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International bank drafts guide

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Send large payments overseas securely.

Similar to a cashier’s check, bank drafts are usually used for large payments overseas. Though not the quickest way to send money, bank checks are accepted in most countries.

How does a bank draft work?

A bank draft is effectively a check from a financial institution, which means the funds for the transaction are withdrawn from the institution rather than from the check drawer’s account.

This offers an important benefit over an ordinary check from an individual. The funds from a normal check are not withdrawn from the drawer’s account until the check is cleared, which means there may not be sufficient funds available when the check is cashed and it may therefore bounce.

With a bank draft, however, when a person requests one they must immediately transfer the funds from their account to cover the amount of the check. This adds a crucial extra level of security over a normal check.

Drafts can be drawn in the foreign currency you choose and are available for personal or business use.

How to compare bank drafts

  • Fees. This is the most important factor to look at when comparing bank drafts. Look at the different fees charged for obtaining a draft and see if you could save money with a different provider.
  • Available currencies and countries. Speak to your bank or financial institution about the currencies in which you can obtain a bank draft and the countries to which you can send them.
  • Processing time. Once you apply for a draft, how long will it take for your financial institution to process it?
  • Application options. It’s also a good idea to compare the different methods available when applying for a bank draft. You’ll typically need to visit a branch or apply in writing.

Pros and cons of a bank draft


  • Accepted in most parts of the world. International bank drafts are accepted in the majority of countries around the globe.
  • Inexpensive. Although you will have to pay a fee when you apply for an international bank draft, drafts are still a relatively cost-effective method of sending funds overseas.
  • In local currency. As the check is made out in the local currency where it will be sent, it does not require conversion and is therefore able to be banked quicker than a check written in USD.
  • Secure. Bank drafts must be deposited into a bank account and cannot be cashed.


  • Slow. Bank drafts typically take several weeks to process, so they’re only a viable option where the speed of the transaction is not a concern.

What are the risks?

Keep an eye out for the following risks when it comes to bank drafts.

  • Funds not arriving in time. As mentioned, international bank drafts are quite a slow method of sending money overseas. If you need to send funds urgently, do not bother applying for a bank draft.
  • Fees. As with any financial product or service, it’s important that you’re aware of the fees and charges that apply to your bank draft. This can save you a lot of money in the long run.
  • Your country of choice may be unavailable. Make sure to check which countries and currencies your bank will allow you to send a draft in and to.

Need to send money quickly?

The transfer services below are not bank drafts, but rather allow you to make bank transfers which can be received by your recipient in their bank account or as cash.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 0 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.892 EUR 4,460 Offering no maximum and no minimum limit transfers with $0 fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1 1 - 2 days USD 40.00 0.896 EUR
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour USD 3.99 0.892 EUR 4,456 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 0.887 EUR 4,433 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 0.887 EUR 4,433 No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. Go to site Show details
USD 5,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.887 EUR 4,433 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

Your most common questions about bank drafts

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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JammieDecember 17, 2018

    What are the procedures which should i take if will receive a international bank draft and how i know that the draft has reached to my country and to any bank Will receive it

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ValDecember 19, 2018Staff

      Hi Jammie,

      Thanks for reaching to finder. With a bank draft, when you requests one you should immediately transfer the funds from your account to cover the amount of the check. This adds a crucial extra level of security over a normal check.

      Yes you can receive a bank draft. Check with your bank to see which countries it will accept bank drafts from and to find out what sort of fees apply for doing so.

      Domestic bank checks typically take up to three business days to clear, while international bank drafts often take between four and six weeks.

      Hope this helps!


  2. Default Gravatar
    SUDHEERNovember 24, 2018

    Kindly inform validity period of an Italian Bankers Draft

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoNovember 30, 2018Staff

      Hi Sudheer,

      Thanks for getting in touch! Bank draft validity dates are set by each bank upon the date of issuance. If you are issuing or receiving a bank draft, take note of the validity set that will be found on the cheque itself. Hope this helps!


  3. Default Gravatar
    patriciaAugust 28, 2018

    I want to buy a USD international bank draft for my nephew and his bride to be who are moving to the States. AS the draft will not be lodged for at least 6 weeks is there a time limit on the draft.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesAugust 29, 2018Staff

      Hi Patricia,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      Generally, a bank draft does not expire since the bank draft has been purchased by either cash or cleared funds. But you may want to confirm this with the bank you are taking out the bank draft because some banks may have a time limit that they set on this. Hope this helps!


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