DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this handout should be construed as the legal opinionof the Embassy. For official and authoritative information, please consultthe respective agencies as referred to, below.
U.S. TO GREECE MONEY TRANSFERS
Money can be easily and quickly transferred from the U.S. to someone in Greece through Western Union and can take less than 24 hours. U.S. bank to Greek bank wire transfers can be another alternative but may take more days. Please note that all money transfers will be disbursed in Euro NOT U.S. dollars. Fees for services vary. A passport is required to pick up funds from any bank or agency. If the American recipient has lost his/her passport, then he/she must receive the money through the State Department at the Embassy in Athens (see OCS TRUST below).
A. WESTERN UNION will transfer money from U.S. to various locations in Greece. Please call Western Union main offices in Athens at 210-900 5000 (available all days including weekend and holidays from 8:00 to 21:00), the toll free number 800-100-2020 or visit their site at: www.westernunion.com and www.worldbridge.gr to be informed on the closest location to you to receive your money. Service charges depend on the amount sent. Please note that all money transfers will be disbursed in Euro NOT U.S. dollars. In order to pick up the funds, the recipient needs to present a passport and also be in possession of the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN), a 10-digit tracking number which is the unique reference number assigned to the transfer.
B. AUTOMATIC TELLER MACHINES: A sender in the U.S. may also deposit money in the recipient’s bank account in the U.S.; the recipient could then withdraw a limited amount at an ATM in Greece. ATM cards can be used at ATMs of all banks with limits set by the bank. ATMs are spreading throughout Greece; most banks have at least one ATM in the Syntagma Square area downtown Athens.
C. OCS TRUST:When a U.S. citizen encounters an emergency financial situation abroad, the Department of State’s Office of Overseas Citizens Services (OCS) can establish a Trust account in the citizen's name in order to forward funds overseas. There is a $30 Trust processing fee. Upon receipt of funds, OCS will transfer the money to the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate for disbursement to the recipient. The recipient must contact the Embassy or Consulate directly, except in extremely limited circumstances, to arrange receipt. If the recipient's name and overseas location (city, country) are not provided with the money, it will delay the transfer. The Embassy or Consulate normally disburses funds in euro and not in U.S. dollars. Trust funds transfers are a one time service, except in specific, pre-approved circumstances. Funds sent to the State Department during non-business hours may not be processed until the next business day.
Following is information from the State Department website http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/money/money_1224.html providing the three methods of transmitting funds to OCS for transfer overseas:
a) If you have a MasterCard or Visa credit card, you can call Western Union’s QuickCollect service at 1-800-634-3422. Western Union has a limit per credit card within a 7 day period. A second credit card may be required to send an additional amount over the first during the same 7 day period.
- The “code city” is “OVERSEASEMERGENCY, DC.”
- The “pay to” name is “Department of State.”
- Use your telephone number as the account number.
- Ask the operator to add the name and location of the U.S. citizen you are sending money to in the “reference” field.
b) If you have a MasterCard or Visa credit card, you can visit Western Union’s website:
- Click on “Make Payment.”
- Choose a payment type.
- Choose “Other Billers.”
- Select code city “OVERSEAS CITIZEN SERVICES.”
- Follow the instructions to register.
c) If you want to pay in cash, you can visit any Western Union location in person:
- This is the cheapest way to send money.
- Call 1-800-325-6000 to find the closest location.
- Complete a blue payment form. - Include the name and location of the U.S. citizen you are sending money to on the form.
- We will deduct our $30 processing fee during the transfer.
- The final amount received overseas will be $30 less than what you send so you should include it in the total. - Western Union charges additional fees for its services.
U.S. Mail or Courier Service: Overnight or courier mail may take 3-4 days to reach us. Regular mail may take 3-4 weeks to reach State Department, due to security procedures.
We do not recommend this method for urgent situations or emergencies.
OCS does not accept personal checks. Send a cashier’s check or money order, payable to “Department of State,” for the required amount plus the $30 processing fee, to: Overseas Citizen Services, Department of State, SA-29, 4th Floor, 2201 C Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20520.
Include the name and location of the U.S. citizen you are sending money to. Include your name, address and telephone number.