Be careful with Citibank when it comes to currency exchange and wire transfer. I have a Citibank Gold account opened in the US - the Gold gets me elimination of overseas ATM charges and elimination of the 3% on-top-of-everything fee for purchases and cash withdrawals in foreign currency (everything but US$ is foreign currency from a US citibank account perspective. So Citibank is now my friend, right?
Wrong, they have another way to fuck me, and that is through the currency exchange rate for cash withdrawals and wire transfers. Yes, they don’t charge me the explicit extra 3%, but what they don’t say is that they’re tacking on nearly 5% to the current exchange rate (US-to-NT). If you don’t check real carefully (with a calculator) when you do a withdrawal or transfer, you may not notice the spot rate they charge. Last week I went to wire transfer my Taiwan tax payment to my Taiwan bank account (you can’t pay Taiwan personal income tax via direct wire from a foreign bank, it has to come from a Taiwan bank), the sum was well over US$ 10,000. I noticed just before I clicked Send Wire that the spot rate they quoted me was about 30.5, which seemed low as I has just done a conversion at the airport. So I checked the rate on xe.com and found 31.94. That’s 1.44/31.94 or 4.5% extra profit. On every US$ 10,000, they would be taking an extra US$450.
Just think about those fools paying the extra 3% on top of that!