We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.
Guide to bank fees for wire transfers
You'll pay fees for ingoing and outgoing wires.
Find the best provider for your transfer
Answer three quick questions and we'll give you an instant recommendation for a money transfer service based on your needs.
Question 1 of 2
Based on your answers, check out:
What kind of fees could I expect?
The fees your bank charges depend on whether you’re sending or receiving the money, as well as whether the recipient or sender is overseas. Some banks charge more depending on how you initiate the wire transfer — for example, online or in person.
Generally it’s cheaper send money domestically because less financial systems are involved. International transfers involve banks and wire processing services for each country — and with it come fees.
Based on our research from 10 US bank, these are the average fees you can expect for wire transfers:
- Incoming domestic fee. $15 to $20 for receiving money from another US bank account.
- Outgoing domestic fee. $20 to $30 for sending money to another US bank account.
- Incoming international fee. $15 to $25 for receiving money from an overseas bank account.
- Outgoing international fee. $35 to $65 for sending money to an overseas bank account — if it’s offered at all.
- Initiation fee. $10 to $35 that depends on how you make your transfer, for example, in a branch or over the phone.
- Tracer fee. Up to $15 for requesting tracing services for a previous wire transfer.
Wire transfer fees by major US bank
We’ve gathered the wire transfer fees charged by 10 major US banks. Before switching to a new bank for its lower wire transfer fees, consider its overall suite of financial products. You may also be subject to foreign transaction, minimum balance and other fees — and some banks waive fees depending on your account status.
|Bank||Incoming domestic||Outgoing domestic||Incoming international||Outgoing international|
|Ally (online bank)||$0||$20||$0||Not offered|
|Bank of America||$15||$30||$16||$35–$45|
|Capital One 360 (online bank)||$0||$30||$0||Not offered|
How can I compare these bank fees?
To make your decisions a bit easier, we’ve gathered wire transfer fees for several US banks below.
When assessing these fees, how much you’ll pay depends on where you’re sending money to and other elements like:
- Incoming vs. outgoing. Incoming wire transfers tend to be cheaper than outgoing wire transfers. This is because the sender usually bears the brunt of the costs associated with the wire transfer.
- Domestic vs. international. Because domestic wire transfers involve less processing, they tend to be cheaper than international wire transfers. International wire transfers typically involve multiple banking systems and operators between the two countries.
- Recurring vs. one-time fees. Some banks offer savings of a few dollars per transfer when you set up recurring wire transfers.
- Initiation fees. Your bank could charge a fee for requesting the wire transfer in a branch or over the phone, instead of online.
- Tracer fees. If your recipient hasn’t received your transfer as scheduled, you may need to trace it. This could incur more fees.
- Exchange rates. An exchange rate shows how much one currency is worth in another currency. Nearly all banks skew the published exchange rate for a profit, and they aren’t always forthcoming about the margin they add. You may need to call your bank or initiate a transfer online to see the rate you’ll get.
How can I beat the banks and reduce what I pay in fees?
Many providers give a break on fees if you send more money each time you use its service. Some smaller banks even give you a break on transfers to and from student accounts. This helps parents or guardians avoid being double charged if they’re funding both accounts.
Case study: Wiring $1,000 to Australia
You’ll pay more for an international wire transfer through your bank than you will using an international money transfer service, but you may find that the security and familiarity it offers is worth it. With a bank, you simply log into your existing online bank account to initiate the process, without handing your personal information over to a third party.
Take Jessica, for example, who wants to send $1,000 to her aunt in Australia. While she’s more comfortable with the idea of using her local Bank of America, where she holds an account, she decides to compare its rates and fees against a popular online money transfer service.
Here’s a breakdown of what Jessica could pay to transfer $1,000 to Australia.
|Bank of America||Online money transfer service|
|Transfer fee||$35 (outgoing international fee)||$5|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 1.28 AUD||1 USD = 1.32 AUD|
|Transfer method||Online deposit||Online deposit|
|Transfer speed||1–2 days||1–2 days|
|Total AUD received||1,280 AUD||1,320 AUD|
The biggest drawback here is the cost. Jessica’s bank not only charges an outrageously high transfer fee, but also offers a weaker exchange rate. By going with a money transfer service like OFX or XE, Jessica could save $30 in fees and send 40 more Australian dollars to her aunt.
How much will my recipient get? Calculate receive amounts
Compare banks to these independent money transfer services
Banks offer a secure and familiar way to complete wire transfers with friends, family members and merchants. However, you can expect to pay high transfer fees on top of weaker exchange rates than you would get by using an online money transfer service.
Ultimately, you’ll need to compare your options to find the service that’s best for you.
Image: Getty Images
Frequently asked questions
Ask an Expert