Zelle review

Send money in under 5 minutes with banks that use Zelle.

Backed by many major US banks, Zelle can transfer money into your recipient’s bank account — typically in minutes. But watch out for unclear limits and much slower transfers for unsupported banks.

1.0 ★★★★★ (1 review) Write a review

0%

Instant withdrawal fee

No fees

Fees to send

Varies

Maximum transfer amount (verified)

Details

Product NameZelle
Fees to sendNo fees
Instant withdrawal fee0%
Free withdrawal speedUp to 3 business days
Payment methodBank account
Ways to receiveBank account
Maximum transfer amount (unverified)Varies
Maximum transfer amount (verified)Varies
Supported devicesiOS app, Android app, Browser
Customer supportPhone, Email
Supports international transfers?No

Zelle is a mobile payment processing network developed by some of the largest American banks – Bank of America, Chase, Capital One and USAA among them. Zelle is known for transferring money nearly instantly between users who have bank accounts that support Zelle integration. However, Zelle provides no form of fraud protection and transfer limits vary depending on your bank or credit union.

Why should I consider Zelle?

  • Large amount of bank partners. Zelle is integrated with more than a thousand banking apps across the US. Chances are that if Zelle is integrated into your bank’s app, you won’t have to download another one.
  • Instant transfers. Transfers between two supported banks typically happen within minutes.
  • No fees. Zelle is free, so sending money to other Zelle users will cost you nothing.
  • Convenience. You just need a phone number or email to send money to other Zelle users.

What to be aware of

  • US only. Both the sending and receiving bank accounts must be in the US to use Zelle.
  • Only supports bank accounts. You can’t pay with a credit card to send money through Zelle.
  • Smartphone required. If your bank supports Zelle, you may be able to access it through the bank’s website. Otherwise, you’re forced to use the mobile app to send money.
  • No fraud protection. Sending money through Zelle is like sending cash; once it’s sent, you can’t get it back – even if you send it to the wrong person.

How does Zelle work?

Zelle works by moving money directly from one bank account to another. Zelle sends your recipient a text or email once a payment is waiting for them. If the recipient’s bank supports Zelle, they can accept the payment through their mobile banking app. Otherwise, the recipient uses a link provided by Zelle to accept the payment to a debit card.

Unlike Cash App, Google Pay, Venmo and other competitors, there is no escrow or intermediary period where the money is held by Zelle. Instead, money moves directly from your bank account to your recipient’s in as little as a few seconds. Zelle is free to use, but check with your bank to make sure you won’t pay withdrawal or transfer fees when using Zelle.

What banks currently use Zelle?

Zelle is supported by more than a thousand banks or credit unions. Major banks include:

  • Ally Bank
  • Bank of America
  • BMO Harris Bank
  • Capital One
  • Chase
  • Citi
  • Discover Bank
  • Fidelity Bank
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Pinnacle Bank
  • PNC Bank
  • Redwood Capital Bank
  • TIAA Bank
  • TD Bank
  • US Bank
  • USAA
  • Wells Fargo

Can I use Zelle if my bank doesn’t support it?

Yes, but it will take at least a few days and may not be free. Your options include:

  • Sign up with the Zelle app. You may still be able to use Zelle even if your bank isn’t supported by downloading the Zelle mobile app and connecting your debit card. This won’t work for all banks, though, and transfer speeds are slower than when using a Zelle partner bank.
  • Use an alternative service. You could use another service that facilitates sending money in the US. Use our comparison table to compare the likes of Apple Pay, PayPal, Venmo and more.
  • Use a money transfer company. Look to digital money specialists if your recipient doesn’t have a bank account or prefers a cash pickup.
Wise (TransferWise) International Money Transfers

Wise: A solid alternative to Zelle

When you need to send money to a friend or family member in the US, benefit from fast service and low transfer fees with Wise.

  • Wise's Borderless Account lets you send US dollars to any US bank account for $1.40 from around the world.
  • If your recipient also has a Borderless Account, it's free.
  • Next-day delivery to your recipient's bank account and to businesses.
  • Trusted the world over, with five-star ratings on Trustpilot.

