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  • innovate
    • #2
    • 17th Dec 08, 8:35 AM
    Why is Moneybookers not mentioned?
    • #2
    • 17th Dec 08, 8:35 AM
    Superb guide, but very surprised to see Moneybookers not mentioned.

    It's ideal for anyone making regular, or multiple, transfers to their own foreign bank account. Moneybookers use very competitive interest rates (ECB rates), the charges are minute (€1.80 per withdrawal), and you can do it all from your PC.

    Potential downsides are that
    1. the foreign account needs to be in your own name
    2. you have to have your Moneybookers account verified - this can take up to a week but is a one-off activity
    3. for very large transfers, the normal Moneybookers 'outgoing transaction limit' might be too low. This can be overcome by applying for the Moneybookers VIP programme, giving you unlimited outgoing transaction limits
    4. loading your Moneybookers account is free of charge from your bank account, but this can take several days. If you have a Switch/Maestro card, uploads are also free, and instant. Loading by other cards is also instant but comes at a hefty fee. With a bit of planning, upload costs can be saved by doing it by bank transfer.
    5. account balances over £1,000 are not covered by the FSA guarantee
    NB. Moneybookers could also "help the site"
  • voisin
    • #3
    • 17th Dec 08, 9:34 AM
    sending money abroad
    • #3
    • 17th Dec 08, 9:34 AM
    I have a French bank account with Credit Agricole, when I need to top it up I send an ordinary English cheque in sterling made payable to myself. If I post it there's the cost of a Euro stamp and they charge €32 ( approx.£25+ now) for any amount and give good commercial exchange rate.No fuss, no bother all done in a few days.
    For general spending in France I've been using a Saga credit card but next year I'm going to try a Citibank Euro account, anyone have a good or bad experience of this system?




    Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference
  • Sam37
    • #4
    • 17th Dec 08, 9:52 AM
    • #4
    • 17th Dec 08, 9:52 AM
    Innovate, Moneybookers looks interesting, but I don't get how it works..

    You state that the foreign account needs to be in your name (which I have), but the explanations on the site seem to suggest that you can send money to anyone with an email address (which I find quite obscure, and wouldn't know how to get the money ''from'' my email address).

    Is the ''send money'' different from ''upload and withdrawal"?

    The charges are 1.80 euro plus 1.75% on the exchange rate from what I can gather.
    • aless02
    • By aless02 17th Dec 08, 11:50 AM
    • 5,115 Posts
    • 34,754 Thanks
    aless02
    • #5
    • 17th Dec 08, 11:50 AM
    • #5
    • 17th Dec 08, 11:50 AM
    Another BIG company which is suspiciously missing from the guide is XE.com

    I've been using them on a monthly basis for over a year now, after being referred by other expats. I send chunks over to the USA to pay for my student loan & credit card bills. XE gives excellent rates and has very low fees if you're an established customer. I was extremely surprised to see them not even mentioned in the guide, since it seemed like they were a pretty big player in the currency exchange market. Interestingly enough, the DFID website didn't mention them either! I was quite puzzled...

    Similar to Moneybookers, XE works for established customers (quite lengthy to set up the account, but once you do, it's easy-peasy to do the transfers), which the article doesn't really address.

    Perhaps a bit more fleshing out for those of us who send money abroad regularly??
    top 2013 wins: iPad, £50 dental care, £50 sportswear, £50 Nectar GC, £300 B&Q GC; jewellery, Bumbo, 12xPringles, 2xDiesel EDT, £25 Morrisons, £50 Loch Fyne

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  • tonyslade
    • #6
    • 17th Dec 08, 12:22 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Dec 08, 12:22 PM
    I own an apartment in Spain and have an account with Banco Popular in Spain. I simply send a cheque from my personal account in UK. I get the commercial rate of exchange but there is a commission charge of 6 Euros. To maximise efficiency, about twice a year I send a cheque for £1000+ and then the money is used to fund the direct debits for utilities, rates etc. The bank gives me a card for use at ATMs. There are no snags as long as you allow about a week for the cheque to clear.
    Named after my cat, picture coming shortly
  • Lets Say
    • #7
    • 17th Dec 08, 1:15 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Dec 08, 1:15 PM
    I have been lurking all over this site for a while but this is my first post so please be kind!

    I opened a Uk and Spanish Halifax account to take advantage of the 'free transfers'. I spend a lot of time in Spain and live off rental income. Martin's article states that funds are transferred 'at good exchange rates'.

    All this year I am sure my transfers have been coming through at better than tourist rate. But my last one seemed very poor. In addition, we now action these transfers ourselves online or over the phone. (Previously I had to go to the Spanish branch and get the staff to fill out the paperwork). So they are saving staff time now.

    Right now Halifax are offering 1.0513 for a transfer. Co-op travel are offering
    1.0636 for FE orders, with free postage over £300.

