Wiring money can be a fast way to move large amounts of money within the U.S. and abroad. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to wire money.
1. Decide which provider to use
Banks and nonbank money transfer providers can help you send wire transfers.
A wire transfer is irrevocable and a cash-based one can be anonymous, so never send funds to anyone you don’t know well. The Federal Trade Commission has tips on how to avoid wire transfer scams.
» For the cheapest wire transfers, see our guide to how much they cost by bank
2. Gather the information
If you’re using your bank to transfer money, be sure to have your:
Government-issued ID and/or online account access.
Account funded with at least the amount you want to send.
Bank account number (found on a bank statement, a check or your online account).
Recipient’s full name and contact information.
Recipient bank’s name, address and phone number.
Recipient bank's transit number or equivalent.
Recipient's bank account number.
Additional information based on your bank’s instructions.
Nonbank providers might not require bank account information, depending on which delivery option you choose, but they will require the recipient’s name and location.
3. Check costs and choose the transfer method
Your bank or nonbank provider may let you send a wire transfer in several ways, such as online, through telephone banking or at a bank branch. The methods can vary in cost, so compare prices before making a decision.
The median cost at banks is $25 for sending wires domestically and $45 internationally. Many nonbank providers have online tools that let you estimate the cost of a wire transfer before sending.
» Not sure if you need a wire transfer? Check out other ways to send money
4. Know the fine print
Before sending international wires, you have the right under federal law to ask for details about the exchange rate, total fees and taxes collected by all parties, the delivery date and the amount expected to be delivered abroad (separate from fees). If you made the transfer through your bank, your bank can provide a receipt.
5. Fill out the form carefully
Whether you speak with a bank teller or fill out a form online, be precise while providing the information needed. A misspelled name or a missing digit can prevent the recipient from getting the money.
» Do the math: Compare providers for international money transfers
6. Save the receipt
Financial institutions provide confirmation, such as a transaction number, in a receipt so you can save it and refer to the specific transfer if any issues arise.