How to send money to Iraq

Find the strongest rates and lowest fees when sending money to Iraq.

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Given the ongoing political instability in Iraq and US relations with the country, it shouldn’t surprise you that sending an international money transfer to Iraq isn’t easy. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible — in fact, you have more options when sending money to friends and family in Iraq than you might expect.

Banks vs. money transfer companies

Many money transfer providers refuse to send money transfers to Iraq, there you will find specialists capable of handling your transaction. Your could ask your local bank if it offers transfers to Iraq, but even if it does, you’ll typically receive weak exchange rates and pay unnecessarily high fees.

You can find more cost-effective transfer options through specialist transfer companies like WorldRemit and TransferWise. Because these providers trade large volumes of foreign currency daily, they can offer exchange rates that are more competitive than your local bank’s. Transfer fees tend to lower — or can come with no transfer fee at all. And shopping around for a better deal can reap you further savings.

Case study: Hosni sends money to Iraq

Hosni is studying political science in the US, but he still speaks to his parents back home in Baghdad every other day. His family is in need of relief funds to buy food and other necessities, and Hosni offers to send $1,000 to help out.

He does a bit of research and finds two money transfer companies that can handle his transaction. He compares their services to see which can offers the best value for his situation.

Money transfer company A
Money transfer company B
Exchange rateSend as US dollarsSend as US dollars
Transfer fee$18$25
Transfer speed10 minutes15 minutes
Processing timeCash pickupCash pickup

Because money is transferred to Hosni’s family as US dollars, the transfer fee that Hosni could potentially pay becomes the most important factor to consider By going with Company A, Hosni can save $7 in fees over Company B.

How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Iraq

By comparing a few elements of your transfer, you can ensure that you get the cheapest deal for your needs.

  • Exchange rates. Nearly all providers skew exchange rates for a profit. Compare the rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate — the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves — and look for the smallest margin between them.
  • Transfer fees. Find out whether the provider charges a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer. If you’re sending a large amount, ask whether you qualify for a fee-free transfer.
  • Payment and delivery options. Some transfer companies allow you to pay with a credit card online, by phone or through an app. Others offer agent locations for cash payments and pickups. Also ask how your recipient can receive your funds: bank account, cash pickup, mobile wallet and more.
  • Transfer speeds. If it needs to be there fast, companies like Western Union and MoneyGram allow for quick cash pickups, often in minutes. If you have more time, you’ll get better rates and fees with an independent provider.
  • Transfer limits. Your best option might depend on how much you want to send. For large transfers, weigh the best exchange rate — especially since providers encourage large transfers by offering low fees. For smaller amounts, consider the fees you’ll pay on top of the exchange rate.
  • Flexible transfer options. Ask whether you can schedule payments ahead of time or protect your transfer against market fluctuations with a limit order or forward contract.
  • Customer support. Most companies offer customer service by Internet chat, phone, in person or by email. Make sure help will be available if you need it.
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Foreign exchange rates explained

The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency.

However, most countries’ exchange rates are flexible, which means they can fluctuate with the market. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.

What are the ways that I can send money to Iraq

At the moment, you have two solid options to send money to friends and family in Iraq.

Can I send money to Iraq through bitcoin?

Because bitcoin isn’t regulated by any central monetary authority and is based on a peer-to-peer network, you may be able to send money to Iraq using bitcoin. This electronic currency is accepted for use in Iraq and can be converted into Iraqi dinar However, the legal implications of sending bitcoin to Iraq are unclear. To avoid any trouble with the authorities, consider speaking to a lawyer or the US Treasury before initiating a bitcoin transfer to Iran.

Emergency cash transfers in Iraq

When you need to transfer funds urgently, your fastest possible transfer could be your most expensive option. Carefully review the exchange rate and transfer fee against your needs so that you understand exactly how much it will cost you.


Find a money transfer location near you

Tips for picking up cash in Iraq

Whether picking up funds in Baghdad or anywhere else around the world, take a few simple safety precautions to prevent yourself becoming a target for thieves.

  • Call ahead. Learn the company’s business hours and choose a safe time to pick up your cash. Daylight hours are best.
  • Bring a friend. Carrying money when alone can be dangerous. Ask a friend to come along.
  • Deposit your money immediately. The likelihood of losing your money to theft or simple carelessness grows the longer you have it with you. Go straight to a bank and deposit your cash as soon as possible.
  • Keep your cash hidden. Place your money in your purse or wallet before leaving the office. Carrying cash out in the open could make you a target.

How to send money to Iraq

Whether you send money to Iraq, you’ll need to first register for an account with a provider, supplying your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and information about your selected payment method.

Keep a record of any transaction reference number you receive so that you can review the progress of your transfer.

Bottom line

You have a few options to choose from when sending money to Iraq from the United States. To get the best value for money for your international money transfer, compare the benefits and features of competing services before selecting a provider.Back to top

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    AnonymousMarch 25, 2019

    finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider

    hmmm

    https://www.finder.com/international-money-transfers/send-money-to-iraq

    MoneyGram – the second largest money transfer in provider worldwide, MoneyGram has cash pickup locations in Iraq. However, MoneyGram is not offered in the following countries: https://www.finder.com/moneygram-locations
    Burma
    Cuba
    Iran
    Iraq
    Kenya
    North Korea
    Lebanon
    Libya
    Rwanda
    Sudan
    Syria
    Tanzania
    Zimbabwe

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesMarch 26, 2019Staff

      Hi Anonymous,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      Moneygram has cash pick up points in Iraq. But please note that you would not be able to send money through those locations. There are restrictions currently placed by the US government on money transfers to Iraq. For more information, you may contact Moneygram directly for assistance. Thanks.

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  2. Default Gravatar
    KamilFebruary 24, 2017

    I have International Bank account number here in Iraq . Why companies do not accept to use IBAN transfer?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      AnndyJune 27, 2017Staff

      Hi Kamil,

      Thanks for your question.

      The IBAN normally applies to bank-to-bank transfer in and out of your country.

      If you are transferring through money transfer companies, generally they require a SWIFT code of your bank, not IBAN.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

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