When I started my life as a digital nomad, I did not realize I would be staying in one place for so long! Nevertheless, I got a good amount of traveling in before the world shut down, all the while building an international business.
If that sounds more grand than a freelance career should, that may just mean you’re not thinking globally. The concept of a digital nomad is not just someone who works remotely from wherever in the world they want to. Rather, it is someone whose business opportunities are not limited by location. You can be a digital nomad simply sitting at home, doing jobs in different states, countries, and continents.
One of the challenges I quickly discovered was how expensive it was to get paid. Getting paid locally is naturally very easy and affordable. However, when you are getting paid in other currencies, you have to pay transfer fees while settling for an exchange rate that is always weighted in the bank’s favor.
Fortunately, because so many people around the world are now getting paid in foreign currencies, savvy entrepreneurs have founded money transfer companies that serve people just like them.
To help you find the currency transfer company that best suits you, let’s take a look at exactly why currency transfer is so expensive and what you should seek in a money transfer company.
Why is foreign exchange expensive through banks?
It is well-established that banks are dinosaurs in the financial sector. They have been around for centuries, and have little incentive to change the way they operate. They are so enmeshed with their country’s economy that it is in everyone’s interests that they succeed.
It’s no surprise then that their foreign exchange offerings tend to be no different than they were twenty years ago when currency exchange was far less common. Banks charge relatively high fees on currency transfers, often charging you multiple times. They may charge the sender and the recipient, a fixed fee and a percentage of the sum, and hidden fees in an unfavorable exchange rate.
Anyone who has received a foreign payment through their bank knows just how much was skimmed off the value they expected to receive. And since banks are not offering good modern solutions, it is best to look elsewhere for foreign exchange products.
What do currency transfer providers offer?
Modern currency exchange companies offer low, transparent fees along with quick and seamless transfers. One of the biggest in the world, WorldFirst, based on this review, only charges a tiny percentage off the interbank exchange rate. Without any other fees, you still get a better exchange rate than you would from the bank.
Money transfer providers also offer a whole range of products for people who want to be a little more savvy with their earnings. When dealing with foreign currency, you have the opportunity to use exchange rates to increase your income. Transfer providers may offer hedging and futures options that help you do just that.
Find the best currency transfer provider in the US
While WorldFirst is one of the foremost transfer providers in the world, it is available everywhere but the US. The same is true of a number of other of the big currency exchange providers. US banking is particularly behind many other countries, and because different states have different regulations, even those companies that serve the US may not serve every state.
So, how do you go about finding the best currency transfer provider in the US?
There are a number of good options available in the US, such as Currencies Direct and MoneyCorp. Your first priority when comparing these companies should be cost. Look for the fees they charge – are they fixed or a percentage of the sum? Do they promise no hidden fees in the exchange rate? Your income will be seriously impacted by these charges.
Next you should take a look at how practical they are for your purposes. Find out how long a transfer takes. The last thing you want is cash flow issues when you need to pay the bills.
Furthermore, check what their minimum transfer is. As a freelancer, my rates can fluctuate wildly, especially when crisis hits (as it has multiple times over the past year). A company that requires a minimum $1,000 transfer may be perfect for me on a regular month, but when times are particularly tough, I still need to be able to transfer the few hundred dollars I have earned.
Only once you have seen to the basics should you start looking at added features like hedging and futures. Ultimately, you can make good money through savvy currency exchange, but that should never come at the expense of your daily needs.
Is it worth it to be a digital nomad?
This might seem like a lot of work just to get paid. Is it really worth it to find work around the world rather than sticking to the US?
The simple answer is: yes. Aside from the benefits of working remotely, you expand your options tremendously. There is always business available somewhere, even in the worst of times.
With money transfer companies it is not all that difficult in any case. Once you have found the right one for you and are used to the functionality and features, you will get into a rhythm quickly, with your full earnings in your bank account when you need it.