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Old 11.10.2013, 09:11
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Sending or taking cash to UK

I have seen a few posts about using xe money transfer etc and other companies and wondering if its really such a big cost saving advantage rather than just getting GBP here and depositing it OTC in uk ?
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Old 11.10.2013, 09:16
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Re: Sending or taking cash to UK

Well, xe.com doesn't involve having to buy an airline ticket, for a start.
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Old 11.10.2013, 09:17
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Re: Sending or taking cash to UK

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I have seen a few posts about using xe money transfer etc and other companies and wondering if its really such a big cost saving advantage rather than just getting GBP here and depositing it OTC in uk ?
If you plan to deposit much, you will get a very funny look. Probably cheaper just to send from your bank than to take cash, cash is a very bad rate.
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Old 11.10.2013, 09:18
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Re: Sending or taking cash to UK

I think OTC bank rates tend to be not the most favourable and shopping around you can get much better rates. The other thing is customs get a bit funny if you have more than £10,000, and sometimes they can get funny for less than that, you need to carry evidence of where you got the money and what you are going to use it for ...they are basically worried about money laundering and tax evasion.

Yes you can send more using the various services but they require that you give a reason for the transfer and they have a record of the transaction ... carrying cold hard cash is a lot less traceable.....
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Old 11.10.2013, 09:43
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Re: Sending or taking cash to UK

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I have seen a few posts about using xe money transfer etc and other companies and wondering if its really such a big cost saving advantage rather than just getting GBP here and depositing it OTC in uk ?
Cash spreads (difference between the buy and sell rate divided by mid rate) are anywhere between 5% and 10%.

Electronic transfer spreads are a little lower, so between 3% and 6%

And all the rest of the electronic brokers try and beat the big banks electronic spreads, some might even have the cheek to charge commission but the serious ones don't. Some have spreads of as little 0.04% (IB) but are not designed for retail customers due to other requirements that would make this option not viable. And some as I mentioned in other posts charge a reasonable 1% spread or thereabouts.

Now you do your maths: Amount you want to transfer x spread % / 2 = the amount you are theoratically giving away to the broker.

So for every £10,000 you are giving away 50 quid to the most competitive of these online brokers, do this by cash and you'll be giving away around £400!!!
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Old 11.10.2013, 10:26
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Re: Sending or taking cash to UK

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Well, xe.com doesn't involve having to buy an airline ticket, for a start.
Hitching a lift in a friends plane so that bit is free .

I guess it will be just under 10k so if its a few hundred saving I guess ill start looking at these online schemes.

Any bad experiences or recommendations?
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Old 11.10.2013, 11:12
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Re: Sending or taking cash to UK

I made a sample calculation for 1000 GBP with a UBS-credit-card against currencyfair in the following post:

UBS Credit Card - Transaction Fees

My post has a mistake: I accidentally used UBS´s cash rates, not their credit card rates. So this should be exactly what you´re looking for here.

You should also be aware that carrying more than €10k into the EU requires you to declare the amount with customs officials on arrival. Failure to do so may lead to the amount being seized and reported to revenue/authorities (of whereever you live)! You will have to go through lengthy and complicated procedures to get (some of it) it back. Not declaring it alone is already an offence, so you´d be liable to pay a fine in any case.

Cash-carry rules are strict and tricky:
  • If you travel with someone, do not just assume this doubles the amount you´re free to take. Usual scenario: Husband and wife travel together, husband has €20k in his pocket and thinks it´s OK. It´s not! It always depends on who physically carries the cash. So if you want to stretch the limit this way, make sure everyone carries their own €10k on him/her.
  • Also, if you really want to go to the exact €10k limit: Never do! If you do get checked, and the officer in question is in a bad mood, he may search all your luggage to find a lost penny/cent, which may accidentally still be in your luggage/possession somewhere. You´re then breaking the limit and have a huge problem on your hand (see above).
  • Go as close to the limit as you want by the following rule: Check your bags/pockets/car/whatever to contain no cash(coins!) at all. (Especially in cars coins tend to "hide" between all the gaps and under the carpet) Then carry the limit of €10k, but deduct a safety buffer of €50 or €500, whatever you feel comfortable with.
  • Last but not least make sure you know the rule of all countries you pass through. The limit may vary!

Last edited by ChrisNeedsToKnow; 11.10.2013 at 11:22.
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