Transfer money from your US açcount to Ukraine

Anyone have any advice on the best way to draw money from your bank in the USA to Ukraine?

I have my bank account in Canada and it is tied to a visa card. I also have a debit card. I use my debit card to withdraw up to my daily limit using OTP ATM's which have no service charge and decent exchange rates. My bank also offers global transfer through visa cards so I transfer money from my account to a Pravex visa (account) in US dollars. They also have a euro card.

Time to time I make international transfer from U.S. bank to my wife's Private dollar bank account in Kiev.  After that my wife withdraw all money in dollar.  Then, I change to local currency as I need.  If you change to local currency when you receive the money from international bank, bank exchange rate is much worse than the street exchange rate.  Therefore, I always receive it in dollar.  If you have a permanent residency permit, then you can open a bank account in your name.  Even though I obtained it later I didn't have a permanent residency permit in the beginning.  That is why I had my wife opened a bank account and transfer money to that account.

Thanks for the replies, I appreciate it

If you don't want to draw funds directly from US debit card (ATMs to try are UKrGasBank, Pivdennyi bank, UkrEximBank etc), TransferWise does money transfer services from US debit card (or checking account) to Ukraine debit card (or local UA account).
Also, you can apply for Ukrainian debit card issued by Transferwise to be able to withdraw funds you've transferred.

Good info, but wanted to add you don’t need perm residency to open a basic bank account in Ukraine. Just your passport. You can then transfer from outside Ukraine to here, but cannot put currency into it in Ukraine, nor receive transfers from inside Ukraine. Basically, yes they’ll let you spend your money here. :-)

you can use moneygram and you don't need to be resident.

When it comes to just petty cash, for safety I just open a free checking account at a local credit union.  Before departure I deposit estimated funds and give them notification so they can authorize cash withdrawals from ATM machines (they call them "bankomats" over there).  My credit union only charges 1% per transaction.

For larger transfers, you need to open up a bank account over there, where you can wire money from your bank to the local bank using ABA routing numbers, and pay a 1% transfer fee on their end to receive the funds from America, plus whatever your bank will charge to send it.  I opened my bank account with Oschadbank, which is Kiev's largest bank and the least likely to fail in the country.  To open a bank account anywhere in Ukraine you indeed need your passport, but it is not as easy as going to the bank with your passport.  You must first establish a Tax ID, which is much like our SSN, and that requires your passport, several documents, a few signatures, and three business days' processing time before they issue you one.  You must do this at a government tax office.

I haven't not been using Moneygram extensively but as far as I'm tracking they do charge you "an arm and a leg" to wire out funds to Ukraine. I found it to be pretty overpriced compared to, say, Transferwise. Another decent financial service to keep tabs on would be PayPal but I have not actually used it for these purposes.

greatbignow wrote:

Good info, but wanted to add you don’t need perm residency to open a basic bank account in Ukraine. Just your passport. You can then transfer from outside Ukraine to here, but cannot put currency into it in Ukraine, nor receive transfers from inside Ukraine. Basically, yes they’ll let you spend your money here. :-)

yeah, it makes sense. I had same experience when I opened basic checking account through Silpo supermarket store's offer to get Ukrainian-issued debit card with Vostok bank. It works as a pre-paid, no name debit card where you can pay at stores and you can receive funds on this card within Ukraine, no ability to do online payments or money transfers. There is no need to have a permanent residency and other legal paperwork or Ukrainian-issued SSN. My wife is banking with Oschad and her card is fully operational, however.

As far as being able to draw funds from your US debit card over here, from banking security perspective it is good to have secondary American checking account with a debit card tied to it that you can use in Ukraine strictly to draw money off it. You can manage this checking account accordingly by replenishing its funds as you seem necessary to keep it safe. VPN is a must when conducting banking business online.

Decent Ukrainian bank-providers ATMs to draw money from (don't charge you an arm and a leg) I found to be Pivdenniy (I think Lithuanian owned), UkrEximBank (Polish owned, I think), UkrGasBank (joint Ukrainian entity), "has-been awesome" Raiffeisen Aval (German bank, since then their polices had changed and it is no good anymore for these type of activities).
Pretty horrible ATMs with excessive charging fees I found to be Privat bank (just plain BAD), Oschad, PUMB, Credo bank (Polish entity), A-Bank, Alfa bank, VS bank, Pravex bank.

I was able to open a bank account in Ukraine under my own name but my passport needed officially translating into Ukrainian. I also had to apply for a Ukrainian tax number. I had a lawyer in Ukraine do this for me at a very reasonable cost.

good info here, will look into this myself

Getting a Tax id is not difficult, it's actually free of charge. You have to get your passport translated from some translator and take it to the Tax Id office along with your original passport. It will be better to take along a Ukrainian-speaking person, as you have to fill up the form in the Tax Id office in Ukrainian.
After this, you have to give it at the window accepting the application. They will verify your application with the translation copy of your passport and then they will give you a receipt copy.
You will have to go to the Tax office to collect your Tax ID after a few days. This service is free of cost.

This information may be of value if you travel frequently.  I have a credit union account in the U.S.A. that reimburses for all ATM transfer fees up to $20 per month.  I won't mention the name because opening an account is not available to the general public.  However, you may be able to find a similar offer at other banks or credit unions; and, while it does not seem like much I am happy to receive the reimbursement.

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