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  1. #1
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    I came across the Citibank US Dollar Current Account which looks interesting. Basically you maintain the entire account in US$ rather than having to transfer to and from sterling. There's no charge for US dollar transactions, and cheques can be paid in by post. It comes with a Visa debit card too.

    The catch is that you need an initial deposit of the equivalent of £2000 (which is a bummer) as far as I can see, and you'll get billed $20 per month every time the balance drops below £2000 (that's actually about the same as my sterling current account fees).

    You don't get any interest on the account and it's vulnerable to exchange rate fluctuations, but if you're getting a lot of smallish dollar cheques it might be worth considering.

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    [This message was edited by Dynamoo on October 23, 2003 at 08:49 AM.]

    [This message was edited by Dynamoo on October 23, 2003 at 08:50 AM.]

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    I've just applied for a Citibank US Dollar Savings Account.

    I think you have to make an initial £2000 deposit, but there is no requirement to maintain that as a minimum balance, and your cash earns a token small amount of interest.

    When I receive the documentation I'll have a proper look at the terms and conditions.

    I'll update the post when I have more info, because this is obviously of interest to UK affiliates.

  3. #3
    Member Azam's Avatar
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    Sorry guys, but you have to maintain a min. of about £2000 in the account and, like you say, it pays no interest.

    I have had the Citibank dollar account for about three years purely for my US affiliate cheques.

    You have to work out whether the depreciation in the value of your £2000 because of inflation is offset by the fact that you don't have to pay any fees for depositing US dollar cheques.

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  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    I now have a Citibank US Dollar Savings Account.

    There is no requirement to make a large initial deposit or maintain a minimum amount to avoid paying charges.

    It comes with internet banking and a cash card.

    I've just paid my Linkshare cheques in (just in time for the first one!).

    There is no charge for paying in dollar cheques.

    Their documentation is pretty confusing - I think if you withdraw sterling you will get clobbered for poor exchange rates/high transaction fees etc.

    Probably the best way to handle that is to open a Citibank Sterling account - then, when you transfer 'internally', you get advantageous exchange rates and no or low transaction fees.

    I got my parasiteware sweatshirt!!!
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  5. #5
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    What sort of plastic is the card? Is it Visa/Mastercard (i.e. useful for paying for stuff)?

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  6. #6
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    abbey national offshore do us$ accounts, you can operate it over the web and it's *cough* outside the inland revenues reach as well. i haven't got one though so not sure of any catches

  7. #7
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Oh yes.. http://www.anoffshore.com/offshore_gold.asp

    $7,500 is a bit steep though for an opening deposit.

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  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dynamoo:
    What sort of plastic is the card? Is it Visa/Mastercard (i.e. useful for paying for stuff)?

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    It isn't a credit or debit card - just for withdrawing from cash machines (LINK and VISA)

    I got my parasiteware sweatshirt!!!
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  9. #9
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Radegast:
    I now have a Citibank US Dollar Savings Account.

    There is no requirement to make a large initial deposit or maintain a minimum amount to avoid paying charges.

    It comes with internet banking and a cash card.

    I've just paid my Linkshare cheques in (just in time for the first one!).

    There is no charge for paying in dollar cheques.

    Their documentation is pretty confusing - I think if you withdraw sterling you will get clobbered for poor exchange rates/high transaction fees etc.

    Probably the best way to handle that is to open a Citibank Sterling account - then, when you transfer 'internally', you get advantageous exchange rates and no or low transaction fees.

    I got my parasiteware sweatshirt!!!
    (Gordon, eat your heart out :-) )<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    sounds great, is it available to non-UK citizens and residents?

    prix

  10. #10
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    prix: I don't think it's available for non-UK residents, but if Citibank have an operating in your country they might have a similar thing.

    Radegast: this might sound daft, but how can you get money out then, other than a cash machine? i.e. - how can I pay for stuff in US$ over the web if I had such an account?

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  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    'Moo

    You can't.

    The Savings Account doesn't come with a cheque book, credit or debit card.

    I haven't figured this account out fully yet, I needed to get my dollar cheques paid in somewhere fast before they expired.

    I think it's aimed at people who travel a lot to the US, so they can use the card there to draw out cash.

    As I said before, getting cash out in sterling is another question - I can do it, but there will be the usual poor exchange rate, etc.

