We are warned repeatedly not to send cash money in the mail. What is a person to do? Here are two examples of what not to do.
My wife and several of her sisters were to travel to London, England to attend the wedding of their niece. Not wishing her to carry an excess amount of cash I purchased a bank money order from the TD Bank in British pounds and paid the resulting exchange rate and fees.
Attempting to cash this money order at the bank of her sister in London my wife was informed to take it to the TD Bank. Not knowing where that was or how to get to it she borrowed money from her sister instead.
On her return to Terrace she attended at the TD bank here (where she had her accounts) she was informed that a transfer fee would apply to bring British pounds from Vancouver, as her sister wanted to be repaid in that currency. She declined and brought it to my attention, wherein I ended up in talking to the branch manager with the result that the money order could be cashed at par at a TD Bank that had British pounds on hand, such as the TD’s main tower branch in Vancouver.
We then found out that the money order given by me to the bride-to-be was also not cash-able. It was in US$ as the honeymoon was in Hawaii. The newly married couple returned to Vancouver but were not able to cash it at the TD branch in Vancouver where her aunt and brother have accounts. That bank told her to deposit it in her own bank in London (where she would have to pay conversion fees) or give it to me to cash which would then once again present the situation of sending cash in the mail.
I then had a second discussion with the local bank manager. The manager was not able to inform me of a safe way that money could be sent abroad.
My wife and her niece were able to go to the TD Tower branch in Vancouver and following discussions with personnel there, including a manager the results were:
The money order in British pounds which could not be cashed in London was redeemed in Canadian dollars at current exchange rate then converted back into British pounds at current exchange rate.
The money order in US dollars which the niece was not able to cash in Hawaii was converted to Canadian dollars and paid to her in cash, again at the prevailing exchange rate. This rate was to the bank’s advantage as the Canadian dollar value had dropped since the money order was purchased.
The TD bank person stated that as my wife was a long time customer she would discount the exchange fees, which amounted in a 31.1 per cent decrease. The moral of the story is bank money orders are not a good medium for money transfer internationally unless one is prepared to deposit them in their own bank for collection.