Making an international wire transfer: How-to guide

When you ’ ra life or traveling afield, it ’ sulfur coarse to need person from back home to send you money, or frailty versa .
To move money from one state to another in the fastest, most secure manner, you ’ ll probably be looking to use an international wire transfer .
With an international wire transfer, you can send money overseas and convert it into a alien currency .
In accession to banks, there are quite a few other options these days. Western Union, MoneyGram, PayPal, and the industry-changing Wise cater to consumers who need to speedily send big sums of money around the world.

Sending money to or from the States? Wise could save you up to 6x versus your bank.

Before you get started, a word .
Banks and money transportation providers frequently give you a bad exchange rate to make extra profits .
At Wise, we never hide extra fees and charges in the exchange rate. We precisely use the substitute rate – independently provided by Reuters. That means fair, cheap money transfers, every time .
Check out how to make your first transfer with Wise and give it a attempt .
now, back to what you came here to read .
cable transfers, specially through banks, can cost more and require more attempt than other methods, so it ’ sulfur important to shop around .
This article will walk you through the steps of your assorted options, so you can promptly figure out how to get your money from one corner of the worldly concern to the other .

Option 1: Make an international bank transfer online

Option 1: Make an international bank transfer online
so, you might have been wondering : how to send money to a extraneous trust account ?
Some banks ask their customers to come into a branch office to set up an international transplant, while others may offer the public toilet of setting it up on-line. Each bank is unlike, so you will need to check what your home deposit allows .
Follow these steps on how to do a electrify transfer on-line :

1. Find the wire transfer section on your bank’s website

If you have on-line deposit set up, log into your on-line bank account and voyage to the telegram transfer section of your bank ’ mho web page. There will probably be a section on the top toolbar at your bank ’ randomness home page .
alternatively, you can do a Google search for “ wire transfer ” and the name of your bank. If neither of those methods work, give your bank ’ s customer serve a call. They should be able to steer you to the correct put and prove you how to do a money wire .

2. Double-check your online transfer limit

Your bank may require you to set an on-line transfer limit, which is much $ 5,000. sometimes they set one for you. If the amount you need to transfer is over your daily terminus ad quem, you ’ ll normally need to call your bank to authorize it .
In some cases, in order to verify it ’ randomness you making the request, your savings bank may have an extra security footprint. This can be anywhere from a special code sent to your mobile call, or a secure electronic mail sent to your e-mail address .

3. Enter the recipient’s bank details

To complete a SWIFT international transfer, you ’ ll need to provide the follow specific information .

  • The name and address of your recipient’s bank.
  • Your recipient’s name, address, and the account type they have with their bank (checking, current, savings, money market, etc.).
  • Your recipient’s account number or IBAN
  • The recipient’s bank’s BIC/SWIFT code.

The BIC/SWIFT is a bit like a US routing number or a energy code. It denotes the accurate bank the recipient account is in .
Your bank may be able to find out the recipient ’ s BIC/SWIFT code using the recipient role ’ mho name and account total or by using an on-line BIC/SWIFT code finder. You can besides just ask the recipient bank for the information .

4. Enter the amount and choose the currency you want for the recipient bank

When you enter your recipient ’ second information, the currency of his or her nation is much automatically set in the wire transfer shape. If not, select the correct currentness and then enter the sum of the transfer .
As a general predominate, a bank history in a extraneous area is denominated in the local currency. As a consequence, you ’ ll probable want to select that currency. however, it ’ s not uncommon for extraneous banks to offer clients accounts in multiple currencies – specially in US dollars .
Double-check you ’ re transferring money in the craved currentness. differently, if you try to send money in a currency the report doesn ’ triiodothyronine support, the integral transfer may get rejected .

5. Pay the transfer processing fee

Your savings bank will charge you an initial process fee. It typically runs from $ 40- $ 50 .
The receiving bank may besides charge a tip, which can range from $ 10- $ 20 ( €9-€18 ). According to mybanktracker, these are the stream fees for respective bombastic U.S. banks :

Bank International Transfer Fee – Outgoing
Bank of America¹ $45
Chase² $50
Wells Fargo³ $30
Citibank⁴ $10 – 35
U.S. Bank⁵ $50
Capital One⁶ $50
PNC Bank⁷ $45
TD Bank⁸ $40
USAA⁹ $45
SunTrust Bank¹⁰ $50

however, you ’ ll still want to be mindful that though you ’ ll be paying one fee with your bank, there will probable be extra fees added by anywhere from one to three mediator banks, american samoa well as the recipient bank .
It can get expensive, sol be prepared .

💡 You can also read more in the guide to wire transfer fees.

