I'm moving to Australia next month (from France) and am receiving monthly US dollar checks (from some affiliate marketing activities I have in the US). In Australia, I will have an Australian checking account.

My question is: how can I deposit the USD money on my Australian checking accounts while incurring as little fees as possible? (When I deposited my first USD check in my French bank account, they took a 10% fee!)

I guess if I just deposit the check directly at the Australian bank, I'll suffer from a bad conversion rate and a hefty flat fee. What is the least expensive way? Is there an online tool that allows for no-fee check deposit and currency conversion and money transfer or something like that?

Surely I am not the only person in that situation.


Since you have presumably now been living here for six months you may already have discovered that Australian banks charge a transaction fee whether the funds are deposited from overseas by check/cheque or telegraphically. I have an account with Bank of America and used to be able to draw funds from Australian bank Westpac via their ATMs without incurring a fee, because BofA and Westpac are both members of a Global ATM Alliance that did not charge fees to each others customers. But now they have initiated a new policy, and take 3% of every sum withdrawn. Not quite usury, but in the same ballpark. I'm now investigating the possibility of opening a Schwab or a Capital One account in the US, and using one of their credit cards, which, I believe, would allow withdrawals at Australian ATMs for no fee. If you find or have found a good answer to your dilemma I hope you will share it.

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As it is a cheque I don't think you can deposit online. It seems that most the banks here charge a flat fee. Bank of Queensland charges $45 plus whatever the FX rate and fees are at the time. I think most of the banks have a clearance period of up to 28 days from when you deposit the cheque to when the funds clear and you could use them.

If you want a cheaper and quicker option maybe try to have the USD funds sent electronically to the Australian bank account you choose.

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