Banks - Aussies help!
Any Aussies out there??
I'm trying to find a bank in Qatar that is available in Australia. We plan on transfering money to our bank in Aust, but don't want to pay the transfer fees.
Does anyone have any tips? I know that HSBC has a branch here, but we still have to pay transfer fees. Are there any other options?
Thanx for the help.
I always transfer money back home using an exchange agency. The comission + loss on exchange look relatively ok (but not desirable) considering that my money's destination is not a popular one, like India or the Philippines (where agencies drive down commissions for attracting customers).
It's about 1.38% of the amount I am transferring.
It will be better to use the exchange house....
HSBC would be best, yes.
Another hint: with HSBC, if the company transfers your salary directly to the bank, and if your salary is over QR 8000, you are entitled to have a "status" account (just ask for it). Benefits of this are free credit cards, and you can transfer money ONCE a month to anywhere, FREE. Of course you'll have to pay transfer fees should you wish to transfer money more than once, but if you try and limit your transfers to one per month, you won't have to pay anything. I think there is a minimal charge for a status account, something like QR 70 a month, but I find that costs of credit cards and transfers are much higher than that, so it works out fine for me.
I think HSBC would be a good idea.
ummsumaya being a member of a bank that is a multinational makes absolutely no difference. HSBC trade on the notion that you are somehow linked to the wider HSBC world but you are not at all. It is in effect a separate bank.
I would suggest you join a qatari bank as they have a wider branch network and greater access to services than the mulitnational branch banks.
Commercial bank being the best of the lot
... it is international standard to handle it like that. I have been working in a bank for three years and it does not matter whether it is the same bank (HSBC) as long as it is in another country. They'll charge for it.
One workaround would be is that if you really, really, really, really, trust someone you could send them the money via Moneygram or Western Union and have him put it on your Aussie account. (Of course that isn't free, but it might be cheaper than what the bank charges... it sure is ten times faster than all other means of money transfer. Normally the money can be collected within one hour internationally.)
Another one, but rather tedious workaround would be to put it onto your Qatar account and to withdraw money when you get back home to Australia using ATM's and the Qatari Bank Card / Credit Card. Usually the credit card companies charge 3-4 % of the amount withdrawn. Be sure to have the limit raised on your card if you need to withdraw larger sums in other countries. It can really be a hassle if you have to go to the ATM 5 days in a row to get i.e. 2000 Euros. AND it raises the charge, since there normally is a fixum too... (Please keep in mind that on the other hand this raises the risk that you have in case these cards are stolen!)
Be sure to compare the Qatari banks concerning conditions (foreign withdrawal charges with the ATM Card, Remittance charges to Australia, monthly or quarter yearly fees, etc.), it is very well possible that they vary greatly on the charges they take. Don't be afraid to ask directly for what you need. It is your good right. Most likely they will be more helpful and lower or even waive the commissions if you get some other products from them i.e. insurance, savings accounts, share depots. That kind of stuff. Manus manum lavat. (One hand washes the other.)
Please don't hesitate to ask if you need any further information. (Of course I can talk only from the 3 years experience I had with European banks, but it should at least be comparable.)
Don't use the banks as they tend to charge excessively and the rates are generally not good. Use the money changers, you get a better rate and a quicker service.
We rarely used the banks in 17 years. Our bank in the UK also charged to receive the transfers.