Find the best exchange rates and lowest fees so that you can save money when you need to transfer funds to Samoa.
There are over 180,000 Americans with Samoan ancestry, with the largest populations of Samoan Americans found in Honolulu, Hawaii and Long Beach, California. At the same time, an increasing number of tourists are discovering the unspoilt beaches and beauty Samoa has to offer, with American tourists making up more than 6% of Samoa’s international arrivals in the first quarter of 2015.
If you ever need to send money to friends or family back home in Samoa, or to a relative or friend travelling to the country, there are several ways to go about it. However, it’s vital that you compare several money transfer providers before choosing the right one to handle your transaction.
Banks versus money transfer companies
All major US banks offer international wire transfers as part of their suite of financial products and services, but they certainly don’t offer value for money when they send your funds overseas. Disappointing exchange rates and high fees are the norm, which combine to have a negative effect on your bank balance and your recipient’s wallet.
You can find a much more affordable money transfer solution if you use a dedicated transfer company. These companies, such as WorldRemit, specialise in moving funds across international borders and offering better exchange rates and lower fees for doing so. Transfers are safe and convenient and, if you choose the right provider, you can save yourself a whole lot of money.
George is living and working in the United States for a few years in an effort to save up a deposit to buy a house back home in Samoa. He wants to find the most affordable way to send money to his family in Samoa and rather than use his bank, which charges an astronomical fee per transfer, he decides to look for a specialist money transfer company. He compares the fees and features offered by two companies when he sends $500 to Samoa.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 2.65 WST||1 USD = 2.69 WST|
|Transfer method||Cash pickup||Mobile wallet transfer|
|Processing time||10 minutes||10 minutes|
|Amount received (in WST)||1,325||1,345|
As you can see, George can send an extra 20 WST and save USD $2 in transfer fees if he sends his money with the second company.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Samoa
- Exchange rates. The rate of exchange that applies to your transaction determines how much money your beneficiary will receive. Look for a company that consistently offers rates that are better than the best.
- Fees. Be wary of the fact that some companies with attractive exchange rates also charge high fees, while other companies will waive their fees if you send larger amounts.
- Transfer methods. Can you lodge transfers online, using a dedicated mobile app or over the phone, or do you need to visit a branch in person?
- Transfer options. Some companies will provide flexible order options such as forward contracts and limit orders to help you make the most of changing market conditions.
- Turnaround time. Transfer times can vary from instant (give or take 10 minutes) to several days, so this is an important feature to compare if time is of the essence for your transfers.
- Minimum amount. Some companies may impose minimum transfer limits that restrict your options if you usually only need to transfer minimal sums of money.
- Pickup methods. Will the funds be deposited into your beneficiary’s bank account in Samoa, or will they need to pick up the cash from their nearest transfer agent?
- Customer support. If you ever have a question or a problem with a transfer, will you be able to get the help you need via a customer support hotline or email address?
How to send money to Samoa from America
- Bank transfers. You can send a wire transfer from your US bank account to a Samoan bank.
- Online money transfer providers. Specialist money transfer companies offer better exchange rates than the banks.
- Money transfer companies with cash pickup options. Western Union and MoneyGram are the two best-known providers of this service.
- Checks. International checks are slow and may attract a high processing fee, but they are a reliable transfer option.
Emergency cash transfers in Samoa
Sending emergency cash transfers is easy, with some companies offering instant transfers to Samoa. Just be aware of the fact that you will most likely be charged extra for sending an urgent transfer, in the form of both lower exchange rates and higher fees. So before you send an emergency funds transfer, check the details of your transaction closely to make sure you’re aware of exactly how much it will cost.Back to top
Cash pickup locations in Samoa
Open 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday
Development Bank Of Samoa Building
Apia Beach Road
Open 8:30am to 4pm Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 12pm Saturday
Open 8am to 6pm seven days
Sal le Pel Variety Store
Savaii, Savaii 814
Open 8:30am to 5:30pm Monday to Saturday, 8:30am to 12:30pm Sunday
Bank of South Pacific
Open 8am to 5pm Monday to Saturday
Bank of South Pacific
Open 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday
Tips for picking up cash in Samoa
Picking up cash from a transfer agent in Samoa? Here’s how you can stay safe:
- Only visit an agent in an area you know to be safe
- Ask a friend or travelling companion to accompany you if you feel the need for extra peace of mind
- Don’t advertise the fact that you have a wallet full of cash to strangers
- Don’t carry around a big sum of money for any longer than is absolutely necessary
How to send money to Samoa
The first step in the transfer process will usually be to register for an account with the transfer provider you choose. To do this you will need to provide details such as your name, address, contact information and a valid form of photo ID.
Next, you’ll need to know certain details about your recipient, such as their name and contact information, to pass on to the transfer provider. Details of how much money you’re sending and in what currency will also be required.
Once you’ve paid for a transfer you’ll be given a receipt or tracking number – use this if you need to check up on the status of your transfer.