If you don’t know what you’re doing, sending money to Saudi Arabia can be an expensive experience. There are high transfer fees and poor exchange rates to worry about, which can both end up costing you a substantial amount of money.
But if you compare your transfer options to see which company offers the fastest and most affordable transactions, sending money to Saudi Arabia can be both easy and cost-effective.
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When sending money overseas, many Australians simply go straight to their bank. While this is undoubtedly a convenient option, the fact is that banks charge you an exorbitant amount on international transfers. There are high transfer fees and some fairly dismal exchange rates to worry about, which means a worse deal for you and less money for your beneficiary.
Specialist 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.
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 Australian 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.
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via 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 lodge 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, limit orders 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?
Companies that offer emergency cash transfers can be a Godsend in many situations, such as if you need to help out a relative overseas who has had their wallet stolen. If you’re planning on sending an emergency cash transfer, however, just be aware that these transfers are usually quite expensive. Lower exchange rates and higher fees are to be expected, so review the transaction details before you send funds anywhere.
Cash pickup locations in Saudi Arabia/ Western Union / MoneyGram branches in Saudi Arabia
Both Western Union and MoneyGram have several locations in Australia and Saudi Arabia, offering quick and convenient transfers between the two countries. You can see the details of some popular cash pickup locations below. Make sure to take along photo ID and a transaction reference number when picking up funds, while it’s also a good idea to phone ahead and check an agent’s opening hours.
King Khaled Airport Terminal 2 Arrivals Riyadh, Central +966-11-4798319 Open 24 hours
Deriyah 168 Al Arbaeen Street Al Dereyah Riyadh, Central +966-11-4798319 Open 7:30am to 11:59pm seven days
Ersal Money Transfers Kudai Makkah Al Mukarramah, +966-11-920033663 Open 24 hours
Ersal Money Transfers Shisha Makkah Al Mukarramah, +966-12-920033663 Open 24 hours
Baj Al-Sulaimaniyah Prince Mamdouh St Riyadh, 8002440404 Open 8am to 11pm seven days
Baj Alsahafa Thumamah Street Riyadh, 8002449999 Open 24 hours
Al Amoudi Exchange Co. Jabal Omar Building 2nd Floor In front of Al Haram Makkah, 21411 2920008292 Open 9am to 11pm seven days
Fawri - Taif Shobra Street Taif, 08002440404 Open 24 hours
The Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises Australians to reconsider their need to travel to Saudi Arabia. If you decide to visit the country nonetheless, keep a few safety tips in mind when picking up cash:
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
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.
Finalise 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.
Shirley Liu is Finder's global program manager. She was previously the publisher for banking and investments and has also written comparisons for energy, money transfers, Uber Eats and many other topics. Shirley has a Master of Commerce and a Bachelor of Media, Journalism and Communications from the University of New South Wales. She is passionate about helping people find the best deal for their needs.
Global Reach will match any competitor's exchange rates. Conditions apply.
No transfer fee when transferring more than £10,000 or equivalent. Send money in over 130 currencies. No maximum transfer amount.
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