Emergencies are not the only reason you may want to use money transfer services to send money to Iraq. You may be sending birthday and holiday presents or paying any ongoing bills for which you may still be responsible. Whatever the reason, with some research, you can find a service that's reliable and convenient, both to you and the recipient back in Iraq.
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Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.
Banks vs money transfer services
Exchange rates for different currencies fluctuate with the economy. Keep in mind that while you can compare official exchange rates to get an idea of movements in rates, banks and other money transfer companies will typically offer the service at a less competitive rate.
Abdel's Australian transfer
Abdel was temporarily transferred from the company he works for in Iraq to their offices in Australia six months ago. He would like to continue adding funds to his savings account back home and has decided that he will send payments to his account whenever possible. To find the best prices available, he compares two money transfer companies.
Money transfer service 1
Money transfer service 2
AUD$1 = IQD985.2
AUD$60 is charged to the sender for sending $1,000. There should be no charge to the recipient when picking up the money.
AUD$70 is charged to the sender for sending $1,000. There should be no charge to the recipient when picking up the money.
Amount received for AUD$1,000
Recipients will get IQD987,356.27.
Recipients will get IQD985,119.27.
Approximately IQD41,544 is lost in the exchange.
Approximately IQD43,781 is lost in the exchange.
With Abdel’s first option, not only will he save AUD$10 on his end, his family will receive IQD2,237 more depending on whether they are charged to convert funds to the dinar. The frequent changes in exchange rates would make it sensible for Abdel to check these rates every time he is preparing to make a transfer.
Keep ahead of the curve with daily currency exchange rate alerts
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Iraq
Due to political issues, options for sending money to Iraq from Australia are more limited than what they are for other countries. As the case study shows, even with limited competition, it is important that you look carefully at the details to get the most value when transferring money.
Exchange rates. This is where you will want to focus your attention, as higher rates can be hidden by poor exchange rates. First, look at the average exchange rate for your currency pair and then compare what the different transfer companies are offering.
Fees. As you can see in the case study, there can be a substantial fee associated with money transfers. This fee will change in relation to the amount of money you are sending, making it important to compare companies.
Turnaround time. This is important if your recipient needs the money immediately. Also check online to see if a tracking service is offered so that you can check on the status of the transfer and know when it has been made available for pickup.
Transfer methods. If you plan on sending money often, it may be in your best interest to look into online methods. Transfer companies have branches you can use, but some will also allow you to transfer the money directly from their online site.
Transfer amount limits. Keep in mind that there is going to be a limit not only on the amount you may transfer at one time, but also on the amount you may transfer in a single day. These types of regulations are in place for your own protection.
Western Union will allow you to make transactions between Australia and Iraq. The Iraqi dinar is an exotic currency, making it difficult to find other services to conduct the transaction for you.
The following is a list of financial institutions that may permit you to conduct transfers from the Australian dollar to the Iraqi dinar:
Citibank. As a worldwide bank, you can transfer money from your Australian Citibank account to any account in Iraq using the Citibank Plus Transaction account.
Western Union. Western Union is the most direct service for transferring money from Australia to Iraq. They allow you to conduct transactions online, or you can find a location by using their store locator.
If you are travelling in Iraq and find yourself in need of an immediate cash transfer from Australia, you do have a couple of options available to you:
Money transfer companies. Travellers are able to pick up money at Western Union locations in other countries. You will need to have a valid passport or other picture ID in order to get your money.
Credit card. If the credit card you used to pay for your travels has complimentary travel insurance, it could provide you with essential cash if the card is lost or stolen.
Travel insurance. You should always buy travel insurance when booking a trip overseas. Depending on the type of insurance coverage, you may be eligible for cash in the event that you are the victim of a crime while on vacation. Call your insurance provider for details if you are robbed or lose your wallet while travelling in Iraq.
Listed here are a few of the cash pickup locations you will find when travelling in Iraq. Before you go to the location, make sure that you have the money transfer reference number, the sender's name and location, the amount sent and your passport.
Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center Airport Area
Open Sunday through Thursday from 8am to 3pm.
United Arab Money Transfer Co
Almansoor District 609 St 18
Open Sunday through Thursday from 8.30am to 2:30pm.
Basra Algeria Street
Opposite Al Basra Airline
Al Basrah, Al Basrah
Open Monday 8am to 11pm; Sunday and Friday 12pm to 11am
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), travellers should avoid travelling to Iraq. If you absolutely must make the trip, proceed with extreme caution when frequenting a financial institution to retrieve cash. Go to a well-known location, such as the one inside of the Baghdad airport, and bring along a friend who is familiar with the area and local customs if possible.
Sending money to your family in Iraq will depend on the method you use. If you are able to use an international bank to transfer funds, you will need to open an account in an Australian bank that you can link to your Iraqi account. To do this, you will typically need the following:
Account information. The account details for your bank account back home. This will include the bank routing number and your account number.
Address. Your Australian address as well as your last address in Iraq.
Passport. A copy of your passport and your valid visa.
Employment details. Some banks may require that you supply details about your current employment in Australia.
If the Western Union money transfer is a better option, be prepared to give your full name and contact information as well as the full name of the recipient and their contact information. It is imperative that the name you give matches the name on your recipient's photo ID exactly to avoid any delays in the transaction.
You will be given a tracking number for the transaction, which you will have to pass along to your recipient in order for them to be able to pick up the money. In some cases, you can also use a code question to help confirm the recipient's identity.
Unlike other countries, you are limited in options when sending money to Iraq. Explore those that you do have and compare the services they offer with the currency exchange rates and fees they charge to save you the maximum amount possible when transferring money from Australia to Iraq.
Shirley Liu is Finder's global program manager. She was previously the publisher for banking and investments and has also written comparisons for energy, money transfers, Uber Eats and many other topics. Shirley has a Master of Commerce and a Bachelor of Media, Journalism and Communications from the University of New South Wales. She is passionate about helping people find the best deal for their needs.
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