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Moving money from US to my home country

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I guess there is a similar topic, but my case is other way round. 

So I will be coming back to my home country from the US and I want to bring my money with me. It is not very big amount, but it is also not so small to carry it in wallet, I mean it would not fit my wallet probably, also I`m concerned in terms of safety, I don`t want to carry much money with me. So I`m thinking of the ways how could I move my money from US to my country safely and with minimum losses (commissions and etc). Surely, I can bring all my money in my US bank card, the thing is I`m not sure about what percent they will subtract when I withdraw from ATM in my country.

So what are the best ways? Any recommendations are welcomed

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There are a few ways:

1. The simplest way is to get a money order from your US bank in the currency of your home country. This will basically look like a cheque issued to your name. You can carry this easily as it's just one piece of paper with all of your US money on it. The fees for this is also usually small. The downside is that the  money order should be treated like cash---if you lose it, you could potentially lose the money. (In theory, if you keep a record of the money order serial number and you lose the money order, you may be able to cancel it [like a lost cheque] and recover your funds but it's not guaranteed). 

2. If there is a bank that exists in your home country and the US then maybe they will let you transfer money between accounts. I find that there are good international banks (e.g. HSBC), however, most of these require deposits of like $100,000 before these services are effective (so, not for people like us!)

3. Using your ATM card may be an okay way to transfer the money as well, depending on what the fees are. You can just ask your bank. Usually, using a ATM card internationally has fees in the $5-$20 range (you generally pay a fee to both your bank and the bank that owns the ATM) and the exchange rate is usually the market rate plus 2.5% or so. A $5-$20 ATM fee is not great normally and I wouldn't generally use an ATM outside of my bank's country. However, if you are withdrawing all of your money and it's a one-time fee $5-$20 is not that much compared to the exchange fee.

4. You can write yourself a cheque/check (in US dollars) and cash it in your home country. This is like Option #1 however, it will be your home country bank that charges you an exchange fee (and you have to make sure your home country bank is willing to cash a US dollar check/cheque. Also, this will result in more delays before you get your money but if you are home, then this might not be as big of a deal. It carries the same risk of loss as #1 though. Also, this means that you will have to keep your US bank account open until you cash this check.

5. There may be electronic bank transfer options too but I don't know what the fees are for this. Ask your bank.

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39 minutes ago, TakeruK said:

5. There may be electronic bank transfer options too but I don't know what the fees are for this. Ask your bank.

The easiest and safest but perhaps not the cheapest way to transfer money is a wire transfer. There will be fees, both for converting the money from USD to your local currency and for the transfer (the first you'll pay anyway under any option). I'd look into the fees and compare them to the ATM fee, which is the next best option for safety. Keep in mind that the conversion rate the bank will charge might be different than the ATM's and than your home bank's. The money order option will be cheaper but comes with a much greater risk. Only you can decide how to weigh the extra fee against your peace of mind, and it will also depend on how much money you are moving around. I would personally go with the wire transfer, that way you could do it enough time in advance to allow you to also close your account while you're still in the States, which the ATM option won't allow. I'd prefer to pay the extra fee than carry a money order with me, for the sake of my sanity. 

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Hey,

I'm also an international student in US and I would rather recommend you to use www.transferwise.com to transfer money to your home country. That's what I do to avoid any extra charges levied by banks upon money transfers across international borders. They will charge you a really tiny amount around 2-5$ for less than 1K transfer I guess. You can visit this website and explore for further information. 

Thanks

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