Banking between US and Spain

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Banking between US and Spain


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Old 14th February 2019, 04:57 PM
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Default Banking between US and Spain

Hi,

It looks like things are finally falling into place and we will be moving to Barcelona. My wife has her EU (Italian) passport straitening out, and I have a good job and we're saving a lot of money to by an apartment - we should be ready in a few years.

I've looked and couldn't find a thread on this subject. Is there a way and advantage to moving money into a Spanish bank account now? I'm not talking about the arbitrage - let's assume the relative prices of US dollars and euros will remain unchanged.

* Will there be a penalty to move $150k to an EU account all at once?
* Is it possible to set up a bank account in the US that is also a bank account in Spain?

I see that there are banks that work in both countries (e.g., Santander, ING, etc.) but as near as I can tell, those bank accounts are still fixed to one country. I don't know if it's a simple matter to transfer the money. Are there any truly borderless bank accounts.

I don't know if this is possible or a good idea. Sorry, I don't know much about this.

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Old 14th February 2019, 07:07 PM
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Perhaps you can try the Transferwise Borderless account https://transferwise.com/es/borderless/

I use their transfer service between US and Europe frequently and they gave me a Borderless account (and card) when they started offering it but I have never actually used it.

Also, I believe HSBC has some sort of global account for expats as long as you have a $50k minimum balance (last time I checked).

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Old 15th February 2019, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksjazzguitar View Post
Hi,

It looks like things are finally falling into place and we will be moving to Barcelona. My wife has her EU (Italian) passport straitening out, and I have a good job and we're saving a lot of money to by an apartment - we should be ready in a few years.

I've looked and couldn't find a thread on this subject. Is there a way and advantage to moving money into a Spanish bank account now? I'm not talking about the arbitrage - let's assume the relative prices of US dollars and euros will remain unchanged.

* Will there be a penalty to move $150k to an EU account all at once?
* Is it possible to set up a bank account in the US that is also a bank account in Spain?

I see that there are banks that work in both countries (e.g., Santander, ING, etc.) but as near as I can tell, those bank accounts are still fixed to one country. I don't know if it's a simple matter to transfer the money. Are there any truly borderless bank accounts.

I don't know if this is possible or a good idea. Sorry, I don't know much about this.
Any bank account will charge you some kind of exchange rate above market to convert the currency between USD and EURO (even if you have access to both currencies in one account). Given the large amount, you should consider opening the account in Spain first and see if there are any third party (XE for example) that would exchange the large amount for a better exchange rate. Borderless accounts hold multiple currencies and allow you to withdraw around the world in the currency of the location you are in and you can exchange monies online between the separate currencies within the account, but I am not clear that they are more advantageous than a standard multi-currency account. I also do not think that they are covered by FDIC laws. For me, I have not come to a conclusion on what advantage this offers over transferring between US and ES accounts directly (maybe some fee savings?).

All of that aside - I would personally hesitate to exchange that large of an amount into EURO simply for convenience sake - the rate between USD and EURO unfortunately does not stay static, and you run some risk of exchanging for a loss if rates later turn to USD advantage. Perhaps think about cost averaging your deposits on monthly or as-needed basis (and let the USD sit in a credit union and earn some amount of interest rather than dumping it all into ES account that may have fee structures and not pay interest).

Finally, what is the motivation behind moving so much money at once into Spain?
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Old 15th February 2019, 07:05 AM
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Finally, what is the motivation behind moving so much money at once into Spain?
That really is none of our business.

The OP will have to tell the authorities - but not us.
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Old 15th February 2019, 07:07 AM
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That really is none of our business.

The OP will have to tell the authorities - but not us.
Agreed - retracted...
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Old 15th February 2019, 09:48 AM
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I use XOOM to move funds between the US and Spain. Free transfers on amounts between $1,000 and 10,000. To be honest, I would leave them amount in the US until you need it. Most times if I transfer in the morning Spain time, the funds are in our Sabadell in the late afternoon. Somewhat slower on weekends and holidays, but still fairly quick.

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Old 15th February 2019, 12:55 PM
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The OP says they will not move for a few years so would be better to leave it in the USA. Interest rates are higher. (my opinion).

If you really want to hold in Euros I am sure most large US banks will offer multiple currency accounts, the UK banks do. Most businesses that trade outside the UK have them and it enables them to pay or receive money in whichever currencies they choose. Most popular being the pound/euro/US dollar.

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Old 15th February 2019, 11:30 PM
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With regards to "why" I want to move the money, like I said, we are moving there in a few years and we have been saving up to buy an apartment in Barcelona. At some point the money has to get from here to there and I was curious what the options were and what advantages there might be. There is nothing we are trying to do illegal. I assume that all this will have to be declared at some point. I'm not trying to do anything under the table.

But I know that moving large sums of money around can be difficult sometimes. And with a large sum like that, even a 1% difference can be large.

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Old 17th February 2019, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtantill View Post
Any bank account will charge you some kind of exchange rate above market to convert the currency between USD and EURO (even if you have access to both currencies in one account).
Morgan Stanley doesn't charge any fees, and they use the market rate. They convert my USD to EUR and transfer the EUR to my Sabadell account. I pay no fees, and get whatever the market rate is at XE.com. There might be other banks that do this as well.

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Old 20th February 2019, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksjazzguitar View Post
Hi,

Are there any truly borderless bank accounts.

TransferWise has a Borderless Account, it might help you. It has multi-currency so you can convert USD to EU or other currencies. You can set up an account online. Here's a TransferWise review you might read, to have more idea. https://bit.ly/2Tb5awZ https://transferwise.com/gb/borderless/#price-comp

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