(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|
|Citibank||$25 (online $18.75)||$10||$40 (online $30)||$10|
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.