    Please can anyone confirm that Halifax have indeed decided to action these transfers at bog standard tourist rate, or have I just been mistaken all year, and/or could anyone point me in the direction of an historic exchange rate file so that I can investigate further?
    • engelsepiet
    • By engelsepiet 17th Dec 08, 1:27 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    engelsepiet
    • #8
    • 17th Dec 08, 1:27 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Dec 08, 1:27 PM
    I have been using XE regularly for a couple of years now, and am very pleased with its service. Typically, it takes only two days from the time I click to accept a rate to the time it arrives in my foreign account and that includes using a BACS transfer from my UK account. It's worth mentioning that you are quoted a spot rate which you must accept within 60 seconds.

    Another BIG company which is suspiciously missing from the guide is XE.com

    I've been using them on a monthly basis for over a year now, after being referred by other expats. I send chunks over to the USA to pay for my student loan & credit card bills. XE gives excellent rates and has very low fees if you're an established customer. I was extremely surprised to see them not even mentioned in the guide, since it seemed like they were a pretty big player in the currency exchange market. Interestingly enough, the DFID website didn't mention them either! I was quite puzzled...

    Similar to Moneybookers, XE works for established customers (quite lengthy to set up the account, but once you do, it's easy-peasy to do the transfers), which the article doesn't really address.

    Perhaps a bit more fleshing out for those of us who send money abroad regularly??
    Originally posted by aless02
  • Nigel Bright
    • #9
    • 17th Dec 08, 10:07 PM
    Living Abroard
    • #9
    • 17th Dec 08, 10:07 PM
    As one of many hundreds of thousands of UK citizen living abroad, watching my pension reduce week by week, I regularly use your excellent website for tips on subjects that although written for UK based people relate to me i.e. using credit cards abroad, currency transfers etc. but when I want to find other non UK informationI have had a lot of trouble finding the correct search text.
    For example I wanted to find a way to make cheap calls to other countries from Brazil, but when I entered cheap telephone calls or other related words all I found was info or forums dealing with calls from the UK.
    Luckily I did know of the term VOIP (Voice Over the Internet Protocol - not many people know that) and found what I was looking for, but how many others would have?
    Could I suggest you have a main heading Ex-Pates or Living Abroad so a) People could start at this heading and easily find non UK items and b) I believe you would gain more members and start a whole new range of money saving articles.
    Regards
  • barbary_coaster
    Nationwide debit card
    The Guide suggests opening a Nationwide Bank Account to get a debit card for free cash withdrawals abroad.

    I decided to do this, but have noticed that you need to have the account open for 7 months before they will give you a debit card.

    Is this something new that Nationwide have brought in to discourage folks like me from opening an account, for use abroad only??
  • Lets Say
    No other Spanish Halifax account holders out there?
  • innovate
    Innovate, Moneybookers looks interesting, but I don't get how it works..

    You state that the foreign account needs to be in your name (which I have), but the explanations on the site seem to suggest that you can send money to anyone with an email address (which I find quite obscure, and wouldn't know how to get the money ''from'' my email address).

    Is the ''send money'' different from ''upload and withdrawal"?

    The charges are 1.80 euro plus 1.75% on the exchange rate from what I can gather.
    Originally posted by Sam37
    Sorry for delayed response, been away for a bit.

    Yes, "send money" is different from "upload and withdrawal". "Send money" means transferring money from one Moneybookers account to another. All you need to specifiy for the sending is an email address.

    Once the money is in your Moneybookers account, you can withdraw it to your bank account(s) - which you previously had registered (and verified).

    To transfer between your own UK and Euro bank account, you don't 'send' any money using Money bookers. You simply:
    1. upload [to Moneybookers] from your UK bank account. Bank transfer or Maestro card uploads costs nothing. Bank transfer takes a few days, Maestro is instant (though it's quite difficult to get a Maestro these days - RBS are one bank that seem to still do them). Debit and credit card uploads cost a fortune, I wouldn't do them unless you are in dire need of the money.
    2. as soon as your money is in Moneybookers, you can withdraw it to your Euro account. Charges are as you mentioned above. You can see how many Euros you will get before you confirm. Depending on your Euro bank, the money arrives between immediately and a few days later.
    Same works the other way round, and you have to have your bank accounts registered and verified before you can do it. Registration takes a minute, but verification can take somewhat longer because it involves Moneybookers making a dummy deposit to your accounts, and you then need to enter the deposit code they send in your Moneybookers account. This is a one-off activity, and step-by-step instructions and help are provided on the Moneybookers site.

    NOTE: you cannot send and/or withdraw more money than your 'outgoing transaction limit' allows. The outgoing limit is a max amount for a rolling 90 day period, specified in your account. It's initially set quite low (just a few K), but as soon as you have completed verification of your address, debit- or credit-card, and bank account, they up your limit to something like £20K. I.e. you can then send/withdraw up to max £20K every 90 days. They also do VIP accounts that have no outgoing limits, but I think you can only get a VIP account if you spend a lot of money with merchants who take Moneybookers.

