The need to transfer money to Hong Kong has intensified with the increased rate of movement between Hong Kong and the USA. Either for business or personal purposes, it is not uncommon to find Hong Kong nationals transferring money.
Regardless of the purpose, we all want to get the best value for our money. The aim of this guide is to show you smart ways to save cost on money transfers. We examine common situations you’ll likely experience while paying.
If you’re in a haste, check out our quick comparison table to get an overview of the best exchange rates and fees today.
So What Is The Best Ways to Transfer Money to Hong Kong?
If You Are Moving from Hong Kong to the USA
US banks accept money transfers in US dollars. However, not all banks will accept Hong Kong Dollars. When dealing with banks, you are at the mercy of their rates. Keep in mind that banks charge a high international money transfer fee and the best possible exchange rate is usually not offered.
Employing online money transfer services is one way to avoid these exorbitant fees while surfing through various alternatives.
Our Verdict: WorldFirst for great exchange rates on US dollar and HKD transfers to Hong Kong.
Click here to find out more about WorldFirst.
Sending Money for Business
Transferring money for your business? Note these two important points:
- The exchange rate margin – this is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate you can see on xe.com and the rate you get
- The business products they offer – like forward exchange contracts, foreign currency accounts and limit orders
Our Verdict: HIFX. With their exchange rates and $0 fee structure, you’ll maximize your overseas receipts or payments. Their Foreign Currency Accounts lets you keep the funds in foreign currency and convert when you wish to.
Buying a Property
Whether it’s your first time buying a house, or you are purchasing an investment property in Hong Kong, keep an eye out for a money transfer provider with a strong presence in both USA and Hong Kong. This will give you the flexibility and support throughout the process.
Our Verdict: OFX is an excellent option for property settlement transfers because each customer is assigned a local account manager who will guide them through each step. They are fully licensed and regulated in the USA.
Sending Money Home
You’ve probably been away from home for quite some time and have been missing out on eventful festivities with family and friends. If you’re thinking of sending a gift to your loved ones, a transfer service like the Western Union will give you the best exchange rate for small amounts. With a larger amount, some transfer services might offer to waive the transaction fee.
To get the most out of your personal needs, look around and shortlist the providers that would work best for you. Consult a currency exchange and money transfer specialist.
Depending on the course you’re taking, typical full-time university fees range between USD $15 000 to $50 000 or more annually. That’s before calculating living expenses, accommodation and bills. When dealing with large amounts like these, it is important to find the best exchange rate.
If you are an exchange student or taking a part time course in Hong Kong – and only need to transfer a small amount. Be sure to compare and receive the lowest transfer fees.
Tools to Help You to Send Money to Hong Kong
Costs of Sending Money to or from Hong Kong
Determining the cost of transfer can be difficult. Depending on how you send the money, the fees, charges and margins aren’t always apparent. Here are the most common charges to transfer money from one bank account to another:
- A Transfer Fee – Also known as a TT, Telegraphic Transfer, Wire or Remittance fee
- Exchange Rate Margin – this is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate you can see on xe.com and the rate you get
- Correspondent Bank Fees – The fee your bank’s bank will deduct for transferring the money to the right account. It’s deducted from the amount that finally arrives in the account and is almost impossible to estimate or reverse.
- Receiving Bank Fee- If you are paying foreign currency into an account, the receiving bank will charge you for it. For instance, if you send US dollars to your Hong Kong bank account, your US bank will charge you to convert it.
What are your options?
Banks in the USA charge higher fees and often offer uncompetitive exchange rates. However, this does not mean you should never use them. Banks in Hong Kong tend to have more competitive exchange rates. Using a bank is the fastest way to transfer between bank accounts.
This is the best alternative if you are sending amounts under $1000. The exchange rate you’ll get are comparable to a bank but the fees are significantly lower. It is even more convenient if the recipient has a PayPal account.
A Money Transfer Company
Money transfer companies like OFX and HiFX provide an inexpensive way of transferring, especially if the amount is between $1000 and $100,000. Because they offer better exchange rates and lower (and sometimes no) fees. The con of using online transfer services is that you’ll have to set up an account with them first. This can take between 10 minutes to 2 days depending on how much information they need from you. The transfer itself takes a day more compared to banks.
How to use a money transfer company (instead of a bank)
Although using money transfer services are similar to banks in a way, there are noteworthy differences. Here are the main steps to follow:
Setting things up (only has to be done once)
- Log on to their website and register your details. You may be asked for an ID.
- A login and password will be sent to you when you account is approved.
- Input the banking details of where you are sending the money. They are usually called the “Beneficiary” or “Recipient.”
- Get a quote for the amount you want to send
- Confirm the details including the rate and how much it is in US dollars
- You’ll get a deal confirmation. Finally you’ll need to pay them the US dollars before the money is transferred to Hong Kong
Information you’ll need before you make your transfer
To transfer money abroad, you’ll need the following information of the bank account you are sending the money too. These are either called Beneficiary or Recipient Details
- The Account Name of your Recipient (person/business you are paying)
- Their address
- The SWIFT Code of the bank
A note about sending money to Hong Kong
It is particularly important to make sure ALL the bank details you use are correct. Banks are generally picky and will decline a payment even if a single digit is wrong or a single letter is misplaced.
Here is a list of SWIFT codes for the biggest banks in Hong Kong:
How long does it take to transfer money to Hong Kong?
Transfers done through Paypal, HSBC and Western Union (cash pick-up) are the fastest. Transfers are usually processed in minutes. If you are sending the money to a bank account, it will take 1-2 days if you are using a bank; or 2-3 days if sending through a money transfer company.
Related Link: How Long Does An International Money Transfer Take?
Minimum transfer requirement?
PayPal and Banks usually have no minimum transfer amount. However, if you are transferring amounts less than $500 to Hong Kong and plan to use a money transfer service, ensure you ask for their minimum transfer requirement.