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How can I send a wire transfer when traveling abroad?
Old 02-21-2015, 03:28 AM   #1
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How can I send a wire transfer when traveling abroad?

Hi everyone, I am currently out of the US and can't visit a branch of my bank (Wells Fargo). I also have brokerage accounts with Fidelity, E*Trade, TD Ameritrade, and Schwab, and credit cards with B of A and Chase. Again, no available branches.

I want to sign up now for a tour in another country taking place next month. The tour agent has requested payment by wire transfer to hold the spot and has sent me wire instructions -- banking details, SWIFT code, ABA number, etc. Apparently, payment by credit card and/or by Western Union are not an option.

What's the easiest way to send a wire transfer when I can't get into a branch of one of my banks? I'd prefer to do this online, but Wells Fargo seems to only offer something called "Wells Fargo Secure Pay," which the recipient has to sign up for, and I don't know if this will work. The online brokerage firms limit me to domestic wires and/or wires to an account in my name.

Is there an easy way to send a wire transfer that I'm missing, or is there a website/service where I can give a credit card number and they wire the money to this foreign bank?

Thanks for any assistance.
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:48 AM   #2
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It is difficult to arrange a wire transfer via credit card if you are not US based. I would think the best bet would be your Wells Fargo bank in the US - either via Internet banking or a phone call to your relationship manager at the bank.




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Old 02-21-2015, 06:49 AM   #3
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I have not tried to do this, but my first thought.. call your brokerages and banks and see what they say
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:10 AM   #4
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I had a similar situation - was arranging a personal truck import deal from Costa Rica and some of the involved parties required bank wires. At the time I was in Western Siberia - a time zone and logistical nightmare. I finally arranged the wires through my US bank - it helps to have a relationship manager assigned to your account.


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Old 02-21-2015, 07:13 AM   #5
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The tour agent won't take a credit card number?
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:28 AM   #6
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It is not easy. Due to the prevalence of wire fraud, you are going to have a lot of hoops to jump through to get this done. I would rather use a credit card if there is any way possible. Wires make me nervous, as there is no recourse if things go wrong with the tour company between now and then.


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How can I send a wire transfer when traveling abroad?
Old 02-21-2015, 08:11 AM   #7
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How can I send a wire transfer when traveling abroad?

Brokerages usually can do it. Not sure if you can do online, usually They have a standard fax form that you fill out and sign along with wire instructions which would include foreign bank address branch etc. with the SWIFT information. Problem is that wires are ancient technology and can take days if not weeks to clear. Also no recourse with wires. Once they are made that's it. . That's not usually the easiest way to proceed.

Don't confuse a wire transfer with an electronic transfer. That is usually within the U.S. Across brokers or banks.

Two different animals. Check your brokerage web site.

Another alternative is to do two transactions. First is to take a cash advance on your cc in local currency. Second is to see if a local bank can wire the "cash" to the recipient.

Honestly It's times like this that Bitcoin (or at least the settlement aspect of it). Really starts to make some sense.
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:43 AM   #8
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I'm also a customer of Wells Fargo and they insisted I come to a branch to do an international wire transfer. The closest branch was a two hour drive so that was not an option. I now use Bank of America since they will take the wire instructions over the phone.

Depending upon what country you need to send money to, xoom.com might be an option. They will send money to many countries for a $4.99 flat fee plus they make a small percentage on the exchange rate. You can see what the current exchange rate is before you pull the trigger. They allow me to send up to $3,000 at a time from the U.S. to Mexico. May be different limits for different countries but I'm not sure about that. It's not exactly cheap but it is safe as I've used it a few times with no problems and many friends use it regularly.
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:56 AM   #9
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It may be too much hassle to set up for the one off situation you are in now, but several years ago I set up an account with XE.com. Easy to do online if you have a US address. I use XE.com to do both Electronic transfers (free) and wire transfers to foreign banks, from wherever I am in the world.
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:43 AM   #10
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It may be too much hassle to set up for the one off situation you are in now, but several years ago I set up an account with XE.com. Easy to do online if you have a US address. I use XE.com to do both Electronic transfers (free) and wire transfers to foreign banks, from wherever I am in the world.
Thanks Alan, I learn something useful here every week! I just checked and the default form opened on the Canadian option, so I don't think a U.S. address is crucial.
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:48 AM   #11
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Thanks Alan, I learn something useful here every week! I just checked and the default form opened on the Canadian option, so I don't think a U.S. address is crucial.
Cool, that's nice to know.
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