Personal Finance

Best way to send USD from Canada to Botswana?

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  • Jun 3rd, 2018 5:20 pm
[OP]
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May 14, 2009
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Best way to send USD from Canada to Botswana?

Hi,

I need to pay the balance of an invoice. The bank is located in Botswana and the payment has to be made in USD. All my bank accounts are in CAD. Last time I sent them money I did it via wire from one of my bank accounts at a bank branch. Is there a better (read: cheaper) way to do this?

There's also the possibility of charging the balance to a CC, but they add 3.5% so even with the Rogers MC we now use for other currencies, the 3.5% fee kills the deal.

Thanks.
14 replies
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Dec 27, 2013
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How about physically mailing them a cheque/draft in $US?.. though I have no idea how popular cheques are in Botswana, and if it's easy to cash them there.
Western Union is another option, but I have no idea what their fees are going to be in your case.

P.S. Hope you are not prepaying Nigerian prince's Botswana expenses. :)
[OP]
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mbmbkop wrote: How about physically mailing them a cheque/draft in $US?.. though I have no idea how popular cheques are in Botswana, and if it's easy to cash them there.
Western Union is another option, but I have no idea what their fees are going to be in your case.

P.S. Hope you are not prepaying Nigerian prince's Botswana expenses. :)
He he he, nah this is legit :D

I forgot about Western Union...I'll check that option out. The only options they gave me were wire transfer or CC so I don't think a cheque would work :(
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May 8, 2009
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amz155 wrote: He he he, nah this is legit :D

I forgot about Western Union...I'll check that option out. The only options they gave me were wire transfer or CC so I don't think a cheque would work :(
Western Union is local currency only.

Try MoneyGram at Canada Post. They have a USD option. Assuming there's MoneyGram in Botswana Thinking Face
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[OP]
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titaniumtux wrote: Western Union is local currency only.

Try MoneyGram at Canada Post. They have a USD option. Assuming there's MoneyGram in Botswana Thinking Face
Thanks, looks like this would work. Now I just have to compare MG's fee against the bank.
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amz155 wrote: Thanks, looks like this would work. Now I just have to compare MG's fee against the bank.
Don't know if a bank wire is reliable (corruption, etc.). MoneyGram is local pickup like Western Union. I'd be willing to pay more to send via MoneyGram, though it's likely cheaper.
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I would just charge it to the Rogers MC, you'll get 1.5% net cashback bringing the fee to 2%. Unless the amount is large, you likely won't find any option that doesn't effectively charge you that much when you factor in the exchange rate. We really need to know the amount to offer the best option, though.

With TransferWise it'll be $5.50 SWIFT fee for sending USD to a non-US country + their normal fees for CAD/USD transactions ($8.45 for $1000 assuming you pay by direct debit). So $13.95 or 1.4%. A bit better than Rogers but the recipient may get dinged with a wire receiving fee by their bank. With XE, there will be no transaction fee but the exchange rate will be worse (right now for example their sell CAD/buy USD rate is 1.2% worse than TransferWise).

I would forget about MoneyGram, WU, etc. Their fees are in the ballpark of $50 per transaction plus crappy exchange rates on top of that. These services are really intended for situations where the receiver doesn't have a bank account and needs the ability to pickup cash from a physical outlet in the receiving country.
[OP]
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May 14, 2009
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titaniumtux wrote: Don't know if a bank wire is reliable (corruption, etc.). MoneyGram is local pickup like Western Union. I'd be willing to pay more to send via MoneyGram, though it's likely cheaper.
I did it via my bank for the first amount I owed, it worked fine. I have to dig up the receipt and see how much I paid.
Rishi wrote: I would just charge it to the Rogers MC, you'll get 1.5% net cashback bringing the fee to 2%. Unless the amount is large, you likely won't find any option that doesn't effectively charge you that much when you factor in the exchange rate. We really need to know the amount to offer the best option, though.

With TransferWise it'll be $5.50 SWIFT fee for sending USD to a non-US country + their normal fees for CAD/USD transactions ($8.45 for $1000 assuming you pay by direct debit). So $13.95 or 1.4%. A bit better than Rogers but the recipient may get dinged with a wire receiving fee by their bank. With XE, there will be no transaction fee but the exchange rate will be worse (right now for example their sell CAD/buy USD rate is 1.2% worse than TransferWise).

I would forget about MoneyGram, WU, etc. Their fees are in the ballpark of $50 per transaction plus crappy exchange rates on top of that. These services are really intended for situations where the receiver doesn't have a bank account and needs the ability to pickup cash from a physical outlet in the receiving country.
About $2800 USD, iirc.

MG wants to charge $155.00 for the service. I'm pretty sure that TD didn't charge anywhere close to that.
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Jul 22, 2008
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I would use TransferWise then. They will charge you about $31 in fees according to their website (still below the $40 the big 5 banks typically charge for international wire transfer), but they'll also give you a great exchange rate which bring the final cost in CAD down.

At RBC for example, which has one of the best international transfer options of the big 5 at flat $13.50 up to $10k, the exchange rate has a 2% fee or more built into it so that tacks on another $73 CAD in implicit fees.

If you're concerned about safety/legitimacy, I've used TransferWise several times and never had any issues.
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Do you have the regular Rogers or the WE?

Assuming 0.2% vig on the MC rate and 0.5% or 1.5%(WE) net on the rewards, your total cost is likely to be ~$90 US on the basic Rogers or $62 US on the WE.

The effort required in the alternatives seem unlikely to be worth it, even if one is slightly cheaper. Now if this is a regular thing, then setup might be worth it for repeated savings.
[OP]
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S5 wrote: Do you have the regular Rogers or the WE?

Assuming 0.2% vig on the MC rate and 0.5% or 1.5%(WE) net on the rewards, your total cost is likely to be ~$90 US on the basic Rogers or $62 US on the WE.

The effort required in the alternatives seem unlikely to be worth it, even if one is slightly cheaper. Now if this is a regular thing, then setup might be worth it for repeated savings.
I mentioned in the OP that the company I'm sending money to charges 3.5% if I want to pay via CC. We have the WE :)
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amz155 wrote: I mentioned in the OP that the company I'm sending money to charges 3.5% if I want to pay via CC. We have the WE :)
Well, yeah. How did you think I came up with my estimations of your net cost?Winking Face

3.5 + 0.2 - 1.5 = 2.2%
2.2% x 2800 = $61.6

WE is going to be hard to beat once you consider the hassle factor.
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titaniumtux wrote: Western Union is local currency only.

Try MoneyGram at Canada Post. They have a USD option. Assuming there's MoneyGram in Botswana Thinking Face
Two weeks ago I sent money to Eastern Europe, and I had the option to send in in local currency or Euro.
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boyoflondon wrote: Two weeks ago I sent money to Eastern Europe, and I had the option to send in in local currency or Euro.
I guess YMMV then. I haven't sent money to Eastern Europe before, so I never had the option of an alternative currency given to me with Western Union.
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[OP]
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May 14, 2009
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S5 wrote: Well, yeah. How did you think I came up with my estimations of your net cost?Winking Face

3.5 + 0.2 - 1.5 = 2.2%
2.2% x 2800 = $61.6

WE is going to be hard to beat once you consider the hassle factor.
Duh, I read your post wrong lol. Thanks for clarifying.

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