Although you'll need to watch for travel advisories, a trip to Bangladesh can be a great cultural experience. You can easily send money from the U.S. to Bangladesh using a variety of electronic transfer services. In most cases, though, you won't be able to make a money transfer from Bangladesh due to restrictions on exporting currency.
Money Transfer From Bangladesh
Sending money from Bangladesh to other countries is not as easy as it is in other areas of the world. The country's government does allow online transactions, but exporting money to other countries remains an issue. Capital controls stifle exporting currency to other countries, and even the e-commerce in the country is domestic.
Another issue is Bangladesh currency, known as taka. Taka isn't easily converted to foreign currencies. Even if that conversion was allowed, the Bangladeshi taka is worth only a tiny fraction of the U.S. dollar, so it might not be worth making the transfer.
Finding U.S. Banks in Bangladesh
If your need to make a money transfer from Bangladesh to the U.S. is because you're living there, it's important to note that Citibank is the only U.S. bank with a presence in Bangladesh. You might have luck setting up an account with Citibank and sharing that account with a family member located in the U.S. You'd both have access to the account, eliminating the need to transfer money back and forth.
There are three Citibank locations in Bangladesh: two in Dhaka and one in Chittagong. However, you may still face the same restrictions on sending money from Bangladesh as you did with other banks. It may be easier to set up the account stateside, then try to access it once you're in Bangladesh, although even at that point you'll still find it's tough to send money from Bangladesh to other countries.
Open Bank Account in Bangladesh
Unfortunately, even if you're relocating to Bangladesh, establishing a bank account there can be challenging. If you're there as a student, you'll need to take a copy of your course offer letter and a valid passport. If the account is being used to pay your school tuition, the bank will also need a copy of the school's tuition refund policy.
Nonresidents will typically have a tough time getting a bank to issue an account to them, and even those that do will require a sizable deposit. The best course of action may be to try to access your own bank account through Citibank somehow. If you plan to do this regularly, you'll need to pay close attention to regulations regarding money transfer from Bangladesh, and how they'll apply to your transactions.
Money Transfer to Bangladesh
Getting money from America to Bangladesh is much easier than it is to send money from Bangladesh to the U.S. There are a variety of online money transfer options that can help, including InstaReM, TransferWise and WorldRemit. Price each one and find the best fees.
Of course, as with any international transfer, you'll need to pay close attention to conversion rates. These can vary, so you'll have to do a conversion to find out how much you'll need to send. If the person on the other end is expecting a certain amount in Bangladeshi currency, you'll need to send the equivalent to that amount in USD to survive the conversion.
Spending Money in Bangladesh
If your concern isn't as much to send money from Bangladesh as it is to use money while you're there, it's important to understand popular currencies in the country. Although credit and debit are used in Bangladesh, cash remains the primary method of payment.
- Export.gov: Bangladesh - U.S. Banks and Local Correspondent Banks
- Citibank: Citibank® Global Transfers.
- Transferwise: Branches for Citibank N.A. in Bangladesh
- XE: XE Currency Converter: 1 USD to BDT = 84.4716 Bangladeshi Takas
- Export.gov: Bangladesh - eCommerce
- Transferwise: How to Open a Bank Account in Bangladesh
- Finder.com: How to Send Money to Bangladesh
- Transferwise: Money in Bangladesh: Banks, ATMs, Cards & Currency Exchange
- Koryo Tours: Visit Bangladesh: 5 Reasons You Should Visit Bangladesh
- U.S. Department of State: Bangladesh Travel Advisory