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How To Get Money Sent From Abroad

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    Scenario #1: You land a job abroad or take on a foreign based client, do the work, get set to get paid, and then … something goes wrong and they can’t figure out how to send you your money. What do you do?

    Scenario #2: You work abroad and save up a bunch of money in cash or in a foreign bank account and you want to transfer it to your bank account in your home country and run into complications (which are numerous). What do you do?

    Part of being a traveling content creator, investor, freelancer, small business owner, etc. is that you need to have a fool proof, fast, and cheap way to transfer money and get paid from abroad.

    I’ve struggled with this situation on many occasions, especially while working in China. You save up a bunch of cash but seemingly have no way to get it out of the country except going to the bank a half dozen times to convert to dollars (they have limits to something like $500 per day) and carrying mounds of cash back in your pockets. I had a mentor who sold a company in China for seven figures and had to make multiple trips to the UK carry the cash in a suitcase. And then you have to work in China’s capital flight restrictions which limits the amount of money you can take out of the country.

    It’s baffling to me that in this day of widespread international transactions and globalism that it is still so difficult to move money from country A to country B. New solutions are needed.

    This tread is going to collect an ongoing list of ways to send and receive money internationally. Feel free to add in your tips and strategies.


    International inter-bank transfers suck. They can also be costly. I don’t know how many times I’ve struggled with clients trying to send money to my bank account. For one thing, my bank account number is only five digits, which sometimes turns up an error on their end. The currency exchange is often another issue, as they send out money in their currency and my bank rejects it because it’s not in dollars … Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t — way too hit or miss to rely on, and when it goes wrong it sucks up time and your funds are, of course, delayed. My bank also charges me a $15 international transfer fee, which is a kick in the balls when the payment is only a hundred bucks or so.

    Paypal is one of my classic options, however I don’t like it too much. It does allow users without a Paypal account to pay with a credit or debit card and handles currency exchange easily, but the fees are enormous (and seem to be growing). I don’t way to pay a 5% tax just to have money sent to me. So I usually try to avoid Paypal whenever possible.

    TransferWise has been my ace in the hole lately. It’s essentially an interbank transfer that you can do with just an email address. I first started using it when placing some ads for a client in Canada a couple years ago and kept suggesting it ever since. Their fees are not insignificant — anywhere between 3% and 10% depending on the currencies you’re working with — but the sender pays this fee, not you, the receiver. Now, some clients could be dicks and deduct the fee from the amount that you’re owed, but in my experience none have tried this yet.

    Cryptocurrency is now looking to be one of the best ways to send and receive money internationally (Thanks, Jack). By design, most cryptocurrencies are international and move across borders as easily as across the street. Basically, all you need to do is get paid in a local currency, buy crypto with it locally, send it to your wallet, and then cash it out in your desired currency. Easy. Of course, some countries are more accepting of crypto transactions than others.

    This is how Jack uses it:

    I even have a Blockcard (referral link: https://dashboard.getblockcard.com/i/w4hUbY1d ) that uses Ternio tokens wich are based on XLM(and now also ETH). I had a problem when I was abroad teaching and that was getting money back to the US and having a US debit card I could easily use with that money. KYC was making it difficult to do wire transfers into the US and without any relatives to rely on…..The Blockcard solves that problem. I just need to be able to buy crypto and it’s not difficult to buy it outside of the US.

    Trevor Warman

    And the struggles of being a long term global nomad. Bank cards expire, get lost or stoken and British high street banks wont ship cards abroad, only to the registered address and now, get this, DHLs policy is they wont send unsigned cards abroad. 2x my package was opened and rejected. My buddy who i hate to rely on, is fighting for 80£ in refunds .

    Dhl are not responding to me either. Leaving me cashless in 6 weeks time,


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