Amazon Affiliate Checks - Wells Fargo Fee for non-US citizens

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  1. Doc Wordinger profile image95
    Doc Wordingerposted 20 months ago

    Hey,

    Do any non-US citizens know how much Wells Fargo charges when a foreign bank sends a USD check back to them for collection?

    I live in UK and receive a couple of checks each year from the Amazon Affiliate program in USD. I pay it into my UK account and my bank then sends it back to Wells Fargo for collection. About six weeks later the money enters my account in pound sterling.  My UK bank charges a small fee and I know exactly how much this is. However, I can't find any info about the fee that Wells Fargo levies on their end. Looking at my last check from 2016, I sense that Wells Fargo has increased its cut.

    If nobody knows the answer, I guess I'll have to call Wells Fargo. But the checks I get are only pocket money amount and I'd like to avoid spending 30 mins on hold on a long distance call to America if possible.

    Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.

    1. makingamark profile image66
      makingamarkposted 20 months agoin reply to this

      Any bank in the UK charges a fee for banking a dollar cheque and mine levies it up front when I pay the cheque in.  The level of the fee varies by bank. I pay £10 for the currency exchange.

      I've personally never heard of anybody being charged a Wells Fargo fee. I've never been charged one. Which bank are you using?

      What I've learned is that since it's a standard fee it's best to raise the threshold before my Amazon.com associates account generates a cheque so that the fee doesn't swallow up too much of the income from the cheque. It might mean waiting longer for money but it pays off at the end of the day. It also saves on visits to the bank!

    2. justholidays profile image77
      justholidaysposted 20 months agoin reply to this

      Why getting paid by cheques when you can get paid by debit Master Card?

      When you join Payoneer you get a MasterCard that can be loaded by most affiliate programs. You can use it wherever you want and it will cost you only $30 par year smile

      1. makingamark profile image66
        makingamarkposted 20 months agoin reply to this

        ...and the rest!

      2. Marisa Wright profile image96
        Marisa Wrightposted 20 months agoin reply to this

        Amazon doesn't give you that option. If you are outside the US, they pay you by cheque and only cheque, no options.

        Which is amazingly old-fashioned, for a company like that!   

        It's the main reason I'm in the HubPages Amazon program, I don't use my own account at all.  If I want to use Amazon on one of my sites, I do it through Skimlinks.

        1. Doc Wordinger profile image95
          Doc Wordingerposted 20 months agoin reply to this

          I looked into Payoneer and it appears that quite a few non-US based affiliates are using it to receive payments from Amazon US. If I understand correctly, when you open a Payoneer account, you are given a USD checking account that Amazon recognises and will make payment to. I think it will cost you about $3 in every $100 getting the money from Amazon into your bank account via Payoneer but obviously it's much faster than check collection. I'm intrigued. I'll still try to find out if Wells Fargo levy a fee on checks though, and if so, how much it is.

          1. Marisa Wright profile image96
            Marisa Wrightposted 20 months agoin reply to this

            Like I said, if you're using your own Amazon account on HubPages instead of the HubPages one, you're missing out on higher commissions - so why would you?

            The same applies on your own sites.  If you use Skimlinks instead, you get their higher commission.  Yes, they do take a cut, but the end result is still higher than you'd get yourself.

            Plus, of course, having your Amazon commissions paid through the HubPages Earnings Program means you're not having to wait for a separate Amazon account to reach its threshold.  And Skimlinks' threshold is only $10, paid to Paypal.

            1. Doc Wordinger profile image95
              Doc Wordingerposted 20 months agoin reply to this

              Thanks for your feedback Marisa. I'll definitely consider joining the Hubpages Amazon program. If I understand correctly, on the program the split is 60:40 but you receive the higher threshold commission of 9%? What is the split outside the program?  I'm trying to weigh up whether I'd make more money by joining.

              1. Marisa Wright profile image96
                Marisa Wrightposted 20 months agoin reply to this

                I hate to break it to you, but HubPages is already taking a split on your personal Amazon links, too.

                That's because the split isn't achieved by taking the income, then dividing it.  They do it by alternating which affiliate code is shown on the link.   So, 60% of the time, readers will see your affiliate code if they look at that link:  40% of the time, they will see HubPages' code.   If readers click on the link when your code is showing, you get all the commission - if it's when the HubPages' code is showing HubPages gets all the commission.

