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Zelle money transfer review

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Send funds in under 5 minutes — but only if you bank with a partner.

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.

Instant

Fastest available transfer speed

0%

Instant withdrawal fee

No fees

Fees to send

Varies

Maximum transfer amount (verified)

Details

Product NameZelle
Fees to sendNo fees
Instant withdrawal fee0%
Fastest available transfer speedInstant
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
Supports international transfers?No

What is Zelle?

Formerly called ClearXchange, Zelle is a 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 instantly to other users.

Why should I use Zelle?

  • Integrates with hundreds of banks. Zelle is partnered with more than 500 banks. 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. When sending to other Zelle users you just need their phone number or email.

What should I watch out for with Zelle?

  • 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’ll be forced to use the mobile app to send money.
  • No sending protection. There is no fraud protection with Zelle. Sending money through Zelle is like sending cash, once it is sent you can’t get it back — even if you sent it to the wrong person.

How does Zelle work?

Unlike Cash App, Google Pay, Venmo and other competitors, Zelle works by moving money directly from one bank account to another. There is no escrow or intermediary period where the money is held by Zelle. Instead, money moves directly from your bank account to your recipients in as little as a few seconds. If your recipient isn’t a Zelle user, you can send money using their email or phone number. Zelle will prompt them to visit their bank’s app or download the Zelle app to receive their money.

Zelle is free to use and doesn’t charge any fees for its service. However, because Zelle works with hundreds of banks it is always best to double check with your bank to make sure there won’t be any withdrawal or transfer fees charged to your account by your bank, specifically.

How to send money through 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 or phone number to establish a connection with your bank account.
  2. Send your payment. Choose your recipient, the amount you’re transferring and your funding bank account. 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 much can you Zelle in one day, one week, one month?

The amount you can send through Zelle depends on your bank, as each has its own set of Zelle transfer limits. If your bank isn’t offering Zelle, then your weekly send limit is $500. For the major banks, the Zelle limits are:

Zelle limitsDaily sending limit7-day sending limit30-day sending limit
Bank of America$3,500$10,000$20,000
Chase (personal checking)$2,000$14,000$16,000
Chase (Private Client)$5,000$35,000$40,000
Citibank$5,000$15,000$15,000
PNC$1,000$7,000$5,000
TD Bank$2,500$10,000$10,000
USAA $1,000$2,500$10,000
Wells Fargo$2,500$17,000$20,000

Unfortunately, many banks don’t make the limits known, and all bank Zelle sending limits can change at any time. Contact your bank directly for the most up to date information.

What banks use Zelle?

As of April 2020, more than 500 banks have incorporated Zelle into their money transfer systems. Major banks that support Zelle include:

My bank doesn’t support Zelle, now what?

Making a transfer between banks can be done even if your bank doesn’t support Zelle. You have a few options here, including:

  • Using an alternative service. Alternative domestic transfer options include Google Pay, Venmo, Cash App, Apple Pay and more. To read more about these services, visit our domestic transfer guide to learn how to get your transfer started in little to no time.
  • Using a money transfer company. If the person you are sending to doesn’t have a bank account or would prefer to pick up money in cash, a money transfer company might be your best choice. To learn what company might best suit your needs, check out our extensive guide on money transfers.
  • Signing up to 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.

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Is Zelle safe?

Zelle is used by hundreds of banks in the US 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 Zelle. 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.
  • Does Zelle have an app?

    Zelle app screenshot

    Yes, Zelle has an app on both Google Play and the App Store. The app makes it possible to:

    • Connect non-partner bank accounts. Enroll using a Visa or Mastercard debit card to connect your US-based checking account.
    • Log in using biometrics. Both face and fingerprint recognition can be used to log in.
    • Send money on the go. Quickly pay friends and family members with a few taps after a shared meal or day shopping.
    • Request money. Send money requests through the app to make sure you get paid back without delay.

    Reviews accurate as of April 21, 2020.

    Google Play Store4.2 out of 5, based on 38,932 customer reviews
    Apple App Store4.8 out of 5, based on 206,600 customer reviews

    More on the best money transfer apps

    Zelle vs Venmo vs Cash App

    These three money transfer apps let you send money to friends and family for free, but each has its own style and slightly different use case.

    Zelle vs Venmo

    Both apps allow you to send money from your phone to friends and family, but with varying sending and receiving limits one may be a better choice than the other for you. In short, Venmo is absolutely the more socially-focused of the two choices, while Zelle may be the more convenient option if your bank is a Zelle partner.

