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Wire Transfers: What Banks Charge

Banks charge fees both for sending wire transfers (outgoing) and receiving them (incoming), and the fees can vary by financial institution.
Banking, Banks & Credit Unions, Money Transfer
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Wire Transfers: A Guide to What Banks Charge

Wire transfers are one way to send money from one bank account to another — but they can be expensive.

Many banks, including Chase and Wells Fargo, charge fees both for sending wire transfers (outgoing) and receiving them (incoming), so you might pay to send a wire and your recipient might pay to get the funds. You can send wire transfers within the U.S. and to other countries; international transfers usually cost more.

There are several ways to cut costs on wire transfers, and a few cheaper alternatives to send money both domestically and abroad, which we’ll explore later in this article. (Skip ahead to see how to save money on wire transfers.)

Average fees for wire transfers

Among national banks and other institutions we surveyed, the average fees are:

  • $9 for incoming domestic wire transfers
  • $25 for outgoing domestic wire transfers
  • $10 for incoming international wire transfers
  • $44 for outgoing international wire transfers

Wire transfer fees by financial institution

Financial institution (click name for full review)Incoming domestic wireOutgoing domestic wireIncoming inter-
national wire
Outgoing inter-
national wire
Alliant Credit Union$0$25$0$50
Ally Bank$0*$20$0*Not available
Associated Bank$15
$25$15$45, $60 or $85, varies by processing method
Bank of America$15, waived for Interest Checking and Preferred Rewards program
$30$16, waived for Platinum and Platinum Honors tiers of Preferred Rewards program
$35 sent in foreign currency;
$45 sent in U.S. dollars
Bank of Internet USA$0$35$0$45
Bank5 Connect$0Not available$0Not available
BB&T$15$30$18$65
BBVA Compass$15$25$15$45
BMO Harris Bank$0$25$0$45
Boeing Employees Credit Union$0$25$0$35
Capital One 360$0$30$0Not available
Charles Schwab Bank$0$25Not availableNot available
Chase$15, waived for Chase Premier Platinum Checking and Chase Private Client accounts
$25, waived for Chase Private Client accounts
$15, waived for Chase Premier Platinum Checking and Chase Private Client accounts
$40, waived for Chase Private Client accounts
Citibank$15, waived for Citigold and other high-end accounts
$25

$12.50-$18.75, for certain high-end accounts

Waived for Citi Private Bank, Citigold Private Client Account and Citi Global Executive Preferred Account
$15, waived for Citigold and other high-end accounts
$35

$20-$30 for certain high-end accounts

Waived for Citi Private Bank, Citigold Private Client Account and Citi Global Executive Preferred Account
Citizens Bank$18-$28, based on how you receive wire notification

Waived for Citizen Bank Platinum Checking and other high-end checking accounts
$30$12, waived for Citizen Bank Platinum Checking and other high-end checking accounts
$10 in foreign currency; $35 in U.S. dollars
Comerica Bank$14, waived for Comerica Platinum Circle Checking
$29, waived for Comerica Platinum Circle Checking
$17, waived for Comerica Platinum Circle Checking
$58, waived for Comerica Platinum Circle Checking
Connexus Credit Union$20$20$50$50
Consumers Credit Union$15$25$15$60
Discover Bank$0$30$0$30
EverBank$0$25$0$35*
Fidelity$0$10$0$10 + 3% in foreign currency; $10 in U.S. dollars
Fifth Third Bank$15.50$30$15.50$50
First Internet Bank of Indiana$0*$20$0*$50
HSBC Bank**$15

$12 for HSBC Advance

Waived for HSBC Premier account
$35

$30 for HSBC Advance and Premier accounts
$15

$12 for HSBC Advance

Waived for HSBC Premier account
$35

$30 for HSBC Advance and Premier accounts
Huntington Bank$15$25$15$75
KeyBank$20, waived for Key Privilege Checking and Key Privilege Select Checking accounts
$25

