Last updated on August 16th, 2023 at 11:42 am
At Remitly, we know that moving away from Morocco to work or study in a new country can certainly bring its share of tasks and challenges. One of these might be finding the best way to support your loved ones back home financially.
Many services can help you make an international money transfer to Morocco, so knowing how to compare your provider options is important. Exchange rates are one of the most important things to consider when sending money abroad, and in this guide, we’ll teach you how to find the best exchange rates for transfers.
Read on to learn more about getting better exchange rates on converting the pound sterling, US dollar, euro, or any other currency to Moroccan dirhams.
Moroccan dirham exchange rate explained
As previously mentioned, the exchange rate is a key consideration when sending USD or other currencies to Morocco. Currency exchange rates tell you how the dirham currently compares in value to the money you’re currently using.
For example, say you moved to the United States and are keen to transfer money to a relative back home. Checking the exchange rate, you see that the USD-MAD rate is 1 USD = 9.78 Moroccan dirham.
According to this hypothetical exchange rate, you can purchase 9.78 dirhams for one US dollar at that particular point in time.
The relationship between currencies is prone to change – not just from day to day, but from moment to moment. As a result, it’s possible for the live rate quoted on a website to fluctuate throughout the day, so you’ll want to find out what current exchange rates are like even if you’ve sent money to Morocco before.
A range of factors can affect the value of the dirham, Morocco’s official currency, issued by the country’s central Bank Al-Maghrib. These factors include:
- Interest rates
- Political and/or economic stability
- Government debt
- Morocco’s import and export activity
- Interest in dirhams from traders
So, if political developments change the direction of the country or there’s a spike in inflation, the knock-on effects could change the value of the dirham on the international market. While the economic policies of Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch’s government may be out of your control, you can ensure you get the best exchange rate with your transfer by comparing current rates before you make a transfer.
Sending money to Morocco: converting to dirhams
Whether you’re looking to convert GBP, EUR, or USD MAD, two main options are available: your bank or a specialist money transfer company.
Many Moroccans abroad will naturally consider making a bank transfer when sending money internationally. It’s a convenient option; your money’s right there, and you don’t have to set up a third-party account with another company.
Money transfer services
Doing research online, you may see that sending money to Morocco through a specialist remittance company may be more cost-effective. This can especially be true of online-only companies like Remitly.
Since online providers don’t have to cover the running costs of physical outlets, they can often afford to offer excellent rates to their customers. Plus, transfer fees are likely lower when you use an international money transfer service.
Although you’ll need to take the extra step of setting up an account, money transfer services make the process simple for their customers. In many cases, you can sign up and start making transfers right away.
Using Remitly to send money to Morocco
Remitly is proud to partner with many of the best-known financial institutions in Morocco. This means that sending money back home is a smooth and seamless experience, and getting started is simple.
You just have to create a Remitly account, which you can do through the mobile app or the Remitly website. To do so, enter some basic personal information like your name, phone number, and payment details. In some cases, we may ask for additional documentation depending on the amount sent or if we are unable to verify your identity.
Remitly is all about convenience for both you and your recipients. That’s why you have multiple ways to send money to Morocco. You can make the transfer directly into bank accounts back home, or you can make remittances to mobile money wallets. You can even opt for the cash pickup option, which means your recipient can collect the dirham banknotes in person at a designated location.
Curious to see what the latest exchange rates are? See our exchange rates for dirhams here.
Exchanging foreign currency for Moroccan dirham in Morocco
Expats aren’t the only ones who may need to convert USD to MAD or other currencies. If you’re traveling to Morocco for business or pleasure, it’s a good idea to get some Moroccan dirham to pay for purchases. Although some businesses do accept credit cards, cash is still central to the economy of Morocco.
To exchange money for dirham, you have a few options, including:
- High street banks in major cities
- Bureau de change outlets located at the airport and in cities
Typically, bureau de change locations are the quickest and easiest option when exchanging foreign notes for dirham in Morocco. Just as it’s important to check exchange rates when sending money electronically, do some research ahead of time to ensure that you get the best Moroccan dirham rate. Also, inquire about fees so that you can make the exchange for the lowest price possible.
