Receiving an incoming international wire transfer: the basics

Gabriela Peratello
02.06.22
7 minute read

Whether you’re living abroad or just traveling, you may need to transfer money overseas. This can be a complicated process — every bank seems to have its own rules for sending and receiving wire transfers.

This guide will help you understand the process of receiving an incoming international wire transfer to a US bank account.

You’ll also learn the specifics of receiving international wire transfers to your Bank of America, Chase Bank or Wells Fargo account.

Lastly, we’ll also cover the importance of knowing the exchange rate and fees involved on international payments — and how you can save up on that using Wise.

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A convenient and cheap alternative for international wires: meet Wise

It’s common that banks use the SWIFT network to make international transfers. This means that transfers can take a long time to be credited — and that intermediary banks can add fees for processing the payment.

And that’s not all, it’s common that an exchange rate markup is charged as well.

Wise is different in that sense. Payments are processed locally — so you get the currency you need wherever you are. And they use the mid-market rate (the one on Google) for all the payments.

You’ll know upfront how much each transfer will cost you and how long it’ll take — all at the tip of your fingers.

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How to receive international wire transfer

When sending — or receiving — an international transfer through your bank, the payment is usually processed through the SWIFT network.

SWIFT is an international organization that standardizes the messaging across banks so you can get your money moved around safely.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, there are some important things to keep in mind — you’ll find these below.

Learn all about making an international wire transfer in our handy guide

What information do I need to provide to receive an international wire transfer?

To make sure the international wire transfer goes to the right place (aka your bank account), you’ll need to provide the sender with some basic information.

This will vary depending on what bank you use, so make sure to ask yours for incoming international wire instructions.

💱Generally, you should be prepared to provide:
  • Your full name and address
  • The name and address of your bank
  • Your account number and account type (checking or savings, etc.)
  • Your bank’s IBAN (if applicable)
  • The amount of the transfer
  • The reason for the transfer
  • A reference to include on the transfer, if you want it

Do I have to pay fees on an incoming international transfer?

International wire transfers can come with a whole host of fees. Once again, it’s good to check with your bank how much they charge for this type of transaction.

But here’s a rundown of the most common costs:

  • Fees for sending an international wire transfer — usually paid by the sender

  • Fees for receiving an international wire transfer — it doesn’t happen every time, but your bank could charge you a fee for receiving money from abroad

  • If the transfer is sent via the SWIFT system, as most international wire transfers are, there may be 1-3 intermediary banks, and each of these can deduct a fee for their part in the transfer

  • Exchange rate mark-ups — these can be added by the sender bank and applicable to you if intermediary or recipient banks charge additional fees

Talk with whoever is sending the money and agree on who is going to pay what fees. It’s common for the sender to pay international transfer fees charged by the sending bank.

Intermediary fees and recipient bank fees will often be deducted from the amount of the transfer unless otherwise specified by the sender.

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How long does it take to receive an international wire transfer?

The delivery time is another factor that depends on the bank that’s sending the international wire, but on average, an international transfer should arrive in your bank account in less than 5 business days from the day it was sent¹.

You can check with the sender or your own bank for a more specific estimate. If you need help tracking an incoming international SWIFT wire, make sure to ask the sender for a MT103 document.

Incoming international wire transfer: Chase

Here’s what you need to know with Chase to receive an international wire transfer.

Chase bank receiving wire transfer instructions

Chase Bank doesn’t have incoming international wire instructions posted online, so you’ll need to contact your branch.

Despite that, be prepared to gather at least this information²:

  • The bank’s full name: JPMorgan Chase Bank NA
  • Your Chase branch full address
  • Your Chase account number (including leading zeros if included)
  • Your full name as it appears on your account
  • Your address
🧭 See all Chase routing numbers

Chase incoming international wire transfer fee

How much you pay for an incoming international wire transfer at Chase Bank depends on what kind of account you have.

Personal Chase accountsFees³
Incoming international wire
  • 15 USD transfer
  • 0 USD if the transfer was sent with the help of a Chase banker, using chase.com or Chase Mobile
Outgoing international wire
  • 50 USD per transfer if sent through a banker in US dollars or foreign currency
  • 40 USD per transfer if sent online in US dollars
  • 5 USD per transfer if sent online in foreign currency
Additional fees
  • SWIFT transfers often require the use of 1-3 correspondent banks, each of whom generally deduct their own fees
  • The exchange rate used to convert the money — which usually includes a markup

Chase Bank international wire transfer times

Chase Bank doesn’t guarantee any transfer times, and how long an international wire transfer takes can be dependent on both the sending bank and the country from which the money originates.

On average, an international wire transfer should be completed in less than five days. You’ll usually get a delivery estimate when you set up your payment online so you’ll have an idea of when the money will land.

