Currency transfer to pay off CHF mortgage selling a Euro house

Hi all,

I’ve never really looked into FX rates before, but due to a fairly large, at least for me, 6 figure house sale in Euros, I need to convert to CHF to pay off the CHF mortgage. I’m pretty sure using my Swiss or French bank will not give me the best rate. From what I can gather from this website and other resources, I think TransferWise or Revolut would be best. However when opening a transferWise account, it does not seem to be as easy as I thought.

If any ideas (e.g. are these two, TransferWise and Revolut the best, any one better than the other) or help would be much appreciated.

Many thanks,

I would exchange it in Interactive Brokers, opening the account is more complex than TransferWise but you will only pay 2 USD fees while in Revolut or TransferWise will be much more. Also Interactive Brokers its safer

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Thank you for the quick reply, much appreciated.

I have actually recently opened an IB account thanks to the Mustachian Post; however I read somewhere that it can sometimes take 45 days to then transfer the money into my French CHF account, is it easy to avoid that so I can transfer almost immediately?

Where did you read 45 days? It depends on the wire type, I’d guess for most wires there’s at most of few days for settlement.

thanks for the quick input as well.

It was on a forum/internet site from memory and if I recall, was something to do with how the transfer was set up?

I’ve looked into my IB account this evening and does seem straightforward. From what I can see, I need to get the bank name and account number from the notary who will transfer the funds, I can then set up a transfer notification with IB and I assume then it should all be fine for the notary to make the transfer. I can then transfer CHF to the French bank a few days later. Is there anything I am overlooking?

For IB you’ll need an account on your name on both sides though.

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IB is for sure a good option. But (transfer)Wise or are pretty good as well. Otherwise check a website like 9 best options to send money from France to Switzerland in 2021

Also consider asking your bank, for a large sum they might make you a decent offer esp. if you mention you’re considering alternatives.

(But make sure to ask the right questions, both fees and spread being applied)

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We spoke with CS and they were actually quite honest and confirmed they would be unlikely to match a specialist FX broker. I’ve confirmed we can deposit the Euro amount into our CS account and then transfer to IB so that it is coming from a bank account in my name. Can then transfer into CHF and transfer to French bank with mortgage. A bit of effort but looks like saving us a decent chunk.

Thanks again for all the input and advice, really helpful.

omg thank you! i have been reading back and forth for weeks about currency transfer fees here and it comes down to Wise and Revolut in the meantime i have been casually exchanging money in IB with 1 CHF and i was too afraid to ask i thought iam missing a basic knowledge because IB seemed to me to be by FAR the better choice. Though the thing is IB allows you to do one free withdraw per month then its 11CHF per withdraw but based on the amount you could still end up with much less fees.
…or did i got this wrong and indeed iam missing a basic knowledge ? : ) )

Your understanding is correct. I don’t know exactly the limits but Revolut/Wise works perfectly for amounts below 1K-1.2K/month, everything above will be always better in IB, especially for big amounts like the OP (6 figures)

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…if you’re having an IBKR account to begin with :wink:

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