BECU international wire transfer: fees, rates and transfer time

Gabriela Peratello

If you’re a Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU)® member and need to send an international wire transfer, this guide should be a helpful starting point for learning about BECU’s policies, rates, transfer times and fees.

But no matter where you bank, Wise can be a helpful tool to transfer money internationally. More on how that works later.


What are the fees for an international wire with BECU?

Fees for international wires can be confusing. There’s a few things you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • The upfront fee charged by the sending bank

  • SWIFT fees charged by correspondent banks (if intermediaries are used, they generally deduct a flat fee ranging $10 - $50 from the sent amount)

  • Any markup on the exchange rate if your money is converted to another currency (on average, banks may add a 4 - 6% spread to these rates)

  • Charges levied by the recipient bank, which may include foreign taxes

Another factor to take into consideration is that, in general, if you send an international wire from a bank, you’ll find that upfront fees are fixed. Which means upfront fees for sending $10 or $10,000 should be the same.

Good news if you’re sending a lot of money. Not great news if you’re only sending a little. But that still isn’t taking into consideration poor exchange rates if your money is converted. More on poor exchange rates in the next section.

According to BECU’s current fee schedule as of April 2018, below is what you can expect to pay for international wire transfers.

BECU international transfer fees table

BECU International TransfersRegular fees
Incoming international transfer$0¹ possible exchange rate spread/markup² ⁱpossible correspondent bank charges³
Outgoing international transfer$35 per transfer¹ possible exchange rate spread/markup² ⁱpossible correspondent bank charges³ possible recipient bank charges⁴possible foreign taxes⁴
Trace a wire transferNo fee
Cancel a wire transferNot available at BECU
Amend a wire transferNot available at BECU
Return a wire transfer from the receiving bankNo fee

BECU exchange rates

International wire transfers generally move using the SWIFT system, which means your money will likely pass through intermediary banks before reaching its final destination.

If your transfer involves 2 currencies, one of the banks will need to convert the money. Oftentimes, it’s an intermediary bank that makes the switch from one currency to another.

Other times a sender may arrange with their sending bank to convert the money first. Regardless, one of those banks will be applying some sort of exchange rate to the transaction.

That may sound like a relatively straightforward, mundane task, but banks set their own exchange rates. And, on average, banks have been known to give rates 3-6% poorer than the rates you find on Google.

While that may not seem like a big deal, many banks are actually pocketing the difference between the rate they give you and the rate they personally received. In essence, this amounts to an additional profit for the converting bank that comes straight out of the transfer amount.

Some banks are upfront about the fact that they make a profit and put notes in fine print noting they take a “spread.” Sadly, though, most aren’t so transparent and hide this fact in language like, “the rates you see online are interbank rates and aren’t available to consumers, ABCD bank sets its own rates.” Meaning the rates you find on Google won’t be the rates you’ll get with them.

In regards to exchange rates on international wires, BECU doesn’t have much information available online.

In fact, because BECU uses Wells Fargo® as an intermediary, at least for incoming international wire transfers, you may be better off researching Wells Fargo exchange rates.

You can also find a cheap alternative to send money on our website.

Here’s what BECU says about exchange rates on their incoming wire form:

Wells Fargo exchanges the foreign currency using the exchange rate in effect at the time the transaction is processed to US Dollars, prior to depositing funds to your BECU account. Currency exchange rates are internal to Wells Fargo and not reflected in currency exchange rate information provided by other sources.²

So that exchange rate you find on Google? That’s likely not what Wells Fargo will be using.

An alternative to international wires: meet Wise

Wise is a specialist in low cost international transfers which use the mid-market exchange rate.

Set up your Wise payment online or in the Wise app, and choose to pay with the digital payment method of your choice — usually including local ACH, credit or debit card, as well as Apple Pay.

You can send to 80+ countries, and you’ll see an estimated delivery time before you confirm. 50% of Wise payments are instant¹ — and you’ll always see exactly what your recipient will receive, with no hidden charges or surprise fees².

Need something besides international transfers? Wise has you covered:
  • Open a Wise Account for free to hold and exchange 50+ currencies, with the mid-market exchange rate every time

  • Use your linked Wise card to spend with no foreign transaction fee if the you already hold the currency- in 170+ countries

  • Send payments to 80+ countries and get local bank details to receive payments in 10 different currencies

  • Manage your money, view transactions and keep on top of your finances all from your phone

This way to easy
international payments

1. The speed of Wise transfers depends on funds availability, approval by Wise's proprietary verification system and systems availability of our partners' banking system, and may not be available for all transactions

2. 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 BECU from the US?

At BECU, international wire transfer requests can be made by:

  • Calling BECU’s customer support number

  • Visiting a local branch

  • Connecting your BECU account online with Wise

By calling a BECU representative

To request a wire transfer from BECU by phone, call at 800-233-2328⁴, to speak with a BECU representative. Have all the required information handy (more on that below) and a customer service representative will help you initiate your transfer.

In person at a local branch

Visit a BECU Neighborhood Financial Center or Lobby and speak to a teller to initiate your transfer⁴.

By paying for your Wise transfer via BECU

Like we mentioned before, Wise is a good alternative for you to send money abroad.

You can pay for your transfer with a local domestic wire from BECU and Wise will send the money to the destination account from their local account in the currency of your choice.

Make your first
Wise transfer today

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

In order to send an international money transfer directly from your account at BECU, you’ll need the following information:⁴

  • Personal identification (additional verification may be needed; speak to a customer service representative for details)

  • A valid daytime phone number

  • The recipient’s name, phone number and street address

  • The recipient’s account type

  • The recipient’s bank name and address

  • The recipient bank’s SWIFT/BIC code

  • The reason for the payment

If you’ve opted to connect your BECU account with Wise online, what you’ll need will vary slightly:

  • Your own personal identification (normally only on the first transfer)

  • The recipient’s name and street address

  • The recipient’s local bank account details

  • The recipient’s bank name and address

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

BECU provides customers with a five page PDF in order to make sure your money gets to you safely from abroad. There are multiple scenarios and intermediary banks you’ll need to use and note depending on where the money originates and what currencies are involved.

If you’re receiving money internationally to your BECU bank account via Wise, it should be a bit simpler. Wise will send your money to you from within the US, meaning you’ll only need local details².

  • Your full name as it appears on your BECU account

  • Your email and local address

  • Whether your account type is checking or savings

  • Your account number

  • Your ACH routing number

How long does an international bank transfer with BECU take?

There are a lot of factors that can affect how long it takes a wire transfer to arrive at its destination, like the country being sent to and the date and time the transaction is made.

BECU website² states that domestic wires should take from 1-3 working days to be processed, while international payments can take up to 14 consecutive days to reach the recipient.

Contacting BECU when you need support

If you have further questions or need more help, you can reach BECU’s customer service in several different ways:

  • BECU Helpdesk⁵
  • BECU Phone number: 800-233-2328
  • BECU Support Chat⁶

Before committing to an international money transfer service, a little research can help determine the best way to get your money across borders. If you’re a BECU customer, this guide should give you a better idea of whether your best option is your bank — or an alternative.


  1. BECU - Fee schedule
  2. BECU - Incoming wire instructions
  3. BECU - Wire transfer
  4. BECU - Outgoing wire details
  5. BECU - Helpdesk
  6. BECU - Support chat

Sources checked 02.24.2023

*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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