Eventually it will be desirable or necessary to send money to your lady. Please remember that this should only be done after you have met your lady in person and have an established relationship or engagement (do not violate this “Golden Rule” unless you enjoy being defrauded). Typically a man will send money to help his lady with correspondence expenses, English lessons, living expenses and/or immigration expenses. The amounts vary on individual circumstances and you should exercise caution if you don’t have deep pockets. Once you have been to Russia yourself you will learn that the purchase power of western currency in the local economy is quite high however you will find Moscow to be a more expensive city relative to the rest of the Russia. Several methods exist for sending money. They include direct bank transfers, Western Union transfers, sending money to a marriage agency on behalf of your lady, sending cash by mail, using an ATM card or using a personal courier. Some of these methods are risky and care should be taken to before sending money to Russia.
Methods of Sending Money
It is generally a risky proposition to send cash in a letter to someone in Russia. It’s hard to say at what point in a letter’s journey it will be opened and inspected but if and when it is inspected I can assure you that your cash will never make it to your intended destination. Aside from loosing your money and maybe even the personal letter that accompanied it you will be encouraging the Russian postal system to examine or steal all foreign mail especially yours in the future. If you are determined to take your chances and test your luck then I would suggest a small denomination bill placed inside a two page letter placed inside a security envelope. This way if the letter is held up to a bright light the money will not be scene inside. To protect yourself from confiscation and a lost correspondence send a copy of the personal letter in a second envelope without money. Ask your lady if she received both letters to measure your success. Again I suggest you don’t create temptations for the Russian postal system by doing this at all.
MoneyGram & Western Union
MoneyGram and Western Union provide an effective yet expensive service for money transfers throughout their extensive network of agents. First you will need to make sure that your lady has access to a MoneyGram or Western Union agent in her city. You can search the MoneyGram and Western Union websites for an agent in her city. If she does then you will find this service easy to use for a quick transfer of money.
The fees for a Western Union wire transfer are high and vary based on the amount you want to send, where you are sending the money to and where you are sending the money from. The breaking point for a fee change is at $101 increments so the fee increases to the next level when your amount is $1 over an even hundred dollar amount. The Western Union website has a useful feature that allows you to calculate the cost of a money transfer. You will find that transfer fees are based on the state you indicate the transfer is originating from. Fees for the state of California are among the lowest fee level offered by Western Union. Compare your state to California and see if you are being charged more. Tip: If you transfer by internet then choose California as your state of origin if you want to save a little bit on the high fees charged . . . you have nothing to loose and will save about $5-10.
MoneyGram has lower fees than Western Union however it does not offer the ability to purchase a money transfer using the convenience of the internet. Check the MoneyGram website to find an agent location near you. There may be one located in a store you normally shop at or pass by everyday.
Bank Wire Transfer
If your lady in Russia has a bank account you can transfer money directly from your account to hers. Ask your bank about the fees they charge for an international wire transfer and the information they will need to do so. Bank Wire fees average $30-50 regardless of the amount transferred. This is more cost effective than MoneyGram or Western Union if you are sending larger sums of money (over $500) otherwise MoneyGram or Western Union will be more convenient and cost less than a bank wire for smaller amounts transferred.
This is an excellent method for money transfers is the use of an ATM card. This method will work if your lady has access to an ATM machine in her city that is a part of the network that your ATM card is associated with. The typical international networks found on the back of most ATM cards are Cirrus and Plus. If your bank’s ATM card has one or both of these symbols on it then it means that this card should work in an ATM machine that is associated with this network. This is probably the most cost effective method for transferring large or small sums of money to your lady in Russia. Typically the fee charged for each withdrawal from the account is $1-$2. This is trivial in comparison the fees involved for Bank Wire and Western Union transfers.
Here are the steps to make the most of this method:
If you know of someone that is traveling to the same city as your lady you can ask them to deliver something for you. This can be a useful way to send an ATM card, airline ticket, small gift, or money. Care should be taken that your courier is reliable and trustworthy since you may have little recourse if something goes wrong. Be thoughtful of your request and make sure it will not cause any inconvenience or difficulty for someone else involved. You may wish to offer your services as a courier to someone else if you are traveling to Russia. This can be a great way to meet other people and develop new friendships.
You can also use professional couriers such as FedEx, UPS or DHL but they generally frown on sending money or other valuables. They may be more useful if you need to send an ATM card or Airline ticket.
Through a Marriage Agency
If you are using the services of a Russian marriage agency for your correspondence they may also provide money transfer services. Typically they will instruct you to perform a Bank Wire or Western Union transfer to them. This is usually done as a way to pay for your correspondence with one of their ladies. Since you can’t mail them a check and they may not be able to take your credit card you may have no other option for providing payment for their services. It is not necessary to use an intermediary like an agency to send a Western Union transfer if the intended destination is the hands of your lady. If they are providing this service to you then you should ask if they will be keeping a portion of the transfer as a fee. Be cautious before sending money to an agency for any reason unless you are confident they are honest and reputable. Generally it is best to avoid this practice since a dishonest agency will use this service as a way to defraud western men.
Visit these chapters for more information about Correspondence:
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