$30 for Key Express Checking, Key Privilege Checking and Key Privilege Select Checking accounts
$20, waived for Key Privilege Checking and Key Privilege Select Checking accounts
$45
M&T Bank$16$32$16$75
Nationwide Bank$0$25$5, waived for current or retired Nationwide employees and their family members$35
Navy Federal Credit Union$0$14$0$25
Pentagon Federal Credit Union$0$20$0$30
PNC Bank$15, waived for Performance Select Checking account$30, waived for Performance Select Checking account$15$45
Regions Bank$15$25$18$45
Santander Bank$13$25$13$0 in foreign currency; $40 in U.S. dollars
Security Service Federal Credit Union$0$15$0$61
Simple Bank$0*Not available$0*Not available
State Employees' Credit Union of North Carolina$0$10$0$25
SunTrust Bank$15$25$30*$50
TD Bank$15$25$15$40
Union Bank$15$20$15Not available online for most customers.
For wire via fax or phone instructions:
$35 in foreign currency;
$45 in U.S. dollars
USAA$0$20$0$45
U.S. Bank$20$30$25$50
Wells Fargo***$15$30$16Varies in foreign currency; $45 in U.S. dollars
*Intermediary banks that facilitate wire transfers from Ally Bank, EverBank, First Internet Bank, Simple Bank and SunTrust Bank may charge a fee. Ally Bank's website explains: "To avoid wire transfer fees by intermediary processing banks: Instruct the sending bank to use the code "OUR" in field 71A (details of charges) to require the sending party to pay the intermediary fees."
**HSBC Bank also lets Advance and Premier account holders use a free global transfer service between HSBC accounts in other countries.
***Wells Fargo also offers a remittance transfer service called ExpressSend, which mainly works with Latin American and Asian countries. The transfer costs less but has lower limits than regular wire transfers do. Only certain foreign banks participate.

Domestic vs. international fees

Because domestic wire transfers can be completed through one payment system, such as that provided by the Federal Reserve, they tend to be cheaper and faster. International bank wire transfers usually cost more and take longer because they involve more parties, including a U.S. bank, a foreign bank and wire processing systems in both countries.

Additional costs for international wires

When banks and other financial institutions convert money to a foreign currency, they charge consumers a higher markup on the exchange rate than what they would charge another bank. This markup is a percentage of the amount being sent, and you might not know about this cost unless you compare your bank’s exchange rate to the rates found on currency platforms at, for instance, Google, Bloomberg or Reuters.

If your bank doesn’t convert your money for an international money transfer, then a foreign bank will do it and usually charge its own markup. The best way to avoid high markups is to consider using a nonbank money transfer provider, such as TransferWise or OFX, which tend to have better exchange rates.

How to cut wire transfer costs

  • Fees can differ based on how you initiate the wire transfer: Doing it yourself online tends to be the cheapest way. Requesting the transfer at a branch or on the phone can add $10 or more to your fee. Chase, for instance, charges $35 for domestic wire transfers set up for you by a banker and $25 for the same transfer if you do it yourself online. And if you send money online through a nonbank provider, the fee can be much lower. For example, OFX doesn’t charge fees and World First has a $10 fee for transfers below $10,000.
  • Transfers sent in foreign currency can be cheaper: Some banks offer lower fees if you let them convert U.S. dollars into a foreign currency before transferring the funds rather than simply sending U.S. dollars abroad.
  • Recurring wires can be slightly cheaper: Some financial institutions, including Wells Fargo and SunTrust Bank, let you send a recurring wire transfer for a few dollars less per transfer. To save money on recurring transfers, though, using your bank’s bill pay or other transfer service is a better and cheaper option unless the transfer amount exceeds the maximum allowed by your bank. Wire transfers can handle larger amounts.

Cheaper ways to send money

Bank wire transfers aren’t the only way to send money. For transfers within the U.S., consider nonbank providers that charge fewer fees.  If you need to send money abroad, look for companies that offer better exchange rates, such as those listed in our roundup of the best ways to send money internationally.

Spencer Tierney is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: spencer@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @SpencerNerd.

Updated Oct. 4, 2017.


METHODOLOGY

We looked at more than 40 financial institutions: the largest U.S. banks based on assets, debit card volume and internet search traffic; the nation’s largest credit unions with broad-based membership requirements; and other notable and/or emerging players in the industry. For calculating averages, financial institutions that don’t provide domestic or international outgoing wire transfers were excluded from the relevant fee category. If there were two or more fees for a certain type of wire transfer, we chose the price that would apply to standard checking accounts (and generally listed first). In the case of international wire transfers with different fees based on currency conversion or processing, we averaged each bank’s fees first.

Details on how data for the chart was gathered: These are standard fees for one-time wire transfers based on each financial institution’s disclosures and policies. If there are multiple ways to perform a wire transfer, the price of the cheapest way, which is usually through online banking, is shown. If a bank asked for a ZIP code, we used the ZIP code for the bank’s headquarters and compared with ZIP codes in different states to check for variations.