💡 You can also read the guide on how to send a wire abroad with Chase to learn more.

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Bank of America: receive an international transfer

Receiving your international wire transfer at Bank of America? This info should help.

Bank of America incoming international wire transfer instructions

To receive an international wire transfer at Bank of America, you’ll need to provide the following information⁴:

  • Bank name
  • Your bank branch address
  • Your address
  • Your full name as it appears on your bank account
  • Your account number
  • Bank of America’s SWIFT code: different codes are used for different types of transfer, so check online or call the bank to get the right code before you start⁵
🧭 See all Bank of America routing numbers

Bank of America international wire transfer fees

Bank of America doesn’t list fees for international wire transfers online, and warns its customers:

We may change the fees for wire transfers and drafts at any time. Visit a financial center or call us at the number on your statement for current fees⁶.

Bank of America also notes that intermediary bank fees are possible with any transfer:

For an international wire transfer, other financial institutions involved in the wire transfer may also charge fees and deduct their fees from the amount of the wire transfer⁶.

Bank of America international transfer times

Bank of America notes that most wire transfers arrive at their destination in 1-2 business days. However, they do note:

There are a number of factors that could delay the credit to the beneficiary.

These include, but are not limited to: local bank holidays, delays by an intermediary bank, or other local conditions.

Note, too, that some countries have been designated as slow-to-pay layer countries. Transfers made to or from a slow-to-pay country may experience delays in crediting the beneficiary's account.⁷

💡 If you need to send a wire transfer with Bank of America, you can also read the guide to find out more

Wells Fargo: receive international transfer

Here’s what you need to know to receive an international wire transfer at Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo incoming international wire instructions

To receive an international wire transfer at Wells Fargo, you may need additional routing instructions, so you’ll want to double-check with your bank first.

To start, you’ll likely need to give this information to the sender:

  • Bank name
  • Your Wells Fargo branch address
  • Your full name just like it appears on your account
  • Your complete Wells Fargo account number (including leading zeros)
  • Your address as it appears on your Wells Fargo account
  • Purpose of payment may also be requested⁸
🧭 See all Wells Fargo routing numbers

Wells Fargo international wire transfer fees

Wells Fargo Consumer AccountsFees⁹
Incoming international wire
  • 16 USD per transfer
Outgoing international wire
  • Online and mobile transfers have no Wells Fargo fee
  • US dollar wires cost 45 USD per transfer
  • Foreign currency wires cost 35 USD per transfer
Additional fees
  • Often, 1-3 correspondent banks each deduct their own fees. It’s common that whichever bank converts money from one currency to another adds a spread/markup to the exchange rate, which is a further cost to you
  • If incoming or outgoing transfers include incorrect information, there may be additional fees levied

Wells Fargo international wire transfer times

Wells Fargo doesn’t guarantee any transfer times on its website, but does note that incoming wire received after 5:30 P.M. Central Time won’t be processed until the next business day.⁹

International wires, on average, typically arrive at their destination within 5 business days, though some factors can slow that down.

💡 If you need to send an international wire with Wells Fargo, you can read the guide to find out how.

Watch out for exchange rate markups when sending money abroad

Exchange rates are a major part of every international wire transfer. When you move money from overseas into a US bank account, it will need to be converted from the original currency into US dollars.

When banks convert currency, they rarely use the mid-market rate. The mid-market rate is called by many names. Spot rate. Wholesale rate. Interbank rate.

Regardless of what you hear it referred to, it’s the real exchange rate you see when you Google two currencies. Banks are notorious for marking up their exchange rates by an average of 4-6%. That seemingly small percentage costs you. A lot.

That’s where online international transfer specialists like Wise could end up saving you. Wise uses the real exchange rate for every transfer, and only charges a small, fair fee.

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Before you commit to sending money internationally, you should always ask the bank or transfer company for the exchange rate they’re going to use. Then, take that rate and compare it with the mid-market rate using an online currency converter.

That will help you find out how much your international wire transfer is really costing you.

🤓 Looking for more info on US international wire transfers? Check out these articles:

Sources:

  1. How Long Does a Wire Transfer Take?
  2. Chase Bank Wire Transfer
  3. Additional Banking Services and Fees for Personal Accounts (Page 11)
  4. Wire Transfer FAQs: What is a Wire Transfer?
  5. Bank of America Routing Number FAQs: Find Your ABA Routing Number
  6. Bank of America fees
  7. Wire Transfer FAQs: What is a Wire Transfer?
  8. Wire transfer quick reference guide for customers
  9. Wells Fargo wire transfer fees (Page 12)

Sources checked on 06.02.2022


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 basis of the content 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 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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