Living in Kuwait
Currency exchange is available in most bank branches, hotels and suqs. The hotels give very poor rates of exchange. But most business areas contain several money exchanges (see Business Directory Section) that offer good rates even outside banking hours and sell currencies not available in the banks. In Suq Al-Sarrafeen, the money changer’s suq, just off Fahd Al-Salem Street near the Municipal Gardens close by Safat Square, the exchange rates are posted in the windows of the little shops and can be compared by strolling down the street.
When changing foreign currency into Kuwaiti Dinar a receipt is not normally given. But the money-changer is obliged by law to give a receipt when selling foreign currency.
The cost of demand drafts varies from bank to bank, from as little as KD1 to as much as KD25 for large amounts. Where the draft is drawn in a foreign currency an additional charge of anywhere from 0.2% to 1.4% of the draft value may be made.
Local transfers of funds cost from 500fils to KD3, depending on the sending bank. Overseas wire transfers cost KD7 or 8 plus the same foreign currency percentage as for drafts, with some banks adding a KD3 handling charge on top.
Many of the larger currency exchanges have arrangements with well known banks in third world countries and their charges for remitting smaller sums overseas are significantly cheaper than the banks, from KD1 to KD3 without any percentage charge.
Traveler's cheques can be purchased at all the banks. Some banks issue their own cheques but cheques from internationally known issuers are also available. Charges vary from 0.25% to 1% of value, depending on the amount being purchased and the selling bank.