Here’s how to send a quick, affordable and secure money transfer to Sierra Leone.
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- Enjoy competitive exchange rates.
- Lock in low rates with forward contracts and limit orders.
- Get weekly updates on the market.
What are my options for sending money to Sierra Leone from the US?
- Banks. Banks usually don’t send exotic currencies like the Sierra Leonean leone, but you may be able to find one that does make international transfers. If you do, check out its exchange rates and fees. Banks are known for having less favorable terms, so check these out before you complete a transfer.
- Non-banks. Money transfer companies such as Western Union and WorldRemit let you send money to Sierra Leone from the US. You can use their services to transfer funds to a bank account or send money to a cash pickup location. You can also transfer funds via PayPal, provided both you and the recipient have PayPal accounts.
Banks vs. money transfer companiesEmmanuel managed to get a job shortly after his arrival in the US, but his family is still living in Sierra Leone. He wants to send them $500, but because the leone is an exotic currency, Emmanuel wasn’t able to use his bank. Instead, he compares two money transfer options.
|Money transfer service 1||Money transfer service 2|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 8350 SLL||1 USD = 8200 SLL|
|Amount received||4,175,000 SLL||4,100,000 SLL|
|Transfer time||1 day||1 day|
|Transfer options||Bank account||Cash pickup|
Emmanuel noticed that while the second service provider did not charge a fee, the first service provider offered a highly competitive exchange rate. By using the first service provider his family ended up receiving considerably more money, even though he had to pay a fee.
What are the steps to send money to Sierra Leone?
Although every provider will have a slightly different method of creating an account and starting a transfer, these steps should guide you through the basic process.
- Compare your money transfer options in the table above.
- Select Go to site when you’re ready to start a transaction.
- Create an account, enter information about your recipient and select how much you want to send.
- Pay for your transfer and save the tracking number.
You may also want to research other providers that send money to Sierra Leone to make sure you’re getting a good deal when you make a transfer.
Foreign exchange rates explainedExchange rate is the way banks and other money transfer companies determine how much currencies are worth when traded with one another. Strong currencies like the US dollar generally yield more than weak currencies like the Sierra Leonean leone, which means you’ll be able to send more leone to your recipient for less money on your end. As of September 2018, this amount was about 8390 SLL per 1 USD.
Emergency cash transfers in Sierra Leone
If you need to make an emergency transfer, you’ll have to do your due diligence to make sure you aren’t losing out. Often, providers will charge higher fees and offer less favorable exchange rates when the transfer is made in under a day. Although possible, it can be costly for both you and your recipient. If they can wait a few days, it may be a better idea to make a normal transfer that will get more money into your recipient’s pocket and cost you less in terms of fees.
Tips for picking up cash in Sierra Leone
Picking up cash from a transfer agent in Sierra Leone? Follow a few simple steps to ensure that you and your money stay safe:
- Avoid any areas where crime is known to be a problem.
- Keep your wallet and/or bag safe and secure at all times.
- Take a friend along to provide additional security and peace of mind.
- Don’t flash your cash around in public.
- Don’t carry large sums of money around for any longer than is absolutely necessary.
Sierra Leone has dealt with years of strife. Because of this, there aren’t many options when you’re looking to send money from the US to a recipient. However, you should still take the time to research money transfer companies that offer transfers. You may be able to find a good deal that gets plenty of money in your recipient’s pocket and doesn’t cost you too much in terms of fees.