TransferWise Charging 3%-4% Now

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Britkid
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TransferWise Charging 3%-4% Now

Post by Britkid » Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:21 pm

TransferWise today are charging me 3%-4% for sending from abroad to CLP account (2%-3% a few months ago).

The % steadily increases on a sliding scale as you reduce the amount. It´s 5% at about £200, 4% at £500, 3.3% for £1000, 3.15% for £2000, 3% for £5000-£10000. Even £1,000,000 came out at 2.87%.

For € and $, it´s a similar story, about 3% if you are sending thousands, 4% if you are sending hundreds.

My guess is that TransferWise has had hassle dealing with Chilean banks and decided Chile isn´t worth the hassle.

I tried 10 or 20 other countries all over the world and they charge a lot less for every single other country I checked, typically closer to 1%.

However you can get lower rates of nearer 1% from sending from Chile just not to Chile.

I´m honestly not sure if it is worth it at this point to carry on or not with TransferWise. Or to do ATM runs, which will be cheaper, but take longer. Or if there´s a better way. I am being paid £ at the moment, although I could get it changed to $.

Could I go to Banco Chile and ask them to charge x million pesos to my credit card, and deposit the same amount in my bank?? Perhaps not, but I suppose it can´t hurt to ask.

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tiagoabner
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Re: TransferWise Charging 3%-4% Now

Post by tiagoabner » Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:06 am

Yeah, as much as I praised TransferWise a while back, they've been slowly hiking up their fees over time. They do offer banking data so that I can get paid in multiple currencies, which is why I might not drop them, but I'll most likely start to use some sort of alternative scheme.

The absolutely cheapest way for me to get money in Chile is to withdraw it from an ATM and then deposit it at my BancoEstado account: the only fee I pay is the ATM fee. To fully top up my Banco Estado account with the $2.000.000 I can deposit per month, I would need to do three withdrawals at a BancoEstado ATM - which spews out up to $800.000 per withdrawal. That would cost me 3 x 5.500 = 16.500 CLP, or roughly USD $20.50 at the current exchange rate. My bank happens to use the market exchange rate and it charges no ATM fee, although I pay roughly $12 per month to have that "feature". Transferwise would charge me USD $92.70. So even accounting for the bank fee I pay, doing an ATM run is USD $60 cheaper. There is a Banco Estado pretty close by and they have a "deposit ATM" there: given that there is never a line to use it, I don't think that I need to account for more than 10 minutes of my time, which (unfortunately) doesn't account for $60.

Now, ATM runs would most likely be very inconvenient if/when I get a full-fledged bank account, especially if I need to send a larger amount to Chile. I'm actually going to test Remitly this week, as their fees are dirty cheap and they were recommended by a friend. I still haven't tried them and I'm not connected to them in any way: this is not an endorsement, given that I'm still testing them.
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tiagoabner
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Re: TransferWise Charging 3%-4% Now

Post by tiagoabner » Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:35 pm

Yeah, I've just tried Remitly and they've cancelled my transfer, even though it was paid from my German debit card to transfer to my own bank account in Chile. Also, they locked my account and the review process will take 3-4 weeks (!). So, yeah, not touching that one again with a 10-foot pole.

For what is worth, I think fees have increased accross the board to send money to Chile, it just happens that Transferwise is transparent about that. Western Union used to be 1.5%-2% more expensive than Transferwise to send money to a bank account in Chile (depending on the transfer amount), and they've just quoted a price 1.6% higher than Transferwise's. Which implies that they've also hiked up their costs.
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adamhos
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Re: TransferWise Charging 3%-4% Now

Post by adamhos » Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:00 pm

I've been using Transferwise even after the price increases because they have higher limits. I just checked the fees now and I do get about 50,000CLP more on WorldRemit, and about the same on Remitly. I've never used Remitly though and I've used WorldRemit successfully in the past

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tiagoabner
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Re: TransferWise Charging 3%-4% Now

Post by tiagoabner » Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:03 pm

Both BancoEstado ATMs near me are now frequently broken, so I'm back to Transferwise. It takes 4 withdrawals to take out 800.000 pesos (which at BancoEstado would take one withdrawal). At $6.500 a pop at Santander, it costs me $30 to do an ATM run, as opposed to $41 with Transferwise.

