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How to repatriate funds with an international money transfer
Secure, affordable ways to get your money back home to the US legally.
What is repatriation? In short, repatriation refers to converting foreign currency into a different countries currency. In depth, it is a process many US expats, companies and US workers in foreign countries have to go through.
Whether to support family, business or investment connections in the US, you need an affordable way to make regular overseas payments. Major banks worldwide can help you with the overseas payments but their services can come with high fees on every transfer sent, resulting in significant costs every time you repatriate your funds.
For much more affordable transfers, consider the services of a dedicated money transfer specialist that typically offer better exchange rates and lower fees than banks. These services specialize in moving funds internationally and can offer secure transactions backed by professional and friendly customer support.
Our pick: TransferWise
When you need to send money, benefit from competitive mid-market exchange rates and straightforward fees with TransferWise.
- Fair service fees and mid-market rates — a major market differentiator.
- Next-day delivery to your loved ones and businesses.
- Trusted the world over, with five-star ratings on Trustpilot.
Compare services to help repatriate your currency
How do I compare money transfer services?
Take these factors into account when weighing the strengths and weaknesses of transfer specialists and currency providers.
- Exchange rates. Nearly all providers skew exchange rates for a profit. Finding the best rate can make a substantial difference, especially if you’re transferring large amounts of money. Compare the rates of a range of companies against the mid-market rate as a baseline to find the smallest margin among them.
- Transfer fees. Most companies will charge you a fee when sending a transfer overseas. Find out whether the provider charges a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer. If you’re sending a large amount, ask whether you qualify for a fee-free transfer.
- Flexible transfer options. Some companies will allow you to schedule payments ahead of time or protect your transfer against market fluctuations with a limit order or forward contract to make more cost-effective international transfers.
- Pickup options and delivery speeds. Most providers offer online transfers directly to US bank accounts, while others also offer the convenience of cash pickup if you need your funds in a hurry. You may be able to deliver your funds in minutes, but if you have more time, you’ll save money on expedited fees.
- Customer support. When you’re moving money overseas, especially large amounts, help whenever you need it is reassuring. Look for a company that offers multiple support options — Internet chat, phone, in person or by email — during convenient hours.
- Reputation. Online research will reveal reviews for many transfer companies. Learn whether they’re trusted by consumers, and ask friends and family if they have any recommendations to help you make your final decision.
Why might I need to repatriate funds?
Among the many reasons you might need to send money back to the United States:
- You’re want to send money you’ve saved from working overseas back to your loved ones.
- You’re moving to the US and need an affordable way to transfer your assets.
- You receive a salary or pension into an overseas bank account.
- You own rental property in another country that generates income.
- You’re based overseas but need to make mortgage payments on a property in the US.
- You have investments in assets overseas that you want to sell in exchange for foreign currency, convert that currency to US dollars, and then send to the States.
How to repatriate funds to the US in six steps
Follow these steps for the repatriation of funds to the US:
- Visit a money transfer provider’s website or physical branch.
- Provide your personal contact information and any required ID.
- Input details for your transfer, including your recipient’s information and how you’d like your money delivered.
- Pay for your transfer using cash, a credit or debit card or a bank account.
- Confirm your rate and fees, then complete your transfer.
- Keep all receipts to make it easier to pay taxes on your transfer.
What are the pros and cons of repatriating funds?
- It’s easy. Sending money overseas might sound complicated, but online money transfer providers make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.
- It’s affordable. You can save a lot of money when sending funds overseas by not transferring money through your bank. A rise of online money transfer services allows you to access a range of cheaper options.
- You have many options. Compare fees, rates and delivery options of the many trusted providers available to handle your transfer.
- Varying laws and regulations. Restrictions may apply to the amount of money you can send to the US. Abide by all laws and regulations before sending your funds.
Questions you’ve asked us about repatriating funds
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