I currently live in Spain and moving to the US in a couple of months. I do not have bank account in the US. I have around 8k euros in my Spanish bank account and my bank is suggesting me to close the account before I leave. I am wondering what is the best way to carry this money to the US?


  • Cash. Wrap big stacks of it in clear plastic, and then bring it across in a boat. What could possibly go wrong??? – RonJohn Nov 16 '17 at 18:40

If you still have affairs in Spain or you plan to visit regularly, I would advise against closing your account there unless it is expensive. I still have a bank account in the Netherlands and it simplifies at lot of things to have it.

I would recommend you take enough money to get you going in the US with you but leave the rest in your bank account in Spain. Once you have opened a bank account in the US, use a foreign exchange transfer service like ofx, XE trade or Transferwise to transfer the money to yourself.

In general, foreign exchange transfer services are the most cost effective way to transfer money internationally (much better than your own bank, Pay Pal, Western Union, wire transfers, etc). They are "fast" in that it can take less than a week to transfer money, but other methods are faster if time is of the essence.


I would open an account with a bank that has an international presence - branches in both the US and Spain (US Bank, HSBC, Citibank, etc.) Then just transfer the money over to the new account from your old account.

Of course, ensure that you are eligible to open an account and still will have access to it after you move to the US.

  • I forgot to mention that I live in Barcelona and none of the banks you mentioned are here. – user1883491 Jul 19 '17 at 15:18
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    @user1883491 which is why I said "etc.". I wasn't recommending a bank, but those were the major banks that popped in my head. But the idea is still the same. – Michael Jul 19 '17 at 15:19
  • Banco Santander has a retail banking operation in the US called Santander Bank, and I assume it has branches in Barcelona. – Mike Scott Aug 18 '17 at 15:32
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    Do not assume this is the most cost effective solution. My sister in law has bank accounts in different currencies at the same bank in the same country and they give her worse exchange rates to move money between them than foreign exchange transfer services. – Eric Aug 18 '17 at 17:44

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