Guide to bank fees for wire transfers

With fees ranging from $15 to over $50, learn what major banks actually charge for wire transfers.

Updated . What changed?

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.

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 $45 (add $35 if IBAN is not provided for transfers to countries that use IBANs)
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

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Description Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
OFX International Money Transfers
USD 150
1 day
Online, Phone, Agent
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in 45 currencies.
Global Reach International Money Transfers
GBP 3,000
1 day
Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account
Global Reach will match any competitor's exchange rates. Conditions apply.

Get no fees for both business and personal transfers when you send your money overseas with Global Reach.
Remitly International Money Transfers
CAD 1
1 - 2 days
Online, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer
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.
WorldRemit International Money Transfers
CAD 0
Within an hour
Online, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
TransferWise International Money Transfers
CAD 1
1 - 2 days
Online
Make online transfers with transparent exchange rates, low fees and low minimum amounts.
XE International Money Transfers
CAD 1
1 day
Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account
Send money in more than 60 currencies. Fee-free international money transfers with a global brand.
CurrencyTransfer International Money Transfers
GBP 5,000
1 - 2 days
Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account, International Money Order
Aimed at larger transfers, CurrencyTransfer is an online marketplace that lets you shop around for the best exchange rate.
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The ‘Rate’ and ‘Amount Received’ displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

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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