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> Best way to park and transfer foreign currency, not for investment

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TSNibba
post Aug 24 2021, 08:51 PM, updated 4 months ago

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Hi all, I am going to UK for my studies in less than one month, trying to figure out the best way to convert MYR to GBP.

I expect to open a UK Bank account only in October. I am now trying to change my MYR to GBP and park somewhere first, before I transfer to my UK bank account in October. From my limited knowledge, these are the 3 options I can think of:

1. Bank draft. Bring bank draft to UK and deposit into my UK bank account.

2. Foreign Currency Account. Open FCA, convert my MYR to GBP, and wire to my UK bank account in the future.

3. Moneymatch and Transferwise. I saw one forumer suggested this. Use moneymatch to transfer MYR to GBP into Wise. No need to open a UK bank account, just use Wise. Or open UK bank account and transfer the money in from Wise.

I will need to use the money to pay my school fees via bank transfer. The rest will be used for my daily expenses. Which way is the cheapest? I presume the third way since the rate should be better? Also better rate when transfer back to MYR in the future. Or please suggest if theres other better way. Since its pretty last minute I dont think I can play around w/ forex or DCI, not knowledgable enough to do it as well.

This post has been edited by Nibba: Aug 24 2021, 09:06 PM
jonoave
post Aug 24 2021, 09:23 PM

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First question, how long are your studies in UK?

Is it a short-term exchange e..g 3 months?
Or 1 year (final year)?

Or full 3 years?

If it's longer than 6 months, it's better to open an account in UK.

As you can't open Transferwise account in Malaysia anymore, this would be my suggestion:

Keep your RM in regular savings accounts/FD/ money market fund like Versa for now.
Then once you get to UK, apply for a Transferwise account, and use it to transfer money from RM to Transferwise.

You should be able to use Transferwise (get a debit card too) without problems in UK, or you can also apply for a branch-bank account like Llyod's etc.

Alternatively, you can try getting a debit Visa/Mastercard like Big, I heard their exchange rates are pretty competitive. So just use this card to pay for stuff in UK.

By bank transfer, I hope you don't mean wire transfer from Malaysian bank to foreign bank. I had to do it a long time ago, and there are additional fees on top of the bank's unfavourable exchange rate.

This post has been edited by jonoave: Aug 24 2021, 09:26 PM
dwRK
post Aug 24 2021, 09:40 PM

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QUOTE(Nibba @ Aug 24 2021, 08:51 PM)
Hi all, I am going to UK for my studies in less than one month, trying to figure out the best way to convert MYR to GBP.

I expect to open a UK Bank account only in October. I am now trying to change my MYR to GBP and park somewhere first, before I transfer to my UK bank account in October. From my limited knowledge, these are the 3 options I can think of:

1. Bank draft. Bring bank draft to UK and deposit into my UK bank account.

2. Foreign Currency Account. Open FCA, convert my MYR to GBP, and wire to my UK bank account in the future.

3. Moneymatch and Transferwise. I saw one forumer suggested this. Use moneymatch to transfer MYR to GBP into Wise. No need to open a UK bank account, just use Wise. Or open UK bank account and transfer the money in from Wise.

I will need to use the money to pay my school fees via bank transfer. The rest will be used for my daily expenses. Which way is the cheapest? I presume the third way since the rate should be better? Also better rate when transfer back to MYR in the future. Or please suggest if theres other better way. Since its pretty last minute I dont think I can play around w/ forex or DCI, not knowledgable enough to do it as well.
*
1. no. bad bank exchange rate & fees.

2. some banks cannot wire from fca. if you must, maybe check out hsbc global account

3. new wise users in malaysia cannot open multicurrecy account to park money...

if I were you...

... tbc
TSNibba
post Aug 24 2021, 09:45 PM

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QUOTE(jonoave @ Aug 24 2021, 09:23 PM)
First question, how long are your studies in UK?

Is it a short-term exchange e..g 3 months?
Or 1 year (final year)?

Or full 3 years?

If it's longer than 6 months, it's better to open an account in UK.

As you can't open Transferwise account in Malaysia anymore, this would be my suggestion:

Keep your RM in regular savings accounts/FD/ money market fund like Versa for now.
Then once you get to UK, apply for a Transferwise account, and use it to transfer money from RM to Transferwise.

