HSBC USA international wire transfer: fees, rates and transfer time

Gabriela Peratello

HSBC USA® allows you to make international wire transfers into a broad selection of foreign currencies from eligible account types.

Most customers with a checking or savings account with HSBC USA can make an international wire transfer - but it’s good to know that you might be able to save your time and money if you use a service like Wise instead.

This guide walks you through how to make a transfer overseas with HSBC USA, and touches on Wise as an alternative, non-bank option for comparison.

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What are the fees for an international transfer with HSBC USA?

HSBC doesn’t make rates available for outgoing and incoming international wire transfers until the time you request them. And, as noted, from a customer’s perspective when trying to make sure you’re making the most cost-effective transfer, that can be frustrating as it’s quite difficult to compare pricing.

Likely, the fees charged will vary based on your account type and the amount of money you’re transferring and many run anywhere from $10-$50 for an outgoing or incoming international wire transfer, based on US bank averages.

Another option, if you want to make your transfer through HSBC from the convenience of your home is to actually use Wise.

After you go through verification for your first transfer, you can connect your HSBC US account to your Wise profile or pay for your transfers with your debit card. Wise skips the expensive international SWIFT transfer system in favor of new world technology that connects local bank accounts all over the world.

Meaning you get to skip the international fees. Get a great exchange rate. And be sure you’re counting all the costs upfront. That means fair, low cost money transfers, every time.

HSBC USA international transferFees
Incoming/Outgoing international transfersMay range from $10-$50
Sending/recipient bank and/or intermediary bank(s)Most international transfers are processed using the SWIFT system. That will likely mean that up to 5 banks deduct their own fees ranging $10-$50 as your money passes through their systems.
Incoming WiresCan vary based on account type and tier
Exchange ratesMarkup is likely, see next section

HSBC USA exchange rates

When you’re transferring money to a different country, an exchange rate is used to determine how much the recipient will get in their respective country.

If you want your recipient to receive a currency other than US dollars, then the exchange between 2 currencies is often made by a corresponding or recipient bank, unless you specifically request HSBC to make the exchange themselves.

However, regardless of who converts your money, you should know that most banks and money service providers won’t offer you the interbank or spot rate.

That’s a name for an exchange rate which is also called the mid-market exchange rate. It’s the rate banks get when buying and selling currencies themselves, and also the one you’d get on Google or with a currency converter tool.

Everywhere money. Meet Wise: the world's most international account

If you’re not living in the US — or if you simply want a more flexible account you can open from anywhere — check out Wise.

Wise isn’t a bank, but a money service business (MSB) that offers an account which allows you to hold, send and receive money. As well as getting an attached debit card — plus you’ll get some extra perks which suit anyone living an international lifestyle.

You’ll be able to hold 40+ currencies, and get local account details for up to 9 currencies including USD, to get paid easily by wire or ACH.

Wise offers linked debit cards for spending and withdrawals around the world, and all currency conversion uses the mid-market exchange rate.

That means that whenever you send a payment or spend in a foreign currency your dollars are converted with the mid-market rate with low conversion fees from 0.41%. Easy.

This way to easy
international payments

Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information

How do you make an international bank transfer with HSBC USA?

Specific types of international transfers such as Global Transfers may be restricted to a few different types of HSBC accounts and even then, may not be available in all countries.

To be sure, take a look at the HSBC US International homepage¹, double check your terms and conditions or get hold of someone in your local branch.

There are 2 different ways you can send money internationally with HSBC online.

Directly online through HSBC USA²

  1. Login to your HSBC USA online banking and look for the Wires button on the Useful links bar

  2. Choose the account you want to make the transfer from.

  3. Then select Wires/Real-time payments

  4. Assuming this is your first time sending money to this recipient, click New Payee

  5. Follow the rest of the on-screen instructions and you’re all set

By connecting your HSBC USA account to Wise

Step 1. Go to wise.com

Step 2. Choose the originating currency and amount in the top box and then choose the corresponding recipient currency in the bottom box

Step 3. To find out how much Wise fees will cost you, click on Show fee breakdown (the cheapest total cost to you as a consumer will be to pay with Bank debit (ACH) or debit card)

Step 4. Click the green button Get started

Step 5. Fill out your personal details

Step 6. Enter your recipient’s information

Step 7. Make sure you’re happy with the cost and exchange rate

Step 8. On the final step, you’ll have several options to pay for your transfer

What information do you need for international HSBC transfers?

Before you can make an international wire transfer, every financial institution will require you to have some information readily available.

If you’re sending money directly through HSBC USA, you’ll need to collect the following information³:

  • The recipient’s full name, address, and bank account number (you may also need the recipient’s phone number)

  • BIC/SWIFT of the recipient

  • The amount of the transfer

  • The recipient bank’s name and full address

If you’re sending money by connecting your HSBC account through Wise, you’ll likely need:

  • Recipient’s full name (as it appears on their local bank account)

  • Recipient’s address

  • Recipient’s bank name and address

  • Recipients local bank details (normally consisting of either an IBAN or an account number coupled with a sort code/routing number equivalent)

Receiving an international wire with HSBC US

If you’re receiving an international wire transfer through HSBC USA, you’ll need to have the following information with you:

  • Your full name and account number

  • Your HSBC branch’s address

  • The BIC/SWIFT code

However, if you’re receiving money from abroad through Wise, you’ll need the following information you can find on your checkbook: your full name, your 9-digit ACH routing number, and your account number.

How long does an international bank transfer with HSBC USA take?

With HSBC, in many cases, you can choose to have a wire transfer processed immediately or sent at a later date³.

Wire transfer requests submitted before 5:45 PM EST (New York time) on a business day will be processed the same day. Wire transfer requests to international banks can be completed online at any time, however, those completed after 5:45 PM EST (New York time) on business days will be automatically processed the following business day⁴.

But just because a wire is sent doesn’t mean it has yet arrived to the recipient. Depending on the number of intermediary banks needed and the country the recipient bank is located in will make the time vary greatly. In most cases, however, international wire transfers can take anywhere from 1-7 days to complete.

HSBC contact information


So there you have it - a full guide to sending an international wire with HSBC US. Armed with the right tools, your international transfer should go off without a hitch. Use this guide to get started - and remember to also take a look at Wise as a smart way to send your payment, with the mid-market rate and a super fast delivery time.


Sources:

  1. HSBC US - global transfers
  2. HSBC US - wire FAQs
  3. HSBC US - transfer FAQs
  4. HSBC US - international banking

Sources checked on 02.02.2024


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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