International wire transfers: What banks really charge in the US

Adam Rozsa

Certain banks may make international wire transfers inconvenient by requiring customers to visit a branch instead of utilizing online or telephone services.

Additionally, there are fees involved.

To avoid these challenges, it's important to conduct thorough research, and this article is here to assist you.

To send money abroad with low and transparent fees, Wise can also be a great alternative – you may save money with an account, but more on this later.


What should I look for in a bank when I’m sending an international money transfer?

When picking a bank for your international money transfers, here are a few things to consider.

Transfer methods

Check if the bank lets you send money online, through an app, or over the phone. Some banks may still ask you to make a trip to the branch, which can be a hassle, especially if you're not in the country.


Different banks have different delivery times for international transfers. Make sure the bank you choose fits your timeline.

Transfer limits

Find out if there's a maximum or minimum amount you can send abroad. This is important, especially for larger sums of money.

Cancellation/recall policy

Take a look at the bank's rules for cancelling or recalling a transfer. Sometimes, there might be fees involved, so it's good to know the details.

Customer support

What kind of support does the bank offer? It's reassuring to have a bank that's just a phone call away or available for a quick chat online, especially if something goes wrong.


Check out the bank's security measures, especially if you use online banking. Do they have things like two-factor authentication (2FA) to keep your account safe? Also, think about backup options for situations where you can't receive text messages while abroad.


Keep an eye on the fees. Most US banks charge a flat fee for international transfers, but there might be other costs too, like penalties for providing incorrect details. Also, watch out for the exchange rate they offer, as it can impact how much money you actually get in the end.

How much do banks charge for international wire transfers?

The real answer to this is ‘it depends’. But there are four broad categories of fees that usually end up being charged for international wires. The big table below has the specific figures, but here’s a quick overview of what sorts of fees there are.

Bank Sending Fee

When you send money internationally, your bank will typically charge a flat fee. The amount may vary depending on whether you do it online or at a branch.

Exchange Rate Markups

Banks have the freedom to set their own exchange rates when converting your money. These rates are often marked up, meaning you receive slightly less money than the mid-market rate.

It's worth comparing your bank's rate to sources like Google or Wise's currency converter.

Correspondent Bank Fees

International transfers may involve intermediary banks through the SWIFT network, known as correspondent banks. These banks can charge fees, potentially slowing down the transfer process and reducing the final amount received. Discuss with your recipient and check with your bank to understand who bears these fees.

Recipient Bank Fees

The recipient's bank may charge fees for receiving the transferred funds. These fees are beyond the control of your bank. It's helpful to communicate with your recipient to identify the bank account with the lowest receiving fees.

Wise: An alternative to costly international wires

At Wise¹, we offer transparent and cost-effective transfers. We use the mid-market exchange rate, ensuring fair pricing without hidden fees.

Although not a bank but a Money Service Business (MNB), it can be a great alternative to cover your money transfer needs.

Open a Wise Account and enjoy the convenience of holding multiple currencies and receiving virtual account details for Australian dollars, UK pounds, Euros and more:

  • Bank details in 9 currencies
  • The option to hold, send, spend and convert 40+ currencies at once
  • Send money overseas with low and transparent fees,
  • Order a Wise card for a one time fee of just $9 - for use in +150 countries
  • Mid-market exchange rates on all transactions.

See how much you can save with Wise:

Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing: Only Pay for What You Use for the most up-to-date pricing and fee information.

Which bank is best for international wire transfers?

If you’d still like to try banks, in this segment, we’ll review the total cost of an international transfer in the US.

To make things easier, the following fees are all to make the same transfer: $1000 sent to Germany.

ll the fees are for an imagined transfer of that amount, to that destination. Many banks have different fees depending on whether you choose to send the money abroad in US dollars or the receiving currency (which would be euros in this case) - all the figures in the table assume the transfer is made in dollars.

The figures are all correct at the time of writing, but are subject to change. Here are the 19 best banks that accept international wire transfers:

ProviderFee for $1000 to GermanyExchange rate
Bank of America²$45exchange rate + likely markup
BECU³$35exchange rate + likely markup
Capital One⁴$50exchange rate + likely markup
Chase Bank⁵$50 with assistance from Chase, or $40 onlineexchange rate + likely markup
Citibank US⁶Varies depending on account type: $17.50-25, or free for Citibank Global Transfersexchange rate + likely markup
Citizens Bank⁷$40exchange rate + likely markup
DCU⁸$50exchange rate + likely markup
Discover Bank⁹$30exchange rate + likely markup
HSBC USA¹⁰Noneexchange rate + likely markup
Huntington Bank¹¹$75exchange rate + likely markup
Navy Federal¹²$25exchange rate + likely markup
PNC Bank​​¹³$45 (may vary by location)exchange rate + likely markup
Regions Bank¹⁴$45exchange rate + likely markup
Santander USA¹⁵$40exchange rate + likely markup
TD Bank USA¹⁶$40exchange rate + likely markup
Truist¹⁷$50exchange rate + likely markup
US Bank¹⁸$50exchange rate + likely markup
USAA Bank¹⁹$20exchange rate + likely markup
Wells Fargo²⁰“Fee disclosed at the time of transaction”exchange rate + likely markup

So, if you’d like to use your bank to send your international money transfer, there is what 19 of them will charge you - although, because of the ever-changing exchange rate, which each bank may well set for itself, the precise cost of each of these transfers is impossible to say.

For greater clarity and lower fees, Wise may be the perfect solution. So take a look, and see if Wise could save you money.

If you're a business owner, then you can get a Wise Business account to manage your international finances with ease. Pay employees and suppliers around the world at the real mid-market rate.

Learn more about Wise


  1. Wise
  2. Bank of America - wire transfer
  3. BECU - Consumer account disclosure - Page 2
  4. Capital One - Send and receive a wire transfer
  5. Chase - Fee Schedule - Page 14
  6. Citi - Online Wire Transfer Services
  7. Citizens Bank - What is a wire transfer?
  8. DCU - Schedule of Fees and Service Charges - Page 1
  9. Discover - International wire transfer request form - Page 1
  10. HSBC - Wire transfers
  11. Huntington - Personal disclosures - Page 37
  12. Navy Federal - Schedule of fees and charges - Page 1
  13. PNC Bank - Consumer schedule of service charges and fees - Page 3
  14. Regions - Pricing schedule - Page 5
  15. Santander Bank - What are the Fees for Wire Transfers?
  16. TD Bank - Personal Fee Schedule - Page 1
  17. Truist - Personal Deposit Accounts Fee Schedule - Page 6
  18. US Bank - Consumer pricing information - Page 5
  19. USAA - Send a domestic wire
  20. Wells Fargo - Ways to send money

All sources checked on 26 May 2023

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 basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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