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Transfer Money From Indonesia To USA

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  • Transfer Money From Indonesia To USA

    Hi all, I've recently taken a job in Indonesia, working for a locally-owned company. I'm from the US, and trying to figure out the best way to transfer a portion of my IDR salary to my US bank account (I have US based bills I have to pay monthly). I have a BCA account in Indonesia, but it seems they charge significant fees to move money from Indo to the US. Has anyone figured out the best way to move funds? Any insights much appreciated!

  • #2
    Originally posted by newkidinbali View Post
    (1) ... trying to figure out the best way to transfer a portion of my IDR salary to my US bank account ...

    (2) I have a BCA account .. but it seems they charge significant fees to move money from Indo to the US ...

    (1) There are many ways but I guess the best are you either make a wire transfer (bigger the amount , smaller the cost in %) or send an ATM card for somebody you know in USA to withdraw money from an ATM (from my experience , for your case total cost around 3% of the amount) .

    Notes :
    - Banks like HSBC , Citibank , Standart Chartered , .. have a cheaper (sometimes free) internal system for international transfer (between accounts of the same bank , same currency)
    - Nowadays money transfer through banks is one of the more expensive way to do that , but unfortunately the cheaper companies are not yet fully covering many of the developing countries . Transferwise , for example , works for sending to Indonesia , but not yet for sending from Indonesia .

    From my experience (but not specifically to USA) the best choice depends on the banks involved and the amount of money you want to send , because in general there are the following costs for :
    (a) Wire transfer/SWIFT
    - exchange IDR into USD (before transferring abroad) - usually a percentage of the amount (Panin Bank , cost around 0.11% , but you need to have an account there)
    - sending bank/SWIFT fee - fixed rate (in Indonesia I found it as little as Rp50'000 , or USD5 , long time ago)
    - correspondent bank - fixed rate (I have paid USD20 , long time ago)
    - receiving bank - fixed rate (BCA charged me USD5 a long time ago , don't know about USA banks , but may be as high as USD40 , see first link below)

    (b) ATM international card (cards flagged : Visa/Plus , MasterCard/Cirrus , ..)
    - bank fee (the issuer of the card) - usually a percentage of the value (around 1%)
    - USA ATM owner (usually a fixed fee per withdrawal)
    - Visa , MasterCard , ... fee (usually a percentage of the value , around 1%)
    - exchange rate (usually not bad as , I guess , is done by Visa , MasterCard , ..) , it may be updated only once per day (long ago , Visa updated once at midnight , New York time - now I don't know)


    (2) Once I asked BCA , long time ago , it was not expensive : fixed fee of Rp50'000 , exchange rate not bad (but not as good as Panin) .


    http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.or...nt-to-usa-bank (Transfer Indonesia > USA)

    http://www.panin.co.id (exchange rates)
    http://vip.co.id (money changer , Jakarta , make international transfer too)

    https://usa.visa.com/support/consume...alculator.html (Visa exchange rate)
    Last edited by marcus; 30-12-18, 10:36.

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    • #3
      Why don't you use PayPal?
      I mean if you have credit card, you can send from credit card to paypal, and then pay credit card later with bca.
      but I don't know whether it is cheaper or not. Just my thoughts.

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      • #4
        http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.or...ey-from-paypal (transferring money with PayPal cost around 3% ?)

        From http://transumo.com/transferwise-vs-paypal/ , Apr 2017
        [... PayPal total cost = Exchange Rate + Fees = (2.5 + 0.5) to (4 + 7.4) = 3% (min) to 11.4% (max)
        By contrast the fee for using Transferwise is 0.5% for most major currencies. However this can increase if you use different currencies. For example, sending GBP (UK) to CNY (China) will be charged at a rate of 1.5%...]
        Last edited by marcus; 18-02-19, 10:28.

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        • #5
          We are planning to sell our house and move to the UK. On the same topic here, are there any maximum restrictions on the amount of money one can take out of the country in one hit? Has anyone any advice on the best way to transfer money out of Indo?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Barney View Post
            (I) ... are there any maximum restrictions on the amount of money one can take out of the country in one hit?

            (II) Has anyone any advice on the best way to transfer money out of Indo?

            (I) The only "restriction" that I know is when you carry the money with you (you need to declare at the airports : in Indonesia the limit that requires declaring is/was Rp100 million , each country has its own limit) .

            For sending through banks , maybe the bank can ask the origin of the money and/or ask you to sign a statement about the legality of the money .


            (II) I think that in your case , the (*)best is to send a international account-to-account wire/SWIFT transfer (supposing you have a bank account in UK) . As there are some fees involved , you better choose banks with good fees . And you better exchange your IDR (Rupiah) into UK currency before sending it to UK .

            (*) except maybe if you have accounts in HSBC , Citibank , or Standard Chartered Bank .
            Last edited by marcus; 1 week ago.

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            • #7
              Thanks Marcus. You have given me plenty to consider. I need to spend some time thinking about which course of action to take....with the first post. BTW do you happen to know how much is the cost of a KITAP now?

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              • #8
                I can speak from my experience with a US bank. The only reliable way to send money (either way) is by bank transfer with your name on the account at both ends. It took me a few months and several fails to find this out. I have been getting a flat rate of $35 from the US bank to send to Indonesia or ~$20 to send from Indonesia to the US. Exchange rates are controlled by the sending bank and can be good or bad depending on the market but are usually within 1% of the best advertised exchange rate. Your experience may vary but this is the way that works for me. Hope you can find what works best for you.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Barney View Post
                  ... do you happen to know how much is the cost of a KITAP now?

                  Sorry I didn't notice your question until now .

                  The official price for a KITAP now is :

                  Rp5'000'000 (5 years , first one or extension) ; or
                  Rp10'200'000 (time unlimited extension)

                  Up to now , extension has only been issued for the time unlimited . I guess extension for 5 years is only for cases of sponsor change due to divorce or sponsor's death .

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