but of course there is a fee for those.
TimS is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 03:45 PM
  #17  
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Thanks TimS and StCirq. This certainly gives me some options to ponder... We have time on our side so I'm thinking something creative is in order. I'll let you know what we decide!
AndiM is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 06:26 PM
  #18  
 
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I've used wire transfers for my upcoming trip -- my bank doesn't charge for them. When I rented a house in France 5 years ago, the owner agreed to let me send him a money order in US dollars for the deposit. I added to 10% to cover any variance in exchange rate. After I got home, he asked me if he should just destroy the check & I said "NO! Send it back to me." Since that was the only way I could get my money back. Renting from the same owner, this time I'm going to send along a self-addressed envelope & put a yellow sticky marked "Do Not Destroy - Send back to renter" on it.
CJT0427 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 06:29 PM
  #19  
 
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Sorry, I meant that I sent the money order in US dollars for the damage deposit, not the rental deposit -- I wire-transferred the rental deposit. Since I figured I'd most likely get the damage deposit back, I didn't want to lose money both when I bought the pounds sterling, then again when I changed it back to US dollars, and the British owner agreed to this scheme.
CJT0427 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 06:34 PM
  #20  
 
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I've followed StCirq's method with great success, with only one change. I didn't close the account but got the card back from the landlord during our stay -- that way I can use use the same account and card for another rental deposit in the future.
alohatoall is offline  

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