Financial Advice

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2008
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    730

    Financial Advice

    Most US banks are now imposing a 3% foreign transaction fee even though the customers are withdrawing cash from their own checking accounts.

    What is the best way to avoid paying the 3% fee?

    Last year when we were in Hong Kong I was tempted to open a local checking account which could enable me to "bank wire" funds ahead of time of whatever amount we might spend in Hong Kong and China during our future visits. This way, the only expense incurs will be just the bank wiring. Will any Hong Kong banks allow a customer open a checking account without a HKID? The 3% fee can amount up to quite a large sum if our next stay in HK and China exceeds more than 2months.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Sha Tin
    Posts
    142

    open an hsbcdirect online savings account in the states. free ach transfer within the us from your normal bank, then free use of atms here


  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2008
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    730

    I've been looking for the HSBC online but failed to locate it. Do you happen to know the link? I'd appreciate that!


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    46

    hard if you don't live here

    i got an integrated account within a couple weeks of getting here, but i needed to show my passport even though i had my temporary HKID (a printout you keep for about 2 weeks while they process the card). they also ask for a current bank statement.

    HSBC gave me my ATM and mailed me my checkbook when i received my actual id.

    Last edited by aquarella; 19-06-2008 at 01:17 AM. Reason: corrections!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    730

    Just called HSBC to get some info about the savings acct. I cannot choose in which country I wish to open acct. in. If I am locted in the USA, my acct. must be in the USA. It seems I am facing the same scenario as with my Citibank. If my original account is in the USA, there will still be a 3% foreign transaction fee imposed in Hong Kong even if I make a cash withdrawal from my OWN acct.

    The only way to avoid the 3% fee is by having a checking acct. in a Hong Kong bank in Hong Kong currency. How am I going to accomplish that is the question.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    SHEUNG WAN
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    If you're only visiting HK, why bother with this mess? Either convert the money ahead of time with your US bank or pony up the conversion fee when you withdraw cash from a HK ATM. Unless you're visiting for 6 months, clearly it's not worthwhile to pursue opening a bank account just to avoid the fee.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    730
    Quote Originally Posted by aquarella
    i got an integrated account within a couple weeks of getting here, but i needed to show my passport even though i had my temporary HKID (a printout you keep for about 2 weeks while they process the card). they also ask for a current bank statement.

    HSBC gave me my ATM and mailed me my checkbook when i received my actual id.
    **************************************

    Thank you for your info.

    We are NOT backpackers who spend the mininal amount of money when travel. If we would have to pay the 3% fee during our last trip to HK, it'd have cost us $500 USD. So...... if we can avoid paying that, we like to give it a "shot".

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    519

    foreigners can open a HK account, you just need a passport and proof of address (utilities bill/bank statements) but your ATM card will be sent back to the US. So you will ended up banking at the counter. wire fees is about HK$200 per transaction if I remember correctly for HK side, not sure what US side charges you. Hope that helps


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Sha Tin
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    Quote Originally Posted by ycchai
    foreigners can open a HK account, you just need a passport and proof of address (utilities bill/bank statements) but your ATM card will be sent back to the US. So you will ended up banking at the counter. wire fees is about HK$200 per transaction if I remember correctly for HK side, not sure what US side charges you. Hope that helps
    i opened one as a tourist and got the card mailed to my local address. just go to a clp store with a friend and change his power registration name to yours, get a print out, take it to hsbc; that and a passport.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2008
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    730
    Quote Originally Posted by ycchai
    foreigners can open a HK account, you just need a passport and proof of address (utilities bill/bank statements) but your ATM card will be sent back to the US. So you will ended up banking at the counter. wire fees is about HK$200 per transaction if I remember correctly for HK side, not sure what US side charges you. Hope that helps
    **************************************

    My Washington Mutual checking acct. charges 0 fee for wire transfers as part of the benefit package.

    I thought it'd be perfect if I could open a HK checking acct. ahead of time and to bank wire all the funds that we might need while in HK and China. Upon arrival, we could make periodic withdrawals from the ATMs.

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