The 6 Essential Tips For Saving On International Money Transfers
Whether you have just arrived in the UAE or you have been living in Dubai for a number of years, the chances are that you have used or will need to use a money transfer service – that is unless you brought all of your money over in a suitcase!
Transfer Tip #1 – Avoid High Transfer Fees
If you are transferring money from your UK account to your Dubai account and you are using your UK bank, you could face charges of up to £40 per transaction. And it usually makes no difference if your bank has branches in Dubai – the charge is the charge and that’s it. If you’re making just two transfers per month, you could be racking up a total charges bill of almost £1000 in a year.
You can avoid these charges by using a specialist money transfer company instead, a company that does nothing but deal with foreign currency and international money transfers. In fact, if you are transferring above a certain threshold, you’ll get your money transfer for free in most cases. Well worth getting a quote or researching money transfer companies online.
Transfer Tip #2 – Know The Margin On The Actual Exchange Rate
When you are quoted an exchange rate by your bank or other non-bank money transfer agencies, it’s good to know the exact cost of your transaction. Banks typically add margins to the exchange rate they offer at around 3-5% and this rate can fluctuate. If you’re buying a property in Dubai for example and transferring £100,000, you could pay your bank £3000 one day or £5000 the next depending on the margin they are charging.
Online money transfer specialists on the other hand, give you access to the live rate and typically work to a profit margin of 1%.
Transfer Tip #3 – Compare, Compare, Compare
It’s so important to keep an eye on what the exchange rate market is doing and to do a little research as often as possible, especially if you have a big money transfer looming. The good news is that there are many exchange rate and money transfer comparison sites offering reliable services and it’s well worth bookmarking one. It’s important to get competitive prices on each and every trade, so think about opening an account with more than one non-bank foreign exchange specialist.
Try also to benchmark the ‘‘real exchange rate’’ against the ‘‘sell rate’’ you are offered. Use a reputable currency converter and have one to hand next time you make an international payment.
Transfer Tip #4 – Make Use Of Those Money Saving Deals
There is so much choice today for those looking to use an international money transfer service. Just don’t settle on the first deal that comes your way. Speak about the deals on offer with your online foreign exchange and money transfer specialist. They can often talk to you about deals on making regular payments and how to save money when you transfer above a certain amount. Many also let you fix your exchange rate for up to 12 months – well worth considering if you always way to know what rate you will be charged.
Transfer Tip #5 – Good Ole Fashioned Haggling Is Worth A Try
If you’ve perfected the art of haggling in the Dubai street markets, now is the time to turn those skills on your money transfer company. These companies won’t want to turn away business and you might be surprised at the lengths your agency is willing to go to keep you as a customer.
Transfer Tip #6 – Always Use A Regulated Transfer Company
Your money is precious. Don’t get caught up in the excitement of expatriation by arranging a quick and cheap money transfer with a company you don’t trust. You’ll often pay through the nose in charges and you could kiss goodbye to your money entirely if the company is operating a scam. If you are transferring money from the UK to your UAE bank account, make sure the company you use is FCA regulated.
Article Courtesy of Aviva Tabachnik is an expat & keen personal finance writer. She is Head of Partnerships at MyCurrencyTransfer
– an OPP award winning foreign exchange comparison website, helping expats find the best deal on international payments.