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How do you get paid abroad without paying tons of fees?


by @waterlooalex | 6yr  | 18 comments

What method do you use to get paid by your employer abroad? Iโ€™ve used wire transfers and PayPal, but come to realize there are lots of fees some more obvious than others.

For example, with PayPal, often there is an international transfer fee of 3.4% or more, then on top of that PayPal takes a 2.5% spread on the currency exchange rate.

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@whereskristin | 4yr

I might be misunderstanding this, but if a US company is trying to pay you, canโ€™t they just pay you to a US account? Or are you Canadian?

If you are Canadian, you can open an account in the US. If you have TD bank for example, you can even transfer between your personal accounts in both countries for free and avoid wire transfer fees. Of course youโ€™ll also have debit cards linked to each account.

If you always have employers in certain countries, you can always open local accounts in those countries as well (depending on the requirements to open an account).

I also offer my customers as many payment options as possible. Some common ways to pay are:
-Credit card (via bank merchant processing or Stripe, Square, etc)
-Paypal
-Venmo
-Google Wallet
-Bitcoin
-US bank transfer/ACH
-International bank transfer
-EEA bank transfer
-Skrill/Neteller/Ecopayz
-Etc

Hope this helps!

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@alextondello | 4yr

Well, I have a brazilian Paypal account, and I lose 10.5% of my income: 6% transaction fee + 4.5% exchange rate. Itโ€™s a nightmare!

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@nur | 6yr

Nobody mention bitcoin?

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@eduardocruz | 6yr

If you have a Payoneer Card they have the โ€œUS Payment Serviceโ€, which is like a bank account number that companies can send the money and it is loaded to your payonner card.

https://www.payoneer.com/USPService.aspx

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@10kjuan | 6yr

The biggest problem Iโ€™ve had is getting paid by clients in Brazil (my account is US-based). Brazil is extra-anal with allowing money to go overseas. Anyone have any experience receiving money from there?

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@freedomsurfer | 6yr

Are most of your payments originating from the US? If so you could open a bank account there and get paid either via local transfer or cheque. Using a no-fx debit card you can then withdraw the money from an ATM in Canada. That way you pay virtually no fees.

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@don_lee | 6yr

I use Paypal and I found a simple solution to avoid most of the fees. I make friends with a lot of local people and I always find someone to exchange my Paypal credits to cash.

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@adamsimms | 6yr

@waterlooalex Iโ€™m Canadian working for a US-based company and paid in USD. I invoice the company and they wire the payment to my USD account at my Canadian bank. I pay about $15 for the wire fee. This seems to be the quickest and cheapest.

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@marcoagner | 6yr

I currently receive in bitcoin and Iโ€™d suggest you the same. Basically, you could setup this for your needs. Both of you and your employer could pay/receive in bitcoin or fiat currency. Whatever the needs, you are probably going to find better fees, even if you wish to have an automatic currency exchange if you donโ€™t want to feel any bitcoin volatility and just use its network for the transfer. Let me know if you want to know more about your options or companies that could help you with this.

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@tkrunning | 6yr

How about Transferwise? It should work for USD to CAD, giving you a rate of ~1% over mid-market exchange rate (0.5% for most European countries, but from USD is a bit pricier). No other fees, and the transfers are quick and painless.

You can use my referral link for one free transfer up to 3000 GBP (meaning you get the exact mid-market exchange rate, no markup). It is: https://transferwise.com/u/ffda2

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@wanderingdev | 6yr

Can you open a bank account that has international branches and they can deposit to that in their respective country?

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@kathrynoh | 6yr

I use Payoneer. They charge 1% + an annual $30 fee. The currency exchange rate is 2% above middle market rate. They give you a debit Mastercard or you can transfer the money to your local bank account.

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@avermat | 6yr

Weโ€™ve done direct deposit to their bank account for larger transactions. Our bank charges $30 for sending USD and $50 for sending CAD.

Weโ€™ve also sent checks in USD (not sure what the fee was on their end). Our particular bank (credit union) did not allow us to write checks in CAD.

They are in Halifax. Found them on Sortfolio.