6. Find out how long it will take for your transfer to arrive

After you complete the transfer form, the web site will normally show an estimate of how long it ’ ll consume. If you ’ re lucky, they may give you a timeframe before you tied begin. Regardless, though, your savings bank will track the status of the transfer .
Most transfers take one to three business days, depending on a number of factors. For example, if the destination bank report is in a drastically different time zone, or they have different days of the week on which their banks work. So you ’ ll want to keep these things in thinker .
besides, as the money doesn ’ triiodothyronine travel directly from one savings bank to another, it will take clock .

Option 2: Make an international bank transfer in person

Option 2: Make an international bank transfer in person
If you ’ re the character that prefers in-person to online or your bank requires you to come to a branch, then you ’ ll want to know what to do when you arrive .
After you ’ ve confirmed with your bank that you can indeed set up a bank-to-bank international wire transfer in person, you ’ ll want to follow these steps :

1. Prepare the information needed for international wire transfer

  • Your diagnose and the US depository financial institution account you want to transfer from .
  • The identify and address of your recipient ’ s bank
  • Your recipient role ’ s name, address, and the account type they have with the bank ( checking, current, savings, money market, etc. )
  • Your recipient ’ randomness account total or IBAN ( International Bank Account Number – much of the universe uses this format for their deposit account numeral ). You should be able to find it fairly well. Ask the bank, check on-line bank, or look at the most holocene bank argument for that code .
  • The recipient role BIC/SWIFT code. Without it, your bank can ’ metric ton identify the exact deposit the money should go to. If you have the bank name and cover, but not the BIC/SWIFT code, not to worry. Just use an on-line BIC/SWIFT code finder and that should help you out .

2. Decide how much you want to transfer, and what the destination currency should be

If you ’ re not the recipient, you ’ ll probably want to double-check with them before you choose a currency choice. Oftentimes, bank accounts are denominated in the local currentness – but there are exceptions .
Businesses and persons who regularly interact with those in other countries frequently have multi-currency accounts, or a specific account merely for US dollars isn ’ triiodothyronine rare .
Make sure you know which currentness you ’ re air, and how much you want to reach the finish bank .

3. Pay the international transfer fee

Your depository financial institution will about undoubtedly charge you a processing fee. Fees typically run from $ 40- $ 50, though can be ampere high as $ 80 in some cases .
Within the Eurozone, transfers frequently cost €5-€7, plus a share of the transfer come, normally from 0.1-1 %. The receiving depository financial institution may besides charge a tip, which can range from $ 10- $ 20 ( €9-€18 ) .
Check on-line to find out fees for the 10 largest banks, or check with your own .
once you ’ ve paid, the clerk will normally notify you how hanker the transfer will take.

If you use your bank, you’ll want to know about SWIFT transfers

If you use your bank, you’ll want to know about SWIFT transfers
If you ’ re using your bank, international wire transfers are normally sent through something called the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Transactions ( SWIFT ) .
Each fiscal mental hospital in the SWIFT network is issued a unique code between 8 and 11 characters long .
This code is known as a bank identifier code ( BIC ) or SWIFT ID. It ’ randomness much referred to as the BIC/SWIFT code. If you need to find a code for a detail bank, check out a SWIFT/BIC Code finder .
Don ’ thyroxine let the name fool you. fleet transfers aren ’ thymine all that fleet. But they are, at least, common. The SWIFT bank process is the ball-shaped standard for transferring money from one country to another .
Because not all banks have mastermind connections, the SWIFT net includes participating banks across the populace, so they can silent move money .
The SWIFT network, in some ways, is a bit like traveling via plane. If there ’ s no direct route from one airport to another, you may need to take a get in touch flight or two .
alternatively of your money traveling straight from its origin to its finish, there will often be anywhere from one to three banks your money needs to go through. unfortunately, that besides means each bank takes a fee, angstrom well .
In summary, what you’ll want to keep in mind about SWIFT transfers:

  • Despite the name, SWIFT transfers aren’t all that fast. They can take anywhere from 1-5 working days.
  • Anywhere from a total of 3-5 banks will charge you a fee. They can add up.
  • If your money is converted into another currency, be prepared for poor currency exchange rates. An added expense.

Option 3: Choose an alternative transfer service (often the cheapest, and sometimes the fastest option)

Option 3: Choose an alternative transfer service (often the cheapest, and sometimes the fastest option)
In addition to banks, you have many stand-alone transfer services to pick from. Some services, like PayPal or Wise, are relatively new and make use of the rush and handiness of the Internet .
They may lack the history of an lay down bank, but don ’ t let that daunt you away. If you ’ re skittish about high transportation fees, these wire remove companies are fair as secure and authentic as wire transfers through banks .
The tradeoff with stand-alone transfer services is that while the upfront costs might be lower, sometimes, depending on where you ’ re sending money to, the transfer might take longer than 1-2 days .


