Transferring money can be a safe way to transfer funds quickly, but it often comes with high fees. There are ways to reduce wire transfer fees or avoid them altogether if you know how.
Banks charge transfer fees on both incoming and outgoing transfers. This means that if you want to transfer money to someone, you’ll likely have to pay a fee on top of everything you send. For example, if you want to transfer $20,000 for a down payment on a house, you may have to pay an additional $35 for transfer fees.
Similarly, if someone in another country wires you $1,000, but you only see $970 in your bank account, it’s because your bank withdrew $30. If you’re really unlucky, the issuing bank or an intermediary bank (an intermediary bank) will also take a portion, meaning you could see up to $50-100 taken from your money before it’s gone. lands on your account. .
Avoid bank transfer fees
First, determine if you really need to transfer the money. If you need to transfer money to the United States, there are often ways to do so with your bank that don’t require a wire transfer. And if that doesn’t work, choose a bank with little or no fees (more on that in the next section).
Choose banks with low or no bank transfer fees
There are a handful of banks that offer free incoming wire transfers, both domestic and international. The lowest fees were often with online banks and better known financial institutions for investing rather than a typical checking account.
If you have ongoing wire transfer fees, consider changing banks to take advantage of this fee-free or fee-free. Many of the banks listed in the table below offer free accounts that make it easy to open an account with them, even if you continue your relationship with your current bank.
Some of the lowest fees for incoming wire transfers (domestic and international) include:
- TD Bank – It is the best bank for outgoing transfers. The locations are on the east coast and offer free incoming transfers and reimbursement of one outgoing transfer per statement cycle (domestic or international), making them a great option if you initiate transfers frequently.
- Ally – This online bank has no fees for incoming transfers and average fees for outgoing domestic transfers. Since Ally has low fees, it’s a good option if you expect to receive a lot of transfers.
- Discover – Although you may be more familiar with Discover for credit cards, they also offer money market accounts and online savings accounts. Discover does not charge for incoming transfers, although its outgoing transfer fee is $30.
- loyalty – Although traditionally known for its investment branch, Fidelity offers a cash management account with no transfer fees.
- Capital One 360 – Another online bank with generally low fees, it offers inbound wire transfers at no cost. Similar to Discover, outbound domestic wire transfers cost $30.
- Axos – Another online bank with an option for a current account with no monthly management fee, Axos offers free incoming domestic and international wire transfers. Charges for outgoing wires are higher.
|Bank||Incoming domestic charges||Outgoing domestic charges||Incoming international fees||Outbound international charges|
|loyalty||$0||$0||$0||up to 3%|
|Capital One 360||$0||$30||$0||—|
|TD Bank||$0 – $15||$0 to $30||$0 – $15||$0 to $40+|
|Citibank||$0 – $25||$0 – $35||$0 – $35||$0 – $35|
|Ray||$10||$5 – $20||$10||$40|
|Wells Fargo||$15||$30||$16||$35 – $45|
|Hunt||$15||$25||$15||$5 – $40|
|Bank of America||$15||$30||$16||$35 – $45|
Most banks charge for outgoing wire transfers (domestic and international), so if you can avoid sending a transfer, that’s your best bet.
Some banks have different levels of fees depending on the account, so you’ll want to check your particular account.
Unfortunately, many online banks don’t yet offer wire transfers, so if this is a service you need, check the list above to make sure your online bank is listed. If not, you will need to find another way to get/send your money or open another account with another bank.
Check your local credit union
Credit unions are more likely to have no fees for incoming wire transfers, both domestic and foreign, than large banks. So if you think you’re going to get a lot of leads, this is a good way to investigate. However, most credit unions will still charge for outgoing wire transfers, usually between $20 and $25 for domestic and $40 for international. If you are unfamiliar with credit unions, they are local organizations. They often have better interest rates for saving and lower borrowing rates, and they tend to give back to the community. But their reach is limited, often with a few branches. If you are looking to transfer money with a local credit union, find out about the differences between banks and credit unions.
Related: Best No Fee Banks
Alternatives to consider
Bank to bank transfer
Check if your bank charges external transfer fees. If they don’t, it can be a great way to avoid transfer fees while transferring money electronically. Some of the banks that do not charge external transfers include:
Consider using an app if you’re sending money to a friend or family member. You will need to link your bank account to the app so that it can withdraw the funds and send them to the recipient. There are tons of apps to choose from, including:
- PayPal – The original person-to-person app for sending money. As long as you use your bank account or PayPal balance (not a credit card) and send the money to a friend’s personal account (not using the business option), it should be free.
- Venmo – One of the most popular money transfer apps. Link it to your bank account to easily send money to a friend.
- google wallet – An easy way to send money. Link your debit card to the app (or use your desktop computer) to send money. But you can’t send money internationally with Google Wallet.
To make these apps a free experience, link your bank account and not a credit card. These will incur charges.
If you need to send money internationally but don’t have a bank account with low transfer fees, TransferWise is an inexpensive option that’s especially great if you’re transferring money in the USA. I use it frequently because it’s cheap and fast. The company offers good exchange rates and low fees. If you’re sending money with TransferWise, you’ll need to create an account (it’s free) and you’ll need the recipient’s bank details. The only major downside is that fees for transferring money from the US to other countries tend to be higher.
Read more: TransferWise Review
With the proliferation of peer-to-peer payment apps and free online bank transfers, there are plenty of ways to avoid transferring money in the first place. But if you need to transfer money, look for a bank account with no or low fees.