Guide to bank fees for wire transfers

You'll pay fees for ingoing and outgoing wires.

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Your local bank branch offers an easy way to send money overseas in person. But you’ll save on fees and exchange rates with a money transfer company.

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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.

BankIncoming domesticOutgoing domesticIncoming internationalOutgoing international
Ally (online bank)$0$20$0Not offered
Bank of America$15$30$16$35–$45
BB&T$15$30$18$65
Capital One 360 (online bank)$0$30$0Not offered
Chase$15$25–$35$15$40–$50
Citibank$15$12.50–$25$15$25–$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

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 AmericaOnline money transfer service
Transfer fee$35 (outgoing international fee)$5
Exchange rate1 USD = 1.28 AUD1 USD = 1.32 AUD
Transfer methodOnline depositOnline deposit
Transfer speed1–2 days1–2 days
Total AUD received1,280 AUD1,320 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

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 0 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 19.269 MXN 96,345 Offering no maximum and no minimum limit transfers with $0 fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1 1 - 2 days USD 50.00 19.346 MXN
95,765
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
EUR 1,000 1 - 2 days USD 10.00 19.153 MXN 95,573 Use TransferMate to help you send money to almost any country around the world for a small fee. Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour USD 3.99 19.265 MXN 96,249 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
GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 19.153 MXN 95,765 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
USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 19.153 MXN 95,765 No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. Go to site Show details
USD 5,000 1 day USD 0.00 19.153 MXN 95,765 Venstar will support you through the entire process of your international transactions, from start to finish. 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.

Ultimately, you’ll need to compare your options to find the service that’s best for you.

Image: Getty Images

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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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