Trouble with a wire transfer from Germany to USA

Having a bit of trouble here

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Zalen
Hello, although this is a topic in finance, I should start off with a bit of background as this is my very first post on this site. A little more than a year ago I met a girl (Online of all places) and the two of us immediatly connected. We quickly became friends and no sooner then that we fell in love with eachother. I guess this just goes to show that there is truth in the saying Love knows no distance. Since the day we've met I doubt more than seven days have passed where we haven't talked to eachother. Since then I've tried to increase my knowledge of German culture so that I don't appear to be a "Stupid Yank" as they say. Eventually I found this site, but I haven't joined until now as I haven't had a reason to post. A few months into our relationship we made plans to see eachother as soon as possible, but seeing as how we both are still in school, the times when we could meet were few and far between. We originally planned to meet in October, she would fly here with her family and spend two weeks and then in December I would fly out to see her and stay for a month. Shortly after we planned this though, my family and I moved to a different state. Due to lack of money on my part, we both decided it was much better to spend a month together then just two weeks, so we cancelled the first planned visit. But now, everything is in order. I received my passport in the mail last month and all is on track for me to fly out and visit her in three weeks.

And now onto the problem!
Her family is sending money to me through a wire transfer as I am a bit short on covering the whole expense of the plane ticket. A week ago she had her mother submit all the necessary information to her bank (Account and Routing Number). Since America doesn't participate in IBAN, she told me that her bank said this was not needed, nor was the SWIFT number. Now, it's been a week since her mother submitted everything to her bank, and they told her it would take about a week until I recieved the money, but here I am, one week later, and nothing has shown up. I was wondering if this was normal? Perhaps something has gone wrong or just not enough time has passed for the transfer to go through? She told me that the money is no longer in her mother's account so I'm assuming it had to of gone somewhere. So I suppose my question is, has anyone else used a wire transfer to send money from Germany to the US? And if so, about how long did it take? Any further advice is appreciated, I'm extremely new to all of this. If there's anything I should be doing on my end, please let me know.

As a side note, I did use the search bar and couldn't find any topic like this so please go easy on me.
And, hello to everyone!!!
I'm very excited to have finally joined this site.
Darkknight
Seriously? Use the search feature.. Type in XE and hit go.. There are currently 1-2 other
threads discussing the same exact thing already.
Serenajean1
I have never heard of it being so quick. On average at least 2 weeks when I did it.

There is nothing you can do but wait it out. There is no tracking system that you can see where it is, and it is not instantaneously credited from her account to yours.

Next time spare the trouble and use paypal.
Zalen
Sorry DarkKnight. I'm familliar with XE but like I said I searched for Wire Transfers and read the threads and couldn't find the answers I was looking for.

Thank you so much Serenajean! I thought something must be wrong since her bank told her it would only be a week but I feel much better hearing you say it's 2 weeks on average. I tried to use paypal but, she wouldn't go for it.
MiNi79
I am glad I read this thread. I was expecting a wire transfer today or tomorrow and now I know that it will take time! Actually, I think they do this in the States too, for large amounts. In this way, they get to sit on the money, and make interest on it, like they would if you had tried to clear a check. I doubt that they would hold a low amount like the OP is probably getting, but you never know. Maybe they have a standard policy on wire transfers?

Zalen, I am not sure why, but Germans FEAR paypal.
Serenajean1
It has nothing to do with holding anything.

The money first leaves the bank, then leaves the country, then enters the other economic market before being sent to the final bank. The amount has nothing to do with anything.

Just FYI, on money leaving the US is it not even guaranteed once it leave US authorities controls. Not sure if the same is true the other way but I assume it is, so paypal is a far more secure system. And paypal is even not instantaneous with some forms of transfer, the low cost one I used took 5 days.

If you need instant cash best bet is western union. or a direct deposit into a account back home.
desponts
Wire transfers do take a few days. At least in the direction Canada to Germany. I assume it is the same no matter which two countries and which direction. I noticed this discussion yesterday and the comment about using a credit card for the cash advance so I called VISA. They told me that interest on cash advances starts as soon as the withdrawl is made. In order to beat the interest you need to have a zero balance on the card after the withdrawl - this means that if you want to take out $1,000.00 you need to have put not only $1,000 into the account a head of time but also paid any outstanding balance. So if you had purchases of $800 you need to put in at least 1800 to withdraw 1000. There is also a 2.50 cash advance fee that Visa charges. Check with your bank/credit card company, but this should work for which ever direction you want to move the money.
Zalen
Thanks for all the help everyone. You really helped to calm my nerves, I was really starting to worry. But now I know I just have to sit back and wait.

Now to just set up the German Anti-Fear Paypal Society.
Serenajean1
I have used paypal in Germany. Albeit not everyone uses it, but not all Germans avoid it either.
Darkknight
FYI: Xfers from EU to US and vice versa via XE are usually completed with-in 24hrs after XE get the money in its account.
Much, much faster than a wire xfer and also much cheaper.
Elfenstar
I transfer money regularly to the US with XE. Takes less than a week from start of XE transaction to receipt in US bank account.
westvan
Same with Canada. Usually about 4 days, give or take.
MiNi79
It has nothing to do with holding anything.

The money first leaves the bank, then leaves the country, then enters the other economic market before being sent to the final bank. The amount has nothing to do with anything.

Just FYI, on money leaving the US is it not even guaranteed once it leave US authorities controls. Not sure if the same is true the other way but I assume it is, so paypal is a far more secure system. And paypal is even not instantaneous with some forms of transfer, the low cost one I used took 5 days.

If you need instant cash best bet is western union. or a direct deposit into a account back home.
Enters another economic market? Why doesn't it go to the bank directly? I know that they wait up to ten days to clear checks over $10,000 within the U.S. This is a lot longer than it takes to electronically transfer cash. I always thought that the time between money transfers between banks is time they use to gain interest on your money. Although, since they also are investing your money after it is in your account, the money they pay to your account in interest in ten days is pretty laughable. I do not understand then why it takes ten days before they let me use it, but your saying that it goes to another economic market sounds like there is some delay before it routes to your bank, which doesn't seem necessary. Anyone know what a banker would say about this?
Zalen
Just thought I'd let everyone here know that the wire transfer arrived here today. From the day she sent it, it took eight days exluding the weekends. Not too long of a wait, but enough to make me nervous.

Germany, here I come.
Serenajean1
Mini- Many banks hold checks, some hold all check not just those over 10k. As to the other market, I mean dollar market, euro market, the money is converted it is not instantaneous.

If you have ever done a transfer there are huge warnings you must sign that once the money leaves US jurisdiction it is no longer guaranteed or traceable.

Perhaps I can find an old receipt and quote what is written. I will have to look if I still have any, or perhaps my bank has the form online.

Also about the checks, you are very wrong the banks never get the money instantaneously, some just choose to credit you before they obtain the physical transfer of funds.
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