You should be able to use Transferwise (get a debit card too) without problems in UK, or you can also apply for a branch-bank account like Llyod's etc.

Alternatively, you can try getting a debit Visa/Mastercard like Big, I heard their exchange rates are pretty competitive. So just use this card to pay for stuff in UK.

By bank transfer, I hope you don't mean wire transfer from Malaysian bank to foreign bank. I had to do it a long time ago, and there are additional fees on top of the bank's unfavourable exchange rate.
*
My studies will most likely be 2 years, or 1 year if I decide to cut it short

Ive just realised the problem with Transferwise Malaysia as well. I cant use Transferwise to hold money anymore right?

Thanks for the suggestion. I actually prefer to convert my MYR to GBP first, and hold it somewhere. Because exchange rate is slightly better now. Still dogshit at 5.8 but few weeks ago it was over 5.9. I might have to pay my fees soon so I am worried by the time I pay the rate will go back up again.

I have Bigpay and I plan to use it in UK, before I open a bank account. I dont think I will use it for long term, tried paying GBP that day, didnt find its exchange rate too impressive. Regardless I can only use it for daily usage, cant transfer my Fees.

So do you have any suggestion on how to convert and hold the money first?
TSNibba
post Aug 24 2021, 09:49 PM

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QUOTE(dwRK @ Aug 24 2021, 09:40 PM)
1. no. bad bank exchange rate & fees.

2. some banks cannot wire from fca. if you must, maybe check out hsbc global account

3. new wise users in malaysia cannot open multicurrecy account to park money...

if I were you...

... tbc
*
So no solution for me? sweat.gif
Just screw it and TT everything from Malaysia? doh.gif
jonoave
post Aug 24 2021, 10:28 PM

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QUOTE(Nibba @ Aug 24 2021, 04:45 PM)

I have Bigpay and I plan to use it in UK, before I open a bank account. I dont think I will use it for long term, tried paying GBP that day, didnt find its exchange rate too impressive. Regardless I can only use it for daily usage, cant transfer my Fees.

So do you have any suggestion on how to convert and hold the money first?
*
Well, I don't use Big for foreign purchase yet, but that's what I heard from those who do. if you're not impressed by that, then you will probably be disappointed if you use regular banks exchanges.


Honestly, unless there is wild swings between the forex rate, there is little need for you to worry too much about this. 5.9 and 5.8 isn't that much of a difference. How would you react if you exchange now, and then by October the rate dropped to 5.6?

The only plausible solution, which I don't recommend is to just go to a money changer and change now. Well maybe you can also see their rates and whether they're better than Big's. Hoard the cash, and bring them with you over to UK, I think the limit is less than RM10,000 equivalent or you'll need to declare them. Then once you arrive, deposit your cash in your newly-opened UK account.

dwRK
post Aug 24 2021, 10:40 PM

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QUOTE(Nibba @ Aug 24 2021, 09:49 PM)
So no solution for me?  sweat.gif
Just screw it and TT everything from Malaysia? doh.gif
*
aiyah so fast reply me... I had to drive somewhere, so tbc = to be continue ah... sweat.gif

1. bigpay is good ah... use as backup/ interim to pay stuff and get cash from atm... the rates is close to spot forex, better than banks

2. check if uk banks allow open student account early before you arrive... I remember got such thing long ago somewhere... you still want a uk bank for atm cash. some eu banks are online bank but I don't remember who

3. open wise here first... when arrived uk change address to UK and activate multicurrecy account for future use... but is late for your immediate purpose to park money... can use this to pay school fees, deposit to .uk banks later

4. check if your school can accept early payment, pay some first lor...

5. if want fca... with hsbc global, allows you to open hsbc .uk and link the account...

unorthodox method...

open an international stockbroker account like ibkr, park your money there now if you think rates are good... withdraw to your .uk banks when ready

UK got a lot of forex and online casino you can also do the same but ibkr is best lah imho... hahaha

edit:
got tered how to open ibkr, and xfer money to it...

in UK... you can open a lot more fintech account, not just wise

This post has been edited by dwRK: Aug 24 2021, 10:51 PM
TSNibba
post Aug 24 2021, 10:40 PM

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QUOTE(jonoave @ Aug 24 2021, 10:28 PM)
Well, I don't use Big for foreign purchase yet, but that's what I heard from those who do. if you're not impressed by that, then you will probably be disappointed if you use regular banks exchanges.
Honestly, unless there is wild swings between the forex rate, there is little need for you to worry too much about this. 5.9 and 5.8 isn't that much of a difference. How would you react if you exchange now, and then by October the rate dropped to 5.6?