    Does Zelle charge a fee?

    The good news is that Zelle doesn’t charge a fee to send or receive money. However, your bank may charge a fee. It’s best to double-check the terms of service on your account or call your bank before using Zelle.

    What is Zelle’s transfer limit?

    The Zelle weekly limit is set to $500 if you don’t have an account with a Zelle participating bank.

    If your bank or credit union does offer Zelle, then you will need to contact them directly to find out their sending limits when using the service.

    How long does an international transfer with Zelle take?

    Transfers between two supported banks typically happen within minutes. However, if you are transferring to an unsupported bank, you may find it takes longer for your funds to arrive.

    Transfers typically takeClock icon for transfer speed

    Instant

    How to send money with Zelle

    Sending money with Zelle can be done in just a few steps, either through your bank’s mobile app, the web or the Zelle mobile app for Android and iOS.

    1. Set up your account. Log in to your current bank’s online system and register your email address/phone number with Zelle OR download the Zelle app and create an account.
    2. Send your payment. Choose your recipient, the amount you’re transferring and your payment method. Review your information and send.
    3. Zelle notifies your recipient. Your recipient receives an email or text with instructions on how to receive the transfer. If your recipient is not registered with Zelle, they’ll be prompted with a one-time setup.
    4. Zelle deposits your money. Your transfer is deposited into your recipient’s bank account, typically in minutes.

    How to receive money with Zelle

    Receiving money with Zelle shouldn’t take long after receiving your payment notification, but payments through a debit card may take a few days or more.

    1. Confirm payment. You’ll receive a text message or email when you’ve been paid through Zelle. Select the link inside of this payment notification.
    2. Connect your bank. If your bank is a Zelle partner, select it from the list or download the Zelle app and enroll using a Visa or Mastercard debit card.
    3. Confirm your account. After connecting Zelle to your bank or debit card and confirming it, you’ll be given a timeline for payment.
    4. Access your money. Zelle banks will often receive payments instantly, while payments to a debit card can take a few business days.

    Is Zelle safe to use?

    Zelle is used by hundreds of US banks and transfers money directly between bank accounts. However, just because your money should be safe in Zelle’s hands doesn’t prevent user error while transferring money through the app.

    Here are some key tips to increase the safety of your Zelle transfer.

    • Do you know the recipient? Only send Zelle transfers to people you know and trust. Zelle should be used to pay friends, family, coworkers and the like — Zelle should not be used to pay strangers.
    • Are you being scammed? If the item you are about to buy online and pay for with a Zelle transfer seems too good to be true, chances are it is. Zelle offers no buyer protection, so if you get scammed, you probably won’t get your money back. Use a service that offers buyer protection, like PayPal, when making purchases online from strangers.
    • Would you send cash? Treating a Zelle transfer like you’d treat cash is a great way to make sure you stay safe. You wouldn’t send an envelope of cash without double-checking the address, so always look twice at the mobile phone number or email before confirming your transfer.

    How does Zelle compare to other services that send money in the US?

    If you want to see how Zelle stacks up against other services that support domestic transfers in the US, take a look at our comparison table.

    1 - 8 of 8
    Name Product Fees Fastest available transfer speed Maximum transfer amount (verified)
    PayPal
    To send:

    By bank account: No fee
    By credit/debit card: 2.9% + fixed fee


    To receive:

    1% for instant withdrawal

    Instant
    $10,000
    Friends and Family is a free way to send and request money in the US, with fee-based options for international transfers.
    Zelle
    To send:

    No fees


    To receive:

    No fees

    Instant
    Varies
    Supported banks enjoy direct bank-to-bank transfers with the tap of a button.
    Cash App
    To send:

    No fees


    To receive:

    1.5% for instant withdrawal

    Instant
    $2,500
    Split the bill, pay your friends, buy and sell cryptocurrency and even spend money through a connected debit card.
    Google Pay
    To send:

    No fees


    To receive:

