Just a few weeks ago, a fellow ex-pat American excitedly told me about her recent discovery: she found a way to send money overseas at a great exchange rate, for free. Say what? Say:
XE.com is a Canadian-born site showing the latest exchange rates. What I didn’t know is that you can actually send (“trade”) foreign currency, and that the process can be totally free!
For the last two and a half years, I’ve been repaying an American student loan by international transfers from my Australian bank. They take a fee of $24, send the funds to an intermediary bank who takes $10 and finally passes it to my American bank, who charges me $12. Each year, I’ve been paying roughly $552 to send my own money to myself, overseas.
After a surprisingly through identity check to open an XE.com account, I’ve just successfully done my first “trade” and sent my usual monthly transfer to the US. Cost to me? Zero. I B-Payed my funds to XE.com’s Australian counterpart, and they changed the currency (at a good rate) and then XE.com’s United States office deposited the funds into my American account as a local deposit. No bank fees!
I highly recommend this if you send money overseas even occasionally. Be ready for strict ID guidelines to open your XE.com account, but it’s worth it! I wish I’d discovered this two and a half years ago!!