Q: What is the least expensive yet easiest way to transfer RMB into an American bank account?
I am very tired of hiding money in my apartment and, as it is simply lying around, I figure it might be time to transfer some out of country. Any ideas concerning which method( banks to deposit my money into that would offer the least expensive transfer rates?
I use western union. however, it requires that someone on the other end pick it up. Also, the costs for a foreigner to send from China are quite high so I recommend you make good friends with a Chinese person and have them send it as this will reduce the cost of sending considerably.
I think the best choice for USD is Western union. I have experimented a lot with the overseas wiring and Western union appears to be the best for USD. (But you cannot transfer money into a bank account. It has to be to another person who will receive the money and place it into your bank account.) You also have to remember when you are wiring cash there is a daily maximum for foreigners, but not for Chinese citizens. Also you have to pay to exchange the RMB to USD first, then pay again to send the money overseas.
If you want to wire the money into a bank account, which will be more be expensive than Western union I recommend Bank of China. They have the lowest rates for a Bank in my experience and research. Keep in mind you have to go to the larger Banks of China who have the wiring service. The small banks do not offer that service. You can also go online to find the nearest Western union agent to you.
**(Note: I heard Bank of Communications is cheaper than Bank of China, but there is no bank of communications who have that service available in my city to test it out)**
If you use Bank of America, they own part of Construction Bank (I think it's called) and you can do all your transactions, through them. No ATM fees either, but they do charge 1% to change the USD to RMB.
Western Union is available in the Agricultural Bank of China. They charge $20 to send money if it is less than $1000 and $25 for more than $1000 and it increments depending on the amount you send by $5 dollars if I'm not mistaken. (I can't remember the exact details). The Agricultural Bank of China will only change rmb to dollars if you provide them with an earnings certificate from your place of work. The Bank of China will change your money with just your passport, careful here though because they charge you commission and also shave the exchange rate in their favour. I rely on internet exchange rates but they are always more reasonable than the Bank of China.
Depending on who receives you at the bank you should be careful with the paper work for western union. Chinese people are overly worried about making mistakes and may refuse you if you don't fill in all the unnecessary and minor details on the form. It's a time consuming process that takes more than an hour. There is a huge amount of paper work involved along with the computer input required of them. Don't forget to include a valid phone number, just in case something goes wrong and don't forget to take your passport. If you make an error filling out the form they will not accept it so if you make a mistake fill out a new form.
When finished they should keep two copies and return the original (hand written) western union form along with blue printed form as a receipt, stamped by the bank.
Before everything is finished the bank clerk should show you the computer to confirm that the details have been entered correctly. Make sure that everything is exact.
Read everything carefully and avoid yourself a lot of trouble and time.
Send amount (USD) (this is the amount to send minus the commission, don't write anything here let them do it),
Name, Gender, Address, City, province and country of the receiver.
Name, Gender, DOB, Country of birth, Nationality, Occupation, ID Type (passport), ID number (passport number), Expiration date (of passport), Address, City, province, Postal code, Country and Telephone number of sender.
They will put the western union form in the printer and print details in Chinese. One of these is the password that you must inform the receiver of in order for them to get the money you send. The bank clerk should underline it for you if not ask him which one it is. It is usually a nine digit number.
You can also include a security question and answer, (make sure they type them correctly).
Also remember that a maximum of $1000 can be retrieved by the receiver without Id and using the security question.
A big warning here: Banks don't accept damaged American dollar bills. When you change your rmb to dollars, check each and every one of them for the slightest tear, fading, writing or if they are folded or crumpled. If you find any return them to the clerk and get them changed. DO NOT leave the bank or even your seat until you have done this. The Agricultural Bank of China will refuse any bills with even the slightest imperfection, don't risk it, I speak from experience.
All this should make it easy for you to send money, although I am not sure if this is the cheapest way.
You can send/transfer money from just about any bank as long as you have the international SWIFT code. Check your bank in the US (or usually on the web site) for their SWIFT code. Bring that to your bank here (I know BoC, ICBC, and China Merchants will do this) and ask for an international wire transfer. Give them the destination account #, the SWIFT code and you're good to go.
They will charge a transfer fee and a currency conversion fee. You MUST have an account at the bank here in China to do this.
Western Union is for sending cash to someone, not for international bank transfers.
Payment on time, suggest to use paypal or Western Union, convenient, cost is low, specific I forget, like PayPal cheap, consult your counter, Western Union or PayPal agent is the Agricultural Bank, construction bank, Pu distribution, specific check online, or log on to their website
america do have some branches of BOC bank of china , why not transfer money to those bank i hope they are accessible for you in america... otherwise bank transfer is good or find some trading people if you someone trustworthy they can hand dollars to them you can pay those people here in china in rmb maybe it can cut the cost of transfer or bank chargers, thats person to person