                Your commission on your personal account depends how many sales you make, it's often around 4% for a small account.

        2. Marketing Merit profile image96
          Marketing Meritposted 20 months agoin reply to this

          And yet Amazon KDP payments are made directly into UK bank accounts without incurring a fee!
          I don't understand why Amazon affiliate payments are still made via cheque. There seems no logic to it.

          As regards the fee, I typically pay the bank £6 - £8. I'm not aware of paying another fee although there is no guarantee of the exchange rate you will get, until the cheque is processed by the international arm of the bank. What bank are you using Doc Wordinger?

          1. Doc Wordinger profile image95
            Doc Wordingerposted 20 months agoin reply to this

            I'm with Barclays. They charge a fee of £16 and convert from USD to GBP using their rate on the day that the check clears. I can live with this. However, the last check cleared for significantly lower than I had calculated. I should have made inquiries there and then but as it wasn't a huge sum, I forgot about it until now. I googled Wells Fargo and found that forum thread from last year which made me wonder if Wells Fargo introduced a new fee around that time. I'll check first with Barclays for an exact breakdown of the fees then I guess I'll have to call Wells Fargo in America. It's not big money but I'd still like to know exactly who is taking a cut and how much. I've researched Payoneer and it looked good at first. But it has some pretty horrendous customer service reviews so I'm not sure I want to deal with them. Perhaps the Hubpages Amazon Program is the way to go...

  2. Doc Wordinger profile image95
    Doc Wordingerposted 20 months ago

    I noticed that the last check I paid in didn't convert to GBP for the amount I was expecting. It was significantly lower. As the check wasn't for a huge amount, I lazily just assumed that my bank had raised their fee and/or given me a poor exchange rate. Then I did a quick Google search and found this thread in the Wells Fargo Community that appears unresolved:

    https://www.wellsfargocommunity.com/thread/9038

    I guess I need to contact my bank and find out exactly what Wells Fargo's fee was first. I did contact their community team by email but they just gave me a number to call.

    Thanks for the suggestion Makingamark. I've never heard of Payoneer. I'll look into it.

    1. makingamark profile image66
      makingamarkposted 20 months agoin reply to this

      Not my suggestion - I wasn't recommending it.

      1. Doc Wordinger profile image95
        Doc Wordingerposted 20 months agoin reply to this

        Sorry, I got your name mixed up with justholidays.

  3. C L Mitchell profile image91
    C L Mitchellposted 20 months ago

    I receive Amazon payments for my own personal website. Similar to makingamark, I just increase the payout threshold so that the fee doesn't eat into the payment so badly. I bank with Santander and they charge 10pounds to bank international cheques.

    I looked into Payoneer and in the end it didn't seem worth the hassle, and because I increased the payout threshold, I only get a few cheques a year anyway so it was comparable with the fees that Payoneer were charging anyway and less hassle.

    With my Hubpages Amazon earnings I just use the Hubpages Amazon arrangements.

    This is my first year living and earning in the UK. I'm aware that the UK tax department are coming down pretty heavy on people not declaring these earnings so I know I'll need to submit a tax return for what I've earnt at the end of the tax year March 2017. I've done a bit of reading and thought that I would be able to claim these bank fees as an expense? As I said, I'm yet to actually complete a tax return on these kind of earnings, so unsure if this is correct.

    1. makingamark profile image66
      makingamarkposted 20 months agoin reply to this

      HMRC has been tightening up a lot on earned income which has not been declared in the past. Anybody caught out can expect a swinging penalty directly related to the amount of time that has passed since the income should have been declared but wasn't.

      Remember ignorance is no defence in tax law.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image96
      Marisa Wrightposted 20 months agoin reply to this

      Yes, bank fees are a claimable expense.

      1. C L Mitchell profile image91
        C L Mitchellposted 20 months agoin reply to this

        Thanks Marisa.
        I've just recently got my self set up to do the online self assessment, so I guess that will be the next challenge once the tax year has come to an end. I've lived in NZ, Australia, Ireland and now the UK so have had to deal with a range of tax systems. But I'm one of those people that prefer to do things myself instead of paying someone, even though I usually begin regretting it mid way through!

        1. Marisa Wright profile image96
          Marisa Wrightposted 20 months agoin reply to this

          Unlike Australia, it's rare for British people to use a tax agent, so I'm sure you'll be fine. I did mine myself.

 
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