During a recent meeting with HR, I was informed I could split my salary between Switzerland and the USA. On the surface this seems like it might be a good idea because I still have USD expenses...but I wanted to bounce it off the EF expertise.
What I do now:
- Salary is only paid in Switzerland
- Go to the bank in CH and get USD to take along
- Withdraw cash at the ATM while in the USA
- Use the travelcash card to move money when I'm not there and won't be for several months
- With variations of these methods I estimate the expenses to be between 2-5%. In other words, for each 1000 dollars I move I'm forking out up to 50 bucks to do it.
Rules involved with the split:
- I still have to file taxes in both countries, so this is about convenience not tax-dodging.
- The salary is paid in CHF only. The split amount goes to an intermediary bank, which then deposits the money as USD with my U.S. bank.
- The Swiss part must be a fixed amount, so the USA will vary depending on deductions, exchange rate, and bank fees
- No need to carry large amounts of cash when I visit the USA
- No need to worry about how many ATM withdrawals I can make while there
- Might get a better exchange rate?
- Can be changed back to Swiss-only salary with a month's notice
- "Lose" part of the salary due to currency fluctuations. The USA part of the salary could fluctuate a lot with a Trump presidency.
- "Lose" part of the salary to bank fees (not sure how much?)
- My US bank is actually a credit union. Maybe different rules apply to banks and credit unions. Maybe 2 intermediary banks are involved?
- Because multiple banking institutions are involved, sometimes the salary doesn't arrive in the USD account on payday. HR said on occasion it has been delayed up to a few weeks.
Do any of our esteemed EFers do this with their salaries? How much might the bank fees be (HR didn't know)? I'd like to think I can make a simple calculation as to which involves the smaller "loss" of money, but it's hard to tell what exchange rates will do.
Other things to consider?
Thanks for any advice!