Now it's close enough that it no longer makes that much sense. I still wish there was a cheaper and reliable alternative, though.
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paladin
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Re: TransferWise Charging 3%-4% Now

Post by paladin » Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:14 pm

I dont know who you bank with outside, but I transfer US$ from HSBC to a US$ account I have with BCI and they charge US$75 if I remember correctly. Then no charges when the funds are received in Chile. Then I can change US$ to CLP whenever I want in BCI . Maybe I’m over cautious, but have been around for a long time and seen many “well known reliable” outfits disappearing, so have never used a money transfer service.

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Re: TransferWise Charging 3%-4% Now

Post by Britkid » Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:36 pm

"Then I can change US$ to CLP whenever I want in BCI". This part is without a fee from BCI. Do you recall what exchange rate they used, i.e. was it the middle rate that you could get on xe.com or oanda.

If it were a fixed $75 it would be a bad deal for $1,000 but a bad deal for $10,000.

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tiagoabner
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Re: TransferWise Charging 3%-4% Now

Post by tiagoabner » Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:46 pm

paladin wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:14 pm
I dont know who you bank with outside, but I transfer US$ from HSBC to a US$ account I have with BCI and they charge US$75 if I remember correctly. Then no charges when the funds are received in Chile. Then I can change US$ to CLP whenever I want in BCI. Maybe I’m over-cautious, but have been around for a long time and seen many “well known reliable” outfits disappearing, so have never used a money transfer service.
I still don't have permanent residency, so no "real boy" bank accounts for me until then. I'll review my options after that.
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tiagoabner
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Re: TransferWise Charging 3%-4% Now

Post by tiagoabner » Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:47 pm

Britkid wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:36 pm
"Then I can change US$ to CLP whenever I want in BCI". This part is without a fee from BCI. Do you recall what exchange rate they used, i.e. was it the middle rate that you could get on xe.com or oanda.

If it were a fixed $75 it would be a bad deal for $1,000 but a bad deal for $10,000.
I'm also intrigued by this. Was the $75 charged State-side or Chile-side?
I'm NOT your lawyer, accountant or financial planner. All information at this post should be considered for your entertainment only. Consult a professional before making a decision regarding whatever topic was mentioned in this post.

scandinavian
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Re: TransferWise Charging 3%-4% Now

Post by scandinavian » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:29 am

I have the same setup as Paladin, just with Santander. All fees are covered by sender, no fees in Santander. I have a Santander USD account, so I can change to pesos when required - all done digitally. Exchange rate is about 1% off interbank rate as long as you do it when the exchange desk is open (9-14 I think), then it widens to 2-3% depending on volatility.
USD bank account is free of charge, but I don't know if it is openly available to all Santander clients.

paladin
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Re: TransferWise Charging 3%-4% Now

Post by paladin » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:44 pm

tiagoabner wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:47 pm
Britkid wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:36 pm
"Then I can change US$ to CLP whenever I want in BCI". This part is without a fee from BCI. Do you recall what exchange rate they used, i.e. was it the middle rate that you could get on xe.com or oanda.

If it were a fixed $75 it would be a bad deal for $1,000 but a bad deal for $10,000.
I'm also intrigued by this. Was the $75 charged State-side or Chile-side?
Sorry, I gave the wrong figure for HSBC transfer charge, I have a premier account and I should have said US$5 , plus the intermediary bank charge of US$19. The Us$75 is what Lloyds charge and for that reason, I dont use them. BCI makes no charge on receipt of the funds.
Before changing the US$ to CLP, I know the present mid rate when I go to the bank, so
when with my account executive, she calls the money desk for a rate, which obviously depends on the amount involved. The desk quotes their rate, which I can take or leave. In principle, the offered rate is never more than 1% less than the mid rate. The rate is dynamic and may vary depending on the time of day, eg avoid deals first thing in the morning .

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Re: TransferWise Charging 3%-4% Now

Post by Britkid » Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:15 am

Britkid wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:21 pm
Could I go to Banco Chile and ask them to charge x million pesos to my credit card, and deposit the same amount in my bank?? Perhaps not, but I suppose it can´t hurt to ask.
Unsurprisingly they said no to this.

They said that they do have US dollars account, but I would have to go through a process with payslips in US dollars to get it and a whole new approval process (even though I am already a customer of the bank).

I asked them for the fees and she said she would have to check with someone else, and get back to me.

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