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@avermat | 6yr

Have you looked into using Stripe? Our designers (from Canada) bill us (in USA) using Harvest + Stripe. They bill us in Canadian Dollars and we pay the bill with a credit card that doesnโ€™t charge foreign transaction fees.

If you billed your customer in CAD then it would only cost you 2.9% + $0.30. If you billed in USD and converted to CAD it would be an extra 2% on top of that, unless your bank supports USD.


https://stripe.com/docs/integrations (see invoicing)

Youโ€™ll have to double check all of that.

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@waterlooalex | 6yr

Iโ€™ve got a stripe account and integrated with it a couple of times. Iโ€™ve never heard of anyone using it to get paid for a job though

Losing 4.9% off my income is something Iโ€™d prefer to avoid.

2.9% ainโ€™t too bad, but when I work for us companies they typically pay in USD and Iโ€™m not sure if theyโ€™d go for credit card payments.

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@waterlooalex | 6yr

Its cool that your designers are in canada. Do you know where in Canada they are? How did you find them?

Iโ€™m in Vancouver.

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@avermat | 6yr

Could you give an example of a transaction youโ€™re looking to perform (from which bank/country to which bank/country)?

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@waterlooalex | 6yr

Iโ€™m looking to get paid by a US company in another country into a local bank account. Right now Iโ€™m in Canada. So Iโ€™d an invoice for the work, and they want payment instructions.

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Read and participate in 13,969 discussions on Nomad List

Suggested topics

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How to get a UK residence address without renting/buying?


by @pavel_maximov | 2mo 1 month ago | 17 comments

Background:
Iโ€™m an EU national IT specialist, recently decided to become a digital nomad. I just left my permanent job in Germany and opened a UK based LTD (for a better taxation) to start a new career as remote working IT contractor. I also want to become a UK resident and pay personal income tax there BUT I donโ€™t want to rent/buy a place because I have no interest in physically living in the UK, as a nomad I will be traveling abroad 100% of the time.

So I just need a UK address where Iโ€™m registered as a resident and could receive mail, but I would never actually be there. I could rent a place and keep it empty but that would be a total waste of money.

Question:
How do I find somebody who could give me an official residence at his/her address and keep my name on the door? Iโ€™m ok with paying a reasonable monthly fee for this โ€œserviceโ€ (but not as high as a rent), and give assurance in whatever form that I will never pretend to physically live there. I have no close friends in the UK to ask for this favor, and trying to propose this to a random landlord would be just weird since they are not familiar with the needs of a digital nomad.

Maybe you guys can suggest me somebody who understand the situation and want to make some extra cash every month to pay the bills? Iโ€™m ready to meet in person, provide full proof of identity or any other document, and to make a written agreement that gives the landlord the freedom to cancel this โ€œsituationโ€ at any time.

Note:
This is NOT for tax evasion, itโ€™s the opposite! I WANT to pay full tax as UK resident, I just donโ€™t want to waste money on a rent which I will literally never use.

I would be very grateful for any advice!

Pavel

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How to arrange prescription medication abroad (for example Thailand / SEA)


in Thailand by @dezeisvastnogvrij | 1yr 1 year ago | 1 comment

Normally, when I go abroad for a longer period of time, I try to take as much medication with me from my home country as I can for that period. Which so far has worked well for me.

But if Iโ€™m going to be a full-time nomad that wonโ€™t work anymore. Mainly because Iโ€™ll then unregister from my country. Which has some downsides like not being able to have my current health insurance anymore. Other health insurance companies wonโ€™t cover existing conditions, so Iโ€™ll have to buy my medication โ€œover the counterโ€.

But since I need some medication which in The Netherlands (and I assume other countries) is only available on a doctors prescription. I was curious how people here arrange that (if there are any in the same boat as me).

The main medication I think would be hardest for me (and most expensive) to get is Epoetin-Alpha (Aranesp) injections.

Since thereโ€™s not really a โ€˜world wide standarizedโ€™ doctor prescription form, how do you get the medication abroad? Do you have a checkup there again at a local clinic before you can get the medication? (That would probably add to the cost too).

