Saturday, 18 February 2012

Money, Money, Money

No, not having it, but having access to it.  You'd think it would be simple wouldn't you, and it is if your going on holiday for a few weeks.  You can just use your usual visa type card anywhere in the world in any machine that will take it and draw out cash as and when you need it, I know thats all I've done in the past.  But what if your going for an extended period of time, what if your going to want to make a BIG purchase whilst your away?

OK, Google is your friend, I did some, no, I did lots and found the semi obvious solution was to open an american bank account, therefore I'd have the cash I needed there, in dollars, available when I needed it.

Barclays, now I've been with Barclays bank since I had a child saver account with them, I've had a full bank account with them since I was about 17 I think so a long time.  So when I want banking stuff I go there....  or I did.  I went into our local branch, and asked for advice, looking for how to, logistics etc only to be told I couldn't have an account.  I could have an account in dollars based int he UK which isn't exactly what I need. So was told in short, no we can't help you.

An 'International' bank?  Well we have all seen the adverts, so down the street, straight into the HSBC, now considering I don't have an account I was expecting to hit all sorts of hurdles, but I was middy sup prised. In, sit chat to a polite young man by the name of Kai when listened to what I wanted to be able to do, went through the options with me and gave me a way forward, at the cheapest possible solution for me. and it go's something like. Open a UK sterling standard bank account, open a UK sterling savings account, then open a US dollars bank account AND a US dollars savings account.  Transfers from the UK to US cost, so opening a US savings account means I can do one big transfer at the start and not worry about the cost of transferring money again, as it'll all be in the US.  If I run out of money I just do a mailer transfer way later down the line.  Bonus.  I came away,pleased that I knew what I needed, I went through it all with Ali and I've been back in to set it all up, with only one slight hitch.  Unknown to Kai when setting up an US bank account they insist on you having a HSBC account for 3 months, so now we have to wait for 3 months, I'm not worried as I don't have the cash ready to transfer yet anyway and it only takes a matter of weeks to get the international account sorted.

So things progress, slowly but steadily, things progress.


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