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Topic: Money Transfers & Keeping US Phone Number  (Read 437 times)

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Money Transfers & Keeping US Phone Number
« on: January 16, 2019, 01:42:42 PM »
I have two questions...

1) What's the easiest way to transfer money from a US account to a UK account (and vice versa)? When I move to the UK, I plan to keep a US bank account while also opening a UK one. I'd like an easy way to transfer money, or for my UK partner to transfer money to me in the US (for his share of wedding expenses) until I move.

2) Is there a way to keep my US phone number? When I move, I plan on getting a UK SIM card to use in my unlocked iPhone. However, I'd still like for people in the US to be able to call my US phone number. Is that possible through an app or something?

Thanks!


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Re: Money Transfers & Keeping US Phone Number
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2019, 01:45:06 PM »
I have two questions...

1) What's the easiest way to transfer money from a US account to a UK account (and vice versa)? When I move to the UK, I plan to keep a US bank account while also opening a UK one. I'd like an easy way to transfer money, or for my UK partner to transfer money to me in the US (for his share of wedding expenses) until I move.

Transferwise.  :)
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.


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Re: Money Transfers & Keeping US Phone Number
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2019, 02:07:24 PM »
Transferwise.  :)

Thanks for the quick reply!

So no way to do it for free? The reason I ask is because my U.K. partner says he transfers money to family and friends bank accounts for free whenever they need to. So he’s convinced there’s a way for us to do it for free as well. Plus I hate to think of how much I’ll pay in fees as I get paid in $$ into my US bank account for any freelance work I do.


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Re: Money Transfers & Keeping US Phone Number
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2019, 02:24:27 PM »
Thanks for the quick reply!

So no way to do it for free? The reason I ask is because my U.K. partner says he transfers money to family and friends bank accounts for free whenever they need to. So he’s convinced there’s a way for us to do it for free as well. Plus I hate to think of how much I’ll pay in fees as I get paid in $$ into my US bank account for any freelance work I do.
In country you can do it for free here, but when there's an FX transfer involved nothing is free. That's the difference. TransferWise is often the cheapest with the best conversion rates, but larger sums you may want to compare between your bank, hifx, and any others. :)

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Re: Money Transfers & Keeping US Phone Number
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2019, 02:32:41 PM »
In country you can do it for free here, but when there's an FX transfer involved nothing is free. That's the difference. TransferWise is often the cheapest with the best conversion rates, but larger sums you may want to compare between your bank, hifx, and any others. :)

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That’s what I thought. Thanks for that info! I’ll let him know :)


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Re: Money Transfers & Keeping US Phone Number
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2019, 02:37:55 PM »
Thanks for the quick reply!

So no way to do it for free? The reason I ask is because my U.K. partner says he transfers money to family and friends bank accounts for free whenever they need to. So he’s convinced there’s a way for us to do it for free as well. Plus I hate to think of how much I’ll pay in fees as I get paid in $$ into my US bank account for any freelance work I do.

There are fees because you are transferring internationally between currencies. When he's transferring between family and friends, presumably those are all UK accounts in GBP, so there are no fees for transferring and converting currency between countries.

However, Transferwise is the cheapest you're going to get. I transferred £550 to my US account in December and the fees were just £2.99. If I had done it through my UK bank account directly, the fees would have been about £30.

The way normal international bank transfers work is that they have to convert the money to the new currency, then send it internationally, so you're paying conversion fees, plus fees for the UK bank to send the transfer and fees for the US bank to receive the transfer

However, the way it works with Transferwise is that the amount of your transfer from USD to GBP is matched with a transfer of the same value going the other way (GBP to USD), so instead of your money being transferred internationally, it gets re-routed within the US to the other US recipient, and the other person's money in the UK gets rerouted to the person you are sending your money to. So, no money crosses international borders, which means no international transfer or conversion fees, and I think the small fees you pay just go towards the service Transferwise provide.

For example:
Person A (you) in the US sends $130 (£100) to person B (your partner) in the UK
Person C in the UK sends £100 to person D in the US

So,
Person B (your partner - UK) receives the £100 from Person C (UK)
Person D (US) receives $130 from person A (you - US)
No money is sent between the UK and US.


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Re: Money Transfers & Keeping US Phone Number
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2019, 03:24:12 PM »
Thanks for the quick reply!

So no way to do it for free? The reason I ask is because my U.K. partner says he transfers money to family and friends bank accounts for free whenever they need to. So he’s convinced there’s a way for us to do it for free as well. Plus I hate to think of how much I’ll pay in fees as I get paid in $$ into my US bank account for any freelance work I do.

You might be able to find a currency transfer company who don't charge a fee per se but they all have to make their money somehow, so you would be getting a poorer rate of exchange.

I spent quite a while researching other options when there was a technical glitch a while back (my bank and Transferwise accounts stopped recognising each other due to an extra security layer that my bank imposed) and I found nothing better.
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.


