Sending a check internationally.
February 25, 2008 11:37 AM   Subscribe

Does the country in which a cheque is cashed have any basis on which currency is used?

I'm sending a cheque from Canada to France. When it's cashed, is it Euros or dollars? Can I specify on the cheque that I want it to be cashed in Euros?

It's too small an amount for me to bother with a money order (and it's nippy out), but a book that I feel I must acquire.

- Doesn't write a lot of cheques.
posted by comiddle to Work & Money (7 answers total)
i imagine that it will be cashed in dollars and then converted to euros. in other words, if you write the check for $100, that person will get whatever the exchange rate is in euros (about 50 euro, i would imagine). if you want them to receive 100 euros, then i would do the math and write them the check for $197 or whatever it works out to.
posted by thinkingwoman at 11:49 AM on February 25, 2008

You may want to make sure that the financial institution is willing to negotiate it in the first place, with simple bank cheques like this often they will not be accepted internationally (outside Canada/US).
posted by smitt at 11:52 AM on February 25, 2008

Best answer: Whenever I've gone from Canada to the UK, the bank in the UK has wanted to cash it in the currency I wrote it in and then do the currency exchange (as of the day they cash it, not the day I wrote it) to provide their customer with pounds, minus a currency exchange fee. It's actually easier just to get a bank or postal money order in their currency than to try to figure out how much extra to give them to cover the costs of dealing with the cheque.
posted by joannemerriam at 11:55 AM on February 25, 2008

Best answer: I assume that the cheque account is with a Canadian bank so you will write it in Canadian dollars. I don't think you have a choice there. There's no place on a cheque that gives you a choice of currency.

The person in France will bank it into their French bank account. At that point the amount is converted to Euros at some current exchange rate. The French bank might also charge the recipient some sort of fixed fee.

That's assuming the person in France can actually bank a foreign cheque. In New Zealand I had no trouble banking personal cheques from the USA into my NZ account so hopefully it works in France too. They took about three weeks to clear.
posted by tetranz at 11:56 AM on February 25, 2008

Response by poster: You're all beautiful.
posted by comiddle at 12:05 PM on February 25, 2008

This is one of the reasons why using a credit card for this kind of purchase makes sense. They kind of do it in the opposite order: they charge you the amount in the destination currency, then convert that into your source currency using the exchange rate as of that day, plus appropriate fee, and that's what's charged to your card back home. And the whole thing takes place essentially instantly, so there's no latency and no "time to wait for the check to clear".
posted by Class Goat at 12:17 PM on February 25, 2008

I don't think you have a choice there. There's no place on a cheque that gives you a choice of currency.

It's been awhile, but I have definitely written checks in foreign currencies.

I just write "Ninety-five pounds sterling" or "Fifty Seven Canadian dollars" on the line. As long as your intent is clear, the bank will follow the instructions... and that's what a check is anyway, instructions authorizing an account deduction.

Yes, I am sure there is some horrendous fee for this somewhere, but it does seem to, at least, work.
posted by rokusan at 6:05 PM on February 25, 2008

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