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Foreign Exchange Guide to Saudi Arabia

Read this currency guide to Saudi Arabia with money transfer and travel tips.   [USD/SAR=3.7508]

 
Saudi Arabia
Country Code:
SA
Domestic Currency:
Saudi Riyal
Symbol - Code:
﷼ SAR
Telephone Prefix:
+966

This is a foreign exchange guide to Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Riyal currency plus SAR transfers and travel tips.


In this Saudi Arabia currency guide we take a look at :

  1. Saudi Riyal info - general info about the Saudi Riyal
  2. Saudi Riyal in the markets - recent SAR moves and predictions from the FX markets
  3. Travelling in Saudi Arabia - currency & money saving tips
  4. Buying Saudi Riyal cash online - travel money for Saudi Arabia
  5. Sending money to Saudi Arabia - save on Saudi Riyal bank transfers to Saudi Arabia
  6. Saudi Riyal exchange rates - latest & historic exchange rates.

Saudi Riyal (SAR) general currency information


What is the Saudi Riyal currency code and symbol?

The three letter currency code for the Saudi Riyal is SAR and the symbol is .


Which countries use the Saudi Riyal?

It is the domestic currency in Saudi Arabia.


Saudi Riyal (SAR) in the markets

The interactive chart below shows the USD to SAR exchange rate and trend for the previous 3 months:

Travel, Currency and Money saving tips for Saudi Arabia

 

The birthplace and spiritual home of Islam, Saudi Arabia is as rich in attractions as it is in stirring symbolism. It is also one of the most difficult places on Earth to visit. And for Muslim travellers, Mecca and Medina represent the most sacred destinations you can imagine.

What currency is used in Saudi Arabia?

The Saudi riyal (SAR) is Saudi Arabia’s official currency, with each Saudi riyal divided into 100 halala. Five halala are equal to 20 qurush. ATMs are everywhere and usually reliable. Visa and MasterCard are the most commonly accepted credit cards, but some establishments also accept Discover or American Express cards. Travelers’ checks are also widely accepted, but can sometimes be difficult to change.

Cash is commonly used, and automatic teller machines (ATMs) are found throughout Makkah. Foreign credit and debit cards are accepted at all but the smallest hotels, shops and restaurants. Generally, taxis only accept cash.

How to travel in Saudi Arabia?

Checking in 1½ hours before departure is advised for domestic flights. Note that Medina airport lies outside the haram (forbidden) area, so it can be used by non-Muslim tourists; it can be a useful gateway for Al Ula in particular. Bus fares are approximately half of the equivalent airfare. Return tickets are 25% cheaper than two one-way fares. Online booking is now available.

Unaccompanied foreign women can travel on domestic buses with their iqama (residence permit) if they're an expat, or with a passport and visa if a visitor. The front seats are generally unofficially reserved for ‘families’ (which includes solo women), and the back half for men.

Saudi Arabia currently has only one stretch of train track in the entire country, between Riyadh and Dammam via Al Hofuf. There are three classes: 2nd, 1st and VIP class. The main difference between them is legroom (plus TV and a meal in the splendidly named ‘Rehab’ VIP class). All classes have access to the train restaurant.

Taxis are found in most of the larger towns and are known as ‘limousines’; they can be hailed anywhere. Note that it’s much cheaper to negotiate the fare first (as locals do) rather than use the meter.

Travel tips for Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia contains the holy Muslim cities of Mecca and Medina, to which all physically and financially able Muslims are required to make a pilgrimage at least once if possible and where non-Muslims are forbidden from entering. Saudi Arabia has some of the most restrictive travel policies in the world, and advance visas are required for all foreigners desiring to enter. The only significant exception is citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council nations. Also exempt from visa requirements are foreigners transiting through airports for less than eighteen hours, but many other entry requirements, such as the dress code and restrictions on unaccompanied females, still apply. Nationals of Israel and those with evidence of visiting Israel will be denied visas, although merely being Jewish in and of itself is not a disqualifying factor.

