Apr 17, 2018
Working in Japan poses its own set of problems, but the biggest one for me is how to transfer money back to my home country. I've tried a bunch of methods, from two PayPal accounts to Western Union to simply carrying yen home to transfer at the bank. After years of experimenting with different companies and methods, I think I've found the best remittance service... Transferwise.
It's pretty new to the scene, but it's already making a big splash because of its great transfer rates. Seriously, you should check them out and compare for yourself. Obviously, there are fees involved and its dependent on how much you're sending each time, but if you're doing more than 20,000 yen at a time, it's definitely the best option.
Plus, if you create an account with my referral link, we each get a free transfer, up to 74,000 yen. Even if you only use it once, you're saving money! If you don't want to use my referral, you can go to their main page and check out the rates and sign up from there.
Everything is done online. It's a bit of a weird method, but I've never had any problems with it. First, you sign up for the amount that you want to transfer. Everything is upfront, so you can see the rates, how much they'll take as a fee, and how much you'll get. Once you agree, the rate is locked in for two weeks. After that, your transfer is cancelled automatically. So, there's no obligation to pay once you sign up for a transfer. (I have a bunch of cancelled held rates because I want to see if the exchange rate will get better on my side...)
Next, when you're ready to pay, they'll give you the information for their account in Japan. You're going to either need to transfer it online or do it in person. I have Shinsei Bank, so I'm fortunate enough to have online banking with one free transfer a month, so I never have any problems with this. Once you've completed the transaction, you'll confirm it in the app.
There's a bit of trust involved, I suppose, in sending large quantities of money to an online service and hoping you'll get money back. But I assure you that they are a verified company, FDIC insured and everything. Assuming you did it on a weekday, you'll get your money in 1-2 days (in the case of USD). I'm not sure about other currencies, but I've heard people say that Euro is the same day sometimes! If you do it on a weekend, you'll have to wait until a weekday before it's processed again.
If you have any questions or concerns, their email representatives are very helpful. They also are quick to reply on Twitter (where I make most of my brand communications) when I had an issue with my transfer being cancelled. (Remember that two week thing I mentioned earlier?) They resolved my issue quickly and everything is right with the world again.
Again, I recommend Transferwise if you're looking for a cheap remittance service for average money transfers. If you have any questions, you can comment here too and I'll try to convince you that this is the way to go!
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