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Bank Transfer for deposit

Hello everyone,

My wife and I are making reservations for Ireland. One of the cottages (found through VRBO) that we are interested in requires a 100 euro deposit. The information he gave was a bank transfer to an address - it started with 'IBAN='. He wasn't able to give me specifics about how to do this. Since I found it through VRBO, I feel like it's an honest transfer, but I'm a little nervous and I have no idea how to actually make the transfer. Anybody have experience with this sort of thing?

:D
Cary

Posted by
2828 posts

You go to your bank and sit down with someone ( the tellers don't usually do this) and fill out a wire transfer form. At least that is how I had to to do it. You need the IBAN and another number as well. The money will be debited directly from your account and sent to theother. My bank charged $40 in addition to the conversion fees. Now I avoid VRBO rentals that require this and look for one that accepts PayPal, Visa, or a personal check.

Posted by
8763 posts

Cary - Bank transfers are expensive. I did it once for a VRBO rental and it cost $70 to send it. I was able to split the cost 3 ways, so that made it a little more acceptable. My credit union knew how to do it, but then on the owners end it got messed up regarding which of his accounts it went into. I decided I wouldnt do that again. There are so many rentals available that there will always be an easier option that won't cost extra. My suggestion is to ask the owner to take a credit card number as a deposit. I just rented an apartment in Paris where I sent the owner a check in USD for the deposit. He will return it to me when I arrive and pay for the rental in full in cash.

Posted by
344 posts

What are some other sites you have used and been successful with when finding apartments in Europe? I used VRBO because I knew about it already. But I'm willing to go elsewhere as well. We are looking in Ireland, so it would need to cover that.

:D
Cary

Posted by
8763 posts

I use VRBO, Homeaway, and for my upcoming trip I am also using Airbnb. I steer clear of properties that charge extra for things like cleaning, linens or other things that I feel should be included in the price. Airbnb charges a service fee that appears to be based on the cost of the lodging. I factor that into my per night charge to determine if it works for me budget wise.

Posted by
1437 posts

My understanding is that bank transfers within the EU are commonplace and cheap, which is why I have come across this issue as well.

Not only are the fees high on our end for the transfer, but the deposit I sent this way in 2011 arrived short in the owner's account (fee withdrawn by the receiving bank). I never agree to this method anymore.

Posted by
1525 posts

Hey Cary!

We used bank transfers a couple of times in 2007 & 2009 and each time the cost was $50+ and the process at the bank tedious and (compared to Paypal) seemed rife with potential for screw-ups. I hope to never do that again. I now will only reserve a place if they either take deposit via credit card, Paypal, or will accept cash on arrival.

We use Homeaway frequently, VRBO occasionally, and this year for the first time, Airbnb. Airbnb has now been co-opted by traditional apartment/cottage owners as another way of listing their properties. Just click on "entire property" (or something like that) to filter out single rooms or couches from the list.

Just last month we found a cottage we wanted on the west coast of Ireland via Homeaway. We messaged the owner who gave us the details including the deposit via bank transfer. We then responded that we wanted to rent the property but would prefer another method of deposit "because bank transfers are very expensive in the USA" (apparently they are not so expensive elsewhere). She responded that she had heard similar complaints from other American guests and she would accept our promise that we would arrive as planned and simply take cash on arrival. While I would have preferred some money on the table to feel like were more "officially" the renters of that property, her reservation calendar on the web site now shows our dates blocked off as taken and we will be in frequent email contact with her as our dates get closer to June. Negotiations like this are much easier when you have 4-5 properties you feel like you can choose from and be equally happy. One of them is bound to have the ability to avoid bank transfers. You might consider offering to cover the 3% Paypal fee if they set up an account (I wish they all did!).

Posted by
8700 posts

I'm the "Helpline regular" to whom Bets referred.

With XE Trade money is taken from your checking account by electronic transfer. There are four ways to get it to the party of your choice in the currency of your choice.

  1. Have a bank draft made payable to the party and have it mailed to a physical address in Ireland. There is no fee for this service.

  2. Have a bank draft made payable to the party but have it mailed to your home address. Present it to the party when you get to Ireland. Again, no fee. (This won't work for your deposit, but it would work for paying the balance due after you arrive in Ireland.)

  3. Have the money transferred directly into the party's bank account. This is not a wire transfer so again there is no fee.

  4. Send a traditional wire transfer. This is fastest, but there is a fee.

When the money is taken from your checking account you will pay an exchange rate to convert it to euro only slightly higher than the international rate on the date the transaction is initated.

For security reasons it takes a little time to set up an account, but everything goes smoothly and swiftly after that.

Posted by
14882 posts

I recently used PayPal for a deposit on a place in Italy. PayPal takes a small commission from the payee, so I rounded up the transfer amount to cover it. For a €60 net payment, I paid about $8 over the mid-market rate on the day. Much cheaper than a bank transfer. You only need to supply PayPal with the payee's name and email address. PayPal contacts them and wires the money to their bank.

I don't know if xe.com would have been less, but I was already registered with PayPal and it was easy.

Posted by
8700 posts

Back in December I used XE Trade to send a Christmas present in the form of a bank draft to my grandson who lives in England. The exchange rate I paid was 1.6621. That had to be very close to the international rate at the time. The current exchange rate as shown on the XE site is 1.66806.

Posted by
814 posts

IBAN or SEPA to give it the correct term is the new payment method being used in most of Europe from this year on. It is very cheap for us to use - about 3 cents per transaction and you need only give out very little info about the account in order to receive payment (just the IBAN number), so it is catching on quickly as the replacement of checking accounts.

However if your bank is not a member of SEPA or has access to it via a European subsidiary, it is very expensive, so watch out!

Posted by
344 posts

Thank you all so much. I think we're going to give XE Trade a try. I'll look closely at it for sure. Turns out our bank only charges $25 for a wire transfer of $100, so that isn't as bad as I thought. But $0 is still preferable.

:D
Cary