Best way to deposit Australian check in USA
March 31, 2014 2:30 PM   Subscribe

I have a check in Australian dollars that I need to deposit here in NYC. Citibank says it will take 4 to 6 weeks to process and they also have a $30 fee. Is there a better option?
posted by bhnyc to Work & Money (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd try HSBC, they seem to have really good ex-pat services.

Another option, is American Express, if you're a member.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:43 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you have friends or family with any money in Australia, they will have free wire transfers. Endorse over the check, send by post, and have them wire you the proceeds. 3 weeks at the outside, probably much faster, and costs $1.00 for a stamp.
posted by MattD at 3:10 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Matt D's advice is not necessarily true. I (based in Australia) have tried just about everything for sending money overseas to friends. Maybe there's some bank I haven't heard of that will wire internationally for free, but in my experience it costs $20-something.

MattD's advice might work if your friends/family in Australia can paypal you the money, though. (My overseas people don't use paypal).
posted by lollusc at 5:46 PM on March 31, 2014

Do you have any friends or family in Australia? It's not the most efficient method but if you do sign the cheque over to them, get them to deposit it and then use Paypal to get them to send the money to you. I have used Paypal for years to transfer money from Australia to the US and back again to pay mortgages or send money to family members, as the fees are so much cheaper. A wire transfer is not free. If you do it too often Paypal might ring you to make sure you're not laundering money, which happened to me, but a one time gift shouldn't be any problem.
posted by wwax at 8:49 PM on March 31, 2014

My experience of depositing Australian cheques in Canada is that you cannot escape the 4 to 6 week holding period. I'm not sure if this applies in the USA, but in Canada this seems to be related to the phrase "Non Negotiable", which appears on Australian cheques routinely but means "not a real cheque" in Canada. (This is according to tellers at my bank, YMMV.)
posted by snorkmaiden at 9:03 AM on April 1, 2014

Response by poster: I ended up sending the checks back and getting them to wire the money. That worked fine. I was told by TD Bank that Australian checks just take longer to clear than other countries.

Paypal takes a percentage which would be crazy for large amounts of money. TD Bank gave me a premium account that doesn't have fees.
posted by bhnyc at 8:40 PM on May 1, 2014

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