I would like my younger brother to start studying in a school here, and this requires frequent international money transfers:
- The primary source (sponsor) would be family funds that would be wired from India/China/UAE (home) to my bank account in the US every month or two
- Every now and then, depending on my savings, I would send some money home
I am member of various Credit Unions that all offer free incoming international money transfers.
However, the CUs offer no SWIFT codes and my family refuses to risk the money transfer. Since I have no idea how this would actually work out, I do not "force" them to put in my CU's ABA number in the forms.
My guess is that the international money transfer to a CU would have to go through a domestic US bank that would tack on their fee anyways before transferring the money to the CU? (This part is a vague guess in my part and none of the CUs mention which bank this would be, giving me the impression that the international/sending bank would make their own choice?)
Instead I use bank accounts, and the transfers are faster than domestic ACH transfers: at-most a week, but typically a day! However, the cumulative fees amount to around 2% - 3% of the transferred amounts, and that's a significant amount of money in fees over a year.
Is there a way I could minimize these money transfer fees?