International money transfer from USA to China could be expensive. After my own research, there are basically 3 ways to transfer some small amount of money from US to China. These methods are probably good for poor graduate students, and probably not good for business people.
1. Via Bank Of China (New York)
Arguably the easiest way to send money is through Bank of China (New York). Each transfer cost $20 (electronic) or $10 (non-eletronic). If you don't have an account with Bank of China New York, each transfer is at most $3000. If you do, the limit is $10,000.
Money transfer forms are available on Bank of China (New York) website. Finish the form and send it to bank of China, New York with your check. It takes 10 days to cash the check and 1-2 days to finish the electronic transfer.
2. Via any US Bank or Credit Union
Get the SWIFT code for a bank in China where your friend wants to receive your money. The SWIFT code is per branch in each city or each district. So for example, if you want to wire to a branch of Bank Of China, they have a website for the SWIFT code for major cities.
Also, get the name, telephone number and address of the bank's branch. Get your friend's name and account number.
Go to your bank here in USA and ask them to "wire" the amount of money to your friend's account in China.
Couple of notes:
-Wire transfer can take a week or two.
-US banks will charge transaction fee for wire transfer, it is usually $15 to $50 for each transaction or 0.1% percent of the amount, etc.
-If you do not have an account in a US bank, the bank will probably limit the amount of transactions (e.g. < 1000$) and/or limit the payment menthod (e.g. cash only).
3. Via Check
You an issue a personal check and send through the mail. Your friend will cash your check in a bank in China. However, the bank in China may impose some transaction fee and it may be quite high compared to method 1 or 2 above.
Finally, if you also want to send USD and have your friend in China receive RMB, there is a limit of $10,000/month for each account for transfer. You need to ask your bank in China to get their latest policy on this.
2. Jackie 2011-08-11 21:40
ATMCash has issues, user be aware! Here is a list of what I heard:
1) You may send money and think its sent and then they will cancel you and your money will be tied up for a few days. Customer service refuses to talk on the phone and says that's our policy and so on.
2) They will say there is no other fee besides the withdraw and service charge, but actually they also withold some money without reason. They will also have a big cut on the exchage rate and you can't withdraw all of your money.
3) Customer service is a big problem. If anything goes wrong or you need to make changes to you account, it could take them a long time to do it, say, 2 months.