The only plausible solution, which I don't recommend is to just go to a money changer and change now. Well maybe you can also see their rates and whether they're better than Big's. Hoard the cash, and bring them with you over to UK, I think the limit is less than RM10,000 equivalent or you'll need to declare them. Then once you arrive, deposit your cash in your newly-opened UK account.
*
I see
Perhaps I can give up on exchanging right now, and just pray the rate will improve.

Another question, does Transferwise support MYR > GBP now? If yes, I can just open a Wise account now, transfer my school fees, and transfer my money to my Llyods account when I open one right?
TSNibba
post Aug 24 2021, 11:04 PM

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QUOTE(dwRK @ Aug 24 2021, 10:40 PM)
aiyah so fast reply me... I had to drive somewhere, so tbc = to be continue ah... sweat.gif

1. bigpay is good ah... use as backup/ interim to pay stuff and get cash from atm... the rates is close to spot forex, better than banks

2. check if uk banks allow open student account early before you arrive... I remember got such thing long ago somewhere... you still want a uk bank for atm cash. some eu banks are online bank but I don't remember who

3. open wise here first... when arrived uk change address to UK and activate multicurrecy account for future use... but is late for your immediate purpose

4. check if your school can accept early payment, pay some first lor...

5. if want fca... with hsbc global, allows you to open hsbc .uk and link the account...

unorthodox method...

open an international stockbroker account like ibkr, park your money there now if you think rates are good... withdraw to your .uk banks when ready

UK got a lot of forex and online casino you can also do the same but ibkr is best lah imho...
*
Thanks for the reply biggrin.gif

1. Yes will be using bigpay card for all my daily needs when I first arrive

2. I dont think its possible to open UK account without being physically present, HSBC or whatever

3. I initially wanted to use Wise just to hold GBP first, then move the money to UK Bank account. Since I cant hold now, I dont think its useful for me. Can I use it to transfer money to my UK Uni? i.e. MYR to GBP? Or should I use other services to transfer?

5. How is the conversion rate for FCA? Good enough?

This post has been edited by Nibba: Aug 24 2021, 11:04 PM
Ramjade
post Aug 24 2021, 11:25 PM

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QUOTE(Nibba @ Aug 24 2021, 08:51 PM)
Hi all, I am going to UK for my studies in less than one month, trying to figure out the best way to convert MYR to GBP.

I expect to open a UK Bank account only in October. I am now trying to change my MYR to GBP and park somewhere first, before I transfer to my UK bank account in October. From my limited knowledge, these are the 3 options I can think of:

1. Bank draft. Bring bank draft to UK and deposit into my UK bank account.

2. Foreign Currency Account. Open FCA, convert my MYR to GBP, and wire to my UK bank account in the future.

3. Moneymatch and Transferwise. I saw one forumer suggested this. Use moneymatch to transfer MYR to GBP into Wise. No need to open a UK bank account, just use Wise. Or open UK bank account and transfer the money in from Wise.

I will need to use the money to pay my school fees via bank transfer. The rest will be used for my daily expenses. Which way is the cheapest? I presume the third way since the rate should be better? Also better rate when transfer back to MYR in the future. Or please suggest if theres other better way. Since its pretty last minute I dont think I can play around w/ forex or DCI, not knowledgable enough to do it as well.
*
Come I give you the best solution.
1. Open Bigpay account. Bigpay can hold up to RM10k worth of cash.
Enough for you to pay for your expenses in UK for the first month.
You can withdraw out GBP from bigpay using any bank atm in the UK for only RM10. After you withdraw out the RM10k, top-up bigpay from Malaysia, make sure to use prepaid card from Malaysia. I recommend Digi as it works for me last time (still able to received OTP when overseas). I am not sure if you can top-up unlimited timed using bigpay or not. That you have to ask customer service.

