Money transfer

Old Mar 5th, 2017, 04:32 PM
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Money transfer

In May I am meeting a friend from Australia in Edinburgh (I live in USA). It booked a tour and she will split the cost with me. She said she will get U.S. dollars at her bank in Sydney and bring me cash when she meets me in Scotland. I would rather not be carrying around a lot of cash, Is there an easy, less expensive than a bank transfer way for her to repay me? (I think my bank charges at least $50 for a wire transfer.)
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Old Mar 5th, 2017, 05:44 PM
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Aren't you going to need cash on your trip? Why would you want $ in Edinburgh?

Just have her take her ATM card to the UK and get £ and repay you cash you can use on the trip? Unless you are talking hundreds/thousands of $ . . .
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Old Mar 5th, 2017, 06:04 PM
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1. Do you need that money for something in the time between now and May? Then speed may be more important than cost.

2. Do you need every single cent of the money, whenever you get it? Then you need to wait and get it in cash.

3. Will you need a lot of Pounds (or maybe Euros, if your tour goes to some other country) for food, souvenirs etc. on the trip? Then it would be silly for your friend to pay a fee to get US dollars and you to pay another fee to exchange the cash US dollars to Pounds. If that's the case it would be better for your friend to use a debit card and get the money from an ATM on arrival in Edinburgh. Of course, there may be limits on how much she can withdraw in a day, but that would actually be good if you are worried about carrying lots of cash.
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Old Mar 5th, 2017, 06:48 PM
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Thanks for the good idea that my friend repay me with pounds when we meet in Edinburgh.
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Old Mar 5th, 2017, 07:32 PM
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And so neither of you need to carry excess cash around with you, she can get cash as needed during your trip. She can be your banker
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Old Mar 5th, 2017, 08:02 PM
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I'm no expert -- but couldn't she also send you a check for her half, so that it's all neat and tidy and 50% from here on out...?
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Old Mar 5th, 2017, 08:39 PM
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An AUS$ check is not at all useful for someone w/ a US$ bank account. They would both lose on the exchange . . .
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Old Mar 5th, 2017, 08:45 PM
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@ janisj: Thanks for clarifying!
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Old Mar 5th, 2017, 08:50 PM
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Not a check, no, too expensive and takes forever to clear.

But if she is in good standing with her bank where the checking account and the debit card are from, linked, so that she can withdraw at ATMs (called, mostly, Cash Points in the UK), then surely she can ask to have the daily withdrawal limit raised considerably.

Then she gets money out of ATMs to fix you up. You get a money belt or some such gizmo to keep it safe, and Bob's your uncle.

You may have to remind her: She needs to tell her bank where and when she's going anyway, so that her transactions abroad won't be denied by the bank's security system ("suspicious foreign activity" or the like).
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Old Mar 5th, 2017, 09:04 PM
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Don't make things complicated - I wouldn't bother w/ raising the limit or withdrawing a ton or carrying a lot of cash around.-- just turn her in to your very own personal ATM machine

I've more than once been the 'banker' for friends and vice versa.

>>She needs to tell her bank where and when she's going anyway, so that her transactions abroad won't be denied by the bank's security system
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Old Mar 6th, 2017, 01:00 PM
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"...I wouldn't bother w/ raising the limit..."

Janis - I guess you have never had to resort to a lot of cash in an emergency situation where only cash will get you there. And I hope for your sakes you never will, but...

"That applies to just about everyone traveling out of their own country . . ."

Of course, but we know from this site that not everybody realizes it - see the current thread about mishaps - so it bears mentioning at every opportunity
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Old Mar 6th, 2017, 04:28 PM
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I HAVE raised my limit -- many times . . . I was talking about THIS specific situation. The friend doesn't need to withdraw massive amounts of money and the two of them having to carry around wads. The friend can withdraw reasonable amounts as they travel around.

people are trying to make things more complicated than they need be.
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Old Mar 12th, 2017, 08:04 AM
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I agree, the simplest way is to have her pay you in pounds while you are in the UK.

