Paying bills in the U.S. from a European bank account

HamurabiHamurabi MiamiRegistered User regular
I moved to Amsterdam, and now have a European bank account.

But I still have leftover credit card bills with U.S. companies, whose websites won't allow me to pay from anything but a U.S. bank account.

Has anyone else had to deal with this before?

Posts

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    I think the answer is usually to keep a US bank account and only phase it out once all need for it is done.

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  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    About to have the same problem! I read that some companies will make an exception.

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  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    Would PayPal work?

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  • HamurabiHamurabi MiamiRegistered User regular
    Can't pay the cards with PayPal via their websites.

    I see now that my bank here has an option to make transfers to a U.S. account. My U.S. bank's site will only pair with U.S. accounts for free overnight transfers.

    I've enabled intl. transfers on my European bank account, which apparently takes 2 hrs to activate. Hopefully once it's active, I'll be able to transfer directly to my U.S. account without the crazy transfer fees I've heard other people complain about.

  • HamurabiHamurabi MiamiRegistered User regular
    Never mind -- my Dutch bank won't accept the BIC Code for my U.S. bank, because the U.S. bank I previously had an account with happens to be too small (assets >$1 billion) that it doesn't have a SWIFT/IBAN/BIC code.

    Jesus Fucking Christ is the U.S. so shitty to deal with sometimes vis-a-vis making life easier for anyone trying to do shit internationally.

  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited August 2017
    What about purchasing a pre-paid visa from Amazon or something and loading it with the funds?

    It wouldn't be a cost effective way to do it all the time, but it might solve your immediate issue.

    dispatch.o on
  • TaerakTaerak Registered User regular
    edited August 2017
    You could try paying a small amount to your credit card account via TransferWise. The way their system is set up, they have local accounts in every supported country, so to your CC company it should appear someone else is just paying your bill.

    I've been using it to pay off my student loans in the Netherlands from England. Saves money on exchange rate too (I'm saving about £18 pounds every month, because my normal banks markup is 5% on top of the googleable exchange rate.)

    If a small amount works, then you just go from there.

    Edit: Also, welcome to Amsterdam! :biggrin:

    Taerak on
  • BlarghyBlarghy Registered User regular
    If nothing else works, you can always just open up a USD denominated account at your European bank, get physical checks, and snail mail them to the US companies to pay your bills.

  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Blarghy wrote: »
    If nothing else works, you can always just open up a USD denominated account at your European bank, get physical checks, and snail mail them to the US companies to pay your bills.

    Checks might not be an option. I don't know how it is in the Netherlands, but here in Denmark checks are not around anymore. Everything is either done electronically or in cash and the later is also on the way out.

    I should think the best option is to open an account at a US bank that is big enough to be able to receive international transfers. Maybe your new bank can help facilitate it.

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    You can use Western Union to pay the bills but there are fees.

  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    Can you just open an account at a bank with branches in both countries? Citibank, HSBC, Santander, etc. One of those has to exist in both countries. Maybe that would help?

  • SoggybiscuitSoggybiscuit At the edge of spacetime lies a path with no end.Registered User regular
    Hamurabi wrote: »
    Can't pay the cards with PayPal via their websites.

    I see now that my bank here has an option to make transfers to a U.S. account. My U.S. bank's site will only pair with U.S. accounts for free overnight transfers.

    I've enabled intl. transfers on my European bank account, which apparently takes 2 hrs to activate. Hopefully once it's active, I'll be able to transfer directly to my U.S. account without the crazy transfer fees I've heard other people complain about.

    Can you PayPal money from the EU account to your US account?

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  • HamurabiHamurabi MiamiRegistered User regular
    Hamurabi wrote: »
    Can't pay the cards with PayPal via their websites.

    I see now that my bank here has an option to make transfers to a U.S. account. My U.S. bank's site will only pair with U.S. accounts for free overnight transfers.

    I've enabled intl. transfers on my European bank account, which apparently takes 2 hrs to activate. Hopefully once it's active, I'll be able to transfer directly to my U.S. account without the crazy transfer fees I've heard other people complain about.

    Can you PayPal money from the EU account to your US account?

    Doing this now. Had to make a second PayPal account because U.S. PayPal won't let you add a bank account with anything but a routing + account number (ie. a U.S. account), and I can't add my bank card because it's not a Visa or MasterCard (here they don't by default give out debit cards that are either of those -- they're "Maestro" and only work as debit cards).

    Now waiting for the two micro-deposits to reach my Dutch account... but I should theoretically now be able to transfer money directly to my main PayPal account and then to my U.S. bank.

    SoggybiscuitFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud
  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    Out of curiosity, did you try adding the maestro card as a mastercard? Maestro is a mastercard debit card, and uses the same payment processing infrastructure.

    I don't have one anymore, but in the past I've successfully used a maestro card at places that take mastercard, though they don't explicitly say it's accepted.

  • HamurabiHamurabi MiamiRegistered User regular
    For some closure on this:

    Ultimately I went with the two-PayPal-account method. You have to load up balance on the EUR account, then pay yourself using that balance (won't let you draft directly from the bank, has to go to PP balance first THEN used to pay yourself).

    The other good option was this service called TransferWise (not sure if someone mentioned it here already). Bunch of people on the fb Amsterdam expat group suggested it, and it seems legit enough after having used it -- and its quick.

    I transferred €65 ($75 USD) to their IBAN in Estonia, which they then transferred to the U.S. account I specified, for a €2 fee.

    Overall the slightly-convoluted PP method is what I'll use until I'm done paying off these remaining credit card bills.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    I just started using TransferWise. It was super user friendly. Havent seen my money yet though hehe.

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  • TaerakTaerak Registered User regular
    Yeah, TransferWise is a lifesaver for me. Though I am surpised you can't directly get PP to pay your US account from your Dutch account - it certainly is possible in the UK.

  • HamurabiHamurabi MiamiRegistered User regular
    Taerak wrote: »
    Yeah, TransferWise is a lifesaver for me. Though I am surpised you can't directly get PP to pay your US account from your Dutch account - it certainly is possible in the UK.

    My U.S. PP account seems to be 'region-locked' as a U.S.-only one. I can't add any banks that don't have a routing and account number -- no support for IBAN/Swift codes at all.

    I recall googling it and finding that it's not possible to have U.S. + intl bank accounts connected to the same PP.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    As an update: my transferwise thing worked and it was very user friendly and pretty cheap.

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    Taerak
  • AmarylAmaryl Registered User regular
    Glad you found something that works, even if it is convoluted.

    Though you could probably just request/activate an actual credit card from your Dutch bank (which should be around 1-3 euros a month, depending on your account setting) which should either be mastercard or visa depending on your bank.

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