Nationwide international wire: Fees, exchange rates, and transfer time


If you need to send money abroad for the first time, it’s good to know you have a wide range of options. You could use your regular bank, but you may get a better deal using a specialist in international transfers, such as Wise.

Regardless, it pays to do your homework before deciding which provider to use for your international wire payments because different payment routes come with different requirements and costs.

Here’s all you need to know about making an international wire transfer with Nationwide.

A cost example: Sending money from the US to Canada

Let’s say you want to transfer US$1000 from the US to Canada in Canadian dollars. Here’s what you’ll pay, using Nationwide, compared with the costs of the same transfer placed through Wise:

ProviderFeeExchange rateTotal cost
Nationwide (USA)$35¹Exchange rate + likely mark-up$35 + likely exchange rate markup + likely fees from other banks
Wise$8.45 (bank debit or debit card)The real exchange rate$8.45

Using Nationwide, you’ll be charged an upfront fee by your bank of $35¹ for the transfer. However, there are a few other potentially hidden costs you should also take into account.

Firstly you should check out the exchange rate offered by Nationwide for your currency pairing. This matters because it’s common for banks to mark up the exchange rate they offer customers an average of 4-6% and keep the difference as their profit. To make sure you’re getting a fair deal, you can look up the real exchange rate using an online currency converter, as a comparison.

If you don’t like what you see, you can try an alternative like Wise to get the real exchange rate, like the one you find on Google, every time.

Secondly, it’s useful to know that there could be extra charges if your international wire transfer is sent via SWIFT. If your money is moved using the SWIFT network then up to 3 intermediary banks, as well as the recipient’s bank, could add fees of their own to the total cost of the transfer. That adds up quickly.

1 nationwide international wire fees

What are the fees for Nationwide in America?

Nationwide international transfer fees table

Nationwide international wiresRegular fees
Incoming international wire transfer$5¹ + likely exchange rate mark-upⁱ + other bank feesⁱⁱ
Outgoing international wire transfer$35¹ + likely exchange rate mark-upⁱ + other bank feesⁱⁱ
Standard wire limit (per transaction)$5,000³ (to/from non-Nationwide banks)
Standard wire limit (daily)$5,000³ (to/from non-Nationwide banks)
Standard wire limit (monthly)$10,000³ (to/from non-Nationwide banks)
ⁱExchange rate mark-upOn average, banks mark up exchange rates by 4-6%, so it’s a good idea to compare your offered exchange rate with the one you find on Google to see if it’s fair. See the next section for more information.
ⁱⁱOther bank feesIf your transfer is sent via SWIFT, up to 3 intermediary banks and the recipient bank could all deduct flat fees that range anywhere from $10-$50 depending on the bank. You may have the option to arrange with your recipient who pays these fees.

As you likely know, the fees applied to international transfers are subject to change so it’s possible the above information is out of date. Check out the specific costs for your transfer in your account terms and conditions, usually available online, before you make a decision.

2 nationwide exchange rates

Nationwide exchange rates

If you’re sending money to an account held in another currency — or expecting to receive a payment from someone based overseas — then the exchange rate used to convert the cash to or from USD is important.

A poor exchange rate can mean that the true cost of your international transfer is a lot more than it should be. In fact, on average, banks make an additional 4-6% on your transfer by passing on poor exchange rates but pocketing the mark-up on the exchange rate they got. Which is why it’s important to do your homework before committing to any bank or money transfer provider when you send money internationally.

Nationwide doesn’t publish their exchange rates online, so you’ll need to check which rate they plan to use. After you have an exchange rate quote for your international wire, you can then check if the exchange rate is fair, by comparing it with the real, mid-market rate using an online currency converter or by Googling the currency pair.

Depending on the details of your transfer, it may also be one of the intermediary banks that do the currency conversion on your behalf. If that’s the case, it’s unlikely that Nationwide can tell you what exchange rate will be used. Meaning you may not be able to see how much you lost by poor exchange rates until after the wire is already complete.

If you want to know the rate that’ll be used for your transfer before you commit, you could try an alternative service like Wise where the rates are like the ones you find on Google. And the costs — all of them — are noted upfront. That means fair, cheap money transfers, every time.

Nationwide debit/credit card currency conversion and international transactions

If you’ll be travelling and are looking for the rates that will be applied when you make international purchases, then this is a bit different story.

Nationwide cards are part of the Visa USA network, and subject to their fees.

Using Nationwide card abroadFees and charges
International transaction (no currency conversion)0.8% transaction price²
International transaction (with currency conversion)1% transaction price²
Foreign (non-Nationwide) ATM use$1.50²
Foreign ATM feesPossible surcharges levied by the actual ATM operator²
Replace an ATM or Visa check card$5.00² after the first replacement

Which means if you’re overseas and make a purchase, you will definitely hit costs. Just be prepared.

