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Moving cash to the USA

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Moving cash to the USA [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2013, 05:08
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Hi there,

I've been blessed by the chance to be admitted to an MBA. Along with all the visa paperwork, I would need to transfer my cash to the US in order to ease the pressure on the student loan.

I thought it'd be great to have feedback from other international students on their thoughts on the different options to transfer cash, such as travellers cheques, wire transfer, western union, or simply carrying all the cash in the plane :D
Also interesting on what you think on each option concerning their safety/easiness/cost-efficiency.

Cheers
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Re: Moving cash to the USA [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2013, 05:52
duriangris wrote:
Hi there,

I've been blessed by the chance to be admitted to an MBA. Along with all the visa paperwork, I would need to transfer my cash to the US in order to ease the pressure on the student loan.

I thought it'd be great to have feedback from other international students on their thoughts on the different options to transfer cash, such as travellers cheques, wire transfer, western union, or simply carrying all the cash in the plane :D
Also interesting on what you think on each option concerning their safety/easiness/cost-efficiency.

Cheers


Not sure about the overall answer to your question, but US Customs/Border Patrol requires you to declare any cash position greater than 10k when entering the US.

US CBP wrote:
If you and your travel companions together are carrying $10,000 or more in cash or other negotiable instruments such as endorsed checks, you must declare it. If you do not, it is subject to forfeiture. Your money is not subject to taxation or duty.

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Re: Moving cash to the USA [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2013, 20:10
Yeah actually, I was wondering, what if one carries more than 10k and just declare it?
Who knows, that could still be more competitive than other options, can't seem to find how much taxes would be in this case.
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Re: Moving cash to the USA [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2013, 15:26
duriangris wrote:
Yeah actually, I was wondering, what if one carries more than 10k and just declare it?
Who knows, that could still be more competitive than other options, can't seem to find how much taxes would be in this case.


Not sure, I'm not that much of a baller :)
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Re: Moving cash to the USA [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2013, 22:04
Just visit any of the bank.I think they will tell you the proper method for money transfer.
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Re: Moving cash to the USA [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2013, 18:49
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duriangris wrote:
Hi there,

I've been blessed by the chance to be admitted to an MBA. Along with all the visa paperwork, I would need to transfer my cash to the US in order to ease the pressure on the student loan.

I thought it'd be great to have feedback from other international students on their thoughts on the different options to transfer cash, such as travellers cheques, wire transfer, western union, or simply carrying all the cash in the plane :D
Also interesting on what you think on each option concerning their safety/easiness/cost-efficiency.

Cheers



So here is an overview of options:

1. Wire Transfer is the way to go unless your country's government has an interesting limitation of some sorts that prevents you from being able to wire the money. In case you want to use the Wire Transfer, you may want to allow one of your trusted family members to wire the money to you AFTER you are in the US and open a bank account there.
most banks will wire for a small nominal fee (there is often a receiving fee as well). These range from $15 to about 150 for a large transfer (most of the US receiving fees are around $15). Check with your local bank just in case it charges a percentage fee instead of a flat fee. Having a person with access to your account (to deposit and send money) will help with the process over the following years as you may need additional funds. I have never faced with any inquiries or questions from banks/financial institutions even when transferring large amounts.

Other methods of transporting money are not as effective ...

2. Fly Cash In. You can bring in only $10K into the US and I would not recommend exceeding that amount (though chances of you getting caught are super small). Bottom line: officially you are limited to $10K of cash or money-instruments such as gold or traveler's checks. Additional limitation is that when you try to deposit cash into your US bank account in ONE time, the bank is required to fill out a Currency Transaction Report and you will get flagged and questions will be asked as to how you go the money and where from (this is to prevent money laundering). Since most schools will not take cash, you will have to this in some way. By the way, If you have more than $10,000 in your account and transfer it into another account or write a check for that amount, then nothing will be reported. The key is one time, so you can stretch it out or deposit into multiple accounts in case you decide to bring over $10K in cash.

3. Pay Directly to the University: Similar to option #1 - it is a wire transfer or a credit card transaction but it may be easier done from your country of residence than just sending $50K in a wire transfer. Your family/work/etc can pay the school directly.

4. Western Union is OK but it maxes out at about $2,500 (they have lowered their fees recently, so it is not a bad way to get money but it is a hassle). To give you an example, to send from the US to another country using the 3-day economy option is about $30. The instant transfer is closer to $200 for that amount. Moneygram is another option but it has an even loser limit of $899 per transfer per day... kind of useless when you need to move $20-40K

5. Traveler's Checks are OK too but they are a hassle and again, are considered a money instrument, thus the same $10K rule at the border applies.

6. ATM Card: You can just access your money via an ATM (which works for day to day stuff) but you will have to pay fees, which will be around 1-2% depending on your home bank and you can only withdraw $400-600 at a time (depending on your banks policies and ATM limitations). If you are considering this route, a better option is to withdraw money at a bank instead of the ATM - they will let you take out a pretty large amount from your home country's ATM card for a nominal fee as long as you have a bank account with them.

Bottom line - Wire Transfer is the best option.

Hope this helps :-)
Good luck!
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Last edited by bb on 21 Jul 2013, 21:29, edited 2 times in total.
Organized it a bit
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Re: Moving cash to the USA [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2013, 09:48
Great post! Quite complete and insightful, thanks a lot!
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Re: Moving cash to the USA [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2013, 21:30
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Thank you. I have organized it a bit more (was just done quickly the first time) - hope it is more clear now. I have had a few friends stuck with this questions, so this is based on second hand but almost immediate experience.
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Re: Moving cash to the USA [#permalink] New post 16 Oct 2013, 07:35
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Hi there,

Just thought it may be useful for some people.
Here's is how I eventually did,
The campus bank allowed me to open a bank account remotely (MIT FCU in my case, I guess every university has something similar).
Then all I did was a regular transfer from my bank (ICBC) it cost me $0, no fees or anything from either side.
Worth checking with your banks, good luck to future students
Re: Moving cash to the USA   [#permalink] 16 Oct 2013, 07:35
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