    Citibank's documentation is not compreshensive - they send you brochures with info on the US Dollar Current Account, with no mention anywhere of the Savings Account.

    Prix, what 'Moo said.

    I got my parasiteware sweatshirt!!!
    (Gordon, eat your heart out :-) )

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    Update

    My Linkshare cheques just cleared.
    The Citibank US Dollar Savings Account comes with a cash card and all you can do with it is draw sterling out of a cash machine, at the prevailing exchange rate.

    There is no need to maintain a minimum balance to avoid fees.

    I wanted to transfer the money into my main current account, so I opened a Citibank Sterling Current Account (as simple as clicking a button once the US Dollar Savings Account is open), transfered the dollar sum to that, then transfered from there to my main bank account.

    All online, in a few mouse-clicks.

    Could be a good solution for UK affiliates who receive dollar cheques.

  13. #13
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Radegast:
    Update

    My Linkshare cheques just cleared.
    The Citibank US Dollar Savings Account comes with a cash card and _all_ you can do with it is draw sterling out of a cash machine, at the prevailing exchange rate.

    There is no need to maintain a minimum balance to avoid fees.

    I wanted to transfer the money into my main current account, so I opened a Citibank Sterling Current Account (as simple as clicking a button once the US Dollar Savings Account is open), transfered the dollar sum to that, then transfered from there to my main bank account.

    All online, in a few mouse-clicks.

    Could be a good solution for UK affiliates who receive dollar cheques.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'm not sure here why you actually need a Citibank dollar savings account?

    Couldn't you just open a Citibank sterling current account and pay the dollar cheques directly into that?

    I believe there is no charge for paying dollar cheques into the sterling account - you just lose on the exchange rate as you always do with any sterling account - unless you are sure that the exchange rate is better if it is applied to an internal transfer.

    Also, if you want a direct payment from CJ, then it would have to go to the sterling account wouldn't it? I thought these payments had to go to a current account - not a savings or deposit type account.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    I haven't checked, but I though C.J. only offered direct payments to people in the US?

    (Never received a C.J. cheque...)

    I guess you're right, you could open a sterling account and pay the US cheques straight into that.

    Doing it that way, the only disadvantage is, you get whatever exchange rate is current at the time of paying-in. With the US dollar account, you can transfer to sterling when the exchange rate is advantageous.

    Also, having both accounts, you can transfer between them instantaneously, to take advantage of fluctuations in the exchange rate.

    Other than that, I don't think there is any advantage of transfering internally - you get whatever the exchange rate is at time of transfer. (Still not sure if transaction fees would apply if paying directly into a sterling account, though.)

    Sorry if this a bit confusing, I'm a bit confused... (doesn't take much...)

  15. #15
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    Radegast

    CJ do direct payments to the UK (the only country it is available outside USA or Canada I think)

    Sign up for it straight away - saves a lot of hassle and bank fees!

    I think you need to reach $50 in a month to qualify for a payment - ortherwise it rolls over to the next month.

    Payment arrives regular as clockwork - never had a problem with it

    I have tried to ask Citibank about the sterling account - they say there are no fees for banking dollar cheques - but I couldn't seem to get an answer from them regarding the issue of "do you need to maintain a balance?"

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    Tiebreaker

    Sorry about the delay in replying, only just saw this.

    It can be hard to pin down exactly what you get with Citibank.

    As I understand it, as long as you keep something in the account at all times, there is no requirement to maintain a minimum balance on a sterling current account to avoid fees.

    (Unlike the US Dollar current account, where you need to maintain the equivalent of £2000).

    Thanks for the info re C.J.

    If it ever looks like there's a snowball's chance in hell of receiving a cheque from them, (ie, I actually SELL anything...) I'll start looking into payment options...

  17. #17
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    Ah .. That's good news

    I thought you didn't need to maintain a balance - but the person I spoke to didn't seem to have a clue!

    She also seemed to think I would have to agree to pay in my salary to the account every month - try explaining to someone you don't actually get a fixed salary every month from an employer - without sounding like you are an unemployed layabout!

    Anyway, for the moment I am planning to use the Nationwide Flex Account that I have just opened, which is supposed to have no charges for dollar cheques - if I run into unexpected problems with that, I will apply for the Citibank account

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