Transfer USD to IBKR - possible with Revolut or do I need a USD bank account in CH?

Hi everyone,

I and my wife have BCGE and Postfinance accounts (CHF). I have a Revolut metal account with CHF and USD balances, and my wife and I also hold a brokerage account with Interactive Brokers (base currency is USD).

I plan on investing 200,000 CHF of our BCGE funds in our IBKR account in the next couple of weeks.

My thinking is that I am best off to do the following:

  1. Transfer the CHF to my Revolut account.
  2. Buy USD within Revolut at a good exchange point.
  3. Transfer the USD from Revolut to IBKR.

As I’d never transferred funds from Revolut to IBKR I did a 100 USD test transfer last week. Revolut does not seem particularly well suited for transfers to IBKR. The only fields you can enter are:

  1. Name of beneficiary (this was where I put Interactive Brokers - credit account number XXXXX which was the only place I could put my account number. IBKR states it is important that incoming transfers always clearly indicate the customer account number to which they are being sent.)
  2. Address of beneficiary (I put address of Interactive Brokers and NOT of their bank)
  3. Account number (based on the information provided by IBKR I used 633736902)
  4. Branch code (also based on IBKR information given I used 021000021)

On Revolut the transfer shows as having completed the day I made it. On my IBKR account it is still showing as pending after one week. I had a chat with IBKR customer service just now and they say they have no record of it, and that they find Revolut does not work reliably to make transfers as incomplete information is provided. This was just a 100 USD transfer but as a test case it shows me I need to make some changes before making the larger transfers.

It seems to me I have two options:

  1. Change some details in Revolut and try again - Mr Cheese if you are reading this I saw one of your posts where you indicated you transfer from Revolut direct to IBKR so if you or anyone else see what I need to change in my Revolut transfer please let me know.

  2. Open a USD bank account (Postfinance and BCGE offer them, as well as other banking institutions) and do the transfer from there. If I go this route I want the bank account to be something I can set up, transfer the money from my Revolut to the new USD account here in Switzerland, transfer the USD to IBKR, and then close the account or leave it open with very little funds in there. I do not plan on repeating this operation so do not want to maintain an open USD account if it is costing me very much. If I go this route I am also aware that some USD accounts here in CH set annual withdrawal limits (I believe I saw BCGE had a limit of 50,000 CHF annual withdrawal without a prior notice of 1 month), so thanks for suggestions on whether there may be other USD banking options in CH that would allow the USD equivalent of 200,000 CHF to be transferred out to IBKR without requiring a long advance notice.

Hope that is clear. Essentially, I am looking for advice on how I can inexpensively take advantage of Revolut’s great exchange rates on this large sum of money and get it transferred to IBKR .

Dave M

Maybe I missed something important, but can’t you simply transfer CHF to IBKR and then convert it there?
I would never trust Revolut for 200K CHF.

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I second that.

Funnelling 200k from a trustworthy bank through a non-bank intermediary (Revolut) that has been known for its onerous compliance reviews (source of funds) might become a pain in the ass.

While it doesn’t answer your question directly, I would also highly recommend to forego Revolut completely and take advantage of IBKR’s great exchange rates.

Thanks. I will compare the exchange rates with IBKR and Revolut. Revolut has some detractors but I’m not aware of anyone reporting they were ripped off on a large chunk of cash. But your notes of caution are points well taken.

Hmmm…just checked the Convert Currency option in IBKR which is showing I can buy 1.1002 USD for every CHF converted. Revolut is showing the same rate.

So new plan…transfer directly from BCGE to IBKR as CHF (my IBKR base currency is USD but I have some residual CHF there as I set it up with CHF then changed the base currency to USD).

Thanks for the quick steer!

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Not related to your question but I am interested to know why you chose to “…plan on investing 200,000 CHF…in the next couple of weeks…”. What will you buy what is your strategy? Are you very confident at this moment or are you just getting ready to buy-in once a correction comes (I hope I am not the only one expecting a major correction…)?
Thanks and cheers

I’m not timing the market. I’m a buy and hold investor. My wife and I have looked at our finances and agreed we can put this 200,000 to work for us. We have different risk tolerances and it’s been a matter of slowly getting her to accept that one can invest in equities and see a better return than most other uses. We had been oscillating around a real estate move but that seems off the cards for at least 5 years.

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IBKR doesn’t have exchange rates, you can directly buy on the actual currency market. You can offer any rate you want as long as you find a buyer or seller. Also it costs just 2$ no matter how much you exchange, that will surely beat any % fee that Revolut might have.

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Up to 100k, after that it’s 0.002% :slight_smile:

(edit: only up to 1B, it gets cheaper if you want to exchange more :slight_smile: )

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If it‘s from a savings account it will be expensive zo withdraw, usuall three months notice period for amounts over a certain threshhold. Mine is 20k in a quarter, above I pay 2%

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200k to revolut? Never… if they freeze your account you are lost.

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As he said above: I’m not aware of anyone having been ripped off (in the end).
He might just have to jump more hoops than he could ever imagine.

:joy:

I’ve heard stories where it took weeks tho. Probably not a good time if it’s a significant fraction of your wealth.

(In any case, as other said, there’s zero reasons to go through revolut here, IB will be much safer and cheaper)

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Not sure this was brought up already but it is not possible to make a Wire transfer in USD. They only accept ACH transfers which I believe are not available for European banks.

I suggest you try to create a deposit USD, and you see the transfer options available.

My advice is just to exchange with IBKR. They have market rate and you pay only 2 USD, fair enough for a 200k exchange IMO!

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I usually make a normal CHF bank transfer to my IBKR account. Because my salary is credited in the afternoon, it always gets executed on the next day.

I was wondering: Could I just use Revolut (linked to my real creditcard) for my monthly savingsrate? Anyone doing this?

But they do have a video explaining making a USD Wire Transfer deposit on their website?

It works. I transfered USD from a swiss bank account which holds USD

How do you transfer? These are the bank details I get when I create transfer notification for a wire in USD…

Standard SWIFT transfer.
You have the account number and BIC.

fair enough i checked revolut and it asks me for ACH routing, I guess that is the same of ABA routing then.

In any case I would not use revolut for large amounts.

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