If you need to send money to Albania, whether for business or personal reasons, only a few companies can help. Albanian leks are considered to be an exotic currency and not something most foreign exchange providers deal with.
While few Canadian banks will send money to Albania, the ones that do tend to charge high transfer fees and offer unattractive exchange rates. Specialist money transfer services will offer more competitive exchange rates and lower fees. Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram can send funds between Albania and Canada.
Read our guide to find out more about sending money to Albania.
Send money to Albania with WorldRemit
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply. WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Choose how you want to send your money - via bank transfer, cash pickup or mobile money
The table below lays out some of the options that you can access to transfer funds from Canada to Albania. You can also use the table headings to sort products by applicable fees and other categories showing differences.
Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.
Case study: Ardita sends money to Albania
Ardita was born in Albania but moved to Canada to attend university. After studying, she decided to stay in Canada. Ardita wants to send CAD$1,000 back to Albania to help cover her parents’ bills. She has an account with a popular bank in Canada who can send the money to Albania, however she doesn’t think it’s offering a very good deal. She decides to compare the exchange rate and transfer fees offered by two transfer companies and her bank. You can see the results of her comparison below, using exchange rates with Albanian leks at the time of writing in 2018. Check current rates before making a decision.
Money transfer company 1 – Bank
Money transfer company 2 – Money transfer service
Money transfer company 3 – Money transfer service
CAD$1 = ALL78.03
CAD$1 = ALL79.89
CAD$1 = ALL80.05
Amount received for CAD$1,000 (in Albanian lek)
Three to five days
One to two days
Bank account deposit
Cash pick-up or bank account deposit
Cash pick-up only
Correct 9.30PM 29 March 2018
As you can see, Ardita can pay cheaper fees and send more money to her parents if she uses the services of one of the transfer companies instead of her bank.
How do I compare money transfer companies
Have a look at these features when you compare providers who allow transfers to Albania:
Exchange rate. Which providers will let you exchange Canadian dollars to Albanian lek, and at what rate of conversion? Some providers offer low transfer fees but less competitive exchange rates, while others may offer higher transfer fees but less competitive exchange rates.
Transfer fee. Some providers give you your first transfer for free and other providers don’t charge a transfer fee at all. Be sure to compare the exchange rate and the transfer fee to determine how much your recipient will receive.
Transfer time. The transfer time is based on the payment and collection methods. Bank transfers generally take a few business days to clear. Money transfer providers generally take anywhere from just minutes to three or four business days.
Collection options. Do you want to send cash or do you want to send the money directly to a bank account in Albania?
Transfer options. Cash transfers, forward contracts, spot orders and recurring payments are some of the different transfer options on offer from different providers.
Transfer limits. Some companies will impose minimum and maximum transfer limits. These vary from zero dollars up to $10,000.
Customer service. Contact methods will vary, however some companies offer email, online chat, phone help and in-person assistance. Always choose a reputable company to handle your money.
How do I send money to Albania from Canada?
Below is a brief description of the process to send money to Albania.
You can likely use the international transfer services of your bank for a fee. Log into your online banking and select the menu that lets you make an international payment. If this is the first time you’ve made a payment to this bank account in Albania, you’ll need to add a the payee as a beneficiary first. You’ll need some information, such as the recipient’s full name, bank name, transit 0information and account number.
International cash payment service
Companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram can send cash to Albania in just minutes. These companies have more than a handful of cash collection agents throughout Albania.
Western Union. Western Union tends to have partnerships with a wider range of Albanian merchants compared to MoneyGram. You can send money online, by phone or in person from Canada.
MoneyGram. MoneyGram is partnered with Albanian banks and credit agencies. You can only send money in person from a Canadian branch.
Online money transfer companies
WorldRemit. You can send money online using the services of WorldRemit.
How do I receive money from Albania in Canada?
This will depend on how the funds are being sent.
Receiving funds in your bank account. You’ll need to provide your bank account and personal details to the sender to receive funds in your bank account. These will include:
Your account number
Your bank’s name, address and transit number
Collecting cash. Provide your name and the transaction reference number to collect cash from an agent location like Western Union. Note that some cash payment services can also deposit funds into a bank account.
