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I have a bank account in USD in a European bank. I want to transfer 20,000 USD from that account to a US bank account (PNC bank) in USD. My EU bank account takes 0.2% of the total amount, which is 0.002*20000=40USD.

Do you think that the 0.2% charge is used to cover all charges or additional ones will be incurred? Will the transaction have to go through an intermediary bank, even though the source and target currencies are the same? How do I minimize losses on that transaction?

  • Your best bet would be to ask your bank. As you've not said which one it is, any answers are liable to be "Generally, ...". From other answers on here, typically four banks may be involved: yours, their correspondents, the receiving bank's correspondents and the receiving bank. – TripeHound Sep 4 '17 at 8:49
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$40 is not terribly expensive and a wire transfer will be fast.

Since you're moving USD to USD, you don't have to worry about fees "hidden" in bad exchange rates but it does rule out using cheap combined transfer / exchange services like XE Trade / OFX / Transferwise.

If the transfer is not urgent, one option you might look into is how much it would cost you to have your bank write you a check from your account for $20,000 and then deposit that into your US bank account. My bank in the Netherlands used to charge something like €20 to write a check so you might save slightly on the cost.

As a final note, depending on how you are getting money into your local USD account, you should look into services like XE Trade / OFX / Transferwise to see if they will offer you a better exchange rate than your bank is when converting the currency.

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I would check out Transferwise. They were a startup company 6 years ago, and now cover 20% of the UK bank transfers!

They will tell in advance what will be you're cost and how much it is compared to an ordinary bank wire transfer.

  • I haven't looked at them recently, but I found them to be more of a gimmick. They added some fees at the end of the process. I found XE trade or OFX offered more competitive rates with only a slightly more complex process. I'm also not sure that any of these FX transfer services would work for USD to USD transfers. – Eric Sep 7 '17 at 0:34
  • Isn't the competitive advantage of TransferWise purely based on currency exchange? I do not need any currency exchange since my transfer is USD to USD. – wit221 Sep 7 '17 at 3:10

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