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International Wire/Bank Transfer to Guide Using Third-Party Service?

International Wire/Bank Transfer to Guide Using Third-Party Service?

May 17th, 2017, 05:11 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 524
International Wire/Bank Transfer to Guide Using Third-Party Service?

My private tour guide in Europe is asking me to remit a 30% deposit via wire transfer to a European bank. My small community U.S. bank does not offer outgoing international wire transfers, although they accept incoming international transfers as well as receive and send domestic transfers. I opened an account with a larger national bank in my area, but learned too late that they will not send an international transfer until I have 6 months of account history. Has anyone used a money transfer service such as Xoom, Transferwise, XO, or Western Union to make an international transfer? Those companies offer transfers from a bank account or credit card, but the limited reviews I have read are not positive. I am concerned that if I use a credit card to pay, it will be treated like a cash advance, and I don’t want to pay unnecessary interest. I was all set to use Xoom (because they are owned by PayPal), but that service is intended for person-to-person transfers. (The name on my guide’s bank account begins with her company/business name, so I am concerned that my transfer won’t be processed.) My guide does not accept PayPal, which is generally how I send deposits to my guides. I am not concerned that this is a scam or that the request is not respectable. The guide will allow me pay my balance in person in Euros when I arrive, I just need to make the bank transfer to give my deposit. Because I am using the guide and a car with a driver for several days, the deposit is substantial even though it is only 30% of my total bill, so I don’t want anything to go wrong with the transfer. Thoughts/experiences using a third-party to send an international wire/bank transfer?
fluffnfold is offline  
May 17th, 2017, 06:42 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 64,291
xe.com is totally legitimate

(I haven't used them personally -- but MANY Fodorites have and recommend the site)
janisj is online now  
May 17th, 2017, 08:21 AM
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 473
I would not pay anyone in advance who does not accept a credit card payment. Asking for a transfer of funds in advance by other means is a common sign of a scam.

But it's up to you to decide if you want to take the risk or not. Presumably, your guide has had to deal with people in your situation before. Ask her how others have handled getting the deposit to her. Or ask her to take the risk she is asking you to take. ie. instead of you risking a scam, let her risk you being a 'no show'.
Dogeared is offline  
May 18th, 2017, 05:38 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,752
I have used Western Union a couple of times. I would say it is reliable but expensive. It was a while ago and today I would look at xe.com. However, if it is a substantial sum I would need to be VERY sure that it was not a scam.
thursdaysd is offline  
May 20th, 2017, 01:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,872
I used Transferwise three times last fall. No problems, great rates and small fees.
bigtyke is offline  
May 23rd, 2017, 11:51 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 177
I've used MoneyGram several times and have had no problems.
DJCat is offline  
May 25th, 2017, 09:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 17,694
If you have a brokerage account such as Fidelity or TDAmeritrade, you might find that their fees for international wire transfers are competitive or even free.
mlgb is offline  

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