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How to send money to Saudi Arabia
Take advantage of low fees and competitive exchange rates when sending money to Saudi Arabia.
Chances are you’ve landed on this page because you’re looking to send money to Saudi Arabia, but you aren’t sure where to start. Lucky for you, we’ve developed this handy guide to provide some useful tips and tricks to help you find the best deal possible. Compare international money transfer services in the table below, and let us help you figure out which provider will best serve your needs.
The “Rate” and “Amount Received” displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.
Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.
One of the first things to consider if you’re looking to send money to Saudi Arabia is whether you will carry out your transaction using your bank or a dedicated money transfer service.
- Banks. Many Canadians head straight to their banks when they want to send money overseas, which can end up costing them a fortune in the long run. Banks tend to charge high fees and offer much less competitive exchange rates than money transfer services simply because they know that their customers trust their services and won’t want to risk looking at other options.
- Money transfer services. If you can muster the courage to look at international money transfer services as an alternative to the banks, you will likely save a ton of money. Services like TorFX and XE Money Transfer charge zero fees and offer more competitive exchange rates than the banks.
Case Study: Fahad sends money to Saudi Arabia
Fahad lives and works as an architect in Vancouver but wants to start sending money home to his parents who live in Riyadh. When he approaches his bank to ask about a wire transfer, they inform him that they cannot send money to Saudi Arabia. Fahad decides to use a comparison site to look at a number of different options for sending money overseas. He compares two reputable money transfer services to track down the best deal.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||CAD$1 = SAR 2.70||CAD$1 = SAR 2.80|
|Transfer method||Online bank account transfer||Online bank account transfer|
|Processing time||Two to three days||Two to three days|
|Amount received for CAD$1,000||SAR 2,700||SAR 2,800|
Fahad can send his parents an additional SAR 100 (around $31) in addition to $5 in fees if he uses the second money transfer company.
- Competitive exchange rates. More competitive exchange rates can save you and your recipient money, especially if you’re transferring large amounts. It pays to compare quotes with the actual rates of 3 – 4 services, as many will advertise mid-market rates on their sites and then hit you with a less competitive exchange rate at the time of booking.
- Minimal fees. Low or no fees can make or break your transaction depending on whether or not your exchange rate is competitive. The best combination is low fees and top-notch exchange rates to boot.
- Various transfer methods. Money transfer services offer plenty of options, including mobile wallet top-ups and cash pick-ups in addition to bank-to-bank transfers. Pick the option that works best for you and your recipient.
- Fast transfer times. Cash transfer services are often able to get your money to your recipient in a matter of minutes, while banks and traditional money transfer services typically take anywhere between one and five business days. Faster transfer speeds will generally incur higher transfer fees.
- Reliable customer service. Choose a company with a trusted customer service team who can handle any questions or disputes you may have within the hours of operation that work with your schedule.
- Bank transfers. Canadian banks won’t necessarily send money to Saudi Arabia. Those that do will typically be the most expensive option.
- Money transfer providers. Check out our list of trusted online transfer companies to see which ones allow you to send money to Saudi Arabia. Companies like OFX, TorFX, TransferWise and XE Money transfer can be a good place to start if you’re looking to save the big bucks.
- Cash pick-up transfer companies. Western Union and MoneyGram are two cash transfer companies with an extensive global network. These companies allow you to send money to cities across Saudi Arabia, which can then be picked up as cash by your recipient within minutes. MoneyGram will send funds in-person, while Western Union can send money both online and at a branch location.
- PayPal. As long as both you and your recipient have PayPal accounts, you can use the online service to send and receive money almost anywhere in the world. PayPal accounts are easy, fast and free to setup online.
In the event of an emergency, cash pick-up options like MoneyGram and Western Union are designed to send your money to one of their hundreds of thousands of agent locations across the world in as little as 10 minutes. Just be aware that while these companies can be a lifesaver when you’re in a tight spot, they’re often more expensive than a bank-to-bank transfer. If you have a flexible timeline, it can pay to look at companies like TransferWise or TorFX to complete your transaction.
The Government of Canada recommends that Canadian visitors to Saudi Arabia exercise a high degree of caution (as of 21 August 2018). The crime rate is low but petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs in crowded areas and at holy sites. Do not show signs of affluence and ensure that your personal belongings including your passport and other travel documents are secure at all times. If you do need to collect cash, look for an agent location in a safe neighborhood and call ahead to make sure they’ll have cash on hand. Visit during daylight hours in the company of a good friend and return to your hotel to stow your cash in a safe place as quickly as possible.
You will typically need to follow these steps when you want to send money to Saudi Arabia:
- Register for an account. Sign up for a free account online when you provide your name, contact details and proof of ID.
- Provide full transaction details. Provide details about where you want to send the money, how much you want to send and in which currency.
- Finalize your transfer. Review your details and confirm your transaction to receive a tracking number. If you have lodged a transfer for cash pick-up, you’ll need to provide this number to your recipient
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