Monday, January 31, 2011

International banking 101

Throughout the moving process I've become very familiar with setting up wire transfers... international accounts, etc. I'm becoming an international banker! Not really... but it's actually not that complicated. If you need to wire money to another country to pay bills, you need to have a physical presence at a local branch of your bank (in my case Wells Fargo). They require IBAN, BIC, beneficiary information, bank information and a physical signature. And they charge $20 for each wire transfer... Since we are moving to Milan and the nearest Wells Fargo branch is in London, this definitely posed a serious question of "how do we access our US funds while we are living in Milano?" without using ATM's and all of the fees associated. Not to mention... having to pay a $20 fee each time we need to pay a bill through a wire transfer.

So, there is a nice alternative that will allow you to wire money once a month to any bank overseas without the $20 fee! Its called a International Personal Banking account. Two weeks after applying they are getting us all hooked up with this account. We will be able to wire money from our accounts here in the US to an account in Milan so we can pay bills. Very handy for those of us moving abroad :)

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