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  1. #5214

    Bank robbing

    Quote Originally Posted by JjBee62  [View Original Post]
    Currently, living in a rural area, my best option has 1 branch 40 km away.
    My bank with the free Visa card doesn't have branches, it's online only. Is this kind of banking not common in the US these days? I closed my last account with a traditional bank some fifteen years ago, because they annoyed me. I haven't needed to visit a branch since.

    Quote Originally Posted by JjBee62  [View Original Post]
    If I remember correctly, my bank charges 5% in fees for foreign ATMs
    As the European writer Brecht once noted: What is the robbing of a bank compared to the founding of a bank?

    Quote Originally Posted by JjBee62  [View Original Post]
    If you're using a no fee card, ATMs are your best option. If you're using a card that charges fees, Casas de Cambios might be a better option.
    Agreed, but you should really look for a better bank.

    Quote Originally Posted by JjBee62  [View Original Post]
    One other note is that the Davivienda ATM had a maximum withdrawal of 2 million.
    The withdrawal limit at Davivienda depends on the card. I've seen this. On my card (most cards, I guess) the menu goes up to 320 k but you can go to "other amount" and enter 400,000. 00.

    Quote Originally Posted by FunLuvr  [View Original Post]
    but there's usually people waiting to use the ATM and I feel bad about taking more time to do two withdrawals.
    Don't be shy. Be a man and do what you have to do when it's your turn. Colombians will understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrEnternational  [View Original Post]
    But in a monger's case, isn't the rich sending to the poor? So they are taking from the rich horny walking ATMs to give to the rich.
    You are quite right, of course. But Western Union's main business is taking money from poor migrant workers who are sending small amounts to their poor families back home.

    Oh, and mongers shouldn't be sending money to providers who are far away, but handing it over in person.

  2. #5213

    Retailer reference

    When I translate (Google Translate) it seems the women want a "retailer". When they read my profile or I say something nice to them they tell me I am a "Retailer". A man with a job? Smooth talker? Merchant?

    Looking for IRL interpretation.

  3. #5212
    Quote Originally Posted by FunLuvr  [View Original Post]
    What number do you input to the ATM to get a higher amount than their standard displayed amounts? I have tried, but have always been rejected. Do you ignore the two zeros to the right of the decimal that are displayed. Now I just select the 320,000 and make two withdrawals. That always works, but there's usually people waiting to use the ATM and I feel bad about taking more time to do two withdrawals.
    I was just with a guy today and Davivienda only let him pull 400 k. I didn't try that ATM, but when I go to withdraw 1,020,000 and 2,000,000 are my 2 highest options.

  4. #5211
    Quote Originally Posted by JjBee62  [View Original Post]
    One other note is that the Davivienda ATM had a maximum withdrawal of 2 million.
    What number do you input to the ATM to get a higher amount than their standard displayed amounts? I have tried, but have always been rejected. Do you ignore the two zeros to the right of the decimal that are displayed. Now I just select the 320,000 and make two withdrawals. That always works, but there's usually people waiting to use the ATM and I feel bad about taking more time to do two withdrawals.

  5. #5210
    Quote Originally Posted by FunLuvr  [View Original Post]
    During the last few trips in Medellin, I have received rates at the ATM's that are almost the same as the xe.com rates of two days prior to my transaction. I have checked those rates for every withdrawal and it stays true. I use a Schwab card and ATM's at Davivienda and BBVA (rates are the same at those banks).

    Now I am confused by the rate you received at Davivienda. I think you stated in another post that you arrived Sunday. Using my method of calculation, you should have received Thursday's rate, which was 3196. Sunday's rate was 3211. It appears that the rate is determined by the bank that issues the card because I have never had that much of a difference using the Schwab card.
    I should clear that up. That was the actual rate I received after my bank threw in their charges, not the rate charged by the bank. I also didn't note the xe rate at time of withdrawal and may be slightly off. Using your numbers I get 5.8%. If I remember correctly, my bank charges 5% in fees for foreign ATMs, which puts the bank rate 0. 8%. My interest was in comparing my actual costs of the different methods.

    If you're using a no fee card, ATMs are your best option. If you're using a card that charges fees, Casas de Cambios might be a better option.

    One other note is that the Davivienda ATM had a maximum withdrawal of 2 million.

  6. #5209

    Exchange Rates

    Quote Originally Posted by JjBee62  [View Original Post]
    When I reached Medellin I withdrew 1,020,000 from a Davivienda ATM. Rate was 3011.42-$1. Cost was 6%.

    Today I exchanged $300 for 918000, rate of 3060, cost of 4. 5%.
    During the last few trips in Medellin, I have received rates at the ATM's that are almost the same as the xe.com rates of two days prior to my transaction. I have checked those rates for every withdrawal and it stays true. I use a Schwab card and ATM's at Davivienda and BBVA (rates are the same at those banks).

