Wire transfer fees: All you need to know

Panna Kemenes
04.01.21
3 minute read

If you want a convenient way to move money quickly, a wire transfer is a popular option. This electronic transfer type is great for moving large sums of money in no time at all.

But this convenience comes at a cost. To make a wire transfer, you’re going to have to shell out some extra cash on fees.

A wire transfer fee will vary according to whether it’s domestic or international, incoming or outgoing.

💡If you need to send a transfer abroad, then it’s worth looking at alternatives, such as Wise. Sending money abroad with Wise is usually much cheaper than an international wire.

See how much you can save with Wise 💰

How much does a wire transfer cost?

In general, when it comes to wire transfers, you can expect fees in the region of $15 - $30. Yet there are exceptions, as some institutions offer fee-free wire transfers and others charge more than $30.

But this is only half the story.

A wire transfer can have more than one type of fee attached to it. There are separate fees for domestic and international wire transfers, and both outgoing and incoming wires.

Average wire transfer fees

Each bank and provider will have different fees, but here are some median figures you can go off:

  • Domestic Incoming: $15

  • International Incoming: $15

  • Domestic Outgoing: $25

  • International Outgoing: $45

As you can see, it costs more for outgoing wire transfers and international transfers.

Bank wire transfer fees

Each bank has different fees. These wire transfer fees are per transfer, and it's worth checking with your bank in advance.

Bank nameIncoming / outgoing domestic wireIncoming / outgoing international wire
Bank of America¹
    Incoming: $15
    Outgoing: $30
    Incoming: $16
    Outgoing: $45 in USD
    $35 in a foreign currency
Wells Fargo²
    Incoming: $15
    Outgoing: $30
    Incoming: $16
    Outgoing: $45 in USD
    $35 in a foreign currency
Chase Bank³
    Incoming: $15
    Outgoing: $25
    Incoming: $15
    Outgoing: $40 in USD
    $5 in a foreign currency
USAA⁴
    Incoming: $0
    Outgoing: $20
    Incoming: $0
    Outgoing: $45
PNC⁵
    Incoming: $15
    Outgoing: $30 (Plus $15 for wires over the phone)
    Incoming: $15
    Outgoing: $45 ($100 minimum amount)
Capital One⁶
    Incoming: $15
    Outgoing: $30
    Incoming: $15
    Outgoing: $50 in USD
    $40 in a foreign currency
US Bank⁷
    Personal Account: $20 per incoming transfer, $30 per outgoing transfer
    Business Account: $14 per incoming transfer, $40 per outgoing transfer
    Personal Account: $25 per incoming transfer, $50 per outgoing transfer
    Business Account: $15 per incoming transfer, $70 per outgoing transfer
Citibank⁸
    $15 per incoming transfer
    $25 per outgoing transfer
    $15 per incoming transfer
    $35 per outgoing transfer
TD Bank⁹
    $15 per incoming transfer
    $30 per outgoing transfer
    $15 per incoming transfer
    Outgoing: $50 + potential SWIFT charges
SunTrust¹⁰
    $15 per incoming transfer
    $25 per outgoing transfer
    $30 per incoming transfer
    $50 per outgoing transfer

Additional fees for international wires

Many banks will place a markup on the mid-market rate, which leads to extra fees for the consumer when doing international wires. They will take the rate set by the market and apply a ‘day rate’ margin to it.

Often the consumer isn’t even aware that they are paying over the odds to make these international wires.

Fortunately, you can avoid these extra fees and get the real mid-market rate by choosing Wise. The mid-market rate is taken from Reuters, which means you get the best rates in real-time.

Why do banks charge for wire transfers?

As a consumer, it’s frustrating to have to pay extra cash on top of the money you’re already sending. There is a good reason as to why wire transfers cost extra, though.

A domestic wire transfer passes through a payment system on its way to the recipient’s account, which incurs a cost.

An international wire transfer costs more because it can go through several intermediary banks¹¹, and each bank may slap an extra charge on the wire.

How can I avoid a wire transfer fee?

It makes sense that you’d want to avoid wire transfer fees, and fortunately, there are a few ways to dodge the fees.

Send money with Wise

Wise is a great choice if you’re interested in a low-cost way to send money abroad. You can avoid high international wire fees with Wise, you need only pay a low, transparent fee.

Wise has over 10 million happy customers, so you can be sure your money will arrive fast and securely.

Send money with Wise

Send the wire transfer online

One way to avoid wire transfer fees is to send them online. To do a wire transfer in-person, you will usually have to pay around $10 more.

While doing a wire transfer online won’t mitigate all fees, it will save you some money.

Use a higher-level checking account

If you make wire transfers regularly, it pays to invest in a higher-level checking account.

Several premium accounts offer incoming and outgoing wires free of charge. Two such accounts are Chase Premier Plus checking¹² and Citigold Private Client¹³.

But there’s a catch.

Premium accounts more often than not come with fees of their own, so you’ll have to figure out if it makes financial sense to set one up.

Use ACH transfers

ACH transfers are more often than not free from fees. The problem is, they are slower than wire transfers, so you sacrifice some convenience. Plus, ACH transfers aren’t recommended for overseas transfers.

You can read this article about ACH vs wire to compare the pros and cons.

Sources

  1. Bank of America Page 2
  2. Wells Fargo Page 44
  3. Chase Bank Page 5
  4. USAA
  5. PNC Page 2
  6. Capital One
  7. US Bank
  8. Citibank
  9. TD Bank
  10. SunTrust Page 9
  11. Fedwire
  12. Chase Premier lups checking Page 3
  13. Citigold Private Client

All sources checked April 1, 2021


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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