By  Updated on Tue Aug 26, 2014

Comparing Bank Wire Transfer Fees

Comparing Bank Wire Transfer Fees

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(UPDATE: Find an updated version of bank wire transfer fees here)

Do you need to get money to someone as soon as possible? A wire transfer is probably your best option since it is one of the quickest ways to send money to another person, no matter where they are in the world. While many consumers resort to money transmitters such as Western Union and MoneyGram, banks are also able to provide this service. In some cases, banks may be the cheaper option.

At the 10 largest U.S. banks, the average cost of an outgoing domestic wire transfer is $26.40 while the average outgoing foreign wire transfer fee is $45.50. The average costs of incoming domestic and foreign wire transfers were $14.70 and $17.50, respectively. These figures are unchanged compared to last year.

Below is a chart of the wire transfer fees charged by the 10 biggest U.S. banks:

Bank Domestic - outgoing Domestic - incoming Foreign - outgoing Foreign - incoming
Bank of America $25 $12 $45 $16
Chase $30 (online $25) $15 $45 (online $40) $15
Wells Fargo $30 $15 $45 $16
Citibank $25 (online $18.75) $10 $40 (online $30) $10
U.S. Bank $30 $20 $50 $25
PNC Bank $25 $15 $45 $15
TD Bank $25 $15 $40 $15
SunTrust Bank $25 $15 $50 $30
Capital One $25 $15 $50 $15
BB&T $24 $15 $45 $18
AVERAGE $26.40 $14.70 $45.50 $17.50

Banks or money transmitters?

A domestic outgoing wire transfer for $100 through Western Union will cost $12 while the same wire transfer for $1,000 will cost $86. Since banks do not vary their wire transfer fees based on the amount of money sent, they would be the cheaper option for larger wire transfers.

For foreign outgoing wire transfers, it is more difficult to discern when banks are the less expensive options because money transmitters may charge different fees for various destination countries.

Additionally, banks and money transmitters will convert to foreign currency at a lower exchange rate. As a result, wire transfer recipients collect less money, and banks and money transmitters effectively earn money.

Before you proceed with a foreign outgoing wire transfer, ask about the total fees and transfer amounts before making the transfer. At that point, it’ll be easier to choose between banks and companies like Western Union and MoneyGram.

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Post a Comment

  • Jozef Sovcik

    Do you know that wire transfer in Europe costs around 10 cents? This includes all incoming & outgoing costs anywhere inside EU.

    • Carla

      Actually you pay not money for European transfers. What happen to USA? These American banks they make you pay so much!!

  • SPG

    Credit Unions generally don’t charge for incoming wire transfers, but they need to use an intermediary bank for foreign incoming wires that makes the process a little cumbersome for the sender.

  • PaulyC

    Just did a wire transfer incoming international. Chase Bank charged me $25!.. not $15 per transaction. just a heads up.

  • Hey

    Does anyone knows if the bank probably have the lowest exchange rates when you wire international so it’s a different currency, because I didn’t get the expected amount I thought I would bcuz I was rellaying to the exchange rates online not the bank rates

  • Richard Pozzuto

    Ya… well you know US Banks. I needed to wire $5k to a bank account in Peru. My PNC Branch quoted me $50 for the transfer, and later it showed up on my statement as $110.00. There were “surcharges” they didn’t tell me about. Beware.

  • zzlangerhans

    Fees can be deceptive. Bank of America converts dollars into foreign currency at an extremely unfavorable rate to their account holders. Regardless of what the fees are, account holders are vulnerable to losing hundreds or even thousands of dollars by using Bank of America for international wire transfers.

  • Cap1 Cust

    Actually Capital One bank only charged $40.00 The article says 50. Just FYI

  • Health1au

    Pretty old reply here, but watch out for Mellon Bank as an intermediary when doing international incoming. They have their grasping fingers into many things.

  • RickardOGrady

    I think this is hilarious. In Europe, we pay up to 28c for incoming wires domestically (most of EU is considered domestic to other EU members regardless of country, I might add), and internationally it is (usually) paid by only one party – the incoming or outgoing party. But even then it’s capped at around €15 depending on bank, and majority of those are the non-eu bank.

    Service should cost money, I agree with that especially when there is a person involved. But if it’s electronic, with no flesh being involved, there should be a significant cut in cost. If it costs them nothing other than shifting bits from one database to the other (which, if you think in terms of technology, is exactly what this is), there is no human cost, the electrical cost is in 0.0001 of a penny range for the transaction.

    • Bouh

      Yes and in most of the countries in Europe you pay 8-15euros/month for a debit/credit card … just saying …

      • Brazilian Man

        Most European banks don’t charge this fee. Lloyds TSB used to give me three debit cards ($, € and £) and never charged for them. Lately they’re offering free outgoing foreign wires! Domestic (BACS) transfers were already free.

  • http://www.facebook.com/evad.eviler Evad Eviler

    These charges are absurd. Employers use transfers to fund direct deposits of employee wages and it costs nothing. Also, utilities offer their customers electronic transfer of funds from the customer account to the utility at no charge. Seems to me that the account holder should be able to complete the transfer via their own computer by filling in the aba, account number, etc. of the person they wish to pay and let their bank computer do the wire. Cost should be under $1.00. $25 is a pure rip off.

    • Brazilian Man

      My US account (at the OAS FCU) does allow me to send transfers like that (through ACH) for $2 each.

      Here in Brazil a real-time transfer (called a TED) costs some $3. The older system (called DOC) takes one business day to clear and is even cheaper. Many people refuse to believe me when I tell them that Americans mail checks.