Korea to US money transfer
October 25, 2008 12:29 AM   Subscribe

What is the best way to transfer money from Korea to U.S.? My sister is in Korea teaching English. The last time she transferred money into her US account it costs her about $2k to send $2500. How does she get around this problem. Sorry I don't know any more details.
posted by docmccoy to Work & Money (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I regularly used international postal money orders to pay my Citibank card while in Japan in the 90s. The buy/sell spreads weren't too bad (that's how you can tell how bad you're getting screwed on the exchange rate) and the fee was minimal.

$2K for $2500 is . . . you're doing something wrong. Bank to Bank wire transfers run about $50 or so IME.
posted by troy at 1:57 AM on October 25, 2008

Western Union? Kookmin Bank or Industrial Bank in Korea can send Western Union to anyone in the USA. The fee on $2000 would be about $20, I think.

Western Union transfers have a bad rep for fraud, but that's when there's a stranger involved. With someone you trust, it's pretty foolproof and easy, and the mechanism is secure enough.

I find it's usually cheaper than inter-bank fees. (Which is ridiculous, but there you go.)
posted by rokusan at 2:15 AM on October 25, 2008

If the $2K on $2500 isn't a typo then someone got scammed.

I'm guessing she needs to do it regularly. Open a Citibank international account or a HSBC account. Deposit it in won, write a check on it in dollars.

(Do more research first, it's been a couple years since I've done this, but I never had to pay a fee or take a bad exchange rate with Citibank. They have tons of branches in Korea. Go in and talk to them, you won't be the first person who has been interested in this service.)

Link to Citibank Korea English web site.
posted by Ookseer at 3:39 AM on October 25, 2008

I second opening a Citibank or HSBC account.

$2K for $2500 doesn't sound right. Bank to bank transfer from a Korean bank to a U.S. one, even with fees being taken out on both sides, shouldn't exceed $50 total, in my experience.
posted by needled at 8:23 AM on October 25, 2008

I used to do this all the time, from jae-il bank, and the korean foreign exchange bank. It NEVER cost $2K USD, and if this is the case, I'm nthing all the folks above who say that something is very wrong. Are you SURE that it isn't costing her 20K in Korean Won? Is she sure that she's not confusing 20K Won with $2K USD?
posted by deejay jaydee at 8:52 AM on October 25, 2008

Can I piggy back on this question? Would an HSBC or Citibank account be a good way for my mother in the USA to send some funds to her family in Japan?
posted by vito90 at 10:36 AM on October 25, 2008

Response by poster: the only other thing i know is they put some kind of new tax on outgoing funds. this is a recent change. i'm looking for an EXPERT in these matters. i will be sure to pass on all RELEVANT information though. are there any international bankers on me-fi? thanks for posting anyway.
posted by docmccoy at 1:17 PM on October 25, 2008

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