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How to pay for Bruges bike and barge
Old 06-18-2017, 05:27 PM   #1
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How to pay for Bruges bike and barge

Along with some friends and family we are about to purchase a 2018 bike and barge tour from Bruges to Amsterdam. We have bought Euros in the past for trips but are about to try something different.

I searched the forum and there isn't any recent talk about paying for tours, etc., with Transfer wire. The vendor we are about to deal with has a 3% surcharge for credit cards and promotes Transfer wire as an alternative. Anyone have experience with them regarding currency conversion?
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Old 06-18-2017, 05:39 PM   #2
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In the past I have used Paypal for overseas vendors that did not accept credit cards. I've been able to use Paypal when overseas too - although I was careful about putting in a travel notice for when we were in Europe.

I mean - I have not run into overseas tour operators who did not at least accept deposit payment via Paypal. It was not unusual for them to want the remaining payment in cash when we joined the tour.

I've never done a direct wire transfer to a tour operator overseas.

If your bank charges 3% or more for the currency conversion, then you aren't any better off than paying the credit card surcharge (assuming you use a no foreign transaction fee credit card for a charge in foreign currency). I know BofA has charged me 6%+ buried in the exchange rate for buying Euros, so I would look carefully.

Plus there is the wire fee. $35 to $45 depending on whether foreign currency or USD are sent. Maybe the conversion fee is built into that? Don't know. https://www.bankofamerica.com/foreig...re-transfer.go
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When you use Online Banking to send an international wire in foreign currency rather than U.S. Dollars,3 the exchange rate is locked in up front,4 the wire fee is $10 less and the recipient will generally receive the funds sooner.
However, if you do not know the currency of the receiving account you should send in U.S. Dollars.

4 The exchange rate that Bank of America will offer you or assign to your transaction is determined by Bank of America based upon market conditions. Exchange rates offered by other dealers, or shown at other sources (including online sources) may be different from Bank of America’s rates.
https://www.bankofamerica.com/conten...info-sheet.pdf

Well - I'm sure other folks have done this and I'm very interested in the recommendations. We just have never needed to, and we have booked a lot of overseas tours in the past few years.
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Old 06-18-2017, 05:39 PM   #3
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If you skip the credit card, you will not have the protections that a credit card has. So skipping the credit care may have a downside.

I used a wire for when my son was studying overseas and it worked well. What I did was to buy the amount of host country currency using Forex trading at my broker in the US. Then I had my broker wire the money to the bank my son set up an account in that country. He then could pay for all the expenses.

So, do a forex purchase of the money that you need converted and then wire it.
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Old 06-18-2017, 06:27 PM   #4
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Thanks, I will have to explore this a bit. I do have a week or so to figure it out. Just trying to find the most reasonable way.
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Old 06-18-2017, 06:48 PM   #5
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What is the name of the company you are booking? Are you booking direct with the home company or an affiliate?
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:13 PM   #6
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In 2016 I took a cooking course in Tuscany. It had to be paid for with a wire transfer (two actually; one for the deposit, one for the balance). I was able to choose between Euros and US dollars (US dollars turned out to be more cost effective). Because I have TD Private Banking, there was no fee to do this.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:13 AM   #7
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No suggestions for paying but I did a Bruges to Amsterdam Bike and Barge with VBT and loved it. Pictures are here if you are interested. Enjoy your trip.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Aion View Post
The vendor we are about to deal with has a 3% surcharge for credit cards and promotes Transfer wire as an alternative. Anyone have experience with them regarding currency conversion?
I'm assuming you meant TransferWise and the above was just an autocorrection.

If so, I can vouch for it as being a safe and reliable option.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:48 AM   #9
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I'm assuming you meant TransferWise and the above was just an autocorrection.

If so, I can vouch for it as being a safe and reliable option.
Ooo - that would clear up some confusion!

In that case you are comparing the TransferWise fee to the 3% credit card surcharge?
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:50 AM   #10
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Yes.
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:57 AM   #11
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We encountered a rental agent in France who wanted a wire transfer. We determined that it was going to cost us $10 but it would cost them 50 euros to receive it. They decided that the creditcard charge was cheaper. Our biking trip was VBT so we just used our credit card.

Have you discussed the options with the company?
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Old 06-25-2017, 12:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
No suggestions for paying but I did a Bruges to Amsterdam Bike and Barge with VBT and loved it. Pictures are here if you are interested. Enjoy your trip.


Thanks for the photo tour. We are looking forward to it even more.
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Old 06-25-2017, 12:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
In 2016 I took a cooking course in Tuscany. It had to be paid for with a wire transfer (two actually; one for the deposit, one for the balance). I was able to choose between Euros and US dollars (US dollars turned out to be more cost effective). Because I have TD Private Banking, there was no fee to do this.


Thanks Meadbh, I will use a similar service that I have through BMO. More cost effective than through my credit card.
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Old 06-25-2017, 01:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
II've never done a direct wire transfer to a tour operator overseas.

If your bank charges 3% or more for the currency conversion, then you aren't any better off than paying the credit card surcharge (assuming you use a no foreign transaction fee credit card for a charge in foreign currency). I know BofA has charged me 6%+ buried in the exchange rate for buying Euros, so I would look carefully.

Plus there is the wire fee. $35 to $45 depending on whether foreign currency or USD are sent. Maybe the conversion fee is built into that? Don't know.

Well - I'm sure other folks have done this and I'm very interested in the recommendations. We just have never needed to, and we have booked a lot of overseas tours in the past few years.


Thanks audrey1,
I think the wire fee is less than 2% + current exchange rate which is less than the spread on my CC. If we keep on travelling at this rate we will look into the foreign no fee cc.
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Old 06-25-2017, 01:05 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
I'm assuming you meant TransferWise and the above was just an autocorrection.



If so, I can vouch for it as being a safe and reliable option.


Correct on the autocorrect. Their rate is considerably less than the bank we deal with, granted that Canadian banks are not as competitive as in the US. We may try it out, I was hoping someone on the forum pull have had experience with them.
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