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Brett Dvoretz

March 9, 2015

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How to Transfer Money as an Expat

No matter which country you choose to move to, there is one problem that every expat faces at some point, how to transfer your money overseas without losing a large chunk of it to fees and poor exchange rates. This is a common issue for expats and you’ll see it appear in numerous expat-related forums from Thailand to Colombia. Before moving overseas, most people never consider sending money abroad and therefore aren’t too educated in their potential options.

The average expat will generally just visit their bank’s website and opt for a foreign wire transfer. After all, that’s how you send money isn’t it? I know that’s what I did when I first moved overseas. I opened up a foreign bank account in my new homeland, went online and transferred $2,000 from my home bank to my new foreign bank.

The end result was a charge of $45 from my bank in America, plus a $22 fee from my new foreign bank. It cost me $2,045 and I wound up with only $1,978. That’s over 3% in fees! Thankfully I was in a country which uses the USD as an official currency or I would have lost even more to the banks poor exchange rates.

How to Send Money Abroad Cheaper

After that first time using my bank to transfer money overseas, I started looking for a cheaper way to send money abroad. I didn’t want to lose $60 or $70 in fees every month just trying to access my own money.

So what’s the best option then? How do you send money overseas cheaply? Simple. By using a private foreign money transfer firm you can save money when sending funds abroad. If you are looking for the cheapest way to send money internationally, they can’t be beat. Not only do they charge limited fees, they give a much better exchange rate than the big banks; usually 3% – 4% more for your money.

I sent the same $2,000 to myself the following month from my home bank account, but instead of using their private wire transfer service, I used Ria’s foreign money transfer service. I was given two options, I could have the money there within 12 hours and I would be charged a $26 fee or it could be available in four days and there would be a $5 fee. My bank to bank transfer took three days and still cost me $67, so I opted for the 4 day transfer. The end result, I paid $2,005 and $2,000 was deposited into my Cambodian bank.

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to send money overseas, I highly recommend you look into private money transfer companies. The Send Money Cheaper comparison tool will help you figure out which service to use for your personal transfer needs.

Now that you’ve found out how to send your money abroad cheaper, go out and buy yourself a fancy dinner in your new homeland. You’ve earned it.

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