It should be noted however that traveling to the Najran and the Saudi Yemeni border should be done with slightly more caution than usual, although if you use street smarts you will be safe. Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country in which Sharia (Islamic) law is strictly enforced. You should respect local traditions, customs and laws. For example, the public practice of any form of religion other than Islam is illegal and homosexual acts, adultery, and the possession of alcohol/drugs/pornographic material are illegal, and the punishment results in up to death.

Formally known as the Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the mutawwa (religious police) have an infamous reputation as moral vigilantes out to enforce strict Islamic orthodoxy. During Ramadan, for Muslims, public observance of the fast is mandatory. For non-Muslims, smoking, eating or drinking in public could result in arrest.

 

Travel money for Saudi Arabia

 

Save money and time by Ordering your Saudi Riyal online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the SAR cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.

Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.

For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in Saudi Riyal otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.

 
Travel Money ProvidersAmount SAR(﷼)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostDeal Links
U.S. Bank Foreign Currency
U.S. Bank logo
3,510.7 SAR
Compare
3.510706.4%
Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo
3,476 SAR
35 SAR
3.5107$107.33%
Wells Fargo Bank logo
3,440.49 SAR
70 SAR
3.5107$208.27%
Travelex Online US logo
3,335.1 SAR
176 SAR
3.33510^11.08%
 

U.S. Bank logoU.S. Bank

U.S. Bank: Travel Money USD→SAR
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:0
Exchange Rate:3.5107 (6.4% from mid-rate)
SAR amount:3,510.7 SAR
Total Cost:6.4%
Time:18:01 Local
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Banks - Average Rate

Travel Money USD→SAR
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$10 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:3.2818 (12.5% from mid-rate)
SAR amount:3,476 SAR
Total Cost:7.33%
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
 

Wells Fargo Bank logoWells Fargo Bank

Wells Fargo Bank: Travel Money USD→SAR
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$20 USD (Minimum fee)
Exchange Rate:3.5107 (6.4% from mid-rate)
SAR amount:3,440.49 SAR
Total Cost:8.27%
Time:18:01 Local
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
Travelex Online US: Travel Money USD→SAR
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$0 - No fees for Debit & Credit Cards
Exchange Rate:3.3351 (11.08% from mid-rate)
SAR amount:3,335.1 SAR
Total Cost:11.08%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Fri Aug 23 2019 16:15:04 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Currency Services:Online order, Branch pickup, Home delivery
Delivery/Collect:2-3 days
Rating:
 
: 4.3/5.0
Reviews:
 
Snapshot 08/23/2019 - See full table
 

Saudi Arabia Trip Checklist    

 
  1. Compare SAR travel cash rates - probably why you are here!
  2. Search Hotel deals - Save on your accomodation in Saudi Arabia
  3. Lonely Planet - world's best travel guide (coupon and deals)

Sending money to Saudi Arabia

When searching around for information on how to get a good exchange rate when sending money to Saudi Arabia you need to start with finding out the latest Saudi Riyal foreign-transfer exchange rate.

Then compare your bank's exchange rates to several licensed FX providers exchange rate and fees to see how much you can save (we make that calculation easy here).


Get a better deal for foreign transfers to Saudi Arabia

When sending money to Saudi Arabia it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :

  1. Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
  2. You specify the local or Saudi Riyal amount you want to transfer
  3. Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
  4. Once your funds are received by the provider the converted SAR amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Saudi Arabia.

Use our Send to SAR calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Saudi Riyal deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!

