Transferring money back home... How!?

I feel like an idiot for asking a question that seems like it should be pretty straight-forward…

My time in this wonderful country will be coming to a close soon and I want to transfer my savings back home. It’s a substantial though not very large amount (well under the US limit of $10,000 for reporting on taxes) and I have it stored in the post office. I’ve been told before that I can’t just transfer it directly into a US bank… so what options have I got?

Thanks.

You can’t do it from the Post Office since it doesn’t offer international transfers. You can do it in any bank, though, I am not sure if you need an account in that bank or not. They’ll charge you a one-time fee and may be another fee by the intermediate bank, and hopefully no fee for your US bank to receive it. It’s not too bad, a few hundred NT dollars I believe. I use Citi Bank’s Global Transfer. You need to have one account here and the other account in the US. Don’t need to be yours, as long as you have access to them and could safely retrieve it after it is transferred. The one time fee is NT 600, for up to NT500,000.

No account needed at most Taiwanese banks. The one time fee is cheap, around 300 NTD, which in my experience has always included the fee for any intermediate bank. Though your bank in the States might charge considerably more than that.

It probably will. I have my account at WF, which has got to be the worst place anyone could ever put their money.

So basically just take cash to a bank and do it that way? Is there an upward limit?

[quote=“Hokwongwei”]It probably will. I have my account at WF, which has got to be the worst place anyone could ever put their money.

So basically just take cash to a bank and do it that way? Is there an upward limit?[/quote]

the limit is far higher then what you or i are likely to have. You are safe.

Its like millions upon millions far as i know.

I would choose a larger bank since they probably process more wire transfers by foreigners. I like Bank of Taiwan in Kaohsiung but that doesn’t work for you.

the fees that I have paid are 400NT in Taiwan and approximately 0.6% by my bank back home.

You need your I.D., of course. And the Swift code, Transit Code, Bank Code, as well as the phone number and address of your bank, plus your personal address and phone number in America.
I can’t quite recall the limit, but if my hazy memory serves it is about 30,000 USD for a one time transaction.

I honestly have no idea what a Swift Code and Transit Code are, but I’ll go look them up. Thanks again, everyone, makes me feel much less worried.

I wish I were transferring multiple transactions of US$30,000. T_T

Why not just get a certified check payable to yourself to avoid getting fees deducted by the middle bank.

The downside to this approach is that it will take considerable time (i.e. months) for the funds to clear after the cheque is deposited in the US. There will also be fees involved in issuing, as well as possibly cashing, the cheque. I don’t think there’s any advantage here.

While wiring is certainly the easiest (once you have the swift code and the other details noted above), an alternative is to go to a bank with international dealings (ex: Mega Bank, etc) to purchase a pile of US dollar travellers cheques then carry them back home. Of courses there would be fees involved here too. While this approach is undeniably old school, you’d have access to the funds immediately.

Guy

It’s not USD $10,000 for your repoting on your taxes. It’s over USD $10,000 that you need to report to US customs. Since you have under $10,000, why not just take it in cash? If you’re worried about it getting stolen, get a under the waist money belt and put it in there.

Just be certain that if you do this route, you have a total amount under $10,000 that is made up of cash (all currencies combined), any bonds, gold, silver, checks, etc. If you have over $10,000 and you fail to delcare it, US customs will probably seize it and you will have to fight to get it back.

There’s nothing illegal about taking over USD $10,000 into the country, but you have to declare it. If you’re worried about the IRS trying to tax it later, wire transfer may be better. At least you have an electronic paper trail.

I really don’t understand this fascination with hand carrying large amounts of cash back home. The fees are not that high. On 10K the fees are still only $75. I would gladly pay that to avoid the hassle of carrying cash around and then having to go to the bank back home to deposit it.

Seconded.
There is no way I would carry 10K USD anywhere. Pay the fees, and be secure in the knowledge that one’s cash is safe and secure.

[quote=“Hokwongwei”]It probably will. I have my account at WF, which has got to be the worst place anyone could ever put their money.

So basically just take cash to a bank and do it that way? Is there an upward limit?[/quote]

I have a US bank account at WF (I assume you mean Wells Fargo) and an account at Bank of Taiwan. I often wire money to my WF account. Bank of Taiwan charges a NT$400 fee, and WF charges US$16. I’m looking at the Bank of Taiwan wire transfer form right now, which asks for your Taiwan ID (ARC) information, the WF account number, and the name and address associated with the WF account. No Swift code or ABA number requested in this case. I’ve been doing this for 5 years without a problem.