What’s the Cheapest Method to Send Money to Egypt?

Great Pyramids of Giza, Egpyt

Egypt is a popular tourist destination and numerous people are interested in sending international monetary transfers to the country.

If you have a business in Egypt, you already know the best prices, the quickest services and the most reliable methods for sending money to Egypt. In both instances, you have to carefully choose money transfer services because some of them come with high charges and hidden fees.

What transfer methods do we use at Time Doctor?

We have a remote team with people in 19 different countries around the world. The two transfer methods we use the most are:

  • Payoneer – very convenient for sending and receiving. They are also one of the few methods that works to receive money in almost every country and the receiver can get their money on a debit card and withdraw from an ATM. They also have an option for direct transfer to the receiver’s bank account. They also have a $50 bonus if you receive more than $100 through this method.
  • Wise (formerly Transferwise) – very low cost and also a convenient method for transfers to most countries.

Take a look at the tables below to figure out how much it will cost you to send money to Egypt. Pay attention to our black market notes as Egypt’s government has instituted, “Foreign exchange controls.”

Table 1 – Sending $1000 from the US to Egypt
Transfer Method Receiving Currency Option Stated fees to send $1000 USD Hidden currency conversion cost Total cost Time for the transfer to arrive
OFX (previously USForex)* EGP $0 $7.5 $7.5 1-2 days
Ria Money Transfer (slow) EGP $5 $15 $20 3-5 days
XE Trade USD $0 $25 $25 3-5 days
MoneyGram (slow) USD $25 $0 $25 3-5 days
Western Union (slow) EGP $25 $0.4 $25.4 6-8 days
Ria Money Transfer (fast) EGP $15 $15 $30 Minutes
Payoneer EGP $9 $25 $34 3-5 days
Western Union (fast) EGP $40 $0.4 $40.4 3-5 days
MoneyGram (fast) USD $81 $0 $81 Minutes
Wire transfer EGP $25-55 $10-30 $35-85 3-5 days


  • If you’re not sure what I mean by “hidden currency exchange fees” check out our explanation in this article.
  • The fees for wire transfers are estimates and vary from bank to bank.
  • Minimum transfer of $500 for OFX (previously USForex).
Table 2: Sending Money to Egypt from Different Countries. The TOTAL Cost in Percentages including the HIDDEN currency exchange fees.
Transfer Method Receiving Currency Option From the US From the UK From Canada From Western Europe From Australia
Small World FS EUR Not available 4.6% Not available 0% Not available
OFX (previously USForex) USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, AUD 0.75% 0.75% 0.75% 0.75% 0.75%
Xendpay USD Not available 0.01% 2.7% 0.1% 2.6%
Ria Money Transfer EGP 2% Not available Not available Not available Not available
XE Trade USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, AUD 2.5% 2.8% 2.7% 2.2% 3.5%
Payoneer EGP 3.4% Not available Not available Not available Not available
Azimo EGP Not available 1.7% Not available 1.7% Not available
Wire transfer EGP 2.5 – 5.5% 2 – 4.5% 2.5 – 5.5% 2 – 4.5% 3 – 6.5%
Exchange4free USD & EUR Not available 4% 4.2% 0% 4.1%
Western Union EGP & USD 2.5% 3.3% 7.1% 6.4% 4.8%
Send Money 24 USD Not available 8.4% Not available Not available Not available
MoneyGram USD 2.5% 10% 8.8% 8.8% 5.1%


  • The methods in the tables above are for the recipient to receive the money in EGP/USD/EUR. If its other than EGP, then you may need to convert the money from USD/EUR to local currency EGP, which will cost more money perhaps around 1% depending on how they convert from USD/EUR to Egyptian Pounds(EGP).
  • Western Union is providing the EGP currency option only for the United States. The rest of the countries will receive the currency in USD. The Exchange4free is providing a EUR currency option but only for Germany.
  • OFX (previously OzForex) is a good option for sending larger amounts of money and their exchange rate fee goes down for larger amounts.
  • Minimum transfer of $500/£500 for OFX.

The effects of currency controls in Egypt and the black market


Egypt’s government has instituted Foreign Exchange Controls. From Wikipedia:

“Foreign exchange controls are various forms of controls imposed by a government on the purchase/sale of foreign currencies by residents or on the purchase/sale of local currency by nonresidents. Often, foreign exchange controls can result in the creation of black markets to exchange the weaker currency for stronger currencies. This leads to a situation where the exchange rate for the foreign currency is much higher than the rate set by the government, and therefore creates a shadow currency exchange market.”

The official exchange rate has been unchanged for almost six months at 7.1401 per dollar, while on the black market it fell to 7.71 per dollar on Dec 9, 2014, according to the average of four dealers surveyed by Bloomberg.

However the bank allowed the Egyptian Pound (EGP) to reach 7.24 EGP per Dollar. In the black market it reached 7.87 EGP per dollar on Jan 19, 2015. Black market rates are 8% higher.

Other articles that might interest you:

Transferring Money with Wise (formerly TransferWise)
What’s the Cheapest Way to Send Money to India?
What is the Cheapest Way to Send Money to Indonesia?

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Leave a reply

  • John

    What's the best way for a person in Egypt to transfer money to USD and get it the US?
    UpVote Reply 1 Upvotes
    • Jemy

      must send it USD not EGP transfer from egypt to usa 1- open usd bank account at bank misr with $100 account opening balance 2- make wire transfer to usa through swift code & account number.
      UpVote Reply 1 Upvotes
  • Ciaran

    From the UK - we used Moneygram and Western Union - both transfer instantly ( not as per the chart above ). The person in Egypt has to accept dollars ( so we transfer from STG to USD ). Then the person in Egypt has to take this US$ to the exchange to get local EGP. Not nice...too much exchanging & cost to be honest. Also once you start to send a large amount of money - the fees from these 2 instant payments start to get very heavy...many times that of a bank transfer. We have actually stopped using both Western Union and Moneygram unless in an emergency or we do not have bank details. What we use now - for 20-25 transfers per month is Western Unions Global Pay system. Its not well advertised - and we never knew about it until we checked if Western Union offered any discounts for business use. It turns out they have Global Pay. You need to supply some basic information - on who you are and who you will pay. After that - it operates as a bank account. It can take a direct debit from your bank and do the exchange into any global currency ( unlike the instant option - which only has USD ) - so we buy Egyptian pounds at the best rate available with the. Then send the transfer. The transfers have a fixed cost for us - £10 each. We know exactly what we are sending as we can send in Egyptian pounds. We can buy the same day and transfer...it does take 5 working days for it to arrive locally in the receivers bank - but they get the right amount and it saves a lot of costs. This is our preferred way of sending to Egypt at the moment. Hope this helps others - would definitely recommend their Global Pay system as an alternative.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

    Note that PayPal have just opened up with a local sending method to Egypt
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Mahmoud

    I highly recommend Skrill (MoneyBookers)... and in all cases the bank will call you every couple of times to make sure that the transfer is yours and not a money laundry :)!
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      How does Skrill work for you in Egypt? Is there a local withdrawal method? I think in generally Skrill charges 1% plus 5% for currency conversion, so it's not the cheapest method.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
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