Basically I get all my pay in SAR and I want to send some home every second/third month. My pay goes into my SABB account. When I have used them in the past to send money they charged me 5% of the amount.......10k = 500$ which is way too expensive imo.
I have found NCB to be affordable for money transfers if you get all your pay deposited there and get a credit card. Once you have this, request the gold standard banking and you get a preferential exchange rate to USD and the outgoing transfer is free.
So if you used NCB for banking, what sort of preferential rate did you get on the USD? SAR is pegged to 3.75 US$ typically, so just wondering how much different is the preferential rate from the pegged official rate? Appreciate your thoughts.
I have a SABB premier account with a USD current account. Moving SAR to the USD account is at 3.75 (easy to do online). I also have HSBC accounts in North America - transfers from SABB to other HSBC accounts are free.
Yes, I did - over the phone - used to be easier back then. If you are already here, call them or maybe sabb can help. Or open a premier acct in bahrain and then they will help open one in your home country (bahrain HSBC card also gives you access to dilmun lounge in airport).
Have your salary paid to your Saoudi bank account. Open an Oanda account, preferably in Asia; obviously this type of account is normally for trading, but you can use it as well for converting and transfering money. To convert USD in any other currency, the exchange rate is avee market read plus / minus the spread, which is bettert than with any bank. For example in case of EUR / USD, when the market is flat (not volatile, no strong and rapid fluctuations), the spread is +/- one pip (avee e.g. 1.34, selling at 1.3399 and buying at 1.3401).
I calculated that Aramco charged me 0.25% for paying my salary to my Euro account, and above this, you can not select the date at which exchange rate is calculated, so if like in July the EUR/USD declines by 1.7%, at the end of the month you have 2% less from your salary.
With an 'Elite account' or similar, Saoudi banks charger no cost for transfering money to accounts denominated in USD and I calculated that the exchange rate costs from SAR to USD are less than 0.1%. You need for that to get 30 000 ryal paid monthly to your saoudi account.
You can however withdraw funds only in supported currencies, and you need to prove that the account you send the money too belongs to you. The way to do it is to connect the receiving bank account to your Oanda account and to send some money to Oanda from this account. From there on you can send anytime any amount from Oanda back to your foreign bank account.
One additionnal benefit, if you feel fit to do so, and expect variations of currency rates, you can hedge your deposit amounts by using Oanda subaccounts (meaning you can only exchange in foreign currencies the deposit amount you have on your main Oanda account), or even by using your trading account you can trade the forex markets with a levee of up to 40:1, but I would not recommand this because it is the fastest and easiest way to declare bankrupcy.
There is no cheaper way than using Oanda to transfer money abroad, while maintaining some funds available on you Saoudi bank account and on your Oanda account, and you control everything.
By the way, there is also a possibility to send money to your family members if they separately open an Oanda account and you make a common subaccount linking both Oanda subaccounts. For example you have a relative in the UK, get your pay in SAR, transfer money to you Oanda main US account, put the desire amount on a GBP subaccount (paying only the minium spread), which you make common with your relative Oanda account, and then your relative is able to transfert GBP to his/her GBP bank account.
Once again he/she first will have to send an amount from their GBP bank account to their Oanda account if they want to be able to receive money from Oanda. I used an Oanda US account before for transfers, closed it when coming to KSA, and I will reopen an account end of the month with my next pay when I become Elite with my Saoudi bank; I will share my experience with you.
=> If you sell your SAR to buy USD, it costs you 0.009 / 3.75 = 0.24%
SAR / EUR : buy 5.11514 ; sell 4.93327
Not knowing the avee, we should consider the spread between buy and sell is 0.18, and half that value is 0.09. Converting SAR in EUR is not a good idea, since the "loss" is at least 0.09 / 5.115 ~ 1.76%
It is a much better idea to send money from the bank account in saudi ryals with an elite account (at no fees) to an OANDA account denominated in USD, make a conversion with one pip cost (negligeable), and forward the amount in EUR to an EUR bank account.
I am becoming ELITE in one or two days, will open an Oanda account, and will confirm everything when I am so far...