    Now I am confused by the rate you received at Davivienda. I think you stated in another post that you arrived Sunday. Using my method of calculation, you should have received Thursday's rate, which was 3196. Sunday's rate was 3211. It appears that the rate is determined by the bank that issues the card because I have never had that much of a difference using the Schwab card.

  7. #5208
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcangel  [View Original Post]
    Western Union makes me sick, taking from the poor to give to the rich.
    But in a monger's case, isn't the rich sending to the poor? So they are taking from the rich horny walking ATMs to give to the rich.

  8. #5207
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcangel  [View Original Post]
    It amazes me how everybody is getting ripped off by their banks.

    My bank in europe gives me a Visa credit card with no yearly fee, no foreign transaction charges and no ATM charges at any ATM worldwide. They don't reimburse any charges that the ATM puts on top, but there are enough free ATMs in Coombia: Banco Pichincha (1000 k per withdrawal), Banco Caja Social (700 k), Davivienda (400 k).

    I just checked my bank statement and compared the exchange rate I got to the day's interbank rate. It's always almost the same, less than 0. 5% difference. I got 1 EUR = 3605 COP on 7/7/2019.
    So I'm happy with the deal I'm getting. You guys need to shop around for a decent bank.

    I get the same rate when using the card to pay for purchases which I rarely do to keep my card out of harm's way. Because my card is mission crutical, and it has bern blocked on occasions, I carry another card as backup. A Master Card from a different bank, also free yearly and worldwide with excellent exchange rate.

    The best way to transfer money to a Colombian bank account that I've found is xend.com, a new fintec grom UK. They have great rates and low fees. For Colombia you need to send as USD which Bancolombia will convert to pesos minus about 2%.

    Western Union makes me sick, taking from the poor to give to the rich.
    I'm fairly certain banking regulations in Europe are different from banking regulations in the US. European banks probably do a lot more foreign currency transactions as well.

    Currently, living in a rural area, my best option has 1 branch 40 km away. A better option puts me 100+ km away from an office, in the wrong direction. And I've found that the farther I live from an actual branch the more likely I will need to visit the branch.

    Moving to Europe and commuting weekly to work in the US seems like a bad deal to save 4% on 3 transactions a year, but I would rack up the airline miles.

  9. #5206

    How to beat the system

    Quote Originally Posted by JjBee62  [View Original Post]
    If you're getting under 4. 5% cost from your bank, you're beating the system.
    It amazes me how everybody is getting ripped off by their banks.

    My bank in europe gives me a Visa credit card with no yearly fee, no foreign transaction charges and no ATM charges at any ATM worldwide. They don't reimburse any charges that the ATM puts on top, but there are enough free ATMs in Coombia: Banco Pichincha (1000 k per withdrawal), Banco Caja Social (700 k), Davivienda (400 k).

    I just checked my bank statement and compared the exchange rate I got to the day's interbank rate. It's always almost the same, less than 0. 5% difference. I got 1 EUR = 3605 COP on 7/7/2019.
    So I'm happy with the deal I'm getting. You guys need to shop around for a decent bank.

    I get the same rate when using the card to pay for purchases which I rarely do to keep my card out of harm's way. Because my card is mission crutical, and it has bern blocked on occasions, I carry another card as backup. A Master Card from a different bank, also free yearly and worldwide with excellent exchange rate.

    The best way to transfer money to a Colombian bank account that I've found is xend.com, a new fintec grom UK. They have great rates and low fees. For Colombia you need to send as USD which Bancolombia will convert to pesos minus about 2%.

    Western Union makes me sick, taking from the poor to give to the rich.
    Last edited by Arcangel; 07-11-19 at 16:22. Reason: Added actual exchange rate

  10. #5205

    Money Exchange

    Before this trip I decided to fully explore the money exchange issue. Which one really is best? YMMV on this. I don't have a Scwab card. My ATM withdrawal was using a card from a major US bank.

    The Medellin airport rate was 2400-$1. That's a cost of 25.1% to exchange money at the airport.

    Buying pesos directly from my bank. Their rate on that day was 2755-$1 at a cost of 16%.

    Now to the methods I actually used.

    A few weeks prior to my trip I sent 1 million pesos to my old roommate. This won't work for most, because most don't know anyone they can trust. My reasoning was to have an emergency fund. If I got robbed, lost my card, or had a bank problem, I'd at least have enough to eat.

    Sending Western Union rate was 2966.83-$1 at a cost of 8. 5%.

    When I reached Medellin I withdrew 1,020,000 from a Davivienda ATM. Rate was 3011.42-$1. Cost was 6%.

    Today I exchanged $300 for 918000, rate of 3060, cost of 4. 5%.

    The cost value is how much under that day'srate I received.

    I didn't check every casa de cambios. Checked 2 and picked the best rate. Based on my experience, with my bank, the casa de cambio is the best bargain.

    If you're getting under 4. 5% cost from your bank, you're beating the system.

