Cashing a US check

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mtwilson
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Cashing a US check

Postby mtwilson » Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:52 pm

OK, I am sure this has been discussed but I couldn´t locate it in the search. I have a Washington State check that was mailed to me and I need to cash it. The early news is not encouraging. The banks are saying it will take fron 30 to 90 days to process it if I don´t have an existing account. Is there an easier way? If I had a bank account I could use would it take less time? Any help appreciated.


Mike
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby scott » Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:20 pm

Hey. I have my parents, who live in Seattle, of all places deposit checks into thier account and paypal me the money. The bank is fine with it and so far it works great. Not sure if that is an option for you, but its a thought.
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby stuart » Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:49 pm

MoneyGram, the one in Miraflores near 28 Julio. They cash them instantly for a few % commission. (The other MoneyGrams all told me to go to this one.)
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby mtwilson » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:09 am

I have the check here physically and it is my name and I don't have anyone in the States who can deposit it for me. I went to the Moneygram in Miraflores and they said they would hold the check for one month and charge $50. How weird. The banks wont allow me to open an account with the check. In the States you can open an account and wait for the check to clear, here, no. I don't get it. 30 to 90 days seems unreasonably long to have to wait in this modern electronic age. Thanks for the responses, I guess I am going to have to wait.
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby uwwgal » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:44 am

well... at least they will cash it? back home i worked at a bank, and we would not cash or deposit foreign checks. is it a personal check or a business check?
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby markr » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:48 am

HSBC are probably the latest big international bank to open here in Peru and caim in their advertisements to be "The worlds local bank" Why not put them to the test.
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby mtwilson » Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:23 pm

It is a pension check from the State of Washington. Thanks for the tip about HSBC, I am going to check them out next. Where are they located?
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby stuart » Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:26 pm

mtwilson wrote:It is a pension check from the State of Washington. Thanks for the tip about HSBC, I am going to check them out next. Where are they located?


There's one on Salaverry, one next to Starbucks behind Aviación next to Las Artes, and one in Miraflores on the corner of Larco with 28 de Julio. Those are the ones I know about.
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby Lori » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:41 pm

what about mailing it back to your US bank for deposit and withdrawing the cash through an ATM in Peru? And then use the cash to open a Peru bank account.

Can you set up your cheques for future direct deposit so you don't have to go through this hassle again? FWIW, US banks tend NOT to cash foreign cheques at all ... even from Canada. If they do, they charge enormous fees and put 60 -90 day holds on the funds. Peruvian banks are not acting in any way differently than US banks.

ScotiaBank is now big in Peru and they are a Canadian bank - they might be able to offer you some help or advice if all else fails. At least as a Canadian bank they may have access to account verification on your US bank account.

All the best,
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby markr » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:11 pm

mtwilson wrote:It is a pension check from the State of Washington. Thanks for the tip about HSBC, I am going to check them out next. Where are they located?

Mike,
don't know where you are but there is also a branch of HSBC on Salavery in san Isidro and one near to me on La Marina in San Miguel. It's on the right just past Plaza San Miguel heading towards Callao.
Remind them that their adverts states that they're "the worlds local bank"
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby mtwilson » Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:42 pm

So here is an update. I finally found a reasonable solution and I discovered some interesting things about Peruvian banks. I went to all of the major banks here and I had wildly different responses from each. Some charged fees and had long hold times and others wanted a carnet extranjero (which I do not have) to open an account, no new news there. What I did discover is that even the same banks different offices can have completely different policies and requirements. I looked into many many dollar exchange houses as well with the same result. I eventually found a branch of Interbank in the Plaza Vea in Surco at Benevides and Camino del Inca that allowed me to open an account with my check and a passport and a drivers license from the US. They say it will take 12 to 15 days to cash and there is no fee at all. Compare this with the Interbank at Benevides and Valasco Astetes (just 5 blocks away) that required 30 to 60 days and would do the job of cashing my check for a mere $200!!

What a mind blower. When I informed the Valasco branch of the neighboring branches policy, they said, essentially, you should go there.

I did and I will let you know if it takes longer than two weeks to get my cash. What an adventure it is living in Peru!! I have to admit, I kind of like this though. In Peru, the unexpected in the norm.

