Nowadays there are numerous options available for foreign remittances all around the world including Saudi Arabia. Each option comes with several plus and negative points. Not all of these options are suitable for masses, so this article will review the most used and feasible options available. In today’s world of unpredictably fluctuating foreign exchange rates, one may get confused in choosing the mode of transfer to remit their hard-earned money. Luckily, by following the below-mentioned tips one can assuredly get the best deals on present market rates.
- Consider Total Cost: Usually, the most important component is exchange rate if there is no time constraint. But, one should also consider remittances fees along with hidden fees which are usually covered in “back-end charges/fee” header by some money transfer outlets. Recommended: Foreign Remittance Charges from Saudi Arabia
- Try Money Exchanges: Rather than heading to banks, try visiting exchange houses. In Saudi Arabia, there are more than 50 licensed exchange houses like Al Amoudi, Halawani Exchange etc. The exchange houses are more competitive as compared to banks, but come with some drawbacks such as limits on daily & monthly remit and visiting their walk-in-outlets to transfer the money as online transfer option is still in nascent stages. The exchange rates differ amongst different exchange houses, so one may need to find the one which offers the best rate.
- Avoid Online Bank Transfers for smaller amounts: If one opts phone banking or online transfer through bank, he will be charged around 40-50 SAR, which is quite expensive. This mode is suitable for large transfers as there are no daily or monthly limits which most money exchanges and express money transfer houses have.
- Prefer dedicated Remittance Branches run by banks: If one uses remittance arm of the bank, not only he will enjoy decent exchange rates but also relatively low transfer fees. A transfer to India would cost SAR 16 using remittance arm as opposed to SAR 50 using the personal bank account. In Saudi Arabia, almost all major banks have their dedicated remittance branches such as QuickPay of NCB, Tahweel Rajhi of Al Rajhi Bank and Telemoney of ANB. Moreover, one doesn’t need an account with the bank to remit and can even transfer cash to a foreign country bank account. Remittance branches with sub-brands offer quicker transfer but offer less favourable exchange rates. Recommended: Procedure to send Money back home through Telemoney Exchange
- Express Money Transfer – fast but not necessarily the best: As compared to foreign remittance branches of banks, transfer fee charges using quickest services like the Western Union, Money Gram etc. are almost 10 SAR more for countries like Pakistan, India and Philippines that receives the highest remittances from Saudi Arabia. However, their large network and immediate cash transferability is an advantage. Express money transfer is especially useful if one requires emergency cash and not transferring to a bank account.
- Try sending bulk savings at once: Since for particular range of amount, E.G: 100 to 10,000 SAR, transfer fee remains the same for banks and exchange houses. Therefore, one may get more favourable rates from the bank for larger transactions.
- Don’t ignore PayPal: Transferring from a PayPal account to another PayPal account is overall decent. PayPal is relatively fast but not suitable for small transfers and the exchange rate offered is not the best.
- Look out for special deals: Remittances fees in festive months like Ramadan is waived off or is decreased if the transfer is done to selected banks of the destination country. Moreover, some banks offer remittance fee waiver to its Platinum/Affluent account member.
- Take cash with you while going back home: A passenger is allowed to take some cash along with him for his needs. It is important for you to know how much cash you can take from Saudi Arabia. Recommended: How much Cash can I take out of Saudi Arabia?
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