2. Not sure if money changers are still open at midvalley. If yes, go change RM30k at midvalley money changer. Alternative try max money. Apparently I think they can deliver to your house. Yes and bring the GBP to UK.

3. Forget about using bank draft or foreign currency account. They are expensive.

4. Opened up transferwise, sunway money. Money match. This is crucial to transfer money from Malaysia to UK. Never used banks.

5. Once you have cash ready and you are in UK, go open a UK Bank account. Make sure it's fee free. You can shop around. Alternative use one of their many digital banks. Once you are in UK, TransferWise function very well as a digital bank. Other alternatives are monzo, revolut.
https://www.veriff.com/blog/the-5-best-digi...banks-in-the-uk

6. Once step five is complete, use the fintech in step 4 to move money to your UK bank at moneychanger rate!!! Enjoy.

Bonus round
Open trading212. Buy UK stocks like JLEN, Unilever, TRIG, HICL. This will give you free 5%, 3.5%, 4.8%, 5%p.a. This is so that you will be getting extra GBP rather than depend on funds from your parents.
QUOTE(dwRK @ Aug 24 2021, 10:40 PM)
unorthodox method...

open an international stockbroker account like ibkr, park your money there now if you think rates are good... withdraw to your .uk banks when ready

UK got a lot of forex and online casino you can also do the same but ibkr is best lah imho... hahaha

edit:
got tered how to open ibkr, and xfer money to it...

in UK... you can open a lot more fintech account, not just wise
*
I agree with this. Ibkr offer the best rate among other fintech. This is because they offer you spot rate. Rates which banks use for themselves . No one come close. Heard they accept direct transfer using fintech for myr-> GBP.

If you are going the Ibkr route, you can skip trading212 as it's superior to trading212 in all aspect.


This post has been edited by Ramjade: Aug 24 2021, 11:31 PM
TSNibba
post Aug 24 2021, 11:49 PM

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QUOTE(Ramjade @ Aug 24 2021, 11:25 PM)
Come I give you the best solution.
1. Open Bigpay account. Bigpay can hold up to RM10k worth of cash.
Enough for you to pay for your expenses in UK for the first month.
You can withdraw out GBP from bigpay using any bank atm in the UK for only RM10. After you withdraw out the RM10k, top-up bigpay from Malaysia, make sure to use prepaid card from Malaysia. I recommend Digi as it works for me last time (still able to received OTP when overseas). I am not sure if you can top-up unlimited timed using bigpay or not. That you have to ask customer service.

2. Not sure if money changers are still open at midvalley. If yes, go change RM30k at midvalley money changer. Alternative try max money. Apparently I think they can deliver to your house. Yes and bring the GBP to UK.

3. Forget about using bank draft or foreign currency account. They are expensive.

4. Opened up transferwise, sunway money. Money match. This is crucial to transfer money from Malaysia to UK. Never used banks.

5. Once you have cash ready and you are in UK, go open a UK Bank account. Make sure it's fee free. You can shop around. Alternative use one of their many digital banks. Once you are in UK, TransferWise function very well as a digital bank. Other alternatives are monzo, revolut.
https://www.veriff.com/blog/the-5-best-digi...banks-in-the-uk

6. Once step five is complete, use the fintech in step 4 to move money to your UK bank at moneychanger rate!!! Enjoy.

Bonus round
Open trading212. Buy UK stocks like JLEN, Unilever, TRIG, HICL. This will give you free 5%, 3.5%, 4.8%, 5%p.a. This is so that you will be getting extra GBP rather than depend on funds from your parents.

I agree with this. Ibkr offer the best rate among other fintech. This is because  they offer you spot rate. Rates which banks use for themselves . No one come close. Heard they accept direct transfer using fintech for myr-> GBP.

If you are going the Ibkr route, you can skip trading212 as it's superior to trading212 in all aspect.
*
Thanks for the suggestions

4&6. Can I use Wise to transfer my MYR to GBP? Or what other fintech should I use to to transfer my Uni fees, and also transfer my living expenses to my UK account?

I will try to look into Ibkr but scared that I might not be well versed enough
Rama522
post Aug 24 2021, 11:55 PM

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QUOTE(Nibba @ Aug 24 2021, 11:49 PM)
Thanks for the suggestions

4&6. Can I use Wise to transfer my MYR to GBP? Or what other fintech should I use to to transfer my Uni fees, and also transfer my living expenses to my UK account?

