If you’re willing to shop around, you can find a secure and affordable way to send money to Saudi Arabia.
When you need to get money to a loved one overseas, the last thing you want to have to deal with is navigating a potentially complicated and expensive process. Sending money from the United States to Saudi Arabia doesn’t have to be expensive. Compare the transfer fees and exchange rates of the many options available to you to get the most Saudi riyals for your dollar.From bank transfers and online transactions to options that allow recipients to collect your funds within minutes, sending an international money transfer to Saudi Arabia is easy. However, do your research and shop around for the best available deal.
Compare money transfer services to Saudi Arabia
Banks versus money transfer companies
When sending money overseas, many Americans simply go straight to their bank. While this is undoubtedly a convenient option, the fact is that banks charge high fees on international transfers and offer poor exchange rates.
Money transfer companies, on the other hand, offer a convenient and cost-effective transfer alternative. With minimal transaction fees and exchange rates that in most cases are much higher than those offered by the banks, these providers offer transactions that won’t hurt your bank balance.
Case Study: Cliff Sends Money to Saudi Arabia
Cliff wants to send a money transfer to his brother, Chad, in Saudi Arabia. After some poor investment decisions, Chad is a little short of cash and needs some funds to help him pay his next month’s rent. Since his U.S. bank won’t support this exotic currency, Cliff decides to compare two money transfer companies to see which one offers him the most cost-effective deal.
As you can see from the table below, using the first transfer company means Cliff can send an extra 79 SAR to Chad.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||$1 USD = $2.6298 SAR||$1 USD = $2.5501 SAR|
|Transfer method||Online bank account transfer||Online bank account transfer|
|Processing time||1-3 days||1-3 days|
|Amount received (in SAR)||$2,629.80 SAR||$2,550.10 SAR|
How do I compare transfer companies when sending money to Saudi Arabia?
- Exchange rates. Compare the company’s exchange rates with those offered by a range of other transfer providers. Better exchange rates mean that more money arrives to your beneficiary, but look out for companies that also charge high fees with their high rates.
- Transaction fees. You will usually be charged a transaction fee every time you send a transfer, but some companies waive this fee on large transfers.
- Transfer methods. How will you be able to make your transfers: online, in a branch, over the phone and/or by using a smartphone app?
- Flexible options. Look for flexible transfer options that can help you save time and money, such as forward contracts (which allow you to lock in an ideal exchange rate now and transfer the money later), limit orders (which allow you to take advantage of changing market conditions by executing the money transfer when a certain exchange rate is met) and the ability to set up a recurring payment schedule.
- Transfer time. Compare transaction processing times from start to finish between money transfer providers.
- Minimum transfer amounts. If the company imposes a minimum or maximum transfer limit on each transaction, make sure either of those limits won’t disrupt your transfers.
- Pickup options. How will your beneficiary access the funds you send: from his or her bank account or by visiting a transfer provider branch?
Foreign exchange rates explainedThe exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it will yield more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. For example, in January 2018, the U.S dollar was worth approximately 3.75 Saudi Riyal. However, most countries’ exchange rates are flexible, which means it can change from moment to moment. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Today’s USD-SAR exchange rate
How do I send money to Saudi Arabia from the U.S.?
- Specialist money transfer providers. Check out our list of trusted online transfer companies to see which ones allow you to send money to Saudi Arabia.
- Cash pickup transfer companies. Western Union and MoneyGram are two companies with extensive global transfer networks.
- Bank transfers. Compare your bank’s exchange rates and fees with those offered by other transfer providers.
- International checks. Ask your bank how much it will cost to get an international guaranteed check to mail overseas.
What are the steps to send money to Saudi Arabia?
You will typically need to follow these steps when you want to send money to Saudi Arabia:
- Register for an account. This can often be done for free online when you provide your name, contact details and proof of ID.
- Provide full transaction details. You will need to provide details about where you want to send the money, how much you want to send and in which currency.
- Finalize your transfer. The final step is to review all the details of your transaction, including the exchange rate and fee, and then pay for your transfer. You can also usually track your transfer online.
Emergency cash transfers in Saudi Arabia
There are certain situations when you might need to send a transfer as quickly as possible. When you do need to send an emergency transfer, remember that you will usually have to pay extra in order to get your funds to your beneficiary ASAP. Make sure to check the exchange rate and fees that apply so you know exactly how much it will cost.
Tips for picking up cash in Saudi Arabia
- Ask a friend to accompany you.
- Only visit a transfer agent in a safe location.
- Keep your cash hidden.
- Deposit the funds into your bank account as soon as you can.