No matter which type of provider you choose, be sure to inspect the bills before leaving the establishment, as many businesses won’t accept torn or damaged notes. Also, ask for small denominations to avoid hassles when making purchases.
Many ATMs in Morocco are a part of the Cirrus and PLUS networks. If your bank is a member of either, you can also use your ATM card to withdraw dirham.
Keep in mind that you will likely be charged fees both for converting the currency and for using your card internationally. Check with your financial institution beforehand to find out what prices you can expect to pay for withdrawing dirham.
Sending money from Morocco: converting dirhams to another currency
What if Moroccans living in Morocco want to convert dirhams to pounds, dirhams to dollars, dirhams to euros, or dirhams to any other type of money from around the world? This is trickier than sending money to Morocco due to official restrictions on exporting funds.
However, making remittances out of the country through local banks and some money transfer companies may be possible, providing you show the necessary documents, such as an official ID, and abide by maximum sending caps.
What about exchanging MAD outside of Morocco?
The Moroccan dirham is a closed currency, meaning you might find it difficult or impossible to convert banknotes into local currency outside the kingdom.
Moroccans traveling to other countries can pay for goods and services using their bank cards or withdraw local currency in cash from ATMs.
While this is certainly a straightforward, fuss-free way to make transactions, it can rack up big fees over time. So, if you’re staying in another country longer, setting up a local bank account may be worthwhile. Read our guides on opening bank accounts in the US, UK, Australia, and France to learn how.
Finding the best exchange rate for Moroccan dirham
Whatever method you use when sending money to Morocco, the bank or remittance company will do the exchange rate calculations. That said, it’s good to be aware of how it’s done, so you can objectively compare the options.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a mathematics wizard to understand how it works. The basic equation is:
Send currency x Exchange Rate = Receive Amount
It’s useful to think about this in real-world terms, so let’s quickly consider three scenarios.
How to calculate a USD to MAD rate
Let’s say you’re in the US and want to transfer 100 USD to a family member in Morocco. At the time of writing, the USD to MAD exchange rate is 1 USD = 9.78 MAD. So, the conversion goes as follows:
100 USD x 9.78 MAD = 978 MAD
So, your 100 dollars gets you 978 dirhams. However, there’s more to the exchange than this.
To find out how much your loved one will actually receive, deduct any fees applied by the transfer service. Let’s say these amount to 10 USD per transfer. This would translate to 97.8 MAD, which means your recipient will actually get the following in Morocco:
978 MAD – 97.8 MAD = 880.20 MAD
This same transfer through Remitly carries a $1.99 fee when you choose the Economy option. This would translate to a more modest 19.46 MAD. The difference in price means your friend or family member ends up with an extra 78.34 dirham.
How to calculate a EUR to MAD rate
Let’s now imagine you’re based in Spain and want to transfer 100 EUR to Morocco. The exchange rate at the time of writing is 1 EUR = 10.64 MAD, which means the conversion is:
100 EUR x 10.64 MAD = 1064 MAD
Once again, you’ll subtract any relevant fees to see how much money your friend or family member will receive.
How to calculate a GBP to MAD rate
For our third and final example, imagine you’re living in the UK and want to send 100 GBP home. The exchange rate at the time of writing is 1 GBP = 12.46 MAD.
100 GBP x 12.46 MAD = 1246 MAD
You then remove the fees to see how much your GBP transfer will equal in collectible cash.
Getting the best Moroccan dirham rate
Moroccans have their pick of ways for sending funds home, and the most important takeaway from this guide is that you’ll get more value for money with some methods compared to others.
It’s only natural to want your loved ones to get as much in dirhams as possible from every transfer you make, which is why comparing the available exchange rates and fees is so important. By collecting data on exchange rates ahead of time, you can then choose the cost-effective remittance company available to you.
Remitly is on a mission to make international money transfers faster, easier, more transparent, and more affordable. Since 2011, millions of people have used Remitly to send money with peace of mind. Visit the homepage or download our app to get started.