Best way to send money to Sierra Leone | finder.com

How to send money to Sierra Leone

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Here’s how to send a quick, affordable and secure money transfer to Sierra Leone.

If you’re looking to send money to Sierra Leone, you should be prepared to compare your options. This exotic currency isn’t widely-traded, which means you’ll need to spend extra time finding a provider that can send money from the US to your recipient in Sierra Leone. And once you do, be sure that you’re getting a good exchange rate and the fees aren’t too high so you can send as much as possible without being bogged down by extra costs.
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    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 companies

    Emmanuel 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 1Money transfer service 2
    Exchange rate1 USD = 8350 SLL1 USD = 8200 SLL
    Transfer fee$13.99$0
    Amount received4,175,000 SLL4,100,000 SLL
    Transfer time1 day1 day
    Transfer optionsBank accountCash 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.

    1. Compare your money transfer options in the table above.
    2. Select Go to site when you’re ready to start a transaction.
    3. Create an account, enter information about your recipient and select how much you want to send.
    4. 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 explained

    Exchange 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.

    Get live exchange rates for SLL


    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.

    Bottom line

    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.

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    US International Money Transfers Offers

    Important Information*
    XE Money Transfer

    Transfer up to $500,000 with no minimums and no fees.

    WorldRemit International Money Transfers

    Use promo code FINDER to send your first transfer with no fee.
    Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up.

    World First

    No maximum limit, no fees and competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.

    TransferWise

    Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks.

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