We're getting ready to arrive at KSA soon and I will be splitting my paycheck between a Saudi bank (for daily expenses) and US bank. Can anyone suggest which bank may work best for me. I suppose I will be transferring money, possibly using ATM for withdrawals and possibly purchases.
Possibly options are BofA, Wells Fargo, US Bank, Citi Bank, Chase, HSBC. I've seen on some other posts people using HSBC in US and SABB in Saudi, but I don't know what type of account works best. HSBC has Premier, Advance, Choice and Basic checking accounts.
You just need to look for a U.S. bank with the best or no international fees when using your credit card or ATM card. People use all the ones you have mentioned. Many have accounts with these banks and an account with a KSA bank on the compounds.
You can also bring checks from your U.S. bank and write checks for USD but given to you in SR's at the banks on the compounds.
In terms of US banks, they mostly have similar fee structure and I am sure you will not go wrong with any if you have substantial amount in the savings + checking combined to qualify you to be, for example Citi Gold at CitiBank, when you will have some additional benefits. Hope this helps.
P.S. New to the forum. First post for me. Accepted the offer few days ago to come to KSA (from Houston).
Welcome to the ride, Joyzee! As far as banks, one to avoid is Wells Fargo. I've been a substantial customer for many years, and they won't do anything to reduce the 3.49% foreign currency conversion fee.
I have CitiBank and have been quite pleased with them. Main reason for getting them was living in Singapore for 3 years and them being present there as well as in the US was a major factor.
Although, it all boils down to having enough in the accounts to qualify for higher level services that are free of charge such as money transfers, etc, etc. Was not aware of Wells Fargo - something to note going forward.
I've lived in the middle east for 10+ years and have used USAA for most of my time. There are no foreign transaction fees and they reimburse ATM fees. They also process domestic and international wires over the phone. USAA can also provide chip/pin ATM cards on request, which is very useful when traveling in Europe. Only downside is that you, your spouse, or parents must have served in the military to qualify for an account. Since USAA is affiliated with the military, they are accustomed to dealing with Americans living overseas.
Prior to USAA I used Everbank and was also pleased with their service. They also do not charge foreign transaction fees and reimburse ATM fees.
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Spark for Business suite
Citi ThankYou Premier and Citi ThankYou Prestige
Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve
Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard
Chase British Airways Card
Chase Priority Club Rewards Signature
Chase Hyatt Card
Chase Fairmont Visa Signature
Chase Palladium, if you’re one of the fortunate few (we’re not)
Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Card (though this has a $395 annual fee)
Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier
Chase United MileagePlus Explorer
Chase United MileagePlus Club Card ($395 annual fee)
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Military Star® Rewards MasterCard
All Discover credit cards, such as the Discover It
(An excellent option in China, but international acceptance is limited – check our list of which countries accept Discover for more information)
First National Bank of Omaha Graphite American Express
Marriott Rewards Premiere from Chase
All Pentagon Federal cards, including the Pentagon Federal Promise (currently offering 4.99% balance transfers for 2 years) and PenFed Premium Travel American Express (5x points on airfare & Priority Pass lounge access when you spend $15k+ at 600 lounges worldwide)
Harvard World MasterCard
Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard
HSBC Premier (you have to have something on the order of $100,000 deposited with them to qualify)
Orbitz Rewards Visa
U.S. Bank Skypass Visa Signature
Wells Fargo Propel World American Express Card
Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express Card
Most credit unions offer up no fees other than the 1% Visa charges them. Some even have “no foreign transaction fee”, including
Northop Grumman Federal Credit Union (anyone can join by making a contribution to the Southern California Historical Aircraft Foundation)
Andrews Federal Credit Union (any U.S. citizen can join)
Vystar Credit Union (must live in FL)
Texas Dow Employees Credit Union (TDECU) – anyone in the metro Houston area can join
Truliant Federal Credit Union (membership open to many regions of VA, SC, and near Greeneville, SC)
Associated Credit Union (membership is open to everyone)
Kirtland Federal Credit Union (membership is tough here, you have to be affiliated with the military in Arizona, either on Kirtland AFB, Reserves, or NM National Guard)
Reliant Credit Union (Monroe, Ontario and Wayne counties in New York)
Aerospace Credit Union (you have to work for Aerospace Corporation, or on Los Angeles AFB)
CoastHills Federal Credit Union (for residents of San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties in CA)
Stanford Federal Credit Union (Anyone can join by donating $15-20 to one of two organizations)
Pacific Oaks Federal Credit Union (Open to residents of Ventura County, California)
Burbank Community Federal Credit Union (Open to residents of the City of Burbank, California)
Elga Credit Union (Open to residents of the Michigan Counties of Genesee, Saginaw, Lapeer, Shiawassee, Oakland, or Livingston)
Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union (Open to residents of parts of Houston, in the Cy-Fair ISD area)
Taylor Model Basin Federal Credit Union
Virginia Credit Union (Open to residents in many areas of Virginia)
Apple Federal Credit Union (Open to those associated with many of the school systems in Northern Virginia)
State Department Federal Credit Union (Anyone can join with a donation to the American Consumer Council)