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Co-working space in Shanghai WITHOUT monthly payment


in Shanghai, China by @katrin | 1yr 1 year ago | 0 comments

Daily/hourly pass needed.
Canโ€™t work in normal cafรฉ because having clientโ€™s laptop for security reasons, canโ€™t use open networks. Working for R&D. Also laptop is so huge it doesnโ€™t fit normal cafe environment because itโ€™s far from discreet.

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Tracking expenses when prepaying for stuff


by @kathrynoh | 2yr 1 year ago | 7 comments

I was wondering what systems/apps etc people use for tracking their living expenses? I try to keep records but find that some months I prepay for a lot of future expenses (eg. Airbnb, flights etc) while other months I spend little because everything has already been made.

I guess what I need to know is my actual spending in a month, regardless of when I actually spent the money but also the cash flow for each month.

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Iโ€™m a U.S. accountant who works with Americans who live abroad, ask me anything!

 

by @olwagner | 2yr 2 years ago | 100 comments

Hi everyone,

If you have a U.S. tax question or would like some U.S. tax insight on your business/structure, ask away!

I have been preparing tax returns for US citizens abroad since 2012. I can answer any question in US tax with an international flavor. I operate 1040abroad.com and I have maintained a blog at taxsamurai.com

I look forward to answering all your questions. And if you are in Ho Chi Minh City in December, letโ€™s meet !!!

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How to do without permanent address nor local bank?


by @tradeaway | 2yr 2 years ago | 2 comments

I am soon to find out one way or another as I will leave my residency to become a nomad myself. I have not found a good solution for Bali or Asian countries on the internet.

I read our existing Nomadlist posts under Money tag. Money handling and charges around accessing it seem to be a big issue for nomads, soon my issue. As a post I read said, accessing money for a Nomad can be harder than making money. I am more worried about accessing money than having some.

Iโ€™ll use Transferwise Borderless account to keep my day to day living money. I am opening a Pte Ltd corporate, that only goes for business-related expenses.
My Canadian credit card will charge me an arm and a leg in fees and currency conversion for me to get Indonesian Rupiah in Bali from Canadian dollar account. Then at some point, my credit card will complain I am not in Canad anymore.
Not knowing better, Iโ€™ll try that. If that works good and still live me short on how to go for smaller and random daily expenses.

Thanks for your help!
Enjoy your Nomad living!!

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International health insurance without having a permanent residence?

 

by @fabyliechti | 3yr 2 years ago | 30 comments

Hey Nomads!

Iโ€™m a Swiss Citizen but full time traveler (living a few month there and there) and therefore donโ€™t have a permanent residence/home anywhere in the world.

For this reason, Iโ€™m as well not registered in Switzerland and therefore donโ€™t have medical care since I would have to pay at least 200$ monthly for medical care which I wonโ€™t use since Iโ€™m not living there.

As a in Switzerland unregistered Swiss Citizen I donโ€™t have medical care in Switzerland but, however based on Swiss Law Iโ€™m always allowed to return to Switzerland, register and then get medical coverage (f.e. in a medical emergency).

So now I was looking for both, an international health insurance with good coverage and an additional travel insurance for my trips. Unfortunately every insurance I check, I got asked for a permanent residence - which I donโ€™t have and donโ€™t want to. So I donโ€™t know what to fill out and if I still can get insurance without having a permanent residence.

I was wondering if there are any nomads here with a similar situation like me and (not registered anywhere and without a permanent residence)? If so, what health insurance, travel insurance you have and where?

PS. As well Iโ€™m not sure if it is kind of illegal not having a permanent residence anywhere plus where do I have to pay taxes?

Would be extremely grateful for any help on those matters - thanks so much!

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How do you manage receiving mail without a permanent address in the Philippines?


in Philippines by @kaizenpreneur | 3yr 2 years ago | 3 comments

Hello all,

I have a mail management service in the UK which all my mail gets sent to. This works fine 90% of the time and most can be dealt with digitally.

The other 10%, I need the mail sent on to me, which they do offer as a service. However, where I struggle is giving them an address to send it to in the Philippines, namely Manila.

