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Guide to bank fees for wire transfers

With fees ranging from $13.50 to over $50, learn what major banks actually charge for wire transfers.

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 Canada to show how they compare against one another and against independent money transfer services.

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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 major banks in Canada, these are the average fees you can expect for wire transfers:

  • Incoming domestic fee. $15 to $20 for receiving money from another Canadian account with the same bank.
  • Outgoing domestic fee. $20 to $30 for sending money to another Canadian bank account.
  • Incoming international fee. $15 to $20 for receiving money from a non-Canadian bank account.
  • Outgoing international fee. $30 to $80 for sending money to a non-Canadian bank account.
  • Initiation fee. $10 or less depending on how you make your transfer, for example, in a branch or over the phone. Not all banks charge this fee.
  • Investigation fee. $25 to $35 for requesting tracing services for a previous wire transfer.

Wire transfer fees for top Canadian banks

We’ve gathered the wire transfer fees charged by the Big 5 banks in Canada. You may also be subject to foreign transaction, minimum balance and other fees — and some banks waive fees depending on your account status.

Fees apply to personal accounts and are in CAD unless otherwise stated. Business accounts may come with different wire fees.

BankIncoming domesticOutgoing domesticIncoming internationalOutgoing international
TD Canada Trust bank logo

TD Canada Trust

  • $17.50
  • Wires to a TD Canada Trust account:
    $16 (fee is in the currency of the sending account)
  • Wires to a non-TD Canada Trust account:
    • Sending $10,000 or less: $30
    • Sending $10,000.01 to $50,000: $50
    • Sending more than $50,000: $80.00
  • $17.50 CAD if funds are received in CAD or a non-USD currency
  • $17.50 USD if funds are received in USD
  • Sending $10,000 or less: $30
  • Sending $10,000.01 to $50,000: $50
  • Sending more than $50,000: $80.00
CIBC logo, small, gold letters on red background

CIBC

  • $15
  • Sending $10,000 or less: $30
  • Sending $10,000.01 to $50,000: $50
  • Sending more than $50,000: $80.00

Wires from foreign currency accounts (i.e. US dollar accounts) are charged in the currency of that account using CIBC’s exchange rate.

  • $15 CAD (converted to the receiving currency)
  • Sending $10,000 or less: $30
  • Sending $10,000.01 to $50,000: $50
  • Sending more than $50,000: $80.00

Wires from foreign currency accounts (i.e. US dollar accounts) are charged in the currency of that account using CIBC’s exchange rate.

RBC logo

RBC

  • Free for wires from other Canadian-based RBC accounts and for worldwide transfers of $50 CAD/USD or less.
  • $17 CAD or USD depending on the receiving currency for all other transfers worldwide
  • Starts at $45 (add $35 if IBAN is not provided for transfers to countries that use IBANs)
  • Free for wires from other Canadian-based RBC accounts and for worldwide transfers of $50 CAD/USD or less.
  • $17 CAD or USD depending on the receiving currency for all other transfers worldwide
  • Starts at $13.50. Check the RBC site for more info and any additional fees
Scotiabank logo

Scotiabank

  • $15 CAD or USD depending on the currency of the receiving account
  • $1.50 for incoming wires identified as “Pension Payments” in the payment message
  • Unknown, but money can be sent domestically via Interac e-Transfer for $1.50 per transfer (waived with certain banking packages).
  • $15 CAD or USD depending on the currency of the receiving account
  • $1.50 for incoming wires identified as “Pension Payments” in the payment message
  • Unknown, but account holders can use online banking to send money internationally via Western Union (fees vary).
BMO logo, icon only

BMO

  • $14
  • 20% of wire amount (min. $15 max. $125) + $10 communication charge
  • $14
  • 20% of wire amount (min. $15 max. $125) + $10 communication charge

How can I compare these bank fees?

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?

Dedicated money transfer service providers often charge lower fees than the banks and offer a variety of sending and receiving options. Many providers give a break on fees if you send more money each time you use its service.


Let’s crunch the numbers: Wiring $1,000 to Australia

Bank transferCash pickup transferMoney transfer service
Fee$45 + bank fees$4.99$10
Exchange rate1 CAD = 1.0630 AUD1 CAD = 1.0824 AUD1 CAD = 1.0944 AUD
Transfer speed2–5 daysMinutes1–2 days
Amount received1,015.17 AUD1,077.00 AUD1,083.46 AUD
Verdict
  • Slowest and most expensive
  • Fastest
  • Best value

The bank ends up being both the slowest and most expensive option, resulting in the least amount of money delivered among the three. In this case, using a bank transfer would cost 62-68 AUD more than other, faster options.

Comparing the cheapest online money transfer options


Compare banks to independent money transfer services

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
CAD 1 Same day CAD 0.00 0.805 USD
4,026
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
CAD 10 Within an hour CAD 1.99 0.8 USD
4,000
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details
CAD 1 1 - 2 days CAD 45.00 0.809 USD
4,010
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

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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