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OFF-TOPIC Most Efficient Way of Moving Money Across Borders?

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Herren

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Sep 21, 2021
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Hey guys,

Does anyone know the most effective/cheapest way to move a significant amount of money from CAD to EUR?

My situation:

Selling my house in Canada and moving to Europe (Montenegro, not EU/EEA but uses EUR with strict banking regulations). Will have a large sum of money to transfer to my personal account in Montenegro. I have an international account in Montenegro for accepting Euros, which I'll then transfer domestically to my personal account.

My options so far:

  • Traditional Wire Transfer - Way too expensive. Will lose 4% converting from CAD to EUR. Will lose more at intermediary bank, and even more on the receiving bank.
  • Wise (Formerly Tansferwise) - Will not work as Montenegro despite using the EUR is not on the list of countries they service. This would've been the best route, only costing me 0.5% from Wise, with intermediary and end bank still taking cuts.
  • Multiple Cash Hauling Trips below $10,000. This just isn't realistic and will lose 20-30% every time I do it, not including spread difference on currency conversion.
  • Crypto. This seems like my best option. Buy a more stable coin like BTC, bring on cold storage wallet and then find a way to deposit into an MNE bank. The problem then becomes that money is now taxable as I'll probably have a hard time proving it's all from a house sale, and most MNE banks will red flag/freeze anything Crypto related.
  • Norbert's Gambit from CAD/EUR? Is that a thing?
Any advice is greatly appreciated here. I'm expecting to lose money by doing this, but if I can mitigate losses, I will.
 

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ljean

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Are there any large banks that have branches in both countries?
 

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You can use Revolut if it's accepted there. Otherwise you may possibly convert at almost market rate with your broker and then withdraw to your account in Montenegro.
 

Herren

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Sep 21, 2021
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You can use Revolut if it's accepted there. Otherwise you may possibly convert at almost market rate with your broker and then withdraw to your account in Montenegro.
I've been on the Revolut waiting list here in Canada for almost two years now. Unfortunately doesn't seem like there's a way for me to use them at the moment. Any alternatives similar to Revolut?

Not too sure I follow the broker strategy. What kind of broker are we talking about, and how are they able to transfer to another country without paying intermediary bank fees?

Cheers!
 

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Have you considered opening a EURO account in a different European country?
 

Herren

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Sep 21, 2021
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Have you considered opening a EURO account in a different European country?
I explored the idea of that if I had to, however I'm not sure how easy that process is. I know it was a pain in the a$$ to open one in Montenegro itself, so I figured it would prove to be just as difficult. Do I require residency to open an account in most EU countries?
 

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  • Traditional Wire Transfer - Way too expensive. Will lose 4% converting from CAD to EUR. Will lose more at intermediary bank, and even more on the receiving bank.

Talk to your bank(s), both in Canada and Montenegro. You should easily get sub 1% conversion rate spreads with large sums of money, and capped transfer rates.

  • Crypto. This seems like my best option. Buy a more stable coin like BTC, bring on cold storage wallet and then find a way to deposit into an MNE bank. The problem then becomes that money is now taxable as I'll probably have a hard time proving it's all from a house sale, and most MNE banks will red flag/freeze anything Crypto related.

So you are worried about 4% wire transfers, but not about transfer fees to crypto exchanges, daily 4%+ fluctuations, withdrawal fees, and legal/KYC hurdles? Not sure if serious...
 

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Not too sure I follow the broker strategy. What kind of broker are we talking about, and how are they able to transfer to another country without paying intermediary bank fees?

You can use Interactive Brokers: Currency Conversion | Interactive Brokers LLC

You add two bank accounts: one from Canada and one from Montenegro. You deposit your CAD, convert into EUR and withdraw to your bank account in Montenegro.

But might be easier to open an account in the EU and use Wise though I think their rates would be way worse than with IB.

Check Paysera as well, maybe it works in Montenegro.
 

AceVentures

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Crypto... don't know why you would consider any other route in this day and age.

You can buy and transfer stablecoins, pegged to $1. No taxes on the transfer/tx because no profits made during tx. And if you DO by some miracle profit during your TX, it's only the profit which is taxable.
 

Herren

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Sep 21, 2021
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Talk to your bank(s), both in Canada and Montenegro. You should easily get sub 1% conversion rate spreads with large sums of money, and capped transfer rates.



So you are worried about 4% wire transfers, but not about transfer fees to crypto exchanges, daily 4%+ fluctuations, withdrawal fees, and legal/KYC hurdles? Not sure if serious...
Okay I didn't know about the sub 1% conversion rate spread. That's interesting. Will definitely look into that option. I'd prefer traditional wire transfer as it's the most reliable and trusted/standardized way of doing things.