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Re: Money Transfers & Keeping US Phone Number
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2019, 04:00:08 PM »
That all makes perfect sense. Thank you!


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Re: Money Transfers & Keeping US Phone Number
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2019, 09:14:54 PM »
I like Transferwise, easy to use, no problems (so far) with them.

As to the phone, I use Callcentric.com and can set it to either voicemail or to ring through to any number (including here in the UK) that I want, or hunt through a list of numbers, or ring simultaneously across a few numbers. They have lots of neat features. There's even a telemarketer blocking feature. The forwarding costs pennies per minute. https://www.callcentric.com/rate/plans/  and    https://www.callcentric.com/did/

At present they cannot forward SMS messages to a UK phone, but you can have them sent to your email address.(I believe they are working on the SMS issue.) You can also log into their dashboard and reply to SMS if you need to. Has been very handy for getting codes and alerts from the bank, etc.  You can port your existing number over to them, or get a new number from them for pretty cheap.

If you  have a handset or are tech savvy enough to set up an internet phone, you can also use it to make phone calls as if you were in the States. I have my old PacBell handset hooked up to my PC, and when I want to phone someone in the States I just flip the internet line over from the PC to the phone adapter and pick up the phone and dial. (I used to have it set up in the States to not need the switch to flip between lines, but I didn't bring the router over with me to do that here.) I can also leave it switched and receive incoming calls (with the familiar USA single ring) if I need to. You can use their softphone software online instead, I think.

My particular calling plan is free incoming calls and a pennies-per- minute "outgoing" call charge, but they have other plans. I pay a total of $3.95 per month, and that includes the text messages. I've been with them for years, and am happy with them. The only drawback is that their tech support isn't instantaneous - you send them a message and they will respond, but it won't be instantaneous. I only needed their help when first setting up everything, though, and haven't had to contact them since then.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2019, 09:27:13 PM by Nan D. »


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Re: Money Transfers & Keeping US Phone Number
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2019, 06:42:19 PM »
2) Is there a way to keep my US phone number? When I move, I plan on getting a UK SIM card to use in my unlocked iPhone. However, I'd still like for people in the US to be able to call my US phone number. Is that possible through an app or something?

I ported my phone number to google voice for about $20 I think it was. There is no monthly subscription to maintain the number and I'm able to use google voice to send and receive text messages. On top of that, if you have an Android phone (not sure if it works on iOS) you can download both Hangouts and the Hangouts dialer app, which lets you receive and answer incoming calls for free, or pay by the minute to make outgoing calls. I was previously forwarding incoming calls to Skype but that requires you to buy a phone number from skype to receive incoming calls on which was about $5 a month.

Also, if you go the route of porting your number to Google Voice, you have to do it while you're still in the states, do not wait until you're in the UK.


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Re: Money Transfers & Keeping US Phone Number
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2019, 12:26:56 AM »
I also ported my number to Google voice. Highly recommend!

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Type of Application:  Settlement Spouse Visa (non priority)
Country applying from:  USA
Nationality:  US Citizen; husband is UK Citizen
Online application:  11-Feb-2018
Biometrics:  16-Feb-2018
Package sent:  19-Feb-2018
Package arrived:  21-Feb-2018
UKVI receipt of application received: 22-Feb-2018
Decision made email: 17-May-2018
Passport return: 21-May-2018 - Approved!


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Re: Money Transfers & Keeping US Phone Number
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2019, 02:38:12 PM »
I also ported my number to Google voice. Highly recommend!

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk

How do you set up google voice ?
Met UK Hubby : August 2011
Married : July 2017


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Re: Money Transfers & Keeping US Phone Number
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2019, 02:54:26 PM »
How do you set up google voice ?
I had to get my account info from my US contract that was active. Then went to Google voice online, put in my number and account details, paid $20 and it called to give me a code to confirm the transaction. Within about a day my US contract was cancelled and number active on Google voice :)

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk

Type of Application:  Settlement Spouse Visa (non priority)
Country applying from:  USA
Nationality:  US Citizen; husband is UK Citizen
Online application:  11-Feb-2018
Biometrics:  16-Feb-2018
Package sent:  19-Feb-2018
Package arrived:  21-Feb-2018
UKVI receipt of application received: 22-Feb-2018
Decision made email: 17-May-2018
Passport return: 21-May-2018 - Approved!


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Re: Money Transfers & Keeping US Phone Number
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2019, 01:09:20 PM »
Google voice user here as well. I've had my US number with Google for almost 6 years now. I use Goggle Hangouts to use the number and my friends and family text/call me as if I'm still in the US.

For transferring money, I use Revolut. I transfer about £400 a month to my American account. Here's what's I do: I transfer the money from my UK account to Revolut. Then convert money to US currency through the Revolut app, then transfer the funds to my American account. No fees, and Revolut has really good FX rates.

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