Any advice on sending money home?

Hey all! I am heading back to the States early, and need to somehow figure out a way to send my last paycheck home. I will be leaving on July 19th and we get paid on July 21st. Needless to say, I won't be here to collect the yen. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can get this money home... fast and easy?! I have a Japan Post account set up that I have never used. I heard you can transfer money via that way? Also, does anyone have any experience with Lloyd's? What would you suggest? I somehow need to not be involved (physically) in the whole money transfer thing. Any advice/suggestions/experience would be great!

THANKS!

-Lesley

From the people I've talked

From the people I've talked to about it, to use the Japan Post method or Lloyd's you have to actually be in Japan to do it. Lloyd's also took me about a month to sign up for, so it might be a little late for that if you don't have a Lloyd's account set up yet. It might be best to just give your banking information here to someone you trust and get them to handle sending it to you that way.

JenniferCPark's picture

Transfers

Lloyds does require some set up and verification. There are also several costs and fees involved. The receiving bank in the US may also have a service fee connected with the transfer. I did some of the calculations a year ago and it turned out to be a lot cheaper to go through the JP Post. It also doesn't require set up so it would be possible for a third party to send it for you (assuming you hand him/her your bank card/info). You would have to change it to an int'l money order and send it via secured mail. It can take quite awhile. I have the English pamphlet for the JP Post regarding sending money. If you want it, let me know. In the end, Lloyds requires set up and costs more, but you're paying for speed of transfer and ease. JP Post doesn't require prior set up, is cheaper, but will take awhile to get to you.

Go Lloyds...

No pun intended.
     
Set up the account ASAP, and they should have your account information out to you before you leave (my Lloyd's account only took about 2 weeks to get everything to my door). It's only 2000 yen per transfer, plus your bank's furikomi fee (likely 525yen), and probably about $10 taken from the total by your home bank (which will probably be the same with a money order from the post office). Lloyd's usually has your money deposited into your home account within 24 hours of the transfer which is a million times faster (and safer) than the post office.
     
In a perfect world, you'd have set up internet banking with your Japanese bank already (and simply use your online banking to transfer the money to Lloyd's quickly and simply), but assuming you haven't then you need someone to withdraw your money and furikomi it to your Lloyd's account with the furikomi card they make for you (at Mizuho bank for instance). This in the end is a lot simpler than the steps you'll have to go through to get the money sent home at the post office, I think.
JenniferCPark's picture

Bank Fees

If you send money with JP Bank, you are not limited to sending it directly to a bank. You'll be all over the place for awhile after JET anyhow so the delay in getting the money via JP Post may not affect you much. At any rate, if you're concerned with saving money, check with your home bank about any possible associated fees.
As far as ease, I'd say they are both about the same level of mendokusai.

Kiwi Josh's picture

Money for Nothing

You can actually set up your Pay-Pal account to sync with your Gunma-Ginko account. Then just transfer the money straight out the day you get paid. Easy-peasy-Japanesey!

Really? That's really good

Really? That's really good to know for the future! I've never worked in anything other than dollars with paypal, though; if you transfer from Gunma bank to any bank stateside, do you know if it just the regular fees? How does changing from yen to dollars work?

How? I contacted PayPal

How? I contacted PayPal when I first got here about doing this and they basically told me it was impossible.

Kiwi Josh's picture

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byron's picture

how did you do that?

how did you get that to work?
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i linked my paypal and gunma-ginko acounts, but when i click "add funds" (to withdraw money from gun-gin and add it to my paypal), i get the message "PayPal does not currently offer the ability to add funds from your bank account."
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maybe... did you add it as an "ordinary savings account" or as a "checking account"? or do you have a japanese credit card?
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also, this site (among other sites) seems to suggest that it more or less impossible to transfer money from a japanese bank acct (for free) ... http://forum.gaijinpot.com/showpost.php?p=560138&postcount=40

Kiwi Josh's picture

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johnyuehan's picture

Travelers checks = cheapest, safe, easy

Can you get your pay a little early, since you're leaving on the 19th? If not, not sure the following method will work. Paypal sounds doable. Do you have a good friend that you could give your bank card, PIN # & such to, so that they can send the money home for you? Lloyds or post office may be good ways in that case.

Lloyds is an expensive way to send money home - their Y2,000 fee, plus your bank furikomi fee, possibly other middlemen taking their chunk, like my bank in the States taking a $10 cut for themselves, mystery middlemen taking $20. Total cost of $700 money xfer to States for me thru Lloyds: $60! ripoff.

I went home over Christmas, brought about US$1,000 in American Express travelers checks that I got from Gunma Bank; deposited them in my acct. like a normal check. My only expense was the 1% of the cost of the travelers checks purchased - just Y1,000/$10, about. I asked my bank if I could send trav. cx thru the regular postal mail to the ban, have them deposited in my acct. - no problem, they said. Just write on the 'Pay To' line, write "Pay to the order of _____(name of the bank acct.)." I've sent money to my bank that way several times, check the balance online, have never had a problem. Before trying this, I highly suggest you speak to someone at your bank to verify this will not be a problem for the bank.

If you're flying home, just get the travelers checks before leaving, carry them with you on the plane. Yes it is a hassle to sign every trav. check at the bank, but paying just 1% is far better than Lloyds. Good luck!

yeouch!

For me, furikomi'ing the money to Lloyds using my Shinsei account is 0 yen. Then from there it's only 2000 yen for Lloyds commission and $10 from my home bank for any amount. I love it, wouldn't waste my time with anything else. The T/C method you're talking about is a good idea too, but definitely check with your home bank first. A lot of banks won't do mail deposits without prior notice/arrangements.

Kiwi Josh's picture

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