As for Crypto, I'm fine with a temporary dip of 4% because I believe for instance that BTC will go higher. I could also transfer remotely almost immediately, thus mitigating that fluctuation risk. The other thing to remember is 4% will be roughly the spread from TD, plus transfer fees (It's only $50 so I don't much care about that). Intermediary banks like Deutsch Bank will also take a cut, and then my bank in Montenegro will probably take one as well. All-in, it's a lot more than 4%. Also, 4% is a lot when we're talking six figures. But again you mentioned that sub 1% rate so I'll contact TD to ask about that.

Thanks!
You can use Interactive Brokers: Currency Conversion | Interactive Brokers LLC

You add two bank accounts: one from Canada and one from Montenegro. You deposit your CAD, convert into EUR and withdraw to your bank account in Montenegro.

But might be easier to open an account in the EU and use Wise though I think their rates would be way worse than with IB.

Check Paysera as well, maybe it works in Montenegro.

Awesome info, I'll take a look into these options.

Thank you!


Crypto... don't know why you would consider any other route in this day and age.

You can buy and transfer stablecoins, pegged to $1. No taxes on the transfer/tx because no profits made during tx. And if you DO by some miracle profit during your TX, it's only the profit which is taxable.

That's what I was thinking as well. The issue becomes depositing from an exchange into an MNE bank account. They're very strict about that stuff and will flag it/freeze funds until I can prove the origin. I'm at the mercy of the banks at that point, and from experience, MNE banks are an absolute pain in the a$$ to deal with, with it taking months to fix easy problems. But, I'll explore the idea a bit more as well.

Cheers!
 

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AceVentures

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They're very strict about that stuff and will flag it/freeze funds until I can prove the origin. I'm at the mercy of the banks at that point, and from experience, MNE banks are an absolute pain in the a$$ to deal with, with it taking months to fix easy problems.

Hence the importance of self-sovereignty. Owning and managing your own assets is more important than ever amidst growing powers of the institutions.

What are you hoping to do with the funds, is a good question.

If it's to make a large purchase of sorts within the short time-frame - then perhaps the movement across banks is a necessary step, until it meets the hands of the person with which you're making the exchange.

If it's simply so that your funds are no longer in Canada but in Montenegro with you, then you might want to consider whether keeping your wealth in a bank is your best bet.

Would be happy to help in any way I can.
 

Herren

Contributor
Sep 21, 2021
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Hence the importance of self-sovereignty. Owning and managing your own assets is more important than ever amidst growing powers of the institutions.

What are you hoping to do with the funds, is a good question.

If it's to make a large purchase of sorts within the short time-frame - then perhaps the movement across banks is a necessary step, until it meets the hands of the person with which you're making the exchange.

If it's simply so that your funds are no longer in Canada but in Montenegro with you, then you might want to consider whether keeping your wealth in a bank is your best bet.

Would be happy to help in any way I can.
I mean I'll be spending about 10% of it pretty quickly, with the rest being held for investments and business purposes throughout the next year or so. Not opposed to the Crypto route, but will need to cash out at some point. Again, it all depends on if I can find a bank in MNE that will allow crypto exchange deposits, as it seems most of them do not.
 

Herren

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Sep 21, 2021
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It seems that Wise can transfer to Montenegro via SWIFT (from their account): https://wise.com/help/articles/2968916/sending-eur-to-countries-outside-of-europe
Oh this is new then. I checked a couple months back and this didn't seem to be the case.

It seems like they can do the transfer, but still can't control what intermediary banks take. Regardless, if I want to stick with a fiat/fiat conversion then this may be the best route.

Cheers, I've emailed them for a bit more info.
 

Kevin88660

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Hey guys,

Does anyone know the most effective/cheapest way to move a significant amount of money from CAD to EUR?

My situation:

Selling my house in Canada and moving to Europe (Montenegro, not EU/EEA but uses EUR with strict banking regulations). Will have a large sum of money to transfer to my personal account in Montenegro. I have an international account in Montenegro for accepting Euros, which I'll then transfer domestically to my personal account.

