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How much are wire transfer fees in Canada?

Expect a wire transfer fee of $15–$50 or more for bank wire transfers, but you could pay less with an online money transfer service.

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Electronically wiring money from your bank account is an easy way to send money overseas, but the wire transfer fee you’ll have to pay will likely be quite high. We’ve researched Canada’s top banks to help you easily compare CIBC, BMO, TD, Scotiabank and RBC wire transfer fees. Explore what a wire transfer is and how alternative online money transfer services may work for you.

Wire transfer fees for top Canadian banks

We’ve gathered information on the wire transfer fee you can expect to pay with five major Canadian banks.

Keep in mind, you may end up paying foreign transaction fees, minimum balance requirements and other costs, in addition to the wire transfer fees. Read all fine print to be sure.

Fees apply to personal accounts and are in CAD unless otherwise stated. The wire transfer fee for business account holders may be different.

BankReceive domesticSend domesticReceive internationalSend international
Simplii
$10
  • Interac e-Transfer: Free
  • Wire transfer: $30 to send $10,000 or less, $50 to send $10,000.01 -$50,000, $80 to send over $50,000
$10
  • Global Money Transfer: Free
  • Wire transfer: $30 to send $10,000 or less, $50 to send $10,000.01 -$50,000, $80 to send over $50,000
TD$17.50
  • To a TD Canada Trust account: $16
  • To a non-TD Canada Trust account: $50
$17.50$50
CIBC$15
  • $30 ($10,000 or less)
  • $50 ($10,000.01 to $50,000)
  • $80 (over $50,000)
$15
  • $30 ($10,000 or less)
  • $50 ($10,000.01 to $50,000)
  • $80 (over $50,000)
RBC
  • From other RBC accounts: Free
  • From non-RBC accounts: Free ($50 or less), $17 (over $50)
Starts at $45
  • From other RBC accounts: Free
  • From non-RBC accounts: Free ($50 or less), $17 (over $50)
Starts at $45
Scotiabank
  • $15
  • $1.50 for Pension Payments
Varies
  • $15
  • $1.50 for Pension Payments
Varies
BMO

BMO wire transfer fees effective July 10, 2023

$16$40 + $10 communication charge$16$40 + $10 communication charge

Compare more money transfer services now

What is a wire transfer?

A wire transfer is a method of moving money electronically around the world through a bank-to-bank or bank-to-agency network. You can typically wire transfer money within Canada (called a “domestic wire transfer”) or from Canada to a different country (known as an “international wire transfer”).

Wire transfers often come with fees. Bank and other financial institutions typically charge a fee between $15 and $50 to send or receive a wire transfer. Here is a quick snapshot of how Canadian banks charge wire transfer fees.

Snapshot: Bank wire transfer fees

  • TD wire transfers: Flat-rate fee to send or receive
  • RBC wire transfers: Free to receive small amounts or from RBC accounts
  • BMO wire transfers: Flat-rate fee plus a communication charge to send
  • CIBC wire transfers: Fees are tiered based on the sending amount
  • Simplii wire transfers: Free Interac e-Transfers and Global Money Transfers

What wire transfer fees should I expect from banks?

The wire transfer fee your bank charges depends on whether you’re sending or receiving the money, as well as whether the recipient or sender is overseas.

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.

Average bank wire transfer fees

Based on our research from major banks in Canada, here’s the average wire transfer fee you can expect to pay:

  • Incoming domestic fee. $15 to $18 for receiving money from another Canadian account.
  • Outgoing domestic and international fee. Generally $30 to $50+ for sending money to a Canadian or non-Canadian bank account.
  • Incoming international fee. $15 to $18 for receiving money from a non-Canadian bank account.
  • Investigation fee. Generally starts at $25 to investigate and trace a wire transfer that has already been sent.

Bank wire transfers vs. online wire transfer services

Banks aren’t the only place where you can wire transfer money. There are many other alternative financial institutions that are designed specifically to enable wire transfers online.

Because these companies, like OFX and CurrencyTransfer, specialize in foreign currencies, they are often some of the most cost-effective transfer options. Most of these companies offer transfers directly to the recipient’s bank account, often in as little as a day. Digital account-to-account money transfers are typically cheaper than cash transfers.

Compare money transfer services

Online money transfer services let you pay by bank transfer, which is cheaper than wire transfer.

