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Old 04.06.2015, 18:32
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Transferring money to America

After more than five years in Switzerland and a PhD degree later, I have decided to leave Switzerland for good and return to America. My issue here is regarding the transfer the money in my Swiss banking accounts (PostFinance and Credit Suisse) back into my American account. Since carrying all of my money in cash is definitely not practical, I am wondering what the best method is.

There are a couple possible issues that might arise. I will talk to my banks in Switzerland and in the US soon, but I hope that you guys might give some answers if you have dealt with similar situations before.

(1) I know that American banks and credit unions don't use the same banking system as the rest of the world. I definitely didn't know what IBAN or SWIFT numbers were before I came to Switzerland. Will this pose problems in electronic transfers, either with high fees or delays?

(2) International transfer of more than 10,000 USD tends to raise flags with financial crime departments, and I will have to transfer multiples of this. Will dealing with these people be a hassle? Will it be as simple as emailing/giving them my salary statements from the past years to show that my money was legitimately received.

(3) I will cancel my Swiss credit card as it has a yearly fee. But since my bank accounts don't have fees, should I close them for good as well, or are there benefits to keeping them even after I leave the country?

Thanks in advance and with best regards.
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Old 04.06.2015, 19:24
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Re: Transferring money to America

The 10k thing is for carrying actual cash on you over the border. Such as with the plane. An electronic transfer is different as it is documented. I don't know where you are moving to but you will be transferring from CH to USA so the people at the bank here know what I bans are so if they know in the US or not it doesn't make a difference.
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Old 04.06.2015, 20:42
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Re: Transferring money to America

As an American you can't keep your account open here after you leave. The bank won't let you.
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Old 04.06.2015, 20:49
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Re: Transferring money to America

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As an American you can't keep your account open here after you leave. The bank won't let you.
This isn't true...
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Old 04.06.2015, 21:33
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Re: Transferring money to America

Transferring money to the US, electronically, is not an issue ... you can send whatever amount you want .... anything over 10K will raise flags ...but multiple <10K transfers will also raise flags ... perhaps more ... they also look at the total amount transferred over a period .....

You may get asked ... you may not .... I know someone who transferred 200K in one shot, to buy a property in the US, and they were never asked .... It is always good to have supporting documents, if you are asked ....

Most wire transfers within the us require an ABA or routing number ... these are the first set of numbers printed at the bottom of the cheques drawn on a US bank .... international transfers require SWIFT or BIC numbers, which identify the bank and/or the branch of the bank ....

If you use one of the bigger banks in the US, e.g. wells fargo, citibank, BOA, etc... they will have their own SWIFT or BIC number .... if you use a small bank, like a local credit union, they may or may not have their own BIC/SWIFT number ... these smaller banks may use one of the bigger banks as an intermediary ... you should call your bank in the US and ask for the BIC/SWIFT number for their branch or the bank itself .... If they use an intermediary, then the funds have to be sent to the intermediary, with special instructions to forward the funds to your bank (with the aba routing number, etc. ). Beware that you might get the ABA or routing number, instead of the SWIFT / BIC code, if you talk to just the normal customer support ... best is to talk to the wire transfer department .... this is different from the BIC/SWIFT code ... ABA or routing numbers will not work for international wire transfers ....

I have had success with this web site : http://www.theswiftcodes.com/

All the best ....
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Old 04.06.2015, 22:44
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Re: Transferring money to America

Thanks for the info, nomad66. I will definitely keep in mind what you have written. And thanks to everyone else as well.
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Old 05.06.2015, 09:25
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Re: Transferring money to America

Hi

I had to transfer (wire) a lot more than 10 K to US bank account and I used currencyfair.com

It coverts CHF to USD and deposit directly to your US account. I was told that currencyfair use their US bank account so it may not look like you are wiring from a foreign account. Hope this helps.
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Old 05.06.2015, 12:10
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Re: Transferring money to America

Sepp, is that you sweetie?
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Old 06.06.2015, 20:51
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Re: Transferring money to America

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This isn't true...
typically this is the case. A bank will not want the headache. If you leave a huge amount of money in the bank they may consider it.

Its fairly easy to send an international wire transfer to the US.
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Old 07.06.2015, 00:53
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Re: Transferring money to America

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Its fairly easy to send an international wire transfer to the US.
That.

In general, transfers from CS will cost more than from Postfinance. Perhaps have a trial transfer done (and small amount will do) to make sure you have everything in place, and if it works well you send the full amount, instructing Postfinance to use the instructions used in the previous transfer. If the first (test) transfer bounces the damage should be small/negligible.
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