    No fees

    Instant
    $10,000
    Google’s take on money transfers — use this free service to quickly send and receive funds in a variety of ways.
    Venmo
    To send:

    No fees


    To receive:

    1% for instant withdrawal

    Instant
    $4,999.99
    Pay and request money to both friends and businesses through this peer-to-peer, socially driven payment app.
    Walmart
    Walmart
    To send:

    Starting from $4


    To receive:

    No fees

    Instant
    $2,500
    Send and receive money at any Walmart in the US and Puerto Rico. Transactions can also be sent from the Walmart app.
    Apple Pay
    To send:

    No fees


    To receive:

    1% for instant withdrawal

    Instant
    $10,000
    Pay and get paid directly through iMessage, but you’ll need an iOS device to use this payment service.
    Facebook Messenger
    To send:

    No fees


    To receive:

    No fees

    Instant
    $9,999
    Connect a debit card or PayPal account to send money directly to friends through Facebook’s messaging service.
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    77 Comments

    1. Default Gravatar
      Cj
      March 17, 2020

      I have zelle at 2 different banks and why does the money only go into one bank and not the other?

      • Default Gravatar
        nikkiangco
        March 18, 2020

        Hi CJ,

        Thanks for your comment and I hope you are well.

        When setting up your Zelle account, you are asked to log into your current bank’s online system and register your email address or phone number to establish a connection with your bank account. It’s helpful to know that you can only connect one bank account to your Zelle profile at any given time. Given this, your money will only go to the registered bank account.

        Please check the terms and conditions of your account or contact Zelle directly in regards to your Zelle account/profile.

        Hope this helps and feel free to reach out to us again for further assistance.

        Best,
        Nikki

    2. Default Gravatar
      Chris
      November 18, 2019

      Does the receiver have to have a bank account?

      • Default Gravatar
        Ash
        November 18, 2019

        Hi Chris,

        Thank you for contacting Finder.

        Yes, your receiver must have a bank account as Zelle is a money transfer service that helps you deposit the money directly to the recipient’s bank account.

        I hope this helps.

        Cheers,
        Ash

    3. Default Gravatar
      Marian
      June 25, 2019

      I sent money to my friend she let the country before she collect the money, my bank already processed and sent how would I get my money back?

      • Default Gravatar
        nikkiangco
        June 26, 2019

        Hi Marian,

        Thanks for your inquiry.

        Sorry to hear your friend wasn’t able to collect the money you transferred. As stated in Zelle’s website, you can only cancel a payment if the recipient hasn’t yet enrolled with Zelle. You can go to your activity page within the Zelle experience, either within your mobile banking app or the Zelle app, choose the payment you want to cancel, and then select “Cancel This Payment.” If your recipient has already enrolled with Zelle, the money is sent directly to your recipient’s bank account and cannot be canceled.

        At this point, your friend can send the money back to you. Hope you find a resolve on this soon!

        For any further questions, feel free to reach out to us again, we’re here to help.

        Best,
        Nikki

    4. Default Gravatar
      Blu
      June 11, 2019

      This is the worst transfer service EVER! They were Popmoney and they renamed themselves…they still SUCK! Avoid these thieves!

      • Avatarfinder Customer Care
        Bella
        June 12, 2019

        Hi Blu,

        Thanks for your inquiry.

        I’m sorry to hear about the service you’re experiencing. You may send your feedbacks on Zelle contact support page to help them improve their service.

        I hope this helps.

        Kind regards,
        Bella

    5. Default Gravatar
      Me
      May 24, 2019

      Can you schedule a payment with Zelle for a later date ? I have still not received the scheduled payment my friend sent me. Didn’t get an email or text either. What should I do?

      • Avatarfinder Customer Care
        Bella
        May 25, 2019

        Hi Me,

        Thanks for your inquiry.

        As I checked, Zelle doesn’t have a scheduled transfer. If another Zelle user sends you money, you’ll be notified at the email address or phone number your sender used. If this email or number isn’t registered, simply register it to receive your funds.

        I hope this helps.

        Kind regards,
        Bella

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