On your first day, go into a bank, ask them what the exchange rate is at their ATM for US $ to UK pound. Today for example, $1 US will get you .82 Pounds. So for every $100 she owes you, she just gives you 82 Pounds.

You could check each time to see what the current exchange rate is on that day but I wouldn't bother. It is not likely to change very significantly. Just establish that first rate of exchange and go from there.

If she owes you say $500 US, then she could just hand you 82 Pounds on 5 different days and you're even. How much is it she owes you in $US anyway?

As long as the amount she owes you is likely to be covered in your overall day to day expenses, there is no problem.
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Old Mar 12th, 2017, 08:53 AM
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You might still have a balance due from her even if she pays for all of your expenses during the trip, plus then you will be having to do all sorts of record keeping. So it may be worthwhile to take care of this in advance. Or if she puts mutual expenses on her credit card, that will help with some accounting and you can settle up at the end of the trip.

I think I'd be calling to verify that fee.. $50 sounds more like what it would cost to have a banker send an international wire, not to receive one. Even Chase doesn't charge that much for an INCOMING International wire.

Other options you might have her check are Paypal and Western Union. There will be fees but she can decide based on their fees if it's worth it vs using ATMs. (which I understand are expensive for Australians especially since if she is doing multiple withdrawals there will likely be fees from the UK bank each time). It may quickly add up to be more expensive for her. And then you'll have to convert the GBP to USD, at a cost to you.

You can use Paypal to request the amount from her (one of you will be charged for currency conversion, (2.5% of the amount which might is a little high IMO).
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Old Mar 12th, 2017, 11:37 AM
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Wow! $50 wire transfer fee sounds very high. My US bank charges "regular customers" only $20 and no fee for "Premium" customers. You should check with your bank just to be sure.

How much does you friend owe you??? If it's a substantial amount you may find that a $20 or even $30 fee is worth the peace of mind to know the money has been received in your account and you won't be carrying around large sums of cash while you are on vacation.
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Old Mar 13th, 2017, 09:14 AM
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Try www.transferwise.com
I have used them to transfer from US to Germany. It was less than $5 to transfer $400
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Old Mar 13th, 2017, 09:54 AM
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Western Union?

(Does that work for Europe and the UK? I know people use it between US and Mexico.)
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Old Mar 14th, 2017, 06:52 AM
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Yes, Western Union works, and it's a decent way to transfer, though there are a lot of cheaper services now. Since she is based in Australia, however, she should use a service that's cheap there, not in the US (she's the one transferring the money, right?).

If the amount of money is more than $1000, then I'd ask her to send the money to you via wire or other transfer service. If it's $500 or less, cash would be great, and she could withdraw pounds from an ATM in Edinburgh.
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Old Mar 14th, 2017, 07:40 AM
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The OP has not said how much money is involved and yet people are off on tangents about how to transfer sums of money on the assumption it is too much for her friend to simply give here the equivalent in pounds while they are together in the UK.

The OP has already said, 'thanks for the idea' of having her friend just give her pounds when they are together. Does that indicate to anyone that there is any need for other methods to be suggested?

Comments about fees for multiple withdrawals etc. are made without knowing if the Australian has a card that does not charge for either ATM withdrawals or add exchange loading. Such cards are available in Australia. If she has one of those cards, it will cost her nothing in fees at all and what's more, with no exchange loading, it will BEAT any other method of transferring the money.

Transfer methods like the bank, W. Union and other third parties like 'transferwise' that bigtyke used, do NOT exchange the funds at the Interbank rate, they ADD exchange loading on. The best plastic on the other hand can get you the Interbank rate and there is nothing added on.
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Old Mar 14th, 2017, 07:52 AM
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OP said thanks for the idea on march 6 and didn't coke back since.
However we keep on posting.
Keeps us busy I guess.
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