    If you want to transfer money from your UK account to someone else's Euro bank account, procedure is similar to above. Both people need to have their own Moneybookers accounts, with their respective bank accounts registered and verified. Then
    1. you upload money to your Moneybookers account, as above
    2. you send money to the other person from within Moneybookers - just specify the email address of the other person. A charge of 48p is levied, regardless of amount sent. The recipient gets an automated email, advising that the money has arrived (it's instantly transferred, and transfer is irreversible).
    3. the other person then withdraws to their bank account, similar to above
    Again, this also works the other way round, i.e. someone else can send you money that way.

    Hope this clarifies the procedure - I think you will find it's easier to do than to describe how to do it.

    One major point to remember: don't leave anything above £1K in your Moneybookers for any length of time, since those amounts are not covered by the FSA (FSCS) guarantee (and you get zero % interest). Withdraw as soon as your money is available in Moneybookers. Moneybookers have gone to great length recently to assure their customers that their money is "safe in Moneybookers" - - - after the third email with this assurance, I decided to definitely not leave much money in my Moneybookers account, ever, lol!

    Edit: I don't monitor this thread regularly, if you have other questions, you can prod me via PM
    Last edited by innovate; 27-12-2008 at 8:56 PM.
  • innovate
    The Guide suggests opening a Nationwide Bank Account to get a debit card for free cash withdrawals abroad.

    I decided to do this, but have noticed that you need to have the account open for 7 months before they will give you a debit card.

    Is this something new that Nationwide have brought in to discourage folks like me from opening an account, for use abroad only??
    Originally posted by barbary_coaster
    I got three Nationwide Flexaccounts myself, got a VISA Debit instantly with all of them. Not sure how they determine who gets a VISA Debit instantly and who has to wait.
  • Damien101
    one service i use is XE (xe.com) they very good and don't charge any fees. And their exchange rates are some of the best (if not the best) around
  • par
    Legal obligations for verbal conversation/foreign currency exchange
    I am new to foreign currency exchange. I thought I was getting a quote but have ended up having a contract because I ticked the Terms & conditions box. I did not want to proceed and have ended up owing thousands of pounds. They said they would defer the date of transfer but I did not send a deposit and did not put anything in writing. I was told they had bought the currency and that I had agreed to it verbally . Now they have sold the currency as I have not paid a deposit and am not prepared to do so - they did this before they put me through to the compliance team to discuss. They said if I paid a deposit even though they had sold the currency, I could keep it at a fixed rate for 2 years. I had always said I was new to this and wasn't sure I wanted to proceed and didn't understand how it worked. They are going to send me tapes of conversations and give me 14 days to pay up. Do I have any chance of getting out of this?
  • runciblespoon
    They all make deals verbally - markets move around very fast and it's the only way to agree a deal before the price moves.

    However they should have made it clear on the phone that you were buying currency, not just asking for a quote. The tapes should make that clear. They should have asked for your verbal agreement to buy the currency. I would listen to the tapes carefully before proceeding.

    I'm also slightly surprised that they didn't ask you to sign something before opening an account. Usually they need a signature before they'll even quote prices. Have a read of anything you signed.

    In my experience these brokers can be very sharp about terms and conditions, and love charging for any extra work incurred, so be careful.
    • engelsepiet
    • By engelsepiet 18th Feb 09, 1:38 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    engelsepiet
    one service i use is XE (xe.com) they very good and don't charge any fees. And their exchange rates are some of the best (if not the best) around
    Originally posted by Damien101
    Check again. Xe does charge fees for wire transfer.
    Last edited by engelsepiet; 18-02-2009 at 1:52 PM.
  • Christine Hall
    Sending Money Overseas
    We were advised to use XE to check what the current rates were, when we got a rate from Lloyds it was well off the figure on XE. The broker my husband used in October was a lot closer to the XE rate, the name escapes me at the moment, but we did get their details reccomended to us by compareforeigncurrency.com.

    Hope that helps! We were advised to buy our euros in October due to the possible drop in rates, thankfully we got about 1.28. If I find out who the broker was I shall let you know.
  • JudyM
    First Rate FX (www.firstratefx.com) charges no fees at all, and still gives great rates.

    My husband uses the company to move his RAF pension to France. He just rings up his personal currency dealer and gives his debit card over the phone. We save about 4% against the High St banks. They use Barclays to hold client funds so the money is completely safe.

    We have moved as little as £500 - £750 at one time, and a much greater sum when we bought our house. The currency team is just as friendly whether we are moving a small amount or a lot. They even rang us up to tell us when the rate was really high (seems like a lifetime ago!) and we fixed the rate for a whole year
  • hulmevillas
    Overseas money transfer?
    I support a charity in Nepal & would like to send donations directly. I have their bank account details in Nepal. I have a Paypal account. Can I transfer monies from it direct into their Nepalese bank account? The language differences might make it difficult to explain to the charity that they also need to set up a Paypal account.
    John Hulme
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