Need to transfer ~$1000 back to the US from S. Korea, ideas?

TitanDiddly

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Dec 8, 2003
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I've got about a million won in S. Korea that I left there when I returned from my study abroad semester. I'm planning on cashing in on it when the exchange rate gets better. It's sitting in an account with KB Star (Kookmin Bank). What's the best way to get it back with the least fees etc? If I do a bank transfer, then it becomes USD at the time of transfer, which is okay but I suspect that there are lots of fees involved with bank transfers. I have a friend who is going back to Korea over Spring Break and she could bring back the whole sum as cash, and then I could wait and do the transaction here at an exchange bank. Which way do you think will involve the least fees? Anybody have experience with foreign transfers?
 

moshquerade

No Lifer
Nov 1, 2001
61,713
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"I've got about a million won in S. Korea"

How did you win it? :laugh:

Alright, I looked it up and it's 1055.97 in U.S. currency.
 

summit

Platinum Member
Sep 27, 2001
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Get a cashiers check in WON and come back to america and cash the check. The WON fluctuates so much that you gonna have to bite the exchange rate, or you could just sell the cashier's check to your friend coming over on Spring Break.
 

TitanDiddly

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Dec 8, 2003
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Originally posted by: moshquerade
"I've got about a million won in S. Korea"

How did you win it? :laugh:

Alright, I looked it up and it's 105,596.59 in U.S. currency.
Still a few digits off, it's only ~$1k.
 

TitanDiddly

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Dec 8, 2003
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Originally posted by: lyssword
put it into condom, up the a
Since the biggest bill Korea mints is a 10,000, a million won would make that plan impractical, nevermind the fact that it's legal.
 

TitanDiddly

Guest
Dec 8, 2003
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Originally posted by: Summit
Get a cashiers check in WON and come back to america and cash the check. The WON fluctuates so much that you gonna have to bite the exchange rate, or you could just sell the cashier's check to your friend coming over on Spring Break.
I won't be over in Korea in the foreseeable future- can my friend(who will be in Korea) get a cashier's check for me?
 

josh0099

Senior member
Aug 8, 2004
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I vote for wire transfer you might have to pay a few dollars more but the convince will be a lot easier....(That is if you aren't paying an account fee for keeping it in the account)
 

isekii

Lifer
Mar 16, 2001
28,578
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I dont need it personally, but my brother is about 90% sure he's going out sometime next month.

 

ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
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I think it'll be cheaper to do the wire or Western Union type of transfer electronically than to bring the cash here to do the exchange. Exchange rates at the physical banks in the US stink and you'll get raped with low conversion rate.

It's only $1k so it's not like you'll be losing ton of money in either case. Now if you're transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars, I would say shop around but for $1k I wouldn't bother. Pay around $15 at Western Union and be done with it.
 

Pepsei

Lifer
Dec 14, 2001
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Originally posted by: TitanDiddly
Originally posted by: lyssword
put it into condom, up the a
Since the biggest bill Korea mints is a 10,000, a million won would make that plan impractical, nevermind the fact that it's legal.
you mean.. illegal

to carry south korean currency out of the country.
 

ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
19,689
2,807
126
Originally posted by: TitanDiddly
Originally posted by: lyssword
put it into condom, up the a
Since the biggest bill Korea mints is a 10,000, a million won would make that plan impractical, nevermind the fact that it's legal.
I remember when I was in Korea and exchanged some dollars for Won. It was funny because they gave me big sackful of money. I felt like a bank robber leaving the bank with the sack.
 

Born2bwire

Diamond Member
Oct 28, 2005
9,840
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Originally posted by: TitanDiddly
Originally posted by: Summit
Get a cashiers check in WON and come back to america and cash the check. The WON fluctuates so much that you gonna have to bite the exchange rate, or you could just sell the cashier's check to your friend coming over on Spring Break.
I won't be over in Korea in the foreseeable future- can my friend(who will be in Korea) get a cashier's check for me?
Lord I would hope not.

"I'm TitanDiddly's friend and he said I could clean out his bank account into a cashier's check."

"No no no! It's cool, see I'm his friend."
 

summit

Platinum Member
Sep 27, 2001
2,097
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Call the bank. Ask them to close the account. Mail a cashiers check or just send it to your American account. Or write your friend a check in WON. Have them cash the check in their account and then get another cashier's check in WON. Bring it over here. BAM DONEZOS!!!!
 

OUCaptain

Golden Member
Nov 21, 2007
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I vote cash in pocket and just bring it back. Or have your friend bring it back rather
 

CptObvious

Platinum Member
Mar 5, 2004
2,500
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I'm moving back to the U.S. next week from Korea. I looked through the options and the best (not necessarily cheapest) option for me is a wire transfer. My roommate wire transferred from Korea Exchange Bank and he paid $15 in wire transfer fees. The upside is that the money was in his U.S. account the next day, and he didn't have to worry about carrying a check and cashing it back home.
 

syee

Senior member
Oct 6, 2001
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Originally posted by: CptObvious
I'm moving back to the U.S. next week from Korea. I looked through the options and the best (not necessarily cheapest) option for me is a wire transfer. My roommate wire transferred from Korea Exchange Bank and he paid $15 in wire transfer fees. The upside is that the money was in his U.S. account the next day, and he didn't have to worry about carrying a check and cashing it back home.
Yep - I'd agree with that. Also, wire transfers can be done remotely. The big issue right now for OP is that he's no longer in Korea. Unless he gives his ATM card and his PIN or writes a check to the person going over, there's no physical way for the person to get the money.

Wire transfer is probably the less riskiest way. See if you can find a bank in the US that will let you open a foreign currency account, and just drop the money in there. Since it's only $1000, it may or may not be worth the hassle depending on how much the currency fluctuates. If it were me, I'd just cash out to USD, and leave it. Probably not worth all that work to save $10 on the exchange rate difference.

Foreign wire transfers can get expensive. When I moved back to Canada from the US, a USD wire transfer to my bank costs about $40 (after fees from both banks)
 

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