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I need to transfer a large sum from Chile to Canada and convert currency to Canadian. I specify the countries because fewer businesses seem to operate in Chile. I absolutely want to avoid the inter-bank exchange rate because I would lose 10,000+ compared to using the international exchange rate.

I've found some relevant information on this site, but nothing actionable for my circumstance. This answer mentions using a banks FOREX desk. I called the bank and they never mentioned such a thing. They said it was a 2.5% fixed inter-bank exchange rate.

What are my options?

Edit:

I've been asking around and it seems that one way people move money from Chile to Canada is by networking and finding people that want to trade currency. E.g. Canadian pensioners living in Chile would be interested in trading CDN for CLP. This isn't a good solution for me because I'm trying to move a large sum of money.

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  • couldn't be easier you use OFX or Transferwise to get the best rate
    – Fattie
    Jan 1 at 18:52
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    @Fattie Obligatory post that Transferwise has consistently been the most expensive of the three services (XE Trade, OFX, Transferwise) whenever I check. I also strongly object to Transferwise practice of advertising a good rate up front and then tacking on a fee at the last step that prices them above their competitors.
    – Eric
    Jan 1 at 19:13
  • @Eric - that's actually great info, thanks! personally I only use OFX ; but I habitually say "ofx or transferwise" on here out of a sense of fairness, heh! I had not actually heard of XETrade even - again thanks! Happy N.Y.
    – Fattie
    Jan 1 at 20:18
  • @Fattie neither of those businesses work for transferring CLP to CAD. I have not found an alternative option for international transfers (aside from using the banks) which is why I am asking on this site for what my options are.
    – Klik
    Jan 1 at 21:58
  • @Eric Really? Do you compare the total amount of destination currency (after all fees) obtained for an equal amount of input currency? Transferwise consistently yields the most when I do comparisons.
    – WBT
    Jan 12 at 16:00
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As a Brazilian I've used Transfer Wise to send money between different countries and currencies. Another option was Remessa Online, but I'm afraid this is specific to the Brazilian market. I've used those to send BRL to the Netherlands as EUR.

Transfer Wise has better exchange rates than most traditional banks and lower extra fees.

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  • Cannot send Chilean Pesos with Transferwise.
    – Klik
    Jan 1 at 1:22
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If you can establish accounts on cryptocurrency exchanges in source and destination countries, this may be the best way to move a large sum across international borders, in terms of reducing fees. The exact fees will depend on the specific exchanges where you open accounts.

You could take advantage of the volatility compared to government-issued currencies and stand to gain (or lose!) due to value fluctuations while the funds are in cryptocurrency form, or you could buy a "stablecoin" which is fixed to a government-issued currency like USD or CAD (stablecoins exist for both; whether a CAD stablecoin will be listed on whatever exchange you can connect to your Chilean bank is a different question).

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  • This had crossed my mind! This is a very interesting idea. The volatility is a little intimidating. Though I would need to find a way to purchase crypto which doesn't seem easy in Chile. I'll look into it though.
    – Klik
    Jan 13 at 4:47
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Lol, usually people are trying to get the IB rate, because it is minimal for major currencies, lets say EUR USD might be 1.19999 and 1.20001 and yes, some entities may by agreement trade without that "fee" at 1.2 exactly that would also be the published rate you see in print and internet services. The 2.5% you've been quoted is unlikely to be "fixed" by the markets, but the specific desk you asked might only feel comfortable taking the Chilean risk for that kind of money, just like my local Forex shop wants 10% to convert CLP, yes, 10%, just checked! That 10% covers their profit, their risk, and probably the 2.5% of the bank they will have to use. So yeah, you're kinda stuck with looking around for cheaper providers that might offer you something closer to the "true" IB, which should be under 1% unless Chile is in Venezuela-style crisis. Converting up and down to crypto will not work usually to under 1%, in fact most people end up paying up to 5% when zigzagging with crypto. But you may get lucky and convert CLP in Chile to stablecoin, there is TrueCAD(TCAD) among other options, and stablecoins you can usually exit with 0 or close to 0 fees. It is similar to finding an expat or two, because the expat would also be able to acquire TrueCAD at 0 cost. Failing that, Transferwise and its digital competitors should be cheaper than any traditional bank or FX business. I see Coinbase and Coinmama operate in Chile, they are not the cheapest but should be better for TrueCAD than 2.5% . And of course check with trusttoken.com that they wouldn't object to your kinds of amounts, banks etc.

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