I have been living and working in Japan for a few years and have accumulated a sizable amount of money(about 100k$ worth) in a Japanese bank account(Yen currency).
I am now about to go back to live in Canada and would like to transfer this money to my Canadian bank account.

I have made a few researches to find the safest/cheapest way to do so.
If a wire transfer is possible between the 2 banks(not confirmed yet).
It is my understanding that there would be something like a flat fee of about 20$ on both ends + I would lose about 4-5% from ridiculous bank currency conversion rates.

If I use some P2P website, I would lose about 0% from conversion rates but lose about 0.5% flat rate + probably the 2x20$ bank transfer fees. This option seems pretty good thought I am not sure how reliable and safe it is.

I am still searching and learning to make sure I do this right. I am not too knowledgeable about finance so this is a little bit complicated for me. It is hard earned money and would be quite sad to lose 5k of it due to bad transfer choice...

I would be quite appreciative for information about what would be a good way to transfer my money safely without losing too much in the process due to exchange rates and flat rates.

Time is not a problem for me and I am willing to wait a long time if not just for the most favorable transfer rates.

  • is it possible for you to split this. I see many different questions. One question is about taxation. Is the funds earned in Japan be taxable in Canada. This question needs your tax status in both countries, citizenship etc. The other question "what is best / cheapest" is offtopic. If you can modify this like "can I avoid Fx conversion fees" on such transfers ... The other question is can you spend on your card ...
    – Dheer
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 8:10
  • One possibility is to stick with safer routes like banks and transfer the meney through wire transfer, there would be transaction charges to be payed but it would be a safer route to transfer money through SWIFT. On the tax question I am less sure, however every country would have some form of Non Residency status where you dont pay tax on your pretaxed savings, check this for Canada
    – Ironluca
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 8:19
  • @Dheer thank you for your input. I made some corrections, and will create 2 separate questions when possible(Only 1 question allowed per hour it seems) Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 8:51
  • Bitcoin is the way to go
    – Prodnegel
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 13:27
  • Are you able to delete this question now, else drop a note and mod will delete this
    – Dheer
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 13:36

2 Answers 2


Typical wire transfers are not with 4-5%; but it all depends on the bank that does the transfer.

You can chose to send ('wire') the money in source currency or in US $; the former, the target bank in the US does the conversion (so pick one that adds no or little spread); the latter, the sending bank does the conversion (so ask about their fees/spreads).

I have multiple times transferred money across the ocean (though not from Japan), and never paid more than 0.3% + ~40 $ flat. It should be possible to get te same range.

Note that if you look around for current offers, you might be easily able to even make some money on it - some US banks are eager for new money, and offer 200+$ bonus if you open an account and bring (significant =15k$+) new money to them.

  • My bank seems to be buying yen at 0.01134 today and the real rate is 0.01178. So for 100k, I would lose 4400$? That's why I thought the rate was around 5%. Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 12:59
  • I see. Not all banks have a spread that wide; also with a 100k$ volume, you have some leverage for negotiation, again depending on how eager a bank is to get your permanent business. The bank in Japan might be much less interested as the money will leave them.
    – Aganju
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 13:43

Wiring is the best way to move large amounts of money from one country to another. I am sure Japanese banks will allow you to exchange your Japanese Yen into USD and wire it to Canada.

I am not sure if they will be able to convert directly from JPY to CND and wire funds in CND. If you can open a USD bank account in Canada, that might make things easier.

  • But if I do that, I will lose 5% 2 times for conversions right? So 10k out of my 100k will be lost. Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 1:05
  • Check with the banks. Usually the exchange rates aren't that bad...
    – Adrian
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 5:31

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