While many banks appear to offer competitive fees for transfers, they broadly give you poor central rates to take more money out of your pocket. If you factor in all of those extra international SWIFT fees, the total you ’ ll actually be charged can feel pretty consuming .
For a different transfer option, consider Wise. Wise sends out money locally, using local anesthetic savings bank systems – which avoids those filthy international transfer fees .
To send money on-line with Wise, you will pay a little, directly fee and a percentage of the amount that ’ s converted .
All you ’ ll need is the local anesthetic bank details of where you ’ re sending money to. Wise uses the real exchange rate – the lapp one you see on Google – and just charges a low, upfront fee. No hide charges. No unwelcome surprises .
Transfers through Wise, depending on which currency you need, can be improving to eight times cheaper than regular banks and transfer services, leaving you batch of extra cash to spend on the fun material .
If you regularly send money across borders, consider signing up for a multi-currency report. You can store your money in dozens of different currencies and pay or get paid with local bank details in the US, the UK, the EU, and Australia .
Send and save money with Wise 💰


PayPal was founded in 1998 and has grown to become one of the most popular resources for making on-line transactions or receiving payments. It besides offers a transfer servicing if you ’ re sending money internationally .
If you use your PayPal remainder or depository financial institution report, PayPal charges 5.00 % of the transaction with a minimal fee of 0.99 USD and maximum tip of 4.99 USD, depending on the currency of the recipient role ’ second country.¹¹
To send money to Mexico or another area oversea, PayPal charges a varying measure that ’ s a combination of a percentage of the transaction total plus a sterilize tip. For more information, check the PayPal web site .
Based on the PayPal fee structure, it ’ randomness much cheaper to make wire transfers with a PayPal account linked to a US bank report than with one linked to a recognition or debit wag .
Be careful, though. first gear upfront fees may cost you more when a transplant is finished .
ball-shaped currencies are traded throughout the business day. At any given moment, if you take the median of the price a currentness is bought and sold at, you ’ ll get down something called the mid-market or interbank substitution rate .
That rate sets the true worth of your money in comparison to other currencies. The problem comes in when PayPal, banks, and other services give you a worse currency central rate than the matchless you find on Google. And pocket the remainder .
The best way to figure out which option is the cheapest for you is to compare the measure you ’ ll get in the finish currentness before you commit to sending .

Western Union

Western Union is a transfer service that dates back to the nineteenth century. For most of its history, it was best known for sending and receiving telegrams, but it ’ south become a major player in the wire transfer market these days. western Union is now available in 200 countries and deals in 130 currencies .
The fees they advertise change depend on where you ’ re sending money. When you wire money from a credit or debit card to person ’ s bank report, Western Union charges up to $ 10.¹²
unfortunately, some major banks in other countries aren ’ triiodothyronine supported – thus keep that in mind. however, when you wire money from a credit or debit card to a Western Union branch location or mobile wallet, Western Union charges a declared fee of $ 5 .
If accelerate is an issue for you, excessively, then you ’ ll credibly want to skip sending transfers to a bank account with Western Union. Those transfers can take anywhere from 4-8 business days. On the flip side, when you make a remove with a credit or debit batting order for cash cartridge at a local branch, the transmit takes mere minutes .
however, as with PayPal, if saving money is your style, beware of Western Union ’ s basically hide fees. A simple on-line currentness converter tells you how much your money is actually worth .
If you plug those numbers into the sending currency field, even accounting for the Western Union fees, you ’ ll find that a chunk of your money is missing from the destination currentness field. Up to 6 % .¹²
Western Union hides extra, unadvertised fees in the exchange rate. You get a hapless rate, and they profit .
Though 6 % may not sound like a lot at beginning glance, when you add it to the fees already charged, that sum can start to add up, fast .
sol, before you submit your order, make indisputable to find out the claim come you ’ ll contract in the end. It never hurts to take a few minutes to shop around, compare and do your research .

💡 You can also read the full guide on Western Union fees to find out more.

A note on fees. Your money is worth more than you think.

A note on fees. Your money is worth more than you think.
Every transfer overhaul you use will offer a slightly different exchange rate, so before you finalize a transfer with a specific supplier, it ’ mho good practice to check how their rate stacks up against the criterion substitute pace .
Exchange rates change daily. To check the latest rates, use Google’s simple currency converter:

  • Open a Google tab and enter “currency converter” into the search bar.
  • Set the baseline currency (top field), and then the currency you are converting to (bottom field).
  • Then enter an amount in the baseline currency field, and the tool automatically converts it into the second currency.

When you know how much your initial transfer sum converts to at the real exchange rate, you can then compare that come to the sum a bank or electrify overhaul quotes you, and see who offers the best bargain .
Don ’ metric ton scram shortchanged. Do your inquiry – you won ’ triiodothyronine repent it .
Check how much you can save when you send money abroad with Wise:

Sources : All sources checked on 7 February 2022
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the footing of the capacity in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a like result. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, accomplished or up to date .

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Category : Finance

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