logo
remesas_El_Salvador.jpeg

How to Send Remittances to El Salvador From The United States

Whether you have spent years using traditional services to send money to El Salvador, or you’re brand new to the country and are still trying to figure out how to share your earnings with your family back home, SABEResPODER is here to help! We understand how challenging it can be to find a trustworthy service, so we’ve put together this guide to help you find the best method for your needs. Depending on the speed and frequency of your money transfers, we can help you find the most effective and economical method of sending money to your family in El Salvador.

What Documents Do I Need?

Each remittance service has its own list of requirements. However, most of them request similar documents to create transfers from the United States to El Salvador.
For the most part, this is the information you’ll need:

  • Your photo ID
  • The first and last name of your beneficiary
  • Your beneficiary’s ID number
  • Your beneficiary’s physical address
  • Your beneficiary’s phone number

If you’d like to send electronic transfers online, you may also need to provide the following:

  • Your beneficiary’s banking details - if you want the funds deposited to a bank account in El Salvador
  • A credit or debit card, such as your PODERcard, to pay for the remittance

It's important to remember that this list of required documents may change from time to time. It depends on your preferred transfer method and the amount that you wish to send. The requirements may also change due to new legislation.

Remittance options

Before initiating any type of transfer, we recommend that you review your remittance service options to El Salvador. Comparing their costs, the speed of delivery and the level of convenience that they offer will help you find the best company for your needs. It will also provide you with information to send your money with confidence.

The following transfer methods are among the most trustworthy when sending remittances from the United States to El Salvador.

Financial institutions

For many years, financial institutions have offered international wire transfer services. This is a system that allows you to send money from your bank account in the United States to a bank account in El Salvador.

The advantages of these types of transfers include:

  • Direct deposits to your beneficiary’s bank account
  • High levels of security, since this is a banking service
  • With some banks, you’re able to process these transactions from your phone, tablet, or computer

There are also disadvantages to using this remittance method:

  • On average, the costs for this service are between $25 and $40
  • International bank wire transfers are not immediate. In some cases, they can take up to five days.

Wells Fargo

In an effort to provide their customers with an efficient solution to send money to El Salvador, Wells Fargo offers a service called ExpressSend. Because of their affiliations with many establishments in El Salvador, Wells Fargo allows you to send money to the following bank accounts or withdrawal locations:

ExpressSend daily transaction and remittance limits vary depending on the bank or store where you choose to send the money. It’s important to learn about these limits to make remittances easier and avoid unexpected complications.

Traditional remittance companies

Traditional remittance companies began operating before the Internet became the most popular method to process financial transactions. For years, these companies facilitated the transfer of money between Salvadorans in the United States and their family members back home.

The most well-known remittance companies are Western Union and MoneyGram. Even to this day, these companies are still some of the favorite remittance method for those who:

  • Prefer to send money in cash
  • Want to process the transaction in person
  • Are looking for a fast way to send money

Thanks to technological advances, traditional remittance companies have also modernized their services. If you prefer to process your transfers electronically or to pay with a card, these traditional companies may still be a good option for you. Their mobile apps and websites are a fast and easy way to send money to El Salvador. You can use them to send money directly to your beneficiary’s bank account, their digital wallet or to a branch where they can withdraw the funds in cash.

Apps and other options

Many Salvadorans in the United States prefer to use mobile apps to send money to their loved ones. Some of the benefits of using remittance apps are:

  • Lower fees
  • Nearly immediate transfers of money
  • Convenient service

For these reasons, we have listed the most popular apps to send money from the United States to El Salvador:

ULink

As part of Grupo Financiero Banorte, this app helps you send money, pay for services, recharge cell phones and reload prepaid cards for family members in El Salvador. With ULink, your family members can withdraw cash or receive direct deposits at the following banks:

Amigo Paisano

Amigo Paisano is part of the International Money Express platform. It offers an easy to use interface that lets you send money to El Salvador. Family members can withdraw cash at their locations or receive the funds directly to their bank account.