Iโ€™ve used DHL for really important stuff, like bank cards, but it would be nice to have an address where I can forward certain mail. Anyone been able to set something up like this in the Philippines? Would a virtual office allow me to receive mail?

Thanks in advance

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Can I fly into Budapest without a return flight?


in Budapest, Hungary by @austindean | 3yr 3 years ago | 1 comment

Hey everyone - Iโ€™m new here, and this may be a dumb question, but I need some help! As a U.S. citizen, can I fly into Budapest from London without a return ticket?

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Best way to send and receive money abroad beside Paypal?


by @dearezkitha | 4yr 3 years ago | 15 comments

Hi guys

According to you what is the best way to send and receive money abroad beside paypal?
What are the fees?
What are the pros and cons?

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How do you work without multiple monitors? I can only carry a MBP 15"

 

by @tschentscher | 4yr 3 years ago | 39 comments

Hi Nomads!

Starting January 2016 Iโ€™m going to be starting a year as a Digital Nomad.
The last 5 years Iโ€™ve never worked with less than 2 monitors in front of me.
Sure, Iโ€™ve done some cafรฉ and hotel-room work. But all my biggest project has all been done in front of a stationary setup.

I do webdesign and development and have created a working habbit with several monitors on a large desk. Funny enough this is my biggest concern getting closer to January.

How do i teach myself to work from a 15" screen?
Do you find working from a 15" screen enough or do you have some kind of magical folding screen in your backpack?

If you have any ideas for me keeping a dual-monitor setup (The laptop being the first monitor) Iโ€™m all ears!

Regards! And thank you for this delightful Forum!

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Good Bank Account / Prepaid for travel?


by @dondizzler | 4yr 3 years ago | 5 comments

Hey guys, iโ€™m a Canadian resident. I have a corporation registered in Canada, and all of my income flows through this account and eventually into my personal account. Iโ€™m considering either opening a second Canadian account or an offshore bank account for the purpose of travel. My goal is not to change my business structure or avoid taxes, but simply to make it easier to make purchase worldwide.

Iโ€™m planning to do some travel in Asia and eventually South America. I know that in many countries, fraud can be a problem. Not only will I have to fight with my back to keep my account from being locked (they tend to be cautious when it comes accessing your account internationally) but iโ€™m also concerned about having my card duplicated and used illegally.

What iโ€™m looking for is some kind of bank account or prepaid card I can use to travel with. The idea is that I would transfer money to the account online, then withdraw the balance in cash to pay for my expenses. Because there will never be a balance on the card, I wonโ€™t have to worry about fraud. Iโ€™d also like to see if there is a way that I could reduce the fees I pay on currency exchanges or withdrawing in a foreign country.

Anybody have any suggestions?

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Starting a SaaS website with paid service -- Best practices for setting up payment collection? (from US)


by @dedalux | 4yr 4 years ago | 4 comments

Over the past few months I started doing javascript development work and Iโ€™m trying to build projects for my portfolio. Iโ€™m working on a productivity tool that would have a paid tier for users and Iโ€™m not sure about the best practices for setting up this up for myself in terms of tax efficiency and ways to incorporate.

Right now itโ€™s only me who works on this and I project a modest user base in the beginning with perhaps a few hundred dollars of revenues that I would like to expand ideally. Iโ€™m looking at services like Stripe which has an option for individuals without the need for incorporation.

Meanwhile Iโ€™d like to reach to a point where I can hire some people to develop with me and run operations if thereโ€™s more steady cash flow coming in. Fundraising is also of course an option on the table. I donโ€™t foresee a lot of potential for legal liabilities with this project but Iโ€™d like to be personally protected. Iโ€™d Hence I think incorporation is inevitable down the road.

Iโ€™m not sure if I should incorporate as early as possible, since there is some costs associated with this. But if I were to do this, with US status, I am wondering what should I be looking for to ensure that I can run this well in the long run. If any nomads have had experience with the business side of a personal start-up project Iโ€™d love to hear your opinion and experiences.