  11. #5204
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeos1  [View Original Post]
    There's certainly no end of confusion on this subject. I know that all the Canadian banks set their own exchange rates by adding between 2.5 and more percent to the mid market exchange rate. They buy and sell at something close to the mid market rate. Probably close to the published buy / sell numbers. When I withdraw money from an ATM in Colombia or wherever I pay whatever fees the ATM charges (sometimes nothing) plus the fees my bank charges ($5/ per transaction from a foreign ATM or bank) plus the 2.5 or more percent my bank collects. Whether they pay some of that to the foreign bank or not I'm not sure of. But when I check conversion rates that's how it seems to roll.

    Also, I doubt you ever get more than the mid market rate in reality. Likely you are comparing the wrong numbers. For example you do a transaction at 2 in the afternoon, but the currency has changed by the end of the day, etc. I have noticed this when I check back. The quoted rates are end of day usually, sometimes average for the day. And your bank may use the rate plus their markup from a specific time.

    I don't know how American banks do it. But I believe that in Canada it is my bank that determines the exchange rate. The Colombian bank on the other end gets pesos for pesos in effect. My bank exchanges the Canadian bucks for pesos and sends the pesos to the Colombian bank and its ATM.
    I've lived all over Canada and the US. If you really knew how much worse Canadian banks are compared to your US counterparts you'd probably burst into tears, and then immediately figure out how you could get a Schwab account. .

  12. #5203
    Quote Originally Posted by PirateMorgan  [View Original Post]
    People might be getting confused because you have to subtract all the fees to calculate the exchange rate. Your bank potentially has multiple fees. The owner of the ATM usually has fees; those should not be used to calculate the exchange rate:

    Respectfully, I disagree. Many times I have received more than the current rate posted on X-rates. Multiple fees or not (my Colombian bank has none charged) I have received different rates on the same day from 2 different banks. But in the end the contra bank has no say so in the transaction. It is determined here in Colombia.
    There's certainly no end of confusion on this subject. I know that all the Canadian banks set their own exchange rates by adding between 2.5 and more percent to the mid market exchange rate. They buy and sell at something close to the mid market rate. Probably close to the published buy / sell numbers. When I withdraw money from an ATM in Colombia or wherever I pay whatever fees the ATM charges (sometimes nothing) plus the fees my bank charges ($5/ per transaction from a foreign ATM or bank) plus the 2.5 or more percent my bank collects. Whether they pay some of that to the foreign bank or not I'm not sure of. But when I check conversion rates that's how it seems to roll.

    Also, I doubt you ever get more than the mid market rate in reality. Likely you are comparing the wrong numbers. For example you do a transaction at 2 in the afternoon, but the currency has changed by the end of the day, etc. I have noticed this when I check back. The quoted rates are end of day usually, sometimes average for the day. And your bank may use the rate plus their markup from a specific time.

    I don't know how American banks do it. But I believe that in Canada it is my bank that determines the exchange rate. The Colombian bank on the other end gets pesos for pesos in effect. My bank exchanges the Canadian bucks for pesos and sends the pesos to the Colombian bank and its ATM.

  13. #5202
    Quote Originally Posted by PilotPete  [View Original Post]
    Thank you for that. I have investment accounts with them, but never thought of them as a bank. I guess I will see my broker soon. Thanks again.
    You don't need to see a broker. You just go online and link a checking account to your brokerage account and get them to send you a debit card.

  14. #5201
    Quote Originally Posted by BKKguru  [View Original Post]
    I do not use Charles Schwab. But this is how it works:

    Your conversion rate is determined by the InterBank Rate.
    This is a "wholesale" rate because it's the rate that banks use when they are trading foreign currencies with *other banks*.

    The conversion rate you see online is the InterBank Rate. However, you will NEVER get the InterBank rate.
    The Banks have to make money, so they have a mark-up. On average, banks can mark up an exchange rate by 3-6%. This mark-up is not publicized.

    InterBank rates fluctuate through out the day. They change based on several factors like Geo-political events, Interest rates, Trade deficit, National elections etc.
    Usually Banks use the Interbank rate at the end of the business day to calculate your conversion rate. This is public information. You can ask Schwab about their InterBank rate.

    ~BKKguru
    I often get what xe says to be the interbank rate or better with my Schwab card.

    Other banks (US, non Schwab) will typically charge a fee OVER AND ABOVE what the ATM's bank charges you. This doesn't show up anywhere, it's incorporated into the rate they give you.

  15. #5200
    Quote Originally Posted by FunLuvr  [View Original Post]
    If you frequently travel to any place that doesn't have a branch of your bank, it is worth setting up a Schwab account. It doesn't cost anything and the amount you are required to keep in the account is very little. There are no fees; they even pay you interest on the money you keep in their bank.
    Thank you for that. I have investment accounts with them, but never thought of them as a bank. I guess I will see my broker soon. Thanks again.

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