What Is a Wire Transfer?
A wire transfer is an electronic transfer of funds via a network that is administered by hundreds of banks and transfer service agencies around the world.
The transfer can also be made in cash at a cash office. Wire transfers allow for the individualized transmission of funds from single individuals or entities to others while still maintaining the efficiencies associated with the fast and secure movement of money. By using a wire transfer, people in different geographic locations can safely transfer money to locales and financial institutions around the globe.
- A wire transfer is a transfer of funds done electronically across a network of banks or transfer agencies around the world.
- Senders pay for the transaction at the remitting bank and provide the recipient’s name, bank account number, and the amount transferred.
- Most wire transfers can take as long as two business days to process.
- International wire payments are monitored by the Office of Foreign Assets Control to ensure the money isn’t being wired to terrorist groups or for money laundering purposes. www.investopedia.com
How do I send or receive a wire transfer?
Sending a wire transfer is relatively easy, but you’ll need specific information to do it. Typically, you’ll need the recipient’s name, account number, mailing address, bank routing number or bank identification code (BIC), the type of currency you’d like to send and the amount of currency you’d like to send.
Then, just contact the bank you want to use for the transfer. Many banks now let you wire money online or by phone, but you may need to fill out a form in person. You can also send a wire transfer using services by companies like Western Union and MoneyGram.
How can I compare these bank fees?
To make your decisions a bit easier, we’ve gathered wire transfer fees for several US 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.
- 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 two countries.
- Recurring vs. one-time fees. Some banks offer savings of 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 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.
What is a wire transfer fee?
Cost of Wire Transfers
Unlike some electronic payments, bank wires cost money—anywhere from $15 to $50 per transfer. The fee depends on the bank, whether the wire is outgoing or incoming or domestic or international, and the transfer amount.
How do I avoid a wire transfer fee?
Another way to snag lower or waived wire transfer fees (among other fees) is to open a more “exclusive” checking account. For example, PNC Bank waives its $30 outbound and $15 inbound domestic transfer fees for customers with a Performance Select Checking account.
Why do banks charge for wire transfers?
Wire Transfers: What Are They and How Much Do They Cost? Wire transfers are a form of electronic payment service that enable you to send money from one bank account to another quickly and securely. Your financial institution will charge you fees for each transfer, whether you are sending or receiving the wire.
How fast is a wire transfer?
Wire transfers are a fast way to send or receive money electronically. While the speed of a transfer depends on several factors, most wire transfers between domestic U.S. bank accounts are completed within 24 hours.
Transfers between U.S. and international accounts are completed in 1–5 days
How much money can you wire?
While you can make large transfers depending on your bank’s policy, the bank must report wire transfers over $3,000 and any transaction over $10,000. These Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) are filled out, usually electronically, by the bank and forwarded to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen)
Wire transfers are fast, reliable, and generally safe. And for significant transactions—like buying a home—wire transfers or cashier’s checks might be your only options because the funds are available to the recipient more or less immediately.
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.
Based on our research from 10 US banks, these are the average fees you can expect for wire transfers:
- Incoming domestic fee. $15 to $20 for receiving money from another US bank account.
- Outgoing domestic fee. $20 to $30 for sending money to another US bank account.
- Incoming international fee. $15 to $25 for receiving money from an overseas bank account.
- Outgoing international fee. $35 to $65 for sending money to an overseas bank account — if it’s offered at all.
- Initiation fee. $10 to $35 that depends on how you make your transfer, for example, in a branch or over the phone.
- Tracer fee. Up to $15 for requesting tracing services for a previous wire transfer.