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How can you avoid foreign banking, ATM, and transaction fees?

 

by @danielgenser | 4yr 4 years ago | 52 comments

Whatโ€™s the latest on how to avoid ATM/bank/foreign transaction fees? How do you keep track of money spent when youโ€™re never quite sure of the exact exchange rate? I normally use YNAB to keep on top of my budget here at home, but Iโ€™m dreading keeping tabs on all the minute foreign transaction adjustments abroadโ€ฆ

Iโ€™m looking at this to check out some of the banking options: http://thepointsguy.com/2014/02/the-top-11-checking-accounts-for-avoiding-foreign-atm-fees/

Have you used any of these?

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Heads up! Opening Charles Schwab account abroad


by @ahawkins | 5yr 4 years ago | 13 comments

I recently opened a Charles Schwab checking account because Iโ€™m sick of paying ATM fees abroad (been about 5 years now so it adds up). I did this online while I was in India. Everything went off fine opening the account online until a week or so later when I received a letter saying my account needed to be verified. No problem I thought, call the people up and answer a few questions. Wrong! Since I opened my account from a non-US IP, my SSN had been flagged. This requires in person verification! There is no way around this now. I asked if I VPNโ€™d with a US IP and tried to open a new account would it work. The CSR said no, my SSN is now flagged and the only way for me to get an account at Charles Schwab is to go branch and verify my identify in person.

So this is word of warning for any US people opening bank accounts while abroad. I suggest you VPN to get a US IP when opening any account. Probably with a less well known VPN as well.

Good luck out there!

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How to get into the zone without caffeine?


by @panoramica | 5yr 4 years ago | 17 comments

Iโ€™m recovering from a stomach bug so caffeine and sugar, the two staples of late night development, are off the menu. As a result Iโ€™m finding it quite hard to get motivated!

Does anyone have some alternative techniques to wake my brain up and plug me in?

Currently Iโ€™m indulging in music but itโ€™s not having quite the same effect as the killer combo of coffee/music/chocolate :cry:

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How to earn income without programming or writing skills?


by @andrewshin7 | 5yr 4 years ago | 5 comments

Hello,
Iโ€™m currently residing in Seoul, Korea working at a corporate office job. Iโ€™m having hard time finding a remote job or freelance job besides programming or article writing related jobs.
Are there options to do a remote job or freelance job for somewho who has no programming background?

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Can I ship my MacBook to Thailand without it getting stolen?


in Thailand by @asfktz | 5yr 4 years ago | 2 comments

I plan to be in India for the next 3 - 4 months and then move to Thailand to work.
I plan to keep my MacBook at home till then.

Can I trust the mail in Thailand with it?
Is it safer to take it with me to India? (I really prefer not toโ€ฆ)

To be more specific, by Thailand I mean Chiang Mai or Phuket

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What is the best way to pay/get paid as a remote contractor?


by @gnefkow | 5yr 4 years ago | 1 comment

It seems like every method Iโ€™ve tried so far has been a struggle.

My bank - Wells Fargo - has some options, but theyโ€™re very cumbersome and, though I have a business account, โ€œSurePayโ€ has a $2000 limit and โ€œDirect Payโ€ takes forever.

Iโ€™ve used SquareCash if people have a US debit card, but that doesnโ€™t work for foreign contractors.
Iโ€™ve mailed people checks, but that is silly and not scalable.
I donโ€™t think that I can sensibly require all of my contractors to accept bitcoin.
I just went through a long and tedious back-and-forth with Xoom that involved them taking it upon themselves to cancel my transactionโ€ฆ not worth getting into.

SO for those who pay international contractors/get paid by companies in countries that you arenโ€™t from - what is the preferred money transfer?

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How do you deal with not getting paid when working remotely?


by @pixelfiesta | 5yr 5 years ago | 10 comments

I have had bitter experiences of not been paid for assignments when I have been remote. Its either not paid completely or pair partially or delayed payments. How do you tackle such issues?
Do you take advances? Do you use escrow? or other third-party payment collection agencies?

What payment related problems do you face in working remotely and how do you tackle them?

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