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Guide to bank fees for wire transfers

With fees ranging from RM5 to over RM30, 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 Malaysia 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.

Wire transfer fees for top Malaysian banks

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

BankIncoming internationalOutgoing international
MaybankRM5via online: RM10

via branch: RM10-RM30

CIMBRM5via online: RM10

via branch: RM10-RM30

Hong Leong BankRM7via online: RM12-RM20

via branch: RM12-RM30

UOB MalaysiaRM5RM10-RM25
HSBC MalaysiaRM5via online: RM25

via branch: RM45

How can I compare these bank fees?

To make your decisions a bit easier, we’ve gathered wire transfer fees for several Malaysian 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.
  • Recurring vs. one-time fees. Some banks offer savings of a few ringgit 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?

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 RM5,000 to the US

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 Aishah, for example, who wants to send RM5,000 to her aunt in the US from her bank account in Malaysian ringgit. While she’s more comfortable with the idea of using her local bank, where she holds an account, she decides to compare its rates and fees against a popular online money transfer service.

Local Malaysian bankOnline money transfer service
Transfer feeRM10 + bank feeRM25
Exchange rate1 USD = 4.2850 MYR1 USD = 4.2553 MYR
Transfer methodOnline depositOnline deposit
Transfer speed2-5 days1 days
Amount received1,148 USD1,169 USD

The bank ends up being both the slowest and most expensive option, resulting in the least amount of money delivered. Using a bank transfer would cost 21 USD more than an online money transfer service like InstaReM.


Compare banks to independent money transfer services

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 1 Same day MYR 3.99 0.238 USD
1,188
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Go to site Show details
USD 60 1 day MYR 0.00 0.238 USD
1,191
Skrill offers easy transfers to many popular destinations, but keep an eye out for added fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1 1 day MYR 50.00 0.239 USD
1,183
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details
USD 200 1 day MYR 25.00 0.238 USD
1,184
Exclusive: Use code FINDER10 to receive US$10 off your first transaction.
InstaReM offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers.
Go to site Show details
USD 120 1 - 2 days MYR 5.00 0.237 USD
1,184
Malaysia-based MoneyMatch offers competitive exchange rates for overseas money transfers from MYR to more than 70 countries. 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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