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How to send money to Trinidad and Tobago
The safest and most cost-effective ways of sending money to friends and family in Trinidad and Tobago from Canada.
Trinidad and Tobago is a nation of islands off of the coast of Venezuela in South America. With its turquoise waters and sandy beachside towns, Trinidad and Tobago has long been a hot spot for Canadian tourists as well as landing pad for the thousands of Canadians who claim Trinbagonian ancestry. Since Trinidadian dollars are listed as an exotic currency, it can be difficult to find a transfer service willing to send money to this region. Compare available money transfer services with our handy money transfer guide to find the most competitive exchange rates and lowest fees on your next money transfer to Trinidad and Tobago.
Many Canadians opt to send wire transfers with their banks to save the hassle of finding another service, but this can end up costing a lot of money in the long run. Banks tend offer sub-par exchange rates and typically charge fees between $20 – $100 (which are high by industry standards). Money transfer services like OFX or XE Money Transfer are often much more affordable, with competitive exchange rates and low to no fees.
Case study: Kareem sends money to Trinidad and Tobago
Kareem was raised in Canada and decides to stay in Vancouver after his parents move back to Port of Spain to take care of his grandfather. Kareem has a well-paying job with an engineering firm and wants to help his parents with their move overseas, as well as some of his grandfather’s expenses. Kareem decides to compare two online money transfer providers to see which one will offer the best deal. The comparison below is based on exchange rates in the spring of 2018, so check current rates before making your choice.
|Money Transfer Service 1||Money Transfer Service 2|
CAD$1 = TTD 5.00
CAD$1 = TTD 4.92
Amount received (for $1,000)
|TTD 5,000||TTD 4,920|
2 – 5 days
1 – 2 days
or cash pick-up
Kareem realizes that he can save TTD 80 (around $15.50) in the exchange rate with the first money transfer option, with an additional $15 in fees. This amounts to a total savings of around $30.
Here are the key features to look for when you compare quotes from money transfer services:
- Exchange rate. Trinidadian Dollars are not a common international currency, so you’ll need to do a bit of research to find out which money transfer companies can convert CAD dollars to the local currency (or compare these services in the table at the top of the page).
- Transfer fees. Transfer fees can make up a big chunk of the money you pay for your transfer, so it pays to spend time to find the service with the lowest fees in combination with the most competitive exchange rates.
- Transfer methods. Most money transfer services will deposit funds into a bank account within 1 – 3 business days. Cash transfer providers like Western Union and MoneyGram can send money overseas in minutes, but this is generally much more expensive in the long run.
- Bonus features. On the spot payments are the most common transfer option, which means you can make a payment to Trinidad and Tobago at the current market rate. Other transfer options like forward contracts and limit orders allow you to book your transfer at a preferential rate.
- Customer service. Some companies will offer online chat, email and phone customer service while others may even have branch locations where you can receive help in person. Check to make sure the company you choose has a good reputation and is willing to help in case of any problems.
Your bank offers overseas wire transfers which you can use to send money to Trinidad and Tobago. Some banks can make a payment to Trinidad and Tobago but may not be able to exchange Canadian Dollars to Trinidadian Dollars. The following companies can deposit funds into a Trinidadian bank account. All of these providers are online and charge fees for their services.
- TorFX. TorFX offer a best rate guarantee on payments to Trinidad and Tobago. Transfers generally take one or two days.
- FairFX. This company can send funds to Trinidad and Tobago in a couple of days with low fees and a competitive exchange rate.
- WorldFirst. WorldFirst offer a range of currency options including forward contracts, recurring payments and market orders. Transfers over $10,000 are free.
- PayPal. PayPal is a good option for small transfers, given its percentage based fee and hefty exchange rates. Your recipient will need to have a PayPal account to receive your payment.
- Western Union. Western Union accepts payment online and can send funds as cash to Trinidad and Tobago in a matter of minutes.
- MoneyGram. MoneyGram locations in Trinidad and Tobago include The Port of Spain, San Fernando and Chaguanas. Funds can be picked up as cash within minutes of booking transfer.
Consider the following options for accessing emergency funds overseas.
- International cash payment. MoneyGram and Western Union have hundreds of cash collection agent locations in Trinidad and Tobago. These companies are partnered with supermarkets, pharmacies, exchange offices and other local businesses. These types of merchants tend to be open on weekends and outside of regular business hours, making them a convenient option for picking up cash.
- Emergency cash assistance. Credit card providers such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express can often make funds available as cash to collect from a local business in you’ve lost or misplaced your credit card.
- Travel insurance. In some circumstances, your travel insurance policy provider may issue an emergency cash benefit to cover your immediate costs.
The Government of Canada recommends that Canadian visitors to Trinidad and Tobago exercise a high degree of caution (as of 11 September 2018) due to an increase in violent crime. Street crime which includes pickpocketing, bag-snatching and robbery is common, particularly in larger cities and especially in the capital, Port of Spain. 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.
Follow these steps to send money to Trinidad and Tobago.
- Bank. Log on to your Internet banking to send money to Trinidad and Tobago. You’ll need to create a new overseas recipient if this is your first payment to your recipient. You will need to provide detailed banking information for your recipient (such as SWIFT code and account number) as well as personal details like name and address. If you have any issues, you can also go in to your bank to speak directly with an agent.
- Money transfer company. Create a free account with the providers we’ve listed on this page to send money to Trinidad and Tobago. This process can usually be completed in less than 10 minutes. In most cases, you’ll need to send a copy of a utility bill to verify your residential address. Provide the following information to register your details:
- Personal information
- Contact information
- Residential information
Once the transfer has been completed on your end, you’ll receive a tracking number which you can then use to check on your international transfer to Trinidad and Tobago. If you have any problems with your transfer, you can use the reference number to handle the issue with a customer service agent.
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