3 transferwise as a nationwide alternative

A cheap and transparent alternative: Wise

A bank isn’t always the best choice when it comes to making international money transfers. You could find you’re better off using a specialist in international transfers like Wise. Transfers are made securely and could be more convenient than using your regular bank, as they’re made entirely online. You can send money online from the website or mobile app, in just a few clicks. Even better, Wise process every transaction using the fairest exchange rate, and only add a small transparent fee.

You might be able to save even more with a new Wise borderless multi-currency account. This lets you hold your money in any of dozens of different currencies within the same account, and switch between them quickly and easily when you need to. You can also accept domestic transfers in regions like the EU, the UK, and Australia using you very own local bank details. This means you can avoid international transfers altogether, so there are no intermediary banks, and no hidden fees, either.

Find out for yourself if you can get a better deal with Wise, today.

4 how to make an international wire

How do you make an international bank transfer with Nationwide in the US?

You have two options to make an international wire from your Nationwide account.

Option 1: Directly through Nationwide, via phone

If you have a Nationwide account, you’ll need to call the customer services department at 1-877 I BANK NW (1-877-422-6569) to initiate an international wire.

It’s worth noting that there are limits, on a daily and rolling monthly basis, to the amount that you can transfer in or out of your Nationwide account. Depending on the type of transfer you make, this will mean that you can’t transfer more than either $5,000 or $10,000 in or out of your account, per month.3

Option 2: Online by connecting your Nationwide account to Wise

  1. Visit
  2. Choose the originating currency and amount in the top box and the corresponding recipient currency in the bottom box
  3. Click on “Show fee breakdown”ⁱ to see how much it costs
  4. Click the green button “Get started”
  5. Fill out your personal detailsⁱⁱ
  6. Enter your recipient’s informationⁱⁱⁱ
  7. Make sure you’re happy with the cost and exchange rate
  8. On the final step, you’ll have several options to pay for your transferⁱ

ⁱ The cheapest option for you will likely be bank debit (ACH) or paying by debit/credit card. Bank debit can be slightly slower, but has higher limits than if you pay by debit card. Both options will deduct the money directly from your Nationwide account.

ⁱⁱ Especially on your first transfer, you may be asked to verify your identity with an ID, address proof, the reason for your transfer, or even your SSN just like you would when you open a bank account in person at a regular financial institution.

ⁱⁱⁱ It may be helpful to note that when sending money through Wise you won’t actually need international banking details for your recipient. You’ll need their local banking details — the same information they would give to a friend inside the country for a domestic bank transfer. That likely means you may not need their SWIFT/BIC code, but more like the domestic equivalent.

5 international wire info needed

What do I need in order to make an international money transfer?

To place your international money transfer with nationwide, you have to talk directly to an assistant to give details of the recipient.

If you’re sending directly through your bank, you’ll usually need to include the following information:

  • Recipient’s name and address
  • Recipient’s bank details, including the bank name, branch and address
  • You may need an IBAN number or BIC/SWIFT number of the recipient, or another reference number depending on where your money is headed

If you’re sending through Wise, you normally won’t need a BIC/SWIFT number, but rather the local bank details for the recipient — as if they’re receiving a domestic transfer.

6 info to give to sender

What do I need or what should I give to the sender in order to receive an international bank transfer?

If you’re expecting to receive an international wire transfer to your Nationwide account then the sender will ask you for some information to make sure the money reaches your account safely. Exactly what they need will depend on where the money is coming from, but you can expect to need to give the following:

  • Your own bank’s BIC/SWIFT code

  • Your full name and address, as detailed on the account

  • Your own Nationwide account details

  • The amount and the currency you’d like to receive the payment in

To make sure that there are no nasty surprises, you might also want to agree with the sender who will cover the charges applied to the transfer.

If you’re sending money to yourself, to your Nationwide account through Wise, then what you’ll need is:

  • Your name as it appears on your account
  • Your 9-digit ACH routing number
  • Your account number
  • Your address and your bank’s address
  • Whether your account is checking or savings

If someone else is sending you money through Wise, you’ll only need to provide them your email address and name. You can then fill in the above information yourself.

7 international transfer time

How long does an international bank transfer with Nationwide take?

The length of the processing time for an international transfer wire will depend on where the money is headed. On average, you can expect it to take anywhere from 1-5 business days to reach the recipient.

8 international transfer help

Contact / Help — More questions around your transfer?

If you need a little more help you can call Nationwide for advice.

  • Customer services — Call 1-877-On Your Side (1-877-669-6877)

Check out both the upfront and intermediary fees that are likely to be added to any international transfer you want to make, and also the exchange rates applied.

The real costs of international wire transfers can vary greatly and aren’t always that easy to see if banks or currency exchange services add a mark-up to the exchange rates that they use. You might find that you’re better off with a specialist in international payments, which offers the real exchange rate, and a straightforward fee structure — like Wise.

Good luck!


  1. (July 2, 2018)
  2. (July 2, 2018)
  3. (July 2, 2018)

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.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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