I will try to look into Ibkr but scared that I might not be well versed enough
*
yes, you can. You can transfer GBP from MYR using wise if you have the banking details of the recipient.

You can check out this page.
https://fabiantan10.medium.com/best-way-to-...---------------


This post has been edited by Rama522: Aug 26 2021, 09:47 AM
TSNibba
post Aug 24 2021, 11:58 PM

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QUOTE(Rama522 @ Aug 24 2021, 11:55 PM)
yes, you can. You can transfer GBP from MYR if you have the banking details of the recipient.
*
Thanks alot notworthy.gif
Ramjade
post Aug 25 2021, 12:17 AM

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QUOTE(Nibba @ Aug 24 2021, 11:49 PM)
Thanks for the suggestions

4&6. Can I use Wise to transfer my MYR to GBP? Or what other fintech should I use to to transfer my Uni fees, and also transfer my living expenses to my UK account?

I will try to look into Ibkr but scared that I might not be well versed enough
*
When you have your UK bank account set up, open up the fintech mentioned and choose the one with the cheapest rate. How to choose?

Open all 4 if you want to include bigpay, just randomly key in say RM30k into all of them. Choose the one which give you the most GBP. That will be your cheapest fintech to use. Keep in mind it might be valid for about 15 minutes before the rates change so make sure to do your transaction quickly.
TSNibba
post Aug 25 2021, 12:26 AM

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QUOTE(Ramjade @ Aug 25 2021, 12:17 AM)
When you have your UK bank account set up, open up the fintech mentioned and choose the one with the cheapest rate. How to choose?

Open all 4 if you want to include bigpay, just randomly key in say RM30k into all of them. Choose the one which give you the most GBP.  That will be your cheapest fintech to use. Keep in mind it might be valid for about 15 minutes before the rates change so make sure to do your transaction quickly.
*
I see, thanks v much for the advise notworthy.gif
SUSxander83
post Aug 25 2021, 03:06 AM

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Why not setup a HSBC account with DCA for RM6000 just start up for living cost?

And then open UK HSBC account for instant transfer

BigPay another rm3k

And then rest goes for cold hard cash to max out the maximum carrying amount
ryan18
post Aug 26 2021, 12:13 AM

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Alternatively you can use this to lock the GBP rate now
https://mtradeasia.com/main/personal/mercha...a-prepaid-card/
Like having a money changer in your pocket/phone
dwRK
post Aug 26 2021, 02:10 PM

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QUOTE(xander83 @ Aug 25 2021, 03:06 AM)
Why not setup a HSBC account with DCA for RM6000 just start up for living cost?

And then open UK HSBC account for instant transfer

BigPay another rm3k

And then rest goes for cold hard cash to max out the maximum carrying amount
*
already told him about hsbc global account... use wise to deposit gbp ... can spend gbp directly with its multicurrecy debit... later can open hsbc uk... link for instant gbp access...

... but carry hard cash like mule... sweat.gif

QUOTE(ryan18 @ Aug 26 2021, 12:13 AM)
Alternatively you can use this to lock the GBP rate now
https://mtradeasia.com/main/personal/mercha...a-prepaid-card/
Like having a money changer in your pocket/phone
*
expensive almost bank fx rates
SUSxander83
post Aug 26 2021, 02:21 PM

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QUOTE(ryan18 @ Aug 26 2021, 12:13 AM)
Alternatively you can use this to lock the GBP rate now
https://mtradeasia.com/main/personal/mercha...a-prepaid-card/
Like having a money changer in your pocket/phone
*
The worse rates are the spreads with another 2% by Visa doh.gif
SUSxander83
post Aug 26 2021, 02:22 PM

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QUOTE(dwRK @ Aug 26 2021, 02:10 PM)
already told him about hsbc global account... use wise to deposit gbp ... can spend gbp directly with its multicurrecy debit... later can open hsbc uk... link for instant gbp access...

... but carry hard cash like mule... sweat.gif
expensive almost bank fx rates
*
Another option with Standard Chartered as well but not because sure the current access of it in UK at the moment

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