Thanks for all of the helpful suggestions. This is a great community of help and support.
Mike
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby fanning » Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:26 pm

Not to spoil your moment of happiness :oops:
But I wouldn't be surprised at all if at the moment they finally transfer the funds in your account, that they will have charged you a (high) fee. Then to make a claim about the charge will really throw you in the deep of Peruvian bureaucracy ..
Even cashing a check of another bank has a fee, so surely cashing a check from a foreign country will have a fee.
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby stuart » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:31 pm

What Fanning says is sadly true. I wouldn't be surprised if you go there in a couple of weeks and they have no record of your check. If you are lucky enough that they are in fact cashing your check, you'll likely encounter a fee that they didn't tell you about but will claim they did.
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby americorps » Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:47 pm

I am afraid, banking at that same bank, that many of the tellers just make it up as they go along, but in the end, the bank will not stand by what their tellers tell you, but what they meant to tell you.
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby mahou123 » Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:33 am

I understand banks here have some rules and procedures that are uniform for all branches, but clerks usually don´t know about them, and can give you incorrect information just to be friendly and show themselves as knowledgable and professional, or they would just tell you ´no´ to get rid of you. I recently visited several branches of different banks trying to send money outside in Australian dollars, and found out that it is impossible. However, in several places they told me ´si, ningun problema´ from the beginning. I guess this is what they tell everyone, whatever you ask them. But, digging deeper, filling out forms, talking to supesvisors etc., later found out that they can´t do it.

I hope it works with you cheque anyway. Good luck!

And, by the way, the world´s local bank HSBC told me they don´t have a license for international transactions in Peru. This, coming from a bank employee, can prove to be an incorrect information though.
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby mtwilson » Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:31 pm

Well this news has certainly put a damper on my holiday weekend. I hope they are at least partly telling me the truth.

I will let everyone know how it works out. How frustrating. Better to just tell me like it is than lead me on. If it is bogas, I will close the account anyway. No one gains with these kinds of business ethics.

Cheers,
Mike
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby stephan » Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:32 pm

I tried to cash a US check too some time ago. In Interbank the employees don't seem to know the cost and conditions for this though. I went for Interbank because I have an account there. I asked about this several times and got a different answer each time, even in the same office...

Finally they showed me a paper though with the bank fees, which I suppose are the official fees. They first pointed to the wrong amount though (local check). Fortunately, I can read and found the cost for a US check myself. It is 0.45%, with a minimum of $12 en a maximum of $180. Which is quite reasonable I think.

I was told it will take 3 months to process, I'm not sure if this was true. Most answers were 2 or 3 months though. They also told me that they will lock $100 in my account until the check cleared.

Finally, I decided not to use a check and use a wire transfer to my bank in Europe and withdraw from the atm instead. More expensive in this case, but I had the money within 2 days.
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby Healing Hearts » Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:13 pm

I found all these posts most interesting. I have managed here for 2 years without any account. Just use the ATM machine. Thankfully I have a joint account with my Mom in the States, and she can deposit checks that come in my name. At least the ATM machines here do seem to work OK. No humans involved. :)
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby mtwilson » Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:48 am

OK, I said I would report back when all was said and done with my check and I am happy to report that the Interbank office in the Plaza Vea at Benevides and Camino del Incas cashed my check and did not charge a fee! It took 15 days instead of 12, but you wont hear me complaining about it. What an odd place Peru can be at times.

Thanks again for all of the feedback,
Mike
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby Ben71 » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:08 pm

So Interbank can cash US checks. Would you say they will do it always? I would really have to be certain that at least one bank can do it on a regular basis because that would be my primary source of income.

By the way, my checks are considered to be company checks.
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby Alpineprince » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:47 pm

Ben71 wrote:So Interbank can cash US checks. Would you say they will do it always? I would really have to be certain that at least one bank can do it on a regular basis because that would be my primary source of income.

By the way, my checks are considered to be company checks.

Highly doubtful that you can depend on that in Peru, also doubtful you will even receive mail from Serbia on a regular basis. I recommend you continue as you do and use an ATM here in Peru.
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby kenpo1st » Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:21 pm

I tried 2 interbanks and none could do it.
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby kenpo1st » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:34 pm

Interbank used to receive us checks, not anymore.
I deposited a US Treasury check for $1600 using my bbva account a year ago. I was charged $18 fee.
2 months ago I deposited a $500 from my insurance company and I was charged $135 fee.
Scotiabank want you to be a client for 6 months before accepting foreign checks for deposits.
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Re: Cashing a US check

Postby rgbjr » Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:35 am

Most American Banks that have mobil service will allow you to take a picture of the check up to $1,000.00 and deposit it in you American Bank accouant. I know Citibank has this service. If this helps at all.
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