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Old 15.05.2008, 05:43
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international money order

Hello, does anyone know if international money orders are accepted in CH? I'm moving to Zuerich in a few weeks and need to send a deposit to my landlord. Paypal is charging me 2.8% and I haven't even bothered to find out what my bank will charge me for an int'l wire xfer as I'm sure it will be >$45.

Here in the states you can go to Wal-Mart and pay $0.49 for a money order in any amount up to $500. I noticed the last time I got one that it was marked "international money order". It will almost certainly only be denominated in USD, and I'll just send it to him via post.

Anyway, over here you deposit this at your bank and there is usually no charge (assuming no currency exchange required). My landlord banks with SwissPost, does anyone know if they take these things and if so whether they charge a fee?

Thanks so much, this is my first post although I've been lurking for some time. I especially appreciate the tip to use www.wechstelstube.ch for currency exchange, though it seems I will have to wait to open the account in CH rather than prior to my arrival.

My other idea is simply to send him CHF banknotes in the mail (and accept the risk of loss), since I have some leftover from my last trip (ironically these were bought ten years ago when the dollar was 1.5 CHF!). Any advice appreciated.
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Old 15.05.2008, 07:18
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Re: international money order

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Here in the states you can go to Wal-Mart and pay $0.49 for a money order in any amount up to $500. I noticed the last time I got one that it was marked "international money order". It will almost certainly only be denominated in USD, and I'll just send it to him via post.

Anyway, over here you deposit this at your bank and there is usually no charge (assuming no currency exchange required). My landlord banks with SwissPost, does anyone know if they take these things and if so whether they charge a fee?
That sounds much more like a cheque drawn on Wal-Mart than an international money order. As such it is bound to have exorbitant endorsement fees in Switzerland - if it's going to be accepted at all.

I'd rather investigate with USPS see if they have the real mccoy's international money order.
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Old 15.05.2008, 11:44
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Re: international money order

Fair enough. Has anyone ever tried to deposit a USPS international money order?
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Old 15.05.2008, 11:48
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Re: international money order

Open a Washington Mutual Free Checking account and you can send and receive international wireless transfers for free.
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Old 16.05.2008, 07:25
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Re: international money order

Once again I am amazed at the collective wisdom of these forums. Right now my money is winging its way to WaMu in hopes of starting my budding career in the import/export business.

OK, that was a joke. But I am mere days away from paying my rent via int'l wire xfer. I didn't see any mention of WaMu's exchange rates in the terms and conditions of opening my account, so I'm hoping they don't recoup their wire fees in this manner. Still, it looks to be better than paypal.

For the sake of satisfying my curiousity I'm going to take a $500 Wal-Mart int'l money order to Zuerich and try to deposit it into my swisspost account when opened. I'll report the results here.

Thanks, EF!
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Old 22.05.2008, 14:09
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Re: international money order

for transfers there is a convenient solution

if your landlord accepts it , try the site www.ikobo.com

they send a prepaid visa card with the amount balance you put in it to any country in the world.

the card can be used at any ATM or any store. it has the visa logo and you use it as a normal credit card. at least until your balance is spent.

can be convenient in some cases. might be too extreme for a swiss landlord so...

but maybe for other uses.
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Old 22.05.2008, 14:15
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Re: international money order

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Once again I am amazed at the collective wisdom of these forums. Right now my money is winging its way to WaMu in hopes of starting my budding career in the import/export business.

OK, that was a joke. But I am mere days away from paying my rent via int'l wire xfer. I didn't see any mention of WaMu's exchange rates in the terms and conditions of opening my account, so I'm hoping they don't recoup their wire fees in this manner. Still, it looks to be better than paypal.

For the sake of satisfying my curiousity I'm going to take a $500 Wal-Mart int'l money order to Zuerich and try to deposit it into my swisspost account when opened. I'll report the results here.

Thanks, EF!
Their exchange rates are whatever it is at the time you do the transfer. I'm always taking money out of my US account from Swiss ATMs and I've never been screwed on the Wamu side, on the Swiss side yes, Wamu side no.
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Old 22.05.2008, 14:18
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Re: international money order

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for transfers there is a convenient solution
You call a 3.5% fee convenient?
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Old 28.05.2008, 12:06
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Re: international money order

I think the 3% fee is only for funding the account via credit card. If you use a US bank account it is only $5.

With regards to WaMu, I have bad news. From the disclosure fees page:
ATM Transactions
  • Washington Mutual ATMs
    • Balance Inquiry, Deposit, Funds Transfer or Withdrawal: $0.00
    • Mini-Statement: $0.00
  • Non-Washington Mutual ATMs
    • Domestic Funds Transfer or Withdrawal: $2.00
    • Domestic Balance Inquiry: $2.00
    • International ATM Transactions - Balance Inquiry, Funds Transfer or Withdrawal: $2.00
<snip>

Foreign Draft: $0.00/draft (including drafts in U.S. Dollars drawn on a foreign bank)
<snip>
Wire Transfers
  • Customers:
    • Domestic Incoming: $10.00 each
      Domestic Outgoing: $20.00 each
      Foreign Incoming: $10.00 each
      Foreign Outgoing: $20.00 each
So I am kinda bummed. When I called WaMu I got conflicting information:
"Foreign Drafts" are kind of like a cashier's check, but I think they also apply to purchases made in another currency using your ATM card? It was unclear.

Foreign outgoing wire transfers -- the agent said they were free (despite the charges listed above). In any case both foreign drafts / cashier's check and outgoing foreign wire xfers require that I visit the branch in person, which is rather difficult since I live in N. Carolina where there are no branches.

Back to the drawing board!
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Old 28.05.2008, 12:15
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Re: international money order

Western Union? I haven't looked into it but maybe worth a shot?
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Old 28.05.2008, 12:46
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Re: international money order

http://www.xe.com offers great exchange rates and handles international transfers quickly without fees.

Your mileage may vary. I use these guys once a month and I am very happy.

Direct link with more info:

http://www.xe.com/fx/?AdTracking=htt...e.com/&mission
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Old 30.07.2008, 01:46
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Re: international money order

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http://www.xe.com offers great exchange rates and handles international transfers quickly without fees.
Update: XE fit the bill, thought it's not quite correct to say they don't charge a fee. Approx. 20 USD for a wire transfer, which at least is better than the $45 charge by my bank.

XE also gives you the option of sending you a paper cheque for no charge, but the clearing bank is UBS. Credit Suisse charged me 7 Sfr. to deposit it into my account. Also, you must have a mailing address in CH, though I suppose you could send it to yourself in US before your trip.

With regards to international money orders, my Wal-Mart money order had a Western Union logo on it so I figured my landlord might be able to cash it. He took it to the WU main office at the Zurich Hauptbanhof and they wouldn't cash it -- I ended up paying him cash.
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