There have never been more options than now to transfer your money. More traditional ways such as mailing cash or a cheque, although risky, can save you the most money and help you avoid any hidden feeds. The good news is that transfers done within your bank are usually all free, whether you’re transferring large sums to yourself or another customer.
Work out the exchange rate
International transfers, however, are a bit more complicated and you will need to read up on fees associated with such transactions, as they can vary from bank to bank or even between exchange companies.
You also should be aware that wire transfer fees are calculated according to exchange rates and the currency you’re sending. Most banks outside of the UAE require funds to be sent in the local currency. To do this you will need to provide a bank/branch code, account number and account holder details.
There may also be charges associated with SWIFT and the beneficiary bank as well. For example, Emirates NBD and Mashreq Bank charge a standard rate of AED 75 for all international transfers. NBAD and HSBC UAE charge a bit more (AED 80 to AED 100), depending on the region or country.
One positive about using a bigger bank such as HSBC and Citibank, is that transfers are usually received the same day if you’re transferring to an account other the same bank in a different country.
Read the fine print
It’s important to note that this charge may just cover the “sending fee”, while the sender may be charged to some degree on the other end. Other banks may charge you a small percentage of the transfer amount which could end up amounting to a hefty fee if you’re planning to transfer AED 25,000 at one time. Although bank transfers are a safe, reliable and convenient option, such transactions usually take some time to go through (at least two or three business days).
Read more on issues you could potentially face while transferring or receiving funds
For example, businesses such as Western Union and Al Ansari Exchange will charge you a flat rate, which will correlate with the country you and transferring to as well as the date that you want the transaction to process (i.e. standard, express). This is generally a cheaper option. These fees can range from AED 15 for countries such as India and Pakistan to as much as AED 75 for transfers to the US and Korea.
Some banks in the UAE also work with money transfer companies to offer such services at ATMs, online and more recently by mobile phone. Others offer a discounted or lower transfer fee when the transactions are made online.