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Best way to send money to China

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My fiance will eventually need to send money home to his parents in a small city in Guangdong, China.

What is the best way with the least amount of fees?

I live about four hours drive away from San Francisco and know that there are some more banks there, possibly some with branches in China, and am wondering if it would be worth it to make the trips down there and try transferring money to China?

Anyone with experience or advice?



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I used Western Union to send money to China few times.

It was very prompt and reliable, and the money can be picked up at

many locations, but I don't think it's the cheapest option.

I had looked into other cheaper options and attempted but

either they didn't serve China or I couldn't quite get it to work.

10-04-2013 We met online
11-21-2013 We met in person in Shanghai for 2 weeks

12-13-2013 I-129F packet sent via express

12-19-2013 USCIS NOA #1 (text and email) received

12-24-2013 USCIS assigns Alien Registration Number
12-31-2013 USCIS NOA #1 hard copy received
06-02-2014 USCIS web site shows NOA #2 approval
06-06-2014 USCIS web site shows case sent to NVC

06-xx-2014 Fiancee acquired birth, marriage, and police certificates from local police station (wrong)

06-16-2014 NVC creates case with GUZ### number

06-19-2014 NVC sends case sent to Guangzhou, China
06-24-2014 Received packet 3 express mail from embassy
06-25-2014 Completed DS-160 and paid K1 visa fee

06-26-2014 Mailed packet 3 response back to Embassy

06-26-2014 Requested police certificate from Russian embassy

07-08-2014 Received packet 4 email from Embassy

07-17-2014 Picked up Russian police certificate

07-25-2014 Fiancee medical exam (received MMR & Varicella, but they missed required TD shot)

07-31-2014 Picked up medical exam reports

08-01-2014 Request (correct) birth, marriage, and police certificates from Notarial Service (GongZhengChu)

08-06-2014 Picked up birth, marriage, and police certificates from Notarial Service

08-14-2014 Passed Interview Guangzhou embassy

09-01-2014 Received passport, visa, & sealed envelope

09-13-2014 POE

09-17-2014 Went to CBP office to get (US entry) I-94 updated correctly

09-18-2014 Applied for Social Security Card
09-19-2014 Applied for Marriage License (via online)
09-25-2014 Received Social Security Card
09-30-2014 Picked up Marriage License
10-09-2014 Marriage by Justice of Peace
10-09-2014 Got Certified Marriage Certificate Copies
10-17-2014 Received a letter from SS office that they need the marriage license
10-09-2014 Applied to change the social security card name
10-24-2014 Went back to SS office to provide the marriage certificate documents again!!!
12-09-2014 Submitted AOS, EAD, and AP
12-16-2014 Received 16 emails and 16 text NOA messages
01-05-2015 Received Biometrics appointment letter for (01-12-2015)
01-12-2015 Had Biometrics (fingerprint & picture) - Required Marriage Certificate!!!
02-17-2015 EAD and AP is approved
02-23-2015 Received AP is approval letter
02-25-2015 Received EAD/AP combo card (expires 02/16/2016)
02-27-2015 Applied for SS card name change (they took her SS card)
02-27-2015 Driver's learner permit test was denied since the SS card was given to SS office for name change
03-17-2015 Received SS card with married name
03-17-2015 Started to change all her accounts to married name
03-23-2015 Received potential interview waiver letter
03-27-2015 DMV rejects learner's permit due to "legal status=pending" and vision test failure
04-05-2015 Vision test for learner's permit
04-06-2015 DPS sent us letter that DHS cleared my wife's status to acquire driver's license.
04-10-2015 Passed Driver Learner's Permit
04-22-2015 Received Driver Learner's Permit ID card (expires 02/16/2016)
08-27-2015 Green Card approved
08-31-2015 Received Green Card "Welcome Notice Was Mailed" letter
09-05-2015 Received Green card
10-26-2015 Passed Driver's License Road Test (on 3rd attempt)
11-03-2015 Received Driver's License (expires 02/16/2022)
11-06-2015 Applied to remove conditional work remark on SS card
11-23-2015 Received updated Social Security Card.
- - - - - - - - - - Pending Future Processing - - - - - - - - - -
05-27-2017 File 10 Year Green Card
08-27-2017 2 Year Green Card Expires
05-27-2018 File USC

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Look into the Schwab high yield investor checking account. No ATM fees worldwide and the exchange rate when withdrawing from certain banks is the same as what I see on online sites like XE.com.


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We have used Western Union and the Money can be picked up at a Chinese Post Office.

Paypal is another option tough I have never used it.

Edited by Sam and Fen

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I use western union all the time to send money to Algeria. If you search online you can find discount codes for the transaction fee. Right now there is one out there for no transaction fee at all

04/08/2013 Met online
10/16/2014 Met in person
05/04/2015 Mailed I-129f packet
05/07/2015 NOA 1
06/11/2015 NOA 2
07/14/2015 At Embassy
09/09/2015 Interview (on AP waiting to complete Medical)
09/16/2015 Medical
09/17/2015 Completed Medical and returned sealed envelope to Embassy
09/20/2015 CEAC status updated to READY
10/08/2015 "TOUCHED"
10/13/2015 Updated to Non-Immigrant READY
10/13/2015 Updated to Non-Immigrant AP
10/14/2015 ISSUED!
10/29/2015 VISA IN HAND

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Western Union - is 14 bucks to send, cash or debit card at a retailer (not online).

you accumulate points if you register and account, and with so many points you start getting discounts on fees.

She had a paypal debit mastercard for 3 years in China, it was interesting on the fees, depending on which bank had agreements in place with the paypal clearing bank. Recently, paypal got into ANOTHER clearing bank, and there are no agreements with China banks (as of yet) for ATM card fees. It was sweet, for a 1 dollar USD withdrawal fee.

as to wire transfers, bank to bank, I don't suggest it unless you are sending over 5K chunks, up to 50K chunk.

Sometimes my language usage seems confusing - please feel free to 'read it twice', just in case !
Ya know, you can find the answer to your question with the advanced search tool, when using a PC? Ditch the handphone, come back later on a PC, and try again.

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