Sharemoney

If you prefer to send dollars to El Salvador, Sharemoney could be a good option for you. It offers low transaction fees and allows you to choose between in-person withdrawals or direct deposits to bank accounts. The associates banks are:

  • ABANK
  • Banco Cuscatlán
  • Sistema Fedecrédito

Remitly

Remitly offers low fees and competitive exchange rates for your remittances to El Salvador. By creating an account, you can send money to the following locations or bank accounts:

  • Super Selectos
  • Remesas Cusca
  • Tiendas Elektra
  • Walmart
  • Despensa Familiar
  • Despensa Don Juan
  • Banco Agrícola
  • Banco Promerica
  • Banco Davivienda Salvadoreño
  • Banco Cuscatlán
  • BAC Credomatic
  • Sistema Fedecrédito

Xoom

As PayPal’s remittance service, Xoom offers the option to pay with credit or debit cards, or your PayPal account. This app also allows you to pay electricity, landline, cell phone, and Internet bills for your family in El Salvador.

Your beneficiary in El Salvador can withdraw cash in person or receive direct deposit to their bank account. The Salvadoran banks that are affiliated to Xoom are:

  • Banco Davivienda Salvadoreño
  • Banco Cuscatlán
  • Banco Agrícola
  • Sistema Fedecrédito
  • Banco Promerica
  • BAC Credomatic

Ria

Ria is a well-known app that also has branches at 7 Eleven stores across the United States. Whether you prefer to send money online or in person, Ria is a safe way to send remittances to El Salvador.

Boss Revolution

Another remittance app for those who prefer to send dollars is Boss Revolution. With this app, you and your beneficiary don’t need to worry about the exchange rate. The money becomes available in minutes in your beneficiary’s bank account, for pick-up in person or as mobile money.

Pangea

Pangea is a service that delivers your remittances to El Salvador safely and in less than 30 seconds. It’s a dollar remittance service that offers a low flat fee, with withdrawal options across all of El Salvador.

What Are The Remittance Fees From The United States to El Salvador?

Article Image

The fees that you’ll have to pay for transfers to El Salvador depend on the amount of money you wish to send, the method you use and the company you select. By reviewing this transfer rule fact sheet from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), you’ll get a better idea of what to expect.

The following are the most common types of fees for money transfers to El Salvador:

Per transaction

Depending on the amount of your transfer, your financial institution or remittance company may charge a fixed fee per transaction. If you choose to send the money via wire transfer, you can expect to pay between $25 and $40 each time you send money to your family in El Salvador. Just remember to double-check with your beneficiary’s bank, because sometimes the receiving institution can also charge their own fee for receiving the funds.

Many mobile apps charge a fixed fee for their remittance services. The cost varies from one company to another, but it tends to be under $10.

A percentage applied to the exchange rate

If you use a service that delivers Colones to your family members in El Salvador, the fee to pay may be a percentage of the remittance applied to the exchange rate. Usually, this amount is calculated before you send the funds and it’s paid by the sender.

Although the Colón is El Salvador’s official currency, the U.S. dollar is also considered legal tender. To avoid losses due to depreciation of the Colón, you can choose one of the remittance companies that deliver your remittance in dollars. In these cases, the fee charged for their services is a percentage of the dollar amount you send.

Aside from these costs, some companies also charge what is known as “hidden fees.” These can lower the final amount that your family members in El Salvador receive. To avoid these types of unexpected charges, it’s best to confirm the cost of your remittance before sending the funds. We also advise you to communicate with your beneficiaries and let them know how much money they should be receiving before they make their withdrawal.

The fastest way to send money from the U.S. to El Salvador

If you need to send money quickly to your loved ones in El Salvador, the best way to do it is by using one of the many mobile apps that are available. This type of remittance technology is usually the most efficient because it allows your beneficiary to receive the money in a matter of minutes. Many of these remittance companies also offer the choice between sending cash to one of their locations or depositing money directly to your beneficiary’s bank account.

How long does a transfer from the U.S. to El Salvador take?

If you plan to send money to El Salvador, you can expect wire transfers to take up to five business days. The exact delivery time will depend on the bank’s policies, the service that you choose and how you want the money delivered.

On the other hand, traditional remittance companies and mobile apps are known for their speed of service. With these companies, your family members in El Salvador can receive money in only minutes. 

How much money can you send to El Salvador via remittance?

Maximum remittance amounts to El Salvador vary from one company to another. On top of this, each service has different limits on the number of transfers allowed per day or per month. It’s also important to keep in mind that the amount of your transfers affects the speed of the remittance.

Remember that the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act states that you must report any transfer outside of the United States for amounts larger than $10,000.

Sending money to El Salvador is fast and easy!

The team at SABEResPODER understands that remittances are a very important way of supporting your loved ones in El Salvador. With your PODERcard and this useful information, we hope that your money transfers to El Salvador become easier, more efficient, and more cost effective