My options so far:

  • Traditional Wire Transfer - Way too expensive. Will lose 4% converting from CAD to EUR. Will lose more at intermediary bank, and even more on the receiving bank.
  • Wise (Formerly Tansferwise) - Will not work as Montenegro despite using the EUR is not on the list of countries they service. This would've been the best route, only costing me 0.5% from Wise, with intermediary and end bank still taking cuts.
  • Multiple Cash Hauling Trips below $10,000. This just isn't realistic and will lose 20-30% every time I do it, not including spread difference on currency conversion.
  • Crypto. This seems like my best option. Buy a more stable coin like BTC, bring on cold storage wallet and then find a way to deposit into an MNE bank. The problem then becomes that money is now taxable as I'll probably have a hard time proving it's all from a house sale, and most MNE banks will red flag/freeze anything Crypto related.
  • Norbert's Gambit from CAD/EUR? Is that a thing?
Any advice is greatly appreciated here. I'm expecting to lose money by doing this, but if I can mitigate losses, I will.
I think it is best to break the process into two parts.

1)Currency Conversion
2)Cross Border Transfer

As suggested by others, interactive broker offers competitive rates for currency exchange.

Most banks offer a flat fee for cross border transfer. The issue has never been cost here, (less than 50 dollar?) from my experience. It is best for you to figure out what are the KYC and compliance requirement in Montenegro.

There is absolutely no need to get crypto involved.
 

Herren

Contributor
Sep 21, 2021
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I think it is best to break the process into two parts.

1)Currency Conversion
2)Cross Border Transfer

As suggested by others, interactive broker offers competitive rates for currency exchange.

Most banks offer a flat fee for cross border transfer. The issue has never been cost here, (less than 50 dollar?) from my experience. It is best for you to figure out what are the KYC and compliance requirement in Montenegro.

There is absolutely no need to get crypto involved.
Thanks for the response! That's a good way of breaking it down. My bank is $50 to send a transfer, however I believe the intermediary banks also take a cut. It's fine if it's $50, but if it becomes percentage based then that may prove to be a problem.

Cheers.
 

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When you sell your house, you’ll have proof of sale. Then any funds you deposit into an exchange for crypto are verified as your after tax money.

Any crypto you buy (BTC or a stable coin pegged to USD, like USDT) will have proof you bought it. Later selling it will work just fine without “tax” problem on the whole amount. If BTC goes up, you’ll pay tax for gains, sure. But that’s normal.

That said, transacting in crypto isn’t cheap either. To wire money to an exchange to on ramp into crypto, will cost you wire fees! No different than wiring to another account somewhere. Same can happen during off ramp while selling crypto and taking back fiat money.
 

Kevin88660

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Thanks for the response! That's a good way of breaking it down. My bank is $50 to send a transfer, however I believe the intermediary banks also take a cut. It's fine if it's $50, but if it becomes percentage based then that may prove to be a problem.

Cheers.
I haven' heard any better rate than interactive broker so far on currency conversion. Banks are notorious for giving poor currency conversion rate.

Yes they charge flat fee for fund transfer. So no need to worry.
 

thechosen1

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Spend, spend, spend... (on gold)

And carry it with you ;)

Just kidding, there are probably safer ways.
 

SjCurless

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Hey guys,

Does anyone know the most effective/cheapest way to move a significant amount of money from CAD to EUR?

My situation:

Selling my house in Canada and moving to Europe (Montenegro, not EU/EEA but uses EUR with strict banking regulations). Will have a large sum of money to transfer to my personal account in Montenegro. I have an international account in Montenegro for accepting Euros, which I'll then transfer domestically to my personal account.

My options so far:

  • Traditional Wire Transfer - Way too expensive. Will lose 4% converting from CAD to EUR. Will lose more at intermediary bank, and even more on the receiving bank.
  • Wise (Formerly Tansferwise) - Will not work as Montenegro despite using the EUR is not on the list of countries they service. This would've been the best route, only costing me 0.5% from Wise, with intermediary and end bank still taking cuts.
  • Multiple Cash Hauling Trips below $10,000. This just isn't realistic and will lose 20-30% every time I do it, not including spread difference on currency conversion.
  • Crypto. This seems like my best option. Buy a more stable coin like BTC, bring on cold storage wallet and then find a way to deposit into an MNE bank. The problem then becomes that money is now taxable as I'll probably have a hard time proving it's all from a house sale, and most MNE banks will red flag/freeze anything Crypto related.
  • Norbert's Gambit from CAD/EUR? Is that a thing?
Any advice is greatly appreciated here. I'm expecting to lose money by doing this, but if I can mitigate losses, I will.
This seems obvious to me, BTC.
 

