A wire transfer is a method of sending money to someone at another national or international bank through a service such as the Federal Reserve Wire Network.
Money transfers are one of the more expensive ways to transfer money, as banks typically charge an outgoing transfer fee. Some banks and accounts may even charge for incoming wire transfers.
The outgoing domestic transfer fee averages about $ 26 and the outgoing international transfer fee averages $ 42.
Average transfer fees
Bank wire transfer fees typically range from $ 0 to $ 50.
Domestic outgoing wire transfer fees typically range from $ 0 to $ 35, while international outgoing wire transfer fees are typically $ 35 to $ 50.
What you need to know about wire transfers
Bank wire fees exist in part because there is a cost to send money between banks. But wire transfer fees are also a source of income for banks, like the monthly account maintenance fees charged on checking and savings accounts.
A household wire could arrive in a few hours or a few days. Sending a wire transfer on a weekend or weekday after the wire transfer deadline may affect the speed of a wire transfer. Additionally, providing incorrect information for the wire transfer may result in delays.
International transfers typically take one to two business days if the transfer is sent before the bank’s deadline, according to Bank of America, but it can take longer.
Making a down payment on a house, funding a brokerage account, paying tax bills, paying school fees, or sending money quickly to family or friends are all common situations for using a wire transfer to remit. funds in the hands of another person or entity.
Average transfer fee per bank
Banks tend to charge similar fees for sending outgoing wire transfers, but they vary from bank to bank.
For example, Fidelity, a brokerage firm, does not charge a wire transfer fee, while some banks, such as Citi, may waive fees for customers who have certain types of accounts. Other banks, such as Chase or PNC Bank, may charge a lower wire transfer fee for sending a wire transfer online.
Transfer fees by financial institution
|Bank||Domestic incoming||Outgoing Domestic||Incoming international||Outgoing international|
|Industry average †||13 $||$ 26||$ 15||$ 42|
|Bank of America||$ 15||$ 30||16 $||$ 35 * – $ 45 **|
|A capital letter||Up to $ 15||Up to $ 30||Up to $ 15||$ 40 / $ 50 ‡|
|chase away||$ 0 to $ 15||$ 25- $ 35 ***||$ 0 to $ 15||$ 0 to $ 50 ****|
|City*****||Up to $ 15||Up to $ 25||Up to $ 15||Up to $ 35|
|loyalty||$ 0||$ 0||$ 0||$ 0|
|PNC||$ 15||$ 25 to $ 30 ††||$ 15||$ 40 / $ 45 ‡‡|
|SunTrust||$ 15||25 $||$ 30||$ 50|
|TD Bank||$ 15||$ 30||$ 15||$ 50|
|United States||$ 0||$ 20||$ 0||$ 45|
|American Bank||$ 20||$ 30||25 $||$ 50|
|Wells fargo||$ 15||$ 30||16 $||$ 45 **|
??Includes the average of the highest fees in each category at each bank.
* Sent in foreign currency.
** Sent in US dollars.
??$ 40 for international transfers sent in foreign currencies and $ 50 for international transfers sent in USD.
*** $ 35 in branch and $ 25 on the Chase site.
**** Transfers of $ 5,000 or more are free if sent online in a foreign currency. Transfers of $ 5,000 or less incur a charge of $ 5 when sent online.
***** For online threads.
??$ 30 for customer service assisted transfers and $ 25 for self-service transfers.
??$ 45 for customer service assisted transfers and $ 40 for self-service transfers.
Avoid transfer fees
Here are some strategies to avoid wire transfer fees:
- Select a financial institution or account that waives wire transfer fees.
- Use a payment or money transfer app to send money for free.
- Send a check (if time permits).
- Send money using online bill payment, possibly for free.
- Initiate a bank transfer through a checking, monetary or savings account.
Check with your bank to find out which accounts you can transfer money from. Not all accounts are allowed, even some checking accounts may not allow wire transfers. For example, the Chase First Checking account does not allow writing of checks or incoming or outgoing wire transfers.
Chase and PNC Bank both offer discounts for sending wire transfers online yourself, without the help of a customer service representative.
Buy the best rate
Consumers who expect to frequently transfer money to others may want to compare transfer fees before opening a bank account. Also, consider other forms of less expensive payments and transfers, including digital payment apps, such as Zelle, Venmo, or PayPal.
Which bank offers the lowest fees?
Many of the financial institutions on Bankrate’s list are available to consumers across the country, so it’s easy to shop around for the best deal. But many consumers might not be able to meet the requirements for the lowest fees at a particular bank. Citigold Private Client, for example, requires a combined balance of $ 1 million or more in linked accounts to waive wire transfer fees.
Can I get lower fees for online transfers compared to in-person transfers?
It’s possible. Some banks may offer a discount for making bank transfers on the bank’s website. Check with your bank to see if sending a wire transfer yourself will save you money, but the help of a banker can be beneficial for complex wire transfers or when you wire a lot of money.
What happens if the recipient does not have an account at a recipient bank?
Typically, you can send wire transfers to people with accounts at other banks.
Does the recipient pay any fees?
Some banks charge an incoming wire transfer fee, which can be waived depending on the type of account held at the bank.
Third party services
These days, wire transfers aren’t the only fast way to send or transfer money. Your bank may offer Zelle or people use apps and services such as PayPal, Venmo, and Wise.
Compare the fees for these apps and services with the wire transfer fees. Usually, wire transfers are more expensive than using a service like PayPal, Venmo, Wise, or Zelle. But wire transfers often send money faster than apps, or transfer services, or websites.
The Western Union website, for example, allows you to see an estimate of the fees charged for a potential transfer. Seeing the fees should help you decide if this option is better for you than sending a wire transfer.
Third-party services offer these advantages over wire transfers:
- Potentially low or no transaction fees.
- May be easier to use than logging into a banking website or going to a branch.
- Can transfer money faster than a wire transfer.
- Include a deadline for instant transfers that apps like Venmo don’t offer (transfers usually have a cut-off time during business days) and the ability to transfer money on weekends and holidays.
Third-party services have some drawbacks compared to wire transfers:
- May be slower than sending money by wire transfer.
- May force consumers to sign up for another service instead of using existing banking services rather than consolidating your banking services.
- May charge a fee for instant transfers. An app, such as Venmo, may have fees for instant transfers.
- May have transfer limits. A transfer initiated with a banker will generally have no limits, as long as you have the funds available in your account.
Additionally, PayPal, Wise (formerly TransferWise), and Zelle (owned by Early Warning Services) have been the subject of consumer complaints, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Consumer Complaints Database.
Free bank transfers
You may be able to send free domestic transfers.
Some financial institutions or types of bank accounts may not charge for domestic wire transfers. The Citigold Private Client account, for example, waives national and international transfer fees. Fidelity offers free wire transfers, and Schwab waives its wire transfer fees on up to three domestic online initiated transfers per quarter for customers with a household balance of $ 100,000 or more.