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Guide to bank fees for wire transfers

With fees ranging from $0 to over $45, learn what major banks actually charge for wire transfers.

Updated

Fact checked

Your local bank branch offers an easy way to send money overseas straight out of your account, but often there are high fees attached to this convenience. We’ve researched the wire transfer fees of some of the top banks in the US to show how they compare against one another and against independent money transfer services.

Wire transfer fees for top US banks

We’ve gathered the wire transfer fees charged by 10 major US banks. You may also be subject to foreign transaction, minimum balance and other fees — and some banks waive fees depending on your account status.

BankIncoming domestic wireOutgoing domestic wireIncoming international wireOutgoing international wire
Ally (online bank)$0$20$0Not offered
Bank of America$15$30$16$35–$45
BB&T$15$30$15$30
Capital One 360 (online bank)$0$30$0Not offered
Chase$15$25–$35$15$40–$50
Citibank$15$10–$25$15$10–$35
PNC Bank$15$30$15$45
TD Bank$15$25$15$40
US Bank$20$30$25$50
Wells Fargo$15$30$16$45

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What fees should 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 to send money domestically because fewer financial systems are involved. International transfers involve banks and wire processing services for each country — and with more banks come more fees.

Based on our research from 10 US banks, 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.

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 best exchange rate offered.

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

Bank transferCash pickup transferMoney transfer service
Fee$30 + bank fees$3.99$10
Exchange rate1 USD = 1.449 AUD1 USD = 1.505 AUD1 USD = 1.498 AUD
Transfer speed2–5 daysMinutes1–2 days
Amount received1,406 AUD1,499 AUD1,483 AUD
Verdict
  • Slowest and most expensive
  • Fastest and best value
  • Better than a bank transfer

The bank ends up being both the slowest and most expensive option, resulting in the least amount of money delivered among the three. Using a bank transfer would cost 93 AUD more than other, faster options.

How much will my recipient get? Calculate receive amounts


Compare banks to independent money transfer services

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 20.655 MXN 103,274 Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
For larger transfers, get no transaction fees and no maximum send limits.
Go to site Show details
$1 Same day USD 0.00 20.77 MXN 103,848 XE offers fast transfers with no fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
$0 1 - 2 days USD 1.99 20.446 MXN 102,190 Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Quick, affordable transfers around the world with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details
$1 1 - 2 days USD 50.00 20.863 MXN
103,274
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
$1 Within an hour USD 3.99 20.776 MXN 103,796 Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

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. There are more ways than just your bank to send money domestically and internationally, so be sure to compare your options before paying high fees.

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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    SantinoDecember 4, 2018

    I reside and bank in Nigeria. I have currently placed a withdrawal order of €80 from my European bookmarker. I wish to know the likely charges that my bank might make. Will I be charged for the money to be converted to naira from Europe by my bank? Also, are there any other likely charges for a recipient of a foreign transaction in a foreign currency.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaDecember 9, 2018Staff

      Hi Santino,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Everytime your money is converted to another currency, your bank gets a cut from it. To know the exact fee of currency conversion, you would need to directly get in touch with your bank.

      Typically, fees are paid by the sender and not the receiver. Again, please get in touch with your bank to obtain a more personalized answer.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  2. Default Gravatar
    EkaOctober 6, 2018

    what is that cost of transfer?

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloOctober 6, 2018

      Hi Eka,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Cost of money transfer is typically different from each other. Banks offer a secure and familiar way to complete wire transfers. 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 when it comes to transfer speed, costs and conversion rates.

      Please send me a message if you need anything else. :)

      Cheers,
      Joel

  3. Default Gravatar
    BerniJune 4, 2018

    how do I tell if a real account exists or who could help with that informati on?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaJune 5, 2018Staff

      Hi Bernie,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well for you. :)

      You can manually check an account’s existence manually. One of the ways you can do this is to directly get in touch with the bank. You can do this by calling their telephone representative and asking them to validate an account for you. You may also try auto account verification and follow the instruction if this is also available. You’ll need the account name and the account number.

      There are also account verification services available but most of them come with fees.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

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