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Cameraman

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Sep 25, 2021
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Wise (Formerly Tansferwise) - Will not work as Montenegro despite using the EUR is not on the list of countries they service. This would've been the best route, only costing me 0.5% from Wise, with intermediary and end bank still taking cuts.
Do you need to make the payment direct to Montenegro? You can set up a EUR account with Wise in say France that belongs to you and you pay the money to that account. Your own bank account in Montenegro is then linked to your EUR account in France to withdraw the money.

Have you contacted Wise to ask how you can transfer the money or are you saying it won't work based on what you read on their website?

I use Wise with a USD account in the US for my Amazon earnings. Amazon pays my US Wise account and then I withdraw the USD funds to my UK Bank. I only pay the currency exchange. It's the same principle but with larger values.
 

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Just out of curiosity, are there legal ways to fly cross border with 6 figures in a briefcase?
 

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Just out of curiosity, are there legal ways to fly cross border with 6 figures in a briefcase?

Yes, as long as they're Russian rubles.

(or any other weak currency where six figures equals a few thousand dollars)
 

Herren

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Sep 21, 2021
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This seems obvious to me, BTC.
Yeah I agree, however the problem is turning crypto into fiat. They have very strict KYC regulations and give you a hard time about anything coming from overseas or crypto-related.
 

Herren

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Sep 21, 2021
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Do you need to make the payment direct to Montenegro? You can set up a EUR account with Wise in say France that belongs to you and you pay the money to that account. Your own bank account in Montenegro is then linked to your EUR account in France to withdraw the money.

Have you contacted Wise to ask how you can transfer the money or are you saying it won't work based on what you read on their website?

I use Wise with a USD account in the US for my Amazon earnings. Amazon pays my US Wise account and then I withdraw the USD funds to my UK Bank. I only pay the currency exchange. It's the same principle but with larger values.
I do need to make payments direct to Montenegro. So I would need a Euro account on wise that I then transfer lump sums as I need it to an MNE bank, to pay MNE bills.

I already have a Euro account on Wise - you can set that up from anywhere. I don't believe I can have a bank account in France, as I'm a non-resident. This is the same across the entire EU, and MNE isn't a part of it, but uses the Euro. It's a fairly unique situation.

I have contacted Wise, however have not heard back since this thread began.

The problem comes from the larger values part. I can transfer 500 euros here and there from Wise without a problem, however it uses SWIFT as Wise is not set-up in MNE. This is a 50 euro charge, plus intermediary banks, and finally my own bank. Sending 500 euros could cost me over 100 euros. The good news is this is the same fee structure no matter how much I'm sending, I believe. The problem is that any real amount of money will be frozen by MNE banks, and they're notoriously a pain in the a$$ to work with.

I still think Wise is my best option. Even if holding it there. Ironically enough, Wise has better protection on my money than the banks in MNE, which only insure up to 50,000 Euros per account! This is absurd, and numerous banks in MNE have closed and ran away with customers money. I mean, the biggest bank in the country is privately owned by the President's brother...
 

Herren

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Sep 21, 2021
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Just out of curiosity, are there legal ways to fly cross border with 6 figures in a briefcase?
Yes it's legal as long as it's declared. Get ready to pay tax on it, and then have it frozen anyways.


Yes, as long as they're Russian rubles.

(or any other weak currency where six figures equals a few thousand dollars)
It's funny because it's true. Montenegro is very well known for being a money laundering hub for rich Russians.

The problem with the weak currency argument is that for instance if I wanted to leave Canada with $9,999, I can. In Montenegro, I could bring up to 9,999 Euros without issue, but that's $14,668 CAD which is not legal to bring undeclared. If I converted to Euros ahead of time before leaving Canada, it's still totalling over $10,000 CAD in equivalency, and thus still needs to be declared.
 

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@Herren just a thought, but if you figure out how to do it, perhaps you can offer this as a service for people moving to Montenegro. Or in general, you can become an expert in moving to Montenegro for wealthy individuals. Could be a very lucrative business and a nice way to get some new contacts.
 

Herren

Contributor
Sep 21, 2021
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@Herren just a thought, but if you figure out how to do it, perhaps you can offer this as a service for people moving to Montenegro. Or in general, you can become an expert in moving to Montenegro for wealthy individuals. Could be a very lucrative business and a nice way to get some new contacts.
It's funny you mention that. On Reddit I've had about two dozen individuals reach out looking for advice on making the move. I already made the decision to offer consulting on this as a side hustle, but provided it shows promise then I'd put more effort into making it a full-time gig.

I didn't want to mention that as I didn't want to shill my services on here without going about the proper route, but since you mentioned it I think it's okay to state I intend on doing so.

Cheers!
 

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