Transferring money

Jul 26th, 2008, 05:22 AM
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Transferring money

This is a bit off-topic but I hope someone can clue me in....

I have a bank account in the Czech Republic and a bank account in the US. My plan was to transfer a small amount of money from the US bank to the Czech bank monthly.

I am running into a problem - transfers within the US are free, and transfers within the EU are free, but transfers from US to EU must be wired and cost around $25 to $35. Is anyone aware of a bank or institution that is set up to transfer from the US to EU without charging an arm and a leg?

CptDondo is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 06:19 AM
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have you looked into using paypal? I've heard others recommend it but haven't gone very far in figuring out if it would work for me.

Any reason you can't just use ATM cards with low or zero transaction fees, and deposit the money yourself (or pay case for everything?)

Another problem you might run into transferring large sums of money is anti-terrorism laws that force banks to block your access to the money for several weeks after it reaches your foreign bank. Before you transfer money, find out how long it will be before it can be paid out or withdrawn.

zeppole is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 06:30 AM
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Well, the whole idea was to have an EU debit card, since US cards don't always work outside the US (no internet purchases, some places won't accept US cards.)

So my plan was to set up an EU account and transfer small amounts automatically every month (I'm talking on the order of US$100/month). As I spend most of my time in the US, I can't do it in person there.

I was assured by the Czech Bank that they can accept currency from anywhere - they market heavily to expats - and that depositing money in the account will be no problem. Which, no doubt is true - I just can't find an economical way of getting the money to the bank....
CptDondo is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 06:34 AM
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Sorry to be nosy but: That's such a small amount of money, I'd be tempted to put $1000 in my pocket and deposit it a Czech account when I got there. Are you going to be there longer than 10 months -- or, more to the point -- do you think you'll be seeing an ATM at least once every five to ten months?

Does the Czech Republic have a terrible crime problem that you can't keep $500 in your sock drawer and replenish it every so often?
zeppole is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 06:34 AM
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Sorry -- I just realized you're in the US. Is this for a relative?
zeppole is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 07:02 AM
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Heh.... I know this is a bit bizarre...

I like to buy stuff over the internet from the CR - but I can't do that with a US card, and you can't ship COD overseas. So that was the seed from which this germinated.

It was supposed to be simple. Alas, the reality is not so simple.
CptDondo is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 07:11 AM
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What about using Citibank, or another bank with branches in both countries? I'm not up to date with some of the other "US" banks that are just now opening up over there, but there are a few others, because I've seen them in the Prague Post, etc. I would think you'd have a harder time/more fees going from something like Bank of America to Ceska Sporitelna than just Citibank to Citibank.
amp322 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 07:15 AM
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I am amazed you were able to open a bank account in the Czech republic. Normally you have to provide proof of identity and an address in your name in that country - by providing a rental agreement, or a utilities bill for example.
It is rather alarming to me if the CR doesn't follow these rules.
As for internet shopping - why not use either a credit card or Paypal?
hetismij is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 07:19 AM
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Maybe this link (if you haven't already read it/found it) will help some. Seems like the transfer will cost you no matter what (scroll to bottom). Good luck!
amp322 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 07:21 AM
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I guess the simplest way would be to just dump a wad of money in the account... I was hoping to 'dollar average' against the changing exchange rate, but that doesn't look like it's practical.

As to how I opened the account, I have dual citizenship and a house in both countries, so opening the account was easy enough. I would guess a tourist would find it impossible; they wanted my national ID card.
CptDondo is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 07:25 AM
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Citibank charged a fee when I used my (US) Citibank ATM card to withdraw cash from a Citibank ATM in Prague.
MademoiselleFifi is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 07:39 AM
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Try this site:
Michael is online now  
Jul 26th, 2008, 07:51 AM
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maybe, PayPal is the answer.

As fas as I understood, you can transfer money between an an US PayPal account (relied to an US banking account, USD or US dollars) and a Czech PayPal account (relied to an Czech banking account; CZK or Czech korunas) for free.

Please do further research at the paypal site.
hhildebrandt is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 10:02 AM
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If you can, I suggest wiring $1,000 or more in one go for the $25. wiring charge and you're done. Not too much to be gained from playing the dollar exchange with small amounts of money. I don't think it's going to improve much in favor of either currency anytime soon.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 11:28 AM
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No - there is time and currency exchange charges involved - no one is going to do it for free. The charge you're being quoted is reasonable - unless you're transferring only a few $ - in which case - why bother?
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 01:05 PM
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Washington Mutual Bank does not charge for outbound foreign wires from a personal checking account. I use them on all wires.
Intex is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 02:08 PM
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I've bought things from the Czech Republic on the internet with my credit card with no problem whatsoever several times. That's a new one to me, that you can't do it. It has probably been at least two years since I've done that, but that sounds odd. For example, in one case, I prepaid a Prague hotel for my stay to get a lower rate, and they charged my credit card, of course. That means they wouldn't allow any US clients to do that. I've also bought from ticket agencies, the national theater and a few other things.
Christina is offline  
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