Our table below lets you compare services you can use to send money abroad. Compare fees, exchange rates and discounts from different money transfer services, and when you have made your choice, click Go to site.
Name Product _compare_ Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Wise (TransferWise)
24 hours
From 0.43%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Xe Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Instarem
Within minutes
From $0
Use code HELLO to get $20 off on first two transfers on a min transfer of $250. Valid until November 30, 2023.
Instarem offers zero transfer fees on all transfers.
Africhange
Within minutes
From $0
Send money in CAD to Africa on this blockchain and P2P powered provider.
Remitly
Finder Award
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
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.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
From $0
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
MoneyGram
Finder Award
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $4.99
For a limited time, get $0 fees on your first money transfer from Canada. Conditions apply.
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
OFX
Finder Award
OFX
24 hours
$0
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
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Example: Wire transferring $1,000 to Australia

Here’s what it could cost to send $1,000 to Australia if you: (1) wire transfer funds through a bank, (2) send money in person for cash pick-up, or (3) transfer funds between bank accounts using an online money transfer service. Note that the actual fees and exchange rates you’ll get may differ.

Bank transferIn-store transfer for cash pick-upOnline money transfer service
Fee$50 + intermediary bank fees$7$3.99
Exchange rate1 CAD = 1.0277 AUD1 CAD = 1.0004 AUD1 CAD = 1.0536 AUD
Transfer speed2–5 business daysWithin minutesUp to 2 business days
Amount received$976.32 AUD$993.40 AUD$1,049.40 AUD
Verdict
  • Slowest and most expensive
  • Fastest
  • Lowest fee and highest receiving amount

In this case, the bank wire transfer fee and processing time is the highest among the 3 options. You would have saved more and got a stronger exchange rate if you had used an online money transfer service.

* This is a fictional, but realistic, example.

How can I compare these bank wire transfer fees?

Your wire transfer fee will depend on where you’re sending money to as well as other elements including:

  • Incoming vs outgoing. The wire transfer fee for incoming funds tends to be cheaper than the fee for outgoing funds. 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 2 countries.
  • Recurring vs one-time fees. You may be able to save 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 a currency is worth in another currency. Nearly all banks charge a small percentage of the exchange rate (known as a “margin”) as a fee, and the size of this fee is not always made clear. You may need to call your bank or initiate a transfer online to see the best exchange rate offered.

What information is needed for a wire transfer?

Whether you want to send or receive a wire transfer, domestically or internationally, you’ll need to provide some or all of the following information. If you’re the person sending a wire transfer, ask the recipient to give you the following information.

Information needed to send a wire transfer

  • The amount you want to send in the recipient’s currency
  • Recipient’s name and address
  • Recipient’s bank account number, transit/branch number and bank name
  • Purpose for the wire transfer

If you’re sending a wire transfer domestically within Canada you may also need to supply the recipient’s 3-digit Canadian financial institution number and the Swift Code or BIC.

If you’re sending money internationally to the US, you’ll need to also provide the ABA routing number and Swift Code or BIC.

If you’re sending money to other international destinations, you’ll need to include the IBAN and Swift Code or BIC.

How to send a wire transfer

While each financial institution will have its own process in place to send a wire transfer, you’ll typically need to follow these general steps:

1. Visit your local branch

You’ll likely have to go into your physical local bank branch to send a wire transfer, as most banks don’t offer online wire transfer services. That said, certain fund transfer providers that operate entirely online, like Simplii, offer convenient wire transfer options through their website or app.

2. Provide all required information

The exact information you’ll need to provide your financial institution may vary from bank to bank, but you can generally expect to include the recipient’s name and full address, account number, transit number, routing number, the recipient’s bank branch’s name and full address as well as the Swift Code/BIC/IBAN code.

3. Send the transfer

Once you’ve supplied all of the correct information, the bank can process your wire transfer. Depending on the transfer destination, the money transfer may take anywhere from 3 to 5 business days to complete.

Each year, Canadian residents send more than $5 billion in cash transfers to friends and family overseas, according to Statistics Canada. The average amount sent is just over $2,800. Without shopping around for the best wire transfer fees, these bank clients could end up spending as much as $125 to send money to loved ones abroad.

Sent money to the wrong person

In the Finder: Consumer Sentiment Survey, where more than 1,845 Canadians were asked about their money habits, more than a quarter (26%) of Canadians admitted they’d sent money overseas to the wrong person at least once, in the past. While just over half (54%) were able to get the wire transfer money back, 46% were not.

Residents in New Brunswick were the least likely to send money to the wrong person overseas — 82% did not make that error, in the past — while residents in Newfoundland & Labrador, followed by residents in Prince Edward Island, were most likely to send money to the wrong person overseas by mistake (39% and 38%, respectively).

Bottom line

Banks offer a secure and familiar way to complete wire transfers with friends, family members and merchants. However, expect the wire transfer fee to be fairly high and the exchange rate to be weaker than you would typically get with an online money transfer service.

There are other ways to send money internationally than sending a bank wire transfer, so be sure to compare your options before sending funds.

Frequently asked questions about wire transfers

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