International money transfers don’t have to cost you a pretty penny. Here’s how you can find an affordable way to send money to El Salvador.
There are close to two million Salvadoran Americans in the United States, while more than 19,000 Americans live and work in El Salvador. Not only does this mean that ties between the two countries are strong but also that there are plenty of options to choose from if you ever want to send money to El Salvador. All you have to do is compare a range of providers to find one that offers the most attractive deal.
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Banks versus money transfer companies
Banks are the first thing people think of whenever they need to send money overseas, but using your bank for an international money transfer is usually a poor choice. Banks are notorious for offering low exchange rates and large fees on international payments, which result in you spending more money than you need to and your recipient getting less money than they would expect.
This is why it often pays to shop around for a cheaper deal. There are plenty of trusted and reliable money transfer companies,
Oscar loves living in the United States but he still maintains a close relationship with his extended family in his homeland of El Salvador. Oscar wants to send $1,000 to his grandmother to help her settle into a retirement home but, when he approaches his bank to complete the transfer, is disappointed by the high fee they charge. He compares the offerings from two money transfer companies to see if he can find a cheaper alternative — both companies send funds to El Salvador in US Dollars.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Transfer method||Bank account deposit||Cash pickup|
|Processing time||2 business das||10 minutes|
As you can see, while the second company offers quicker transfers, it also charges $9 extra in transfer fees.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to El Salvador
- Exchange rates. The higher the rate the better, but remember that some companies will also charge high fees along with their high exchange rates.
- Fees. These can vary substantially depending on the company and the transfer method you select, so make sure you’re aware of all the fees and charges that will apply to your transactions.
- Transfer methods. From online and mobile transfers to those placed over the phone or in a branch, there are plenty of methods to choose from.
- Transfer options. Forward contracts, limit orders and recurring transfers can be useful tools for some customers.
- Turnaround time. Processing times vary from 10 minutes to several days and can sometimes come with different fees attached.
- Minimum transfer amount. Is there a minimum limit you must transfer each time? If so, is this limit too high for your needs?
- Pickup methods. Some companies only offer bank account deposits while others also provide cash pickup options.
- Customer service. Does the company offer phone, email and/or live chat support in case you ever have a problem with a transfer?
How to send money to El Salvador from America
- Bank transfers. Banks offer a safe but expensive transfer option.
- Online money transfer providers. Enjoy affordable and convenient transactions with a trusted money transfer provider.
- Money transfer companies with cash pickup options. Western Union is the world’s largest provider of this type of transfer service.
- PayPal. PayPal offers secure and reliable international money transfers.
- Checks. Ask your bank about how to get an international check.
Emergency cash transfers in El Salvador
If you need to send an emergency cash transfer to El Salvador, perhaps to help out a friend in urgent need of cash, some providers will allow you to send funds within minutes. Of course, you should be prepared to pay extra for the transaction, with higher transfer fees and poor exchange rates the norm for such transactions. Taking a few moments to carefully check all the details of your transaction can save you plenty of heartache down the line.Back to topFind a money transfer location near youBack to top
Tips for picking up cash in El Salvador
It’s critical to exercise caution when picking up cash from an agent location in El Salvador or anywhere else around the world. Taking one or more friends along with you is a great way to discourage thieves, while avoiding any unsavoury parts of town is a no-brainer. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, making sure that your bag and wallet are always secure. Finally, get the money to a safe place as soon as possible – carrying around a large sum of cash is never a good idea.Back to top
How to send money to El Salvador
Although the transfer process differs between companies, there are certain steps you will usually need to follow when you want to send funds. These include providing the following details:
- Your name, address, contact information and a valid form of photo ID.
- Details about your recipient, including their name, address and contact information.
- Details of your transaction, such as the currency you wish to send and the amount you will be sending.
Once you have placed a transfer you will be given a transaction ID number – use this to check up on the status of your international money transfer.