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Thread: Using my U.S. bank account?

  1. #1

    Default Using my U.S. bank account?

    Hi all,

    I have an account with Bank of America, and am planning on having my employer in the States do a direct deposit into that account, as well as the money from our house that we are renting out.

    I would prefer to not open a bank account in Nicaragua.

    Will I get the short end of the stick on ATM fees when I try to withdraw funds? What kind of currency exchange rates do you get when you withdraw from a U.S. account?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Most ATM's in MGA you can withdraw in dollars or cordobas, by drawing in dollars you usually only get charged an ATM fee, withdrawing in cordobas you will pay an ATM fee & some kind of exchange fee (with many banks).

    Without a cedula you will have a very hard (maybe impossible) time opening a bank account.

  3. #3

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    Well, I'm going to get a cédula, in fact I've already got all the paperwork finished for it. I just don't want to open an account in Nicaragua and then suddenly the economy bottoms out or the banks crash or something else terrible happens, and I lose my money...

  4. #4
    Viejo del Foro El Greco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefire1914 View Post
    Well, I'm going to get a cédula, in fact I've already got all the paperwork finished for it. I just don't want to open an account in Nicaragua and then suddenly the economy bottoms out or the banks crash or something else terrible happens, and I lose my money...
    Have Faith! Try to have a Bank Account in Nicaland, BAC I think is your best option is owned by The Pellas Family they're stable people

    When I retire I'll have a bank account in BAC for sure.
    Dios es Amor!

  5. #5
    TRN Surgeon General El Doc's Avatar
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    Default ATM fees aren't the real cost here

    If you're going to be living in Nica year round, and you don't plan on going back to the states for more than 30 days per year, your income is TAX FREE for the first $80K plus living expenses (up to an additional $40K).

    If your employer deposits that money directly in the U.S., you lose that exemption. I live in Mexico but my money is in Costa Rica. I pay a lot of ATM fees, but not nearly as much as you pay in taxes.
    "Un Estado que no se rigiera según la justicia se reduciría a una gran banda de ladrones." --San Agustín

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Doc View Post
    If you're going to be living in Nica year round, and you don't plan on going back to the states for more than 30 days per year, your income is TAX FREE for the first $80K plus living expenses (up to an additional $40K).

    If your employer deposits that money directly in the U.S., you lose that exemption. I live in Mexico but my money is in Costa Rica. I pay a lot of ATM fees, but not nearly as much as you pay in taxes.

    Wait a second. Are you telling me that I can tell my employer to NOT take out any taxes whatsoever, to deposit it into my Nicaraguan bank account, and the U.S. will not tax me for it at all?

  7. #7
    TRN Surgeon General El Doc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefire1914 View Post
    Wait a second. Are you telling me that I can tell my employer to NOT take out any taxes whatsoever, to deposit it into my Nicaraguan bank account, and the U.S. will not tax me for it at all?
    You need an accountant. U.S. citizens living outside of the U.S. are exempt from paying income taxes on their first $80K (plus up to $40K living expenses like rent, utilities, transportation, etc.). If you declare your residency in a tax free state (I live in a PO box in Las Vegas), you don't have to pay any state taxes either.

    So yes, you pay zero taxes, but lot of ATM fees (worth the trade-off).

    I don't have an employer, so my money comes from my clients all over the world. I suppose you can have them direct deposit it, but I wouldn't want to tread too closely to that territory that loses the exemption. Tell them to mail you a check and deposit it yourself. With that, you're in the clear.
    "Un Estado que no se rigiera según la justicia se reduciría a una gran banda de ladrones." --San Agustín

  8. #8

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    We are living in Managua without residency right now, and we have a Bank of America account also. We pay $5 to withdraw the $400 (US Dollars) daily limit from a BAC bank ATM in Managua and then convert to cord on the street. Every other bank I have tried in Managua cost me more in fees % wise. A few times we have used the teller window in the bank to withdraw larger sums of money at one time, and then we were charged 3% (ouch). We are able to use the Bank Card at places like La Union and La Colonia, but I try not to because the $400 w/d for $5 and convert on the street, is still the best deal I have found. If any one else knows a cheaper way to get their money from the US (beside carrying it in) please share...

  9. #9

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    It is possible to get your bank to raise the limit you can withdraw from an ATM, just in case you need it. Wachovia raised mine to $2000.00 per day. Of course that is five hits and five $5 charges. Still it is cheaper than the window at the bank.

  10. #10
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Cash Advances will end up costing you around 5% by the time you pay the fees on both ends.

    ATM 4 draws x $500 =$20 in fees
    Advance $2000 x 5% =$100 fees

    Here we have no (well now we do have, but it don't work) ATM, cash on a credit card is an expensive option but sometimes the only way.

  11. #11

    Default US Banks - Convenience & costs

    For the convenience, I feel that the $5.00 per transaction fee from Bank of America is reasonable. In, addition, BAC has never charged me a fee for using their ATM's. You should ask locally in other banks or credit unions that maybe would give you a better deal. A friend of mine who uses Washington Mutual told me that they did a $10K wire to her account in BDF for free (BDF charged her $20 to receive it)

  12. #12

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    The charges are from Nica BAC not from Bank of America, I have been in to talk to Bank of America to verify this. I don't mind the $5 fee/$400 w/d charges for the ATM...the 3% for the teller window is a bit steep.

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