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Opening a US$ Account or Banking a US$ Check - bank transfer fees

4 Oct 2010 #1
Hi guys,

I know there are a couple of banking threads out there but I couldn't find anything that addressed this particular question. I'd very much appreciate any sage advice.

I have been banking with Deutsche Bank for the past couple of years and been reasonably happy with service. They always have English speakers available in store and on the phone. I get paid by check from the States in US$, a fairly Flinstone situation but unfortunately one I can't influence. Deutsche Bank has been taking a standard 35zl charge from each check, which I was ok about, up until the last few months when the exchange rate they offered when calculating the check into zl become brutal. I'm now losing a couple of 100zl on each check, compared with market exchange rates and have a 35zl standard charge on top.

I'm wondering if there is some way around this situation. Deutsche Bank offers a US$ account but I will still be subject to their check charge and will still have to accept their exchange rates when I withdraw it in zl. The solution there would seem to be to withdraw in dollars, which is possible, and then use a kantor. But that seems a little long winded.

Does anyone have experience in regularly banking foreign checks and avoiding charges or know of any banks that offer more honest exchange rates? Someone suggested Citibank maybe able to help out as they are a US bank, but as I'm not a US citizen, I'm not sure how they could help me.

Any suggestions?
delphiandomine 88 | 18,177
5 Oct 2010 #2
Banking foreign cheques is always going to be a costly experience in Poland - is there no way that you can get paid by bank transfer instead?

Maybe - you could get paid via deposit to something like Netteller instead?
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,004
5 Oct 2010 #3
Delph, maybe you will know this. I once was given a cheque from the UK that my bank in Poland said could take upto a month to clear. Was that right?
delphiandomine 88 | 18,177
5 Oct 2010 #4
Mmmm. I've never even tried to cash a cheque here, but I guess that it would all have to be processed by hand - so probably a week before it even gets sent to the UK. They'd then have to actually get payment, which could take a few days - so you'd already be on nearly 2 weeks. Then someone would have to allocate the money to your account, so another few days - and then allow a few days to make sure that the cheque doesn't bounce. Sounds like it could easily add up to a month, anyway.

One thing I know nothing about but I'd like to know more is over the issue of GBP transfers to a GBP account in Poland - I wonder how long they take, and if the banks take a cut?
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,004
5 Oct 2010 #5
24 hours if you have a Bank of Scotland staff account which I had. 3-5 days without one.
OP Droma
5 Oct 2010 #6
Unfortunately, the organisation at the other end is large one and rigidly does all of its payments by check, somewhat incredibly.

My US checks take between 4 to 6 weeks to clear, depending on the bank involved. Not ideal, but not a disaster, if you can plan ahead.

dtaylor, that sounds about right. Transfers from the UK in both directions seem to take up to five days but are usually quicker. For me, there are charges involved, although you can specify if you incur the charges, the receiving party, or split them between both. A little like being in a restaurant

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