 

USD to SAR International Money Transfers

  

Foreign Transfer ProvidersReceive SAR(﷼)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostDeal Links
OFX logo
36,276 SAR
Best Overall
3.62760^3.28%
Wells Fargo Bank logo
35,486 SAR
790 SAR
3.555185.39%
HSBC logo
35,461 SAR
815 SAR
3.5514$155.45%
Banks - Average Rate
Bank of America logo U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo
35,244 SAR
1,032 SAR
3.5451156.03%
Bank of America International Money Transfers
Bank of America logo
35,015 SAR
1,261 SAR
3.5369$1006.64%
U.S. Bank International Money Transfers
U.S. Bank logo
35,015 SAR
1,261 SAR
3.5369$1006.64%
 
OFX: Foreign Transfer USD→SAR
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:0^ - No fees for BestExchangeRates users (normally $12 for smaller transfers)
Exchange Rate:3.6276 (3.28% from mid-rate)
SAR amount:36,276 SAR
Total Cost:3.28%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Fri Aug 23 2019 16:04:06 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online & Phone, Foreign Currency Accounts
Rating:
 
: 4.8/5.0
Reviews:
 

Wells Fargo Bank logoWells Fargo Bank

Wells Fargo Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→SAR
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:18
Exchange Rate:3.5550 (5.22% from mid-rate)
SAR amount:35,486 SAR
Total Cost:5.39%
Difference:
790 SAR less than using OFX
Time:18:01 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

HSBC logoHSBC

HSBC: Foreign Transfer USD→SAR
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$15 USD (.15%)
Exchange Rate:3.5514 (5.31% from mid-rate)
SAR amount:35,461 SAR
Total Cost:5.45%
Difference:
815 SAR less than using OFX
Time:18:01 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Banks - Average Rate

Foreign Transfer USD→SAR
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:15
Exchange Rate:3.5297 (5.89% from mid-rate)
SAR amount:35,244 SAR
Total Cost:6.03%
Difference:
1,032 SAR less than using OFX
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
 

Bank of America logoBank of America

Bank of America: Foreign Transfer USD→SAR
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$100 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:3.5369 (5.7% from mid-rate)
SAR amount:35,015 SAR
Total Cost:6.64%
Difference:
1,261 SAR less than using OFX
Time:18:01 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

U.S. Bank logoU.S. Bank

U.S. Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→SAR
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$100 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:3.5369 (5.7% from mid-rate)
SAR amount:35,015 SAR
Total Cost:6.64%
Difference:
1,261 SAR less than using OFX
Time:18:01 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Snapshot 08/23/2019 - See full table
 

SAR/USD - Saudi Riyal to United States Dollar - Historical Rates

PeriodSAR/USDDate
1 Day0.266619 Aug 2019
1 Week0.266613 Aug 2019
1 Month0.266621 Jul 2019
6 Months0.266621 Feb 2019
1 Year0.266620 Aug 2018
5 Years0.266621 Aug 2014
10 Years0.266722 Aug 2009

SAR/EUR - Saudi Riyal to Euro - Historical Rates

PeriodSAR/EURDate
1 Day0.240619 Aug 2019
1 Week0.238513 Aug 2019
1 Month0.237721 Jul 2019
6 Months0.235121 Feb 2019
1 Year0.232020 Aug 2018
5 Years0.200821 Aug 2014
10 Years0.186022 Aug 2009

SAR/GBP - Saudi Riyal to British Pound Sterling - 10 Year History

PeriodSAR/GBPDate
1 Day0.219919 Aug 2019
1 Week0.221013 Aug 2019
1 Month0.213121 Jul 2019
6 Months0.204521 Feb 2019
1 Year0.208220 Aug 2018
5 Years0.160821 Aug 2014
10 Years0.161422 Aug 2009

SAR/AUD - Saudi Riyal to Australian Dollar - Historical Rates

PeriodSAR/AUDDate
1 Day0.394719 Aug 2019
1 Week0.392313 Aug 2019
1 Month0.378521 Jul 2019
6 Months0.375121 Feb 2019
1 Year0.363420 Aug 2018
5 Years0.286621 Aug 2014
10 Years0.319622 Aug 2009

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