PayPal transfers. If someone in Albania wants to send you a PayPal payment, you can accept it in Canada. The sender can find your account if you give them your email address or phone number. Once you receive the money, you can transfer the funds to your bank account and then make a withdrawal. Both you and the sender must have PayPal accounts, which can be setup online free of charge.
Emergency cash transfers in Albania
Have a look at these options if you need to get cash to Albania in an emergency.
International cash payment. International cash payment companies, such as Western Union or MoneyGram, can send cash to Albania in just minutes.
Emergency cash. Card schemes, such as Visa, Mastercard or American Express, can provide emergency cash if your card is lost or stolen. The funds will be added to your account balance.
Travel insurance. You may be eligible to receive an emergency cash benefit from your travel insurance provider. Never travel without insurance.
Cash pickup locations in Albania/Western Union/MoneyGram branches in Albania
Have a look at the different Western Union and MoneyGram agents in Albania. Many banks act as Western Union and MoneyGram agents in Albania’s major cities.
Glei Exchange Sheshi Sulejman Pasha Ndertesa Nr 2 Hyrja Nr 3, Tirane, Albania, 1001 Open Monday to Saturday 8.00AM to 7.00PM +355 4 2234979
ALB Kredit Rr Ded Gjo Luli, Tirane, Albania, 1001 Open Monday to Friday 8.00AM to 2.00PM Open Saturday 9.00AM to 12.00PM +355 4 2234979
GFU AL Lagjia Luigj Gurakuqi Pall 75 Kati I Ap 1, Elbasan, Albania, 3001 Open Monday to Saturday 8.00AM to 7.00PM +355 4 2234979
Union Elbasani Rr 11 Nentori P 70, Elbassan, Albania, 3001 Open Monday to Friday 8.00AM to 6.00PM Open Saturday 8.00AM to 1.00PM Open Sunday 9.00AM to 12.00PM +355 4 2234979
Banka Societe Generale Albania Lagjja. 3 Sheshi Ilira Egt Tower Kati Dyte, Durrës, 2000 Open Monday to Friday 8.30AM to 3.30PM +355 0 52237157
BKT – Dega Plazhi Durrës Lagija 13 RR Tre Vellezerit Thanasi Plazh, Durrës, 2008. Open Monday to Friday 8.30AM to 3.30PM +355 5 2263415
Raiffeisen Bank – Dega – Vlorë – 006 Lagjia Bulevardi Ismail Qemali, Vlorë Open Monday to Friday 8.30AM to 4.30PM Open Saturday 8.30AM to 1.00PM
First Investment Bank lagjia pavarsia Portia Detar, Vlorë 9402 Open Monday to Friday 8.00AM to 5.00PM
Tips for picking up cash in Albania
The Government of Canada recommends that Canadian travellers exercise a normal degree of caution when visiting Albania. Unless it’s essential, travel to the region of Lazarat is unadvisable.
While pick-pocketing and petty theft do occur, instances of violent crime against Canadian tourists in Albania are relatively rare. Travel in a group if you’re picking up cash and avoid using public transportation with large sums of money. Store your money in a safe place once you retrieve it.
What are the steps to send money to Albania?
To make an overseas transfer from your bank account, log on to your internet banking and look for the option that lets you make an international payment. You’ll need to add the payee as a beneficiary if this your first payment. You’ll need to provide the payee’s details, such as your bank location and bank account number. Ensure you have all of the right information so the funds reach the right bank account.
Money transfer company
Register for an account online to use the services of one of the companies compared on this page. Registering for an account is free of charge and will likely only take a few minutes to complete. Provide the following information to setup an account:
Personal details. This will include your name, home address and date of birth.
Contact details. You will need to list your email address and phone number.
Identification. Some providers may ask for a copy of your passport or driver’s licence for proof of ID.
You should be issued with a tracking number or code once you lodge the transfer. You can use this information to check on the status of your money transfer to Albania. Provide your recipient with the number so they can retrieve the funds.
While there are only a few ways to send money to Albania, you can still compare your options to determine the service and transfer method that is right for you.
Emma Balmforth is a producer at Finder. She is passionate about helping people make financial decisions that will benefit them now and in the future. She has written for a variety of publications including World Nomads, Trek Effect and Uncharted. Emma has a degree in Business and Psychology from the University of Waterloo. She enjoys backpacking, reading and taking long hikes and road trips with her adventurous dog.
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