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I am an American teacher in China. I received an inheritance of a substantial sum of money back in November: a few hundred thousand dollars. Because of the pandemic I could not get back to the USA easily and the executor of the will put the money in a small local bank in an American city where I had an account.

The money is drawing no interest of any consequence and it is hard for me to even check my balance (on their web site I have to receive a code by phone to see my account and the code never arrives at my foreign-purchased phone). I would like my money in an international bank account with at least a little interest (4% ?)

Here's the problem: My local bank says it can't do a wire transfer because I am not there. (Is this true?) They can do an IAT ACH transaction - but no foreign bank has heard of this, or they can send me a cashier's check.

One large international bank in HK told me even if it gets the cashier's check, it might not be able to deposit it.

My question: I am probably going to stay in Asia for the next couple of years. I would prefer not to put this money in a mainland China bank, for a number of reasons - also, a mainland bank would probably not accept a cashier's check. Can you please recommend an international bank or a few international banks which would be able to accept a cashier's check, so that I can better access my money and get some interest? Or what should I do with this money so it is not just stagnating for me while making money for the local bank? Thank you ~~~

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    how about transferring it to a different US bank? If you're an American, you should be able to open an online high yields savings account and do an ACH transfer from the local garbage can where the money currently is
    – littleadv
    Oct 31, 2023 at 21:38
  • @littleadv would Chase, etc open a US bank account for someone living in a foreign country?
    – RonJohn
    Nov 1, 2023 at 0:46
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    Pony up the cash, fly back, and transfer the money to a bigger bank.
    – RonJohn
    Nov 1, 2023 at 0:47
  • "back in November", as in one year ago? Also, are you positive that this is not a scam?
    – RonJohn
    Nov 1, 2023 at 0:48
  • Someone mentioned the money was placed in the bank a year ago. Yes, I teach, am very busy, did not want to deal with this and time just went by. Now I am trying to do something. I guess I'll have to investigate moving it to another US bank like Chase. I just need to make sure there are Chase banks in Asia, and I guess there are. I'm sorry, never had this much money before - although I have always saved and had savings.
    – user125780
    Nov 1, 2023 at 1:52

2 Answers 2

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You said you are 'american' = US citizen, so you can open accounts online by many large banks. Once you did this, transfer the money to that new bank online (pull or push both work), and then either wire it from there, or invest it there.

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There are numerous services that will transfer money between US and foreign banks. You can create an account on-line and initiate the transfer. I've used wise.com and remitly.com. I know Western Union offers a similar service but I haven't tried them. I'm not recommending any in particular, I just give those two as examples of services I've used successfully. I've had no problems with Wise or Remitly. I use both regularly to transfer money from the US to the Philippines. I don't know if either works in India, but if not I'm sure there are other similar services. I've made dozens, maybe a hundred or more, transfers by now using those two services. None for very large amounts, generally $100 or so. I think Wise has an upper limit on how much you can move per day. Once I moved I think $2000 and they did some extra verification, but they still processed the transaction. A catch is that you may need an American phone number. I have an American phone number and a Filipino phone number to facilitate these sort of things. But hey, worst case, you could order a telephone from the US over the Internet, with a US number, and have it delivered to India. With international shipping speeds it would take a while but if you're stuck otherwise, a month is better than never.

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