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Bank Wire Fees

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quietbibleguy
6/26/2019 22:38 EST

Hello. I sent a bank wire from my US bank to pay my assistant in Chile. I paid a $40 US wire transfer fee to my bank.. His bank (Santander) charged him a 14.37% fee to receive the wire. I think there must be some kind of mistake. Is it normal for banks in Chile to charge 14.37% to receive an incoming wire? Or do some banks in Chile charge to receive incoming wires, and other banks not charge? Thank you.

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quietbibleguy
6/27/2019 00:18 EST

I think I see the problem. The last time I sent a wire, I sent it in CLP. This time I sent it in USD, thinking that my worker could get a better exchange rate here in Chile. But it seems maybe Banco Santander saw an opportunity to charge 14.73%, and they took it? I don't think they know I am here in Chile. I am wondering if it would do any good to go in to Banco Santander, and ask them for the same exchange rate as I would get in the teller window, seeing as it is an electronic transfer, and they don't even need to handle the money. Or would they just throw me out?

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Knowing567
6/27/2019 06:16 EST

Hi Quietbibleguy,
I am using Becerra's method, meaning my daughter sends US$ through Western Union from the USA, she already had an account there (although she is here with me). I did not try yet to send myself to myself, maybe Becerra can tell you how it works.
I receive here the money in pesos. For 300 US$ the Western Union fee is 16 US$. The bad thing is that although the exchange rate may be at 687 pesos to the dollar, the Western Union pays something like 632 pesos to the dollar.
(687-632) x 300 =24 US$
24 + 16 = 40 US$
So, it seems that it takes the same amount as your wire transfer, but you get pesos in your hand to pay your assistant. Of course if you need more than 300 US$ the fees rise.

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liewald
6/27/2019 09:32 EST

Hi!
I strongly recommend using Transfer Wise, I have a Bank of America account and use ACH debit, they charge my account and a partner company deposits on my Chilean account.

I have tried all methods including using my BoA card to pay here and transfering WU to myself (Yes, sometimes they see that odd) or to another person.

Also, for those in Santiago, the US Embassy can cash a check.

The best option fee, time and convenience-wise is transferwise.

Here is my last transfer 2 weeks ago.
Amount paid (fee included) 350 USD
Convert and send to: Walter 235,119 CLP
Fee 11.87 USD
Exchange rate 695_35000

So adjusted Xrate was 671_76857
At that time it was similar than having USD in Cash and go to a Bank minus the hazzle.

Check it out and use this link to register to get no fees up to GBP 500 on your first transfer
https://transferwise.com/u/walterl33
YES, it is a British company and I will get a GBP 50 credit when 3 of you transfer for more than GBP 200

Best
Walt

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Karstin
6/27/2019 11:21 EST

Does anyone else have experience with Charles Schwab? They say they reimburse any ATM fees worldwide, so you can withdraw CLPs in Chile from your US bank account. They also claim they don't charge foreign transaction fees, and you can withdraw up to USD $1000 per day, so one ATM withdrawal could cover a lot of needs.

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Encourager
6/27/2019 11:32 EST

WOW! This would simplify my life and save alot on banking fees as well. I hope that this is true.

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quietbibleguy
6/27/2019 13:02 EST

Knowing, I appreciate the tip, and the hat tip to Becerra (who I meant to give a hat tip to earlier also). Western Union is offering an exchange rate of 1.00 USD = 631.7213 Chilean Peso (CLP). Currency Converter says the present mid-market rate is 679.984 CLP. So Western Union is taking a lot. But I appreciate the good effort to inform.

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quietbibleguy
6/27/2019 13:05 EST

Walt, I am researching TransferWise now. It seems like a much less expensive option. Are there issues using their MasterCard here in Chile? I appreciate the helpful tip, brother. https://transferwise.com/

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liewald
6/27/2019 13:41 EST

@Karstin
Chase also has an International option that reimburses ATM, yes, it works, actually BoA does not charge me for using the ATM, but the do add a 3% to all foreing transactions AND their exchange rate is worse, so transferwise still better.

The bottom line is TEST yourself with controlled amounts each way.

After 7 years here I keep cheking options every 3 months.

@QBG I don't have experience with that card, double check the annual fee and TRY it, Chilean network accepts all international cards from countries not sanctioned by the US.

Best
Walt

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quietbibleguy
6/27/2019 14:29 EST

Whoops! No, please use this link, so that Walt can get credit. (It doesn't cost anything to use it.) https://transferwise.com/u/walterl33

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TheScotsman
6/27/2019 16:29 EST

Wiring funds to/from Chile can ONLY be effected in US$ or Euros. If we wire UK£ for instance from UK, we pay a Bank Handling charge at point of origen (standard charge of about US$20), then it MUST be converted into US$ (or Euros), also earning us a LOSS in the exchange rate (that is USUALLY worse than can be obtained at local Exchange offices), then it MUST route via a US$ account in the States (USA rules on movement of US$!). This is called an Intermediary Bank, also attracting a Handing Fee (usually about 5%). Then it arrives in the bank in Chile (less the 5%!), where MOST banks charge a Handling Fee on receipt (note, if your bank of origen offers to charge you all these Handling Fees en route to Chile, ONLY pay the original Handling fee, as otherwise you will STILL be charged these as your funds move through the chain! THEN once in a "US$ Holding Account" (owned by the bank), unless you also have a US$ Account here (we do) in which case your funds (US$) go straight into that account, you will then attract MORE LOSS as your funds are then converted into CLP, also attracting a Handling Fee! So, its the banks laughing all the way - to the bank, I guess!! Happy financing!

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quietbibleguy
6/27/2019 16:49 EST

Scot, I appreciate the good information. I agree they are ripping us off. But I sent a bank wire to my assistant about 6 months ago, and at that time my bank asked if I wanted to send CLP or USD. At that time I chose CLP, and while my fee was the same, his cost was less than this last wire (where I chose to send USD), even though this last wire was just over 1/4th the size of the wire six months ago. 14.37% is NOT my idea of honest business, so I will try Walt's Transfer Wise link, as they claim to give the true intermediary transfer rate plus cost.

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