    Zelle vs Cash App

    Cash App offers similar features to Zelle, with added features like buying and selling Bitcoin, investing in stocks and more. There are slight differences in sending limits between Zelle and Cash App, and Cash App supports transfers to friends in the UK from the US. However, you may want to stick with Zelle if you prefer straight bank-to-bank transfers with no escrow.

    What else can I use Zelle for?

    Zelle is best for sending money to friends and family, but offers some additional features that you can take advantage of in the right circumstances.

    • Using Zelle with a small business. Zelle supports transactions between users and small businesses so long as the small business’s bank account is a registered Zelle partner. Only use this service to pay small businesses that you trust, as you won’t be able to cancel payments through Zelle if you are unsatisfied.
    • Using Zelle for disbursements. After creating your account and enrolling with Zelle, you’ll be able to use your Zelle account to receive disbursement payments from organizations, companies, the government and more. Typical reasons for using this service include insurance payouts, claim settlements, refund checks and similar situations.
    • Bottom line

      Zelle is a straightforward way to send money from your bank account directly to the bank account of a friend or loved one. However, things get a bit more complicated when you bank at an unsupported bank and have to register your account using a debit card. To see how Zelle stands up to competitors in the domestic money transfer field, head over to our guide on sending money in the US to see all of your options.

Compare other services that send money within the US

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Fees Fastest available transfer speed Maximum transfer amount (verified)
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.
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.
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!

    • Default Gravatar
      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?

    • Default Gravatar
      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

  6. Default Gravatar
    Moncho
    March 18, 2019

    I have an OAS FCU account but I’m living abroad just now. Zelle App requires a US mobil number that I don’t own. Is there a possibility to use Zelle App from abroad without a US phone number? My Credit Union account is US based.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Mai
      March 18, 2019

      Hi Moncho,

      Thanks for leaving a question with Finder.

      Yes, you can still create an account and use Zelle even without a US phone number. You can use an email address instead. You can enroll your email or US mobile number through your mobile banking app or with the Zelle app. One done, you can start sending money to your recipient by putting in their email address or US mobile number plus the amount you wish to send.

      The instructions can be found above, locate the section that says “How do I send money through Zelle”.

      Hope this helps! 😊

      ​Please feel free to contact us back should you require further assistance.

      Kind Regards,
      Mai

  7. Default Gravatar
    Style44
    February 14, 2019

    I sent money to the wrong account using my Zell Td bank can I have a reversal?

    • Default Gravatar
      nikkiangco
      February 15, 2019

      Hi Style44,

      Thanks for getting in touch! According to Zelle, 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.” I hope this helps!

      Best,
      Nikki

  8. Default Gravatar
    Deborah
    January 2, 2019

    My husband and I both bank with US Bank and every month I use Zelle to send him money. Every month since we’re both enrolled in Zelle, it went in his account in minutes. The last two months it’s taken days. It’s the same amount of money and just once a month, why the 1-2 business day delay?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Charisse
      January 2, 2019

      Hi Deborah Kay,

      Thanks for reaching out to finder.

      Since you’re using Zelle through your bank’s mobile app or online banking, you will have to contact your bank’s customer support team and inquire with them directly what may be causing the delay.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Charisse

  9. Default Gravatar
    Laura
    December 17, 2018

    I received any email on Friday telling some had sent me some money, I still have not received it. That was not my first use of the app

    • Default Gravatar
      nikkiangco
      December 19, 2018

      Hi Laura,

      Thanks for getting in touch! Do you know the person who’s supposed to send you money? If not, it could be a scam. It would be best to check your Zelle account if there are any deposits or withdrawals made into the account and ask Zelle of their privacy policies.

      Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Nikki

  10. Default Gravatar
    Cas
    December 9, 2018

    I live in Puerto Rico, I would like to send money to my children living in the states. Could I use this app. I have a ATM VISA and Mobile app from my bank.

    • Default Gravatar
      nikkiangco
      December 12, 2018

      Hi Cas,

      Thanks for reaching out! Upon checking, in order to use Zelle, the sender and recipient’s bank accounts must be based in the U.S. If your bank account is in the US, this can easily be done even if you are in another country. However, if you’re bank account is non-US, Zelle transfer is not allowed.

      Hope this clarifies!

      Best,
      Nikki

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