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Sunday, January 1, 2017

My Citibank Story > Buying IQD & Getting Small Denoms, 1 JAN

PTR Member Bank Story:

Anonymous:  My Citibank Story > Buying IQD & Getting Small Denoms

In the hopes of answering a few questions and/or helping other PTRers, I wanted to share my "successful" Citibank story...

After hearing the positive Citibank news over the weekend, on Monday I thought it might be a good time to set up a Citibank account (for post RV) and maybe order some IQD.

I walked into a local branch (not the biggest branch in the area, just the closest one to me), went to the teller window and said I wanted to order some foreign currency and open a basic checking account.

Since I didn't already have a Citibank account, I was instructed to open the account first with a banker then come back to the teller to order the foreign currency.

I opened a basic "electronic" checking account with no actual checks. I put in $200, they gave me a debit card on the spot. Monthly fees waived with minimum balance (I think $1500 or so?), direct deposit or an online bill pay transaction.

Then I went to teller window and said I'd like to order foreign currency.

Teller asked what I wanted, I said I thought the symbol was "IQD", she checked the computer, asked which country to confirm, I said "Iraq" then asked if I had to by in any specific increments. She said "No", I could order as much or as little as I'd like. I asked for 100,000, she said that would be $98.29 and there would be a $5.00 foreign currency fee.

I said OK and she tried to process the transaction. She hit a roadblock as the minimum foreign currency transaction was $100.

I upped the order to 150,000 IQD which came to $147.44 plus the $5.00 fee. I asked for as small denominations as possible. She said it was previously possible to get exact the denominations that you wanted but now the options are small, mixed or large.

She deducted the funds from my new account, said it would be in in a couple days and they'd give me a call. This was at closing time on Monday (opening the account took 45 minutes with all the questions they ask now due to laundering and terrorism concerns).

I got a call mid-day today (Thursday) saying the IQD was in and I could pick it up.

For my 150,000 IQD order, I got:

125,000 in 5K notes
20,000 in 1K notes
4,000 in 500 notes
1,000 in 250 notes

I would have liked to have a few more 1K notes (for traveling on planes post RV) but think this was a perfectly acceptable breakdown in denoms. And I didn't have to pay a "premium" for the smaller bills like the dealers wanted "back in the day" (or maybe still do, I have gotten any IQD for a couple years).

I didn't ask any post RV questions (they aren't going to know anyway).

My primary goal was to get "some" IQD from Citibank with a receipt showing I got it from them to make a post RV transaction as smooth as possible. They didn't give me a foreign currency transaction receipt like I've gotten from Chase/Wells for Euros, etc but I asked for a copy of the 8 1/2" x 11" paper copy of the transaction that the teller had.

They did give me an adding machine tape with the above breakdown of the denoms. I copied that with the 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper so it would be as clear as possible to show/prove what I got from them.

I'm thinking I could probably bring additional 5K notes in with that receipt for proof as long as I don't bring more than 25 bills in at a time 

Since you can get those monthly fees waived, it seems like a no brainer to set up a Citibank account pre RV if you have one in your area.

If you can spare $105-110, you can get some additional IQD and have at least a few small bills to hopefully exchange quickly post RV or keep to take on a plane post RV without having to declare them.

Remember any cash over $10,000 needs to be declared when traveling by air so a 5K note at $3 is too much. Even at $4 per IQD, we'll be able to take 2 1K notes on the plane. 

I hope this helps others.

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