An International Wire Transfer: How to Do It and Where to Do It

Sending money abroad is easy and reliable

An International Wire Transfer: How to Do It and Where to Do It

One of the quickest methods for moving money directly between banks is through wire transfers. In the United States, the procedure is fairly simple. S. There may be a few extra steps involved in international transfers, but most banks (and specialized online services) can easily handle them for you. However, what if you want to send money to another country?

Discover some of the best, most practical ways to transfer money while learning more about the international money-wiring procedure.

Important conclusions

  • The simplest, quickest, and most dependable method of sending money abroad is through a bank-to-bank wire transfer.
  • Always compare prices, including fees and exchange rates, before choosing a wire transfer provider.
  • Online transfer services, money centers like Western Union, and person-to-person payment apps like PayPal are all alternatives to bank-to-bank wire transfers.

When Is It Necessary To Send Money Abroad?

Wire transfers are a great choice any time you need to transfer a sizable amount of money to another bank. Checks won’t bounce or get lost in transit, and the transfer is quick.

Sending money via wire transfer, especially to someone you don’t know, should be done with caution. These payment methods are frequently requested by con artists, and once you send money using them, it may be difficult or impossible to get it back.

When you are traveling abroad or providing financial support for loved ones who live abroad, international transfers may make sense. If you need to send a sizeable sum of money abroad, a wire transfer can be done quickly, safely, and affordably. Credit cards are fine for small purchases from foreign merchants.

Money Transfer Procedures Abroad

An electronic transfer of money between banks is known as a wire transfer. An international wire typically takes three to five days to reach the recipient (although it can happen sooner), and the money may even leave your account on the same day that you request the transfer.

Contact your bank if you want to send money internationally via wire transfer. You must fill out a form and give details about the individual or business you are sending money to. A form may need to be submitted, but you can frequently submit requests online. You frequently pay a fee to transfer money, so make sure you have extra money on hand to pay any fees.

Having the following knowledge will help you.

  • The name of the recipient.
  • Address and name of the receiving bank.
  • Account type and recipient’s account number, including IBAN.
  • Getting the SWIFT ID or BIC of the bank.
  • Transferring to the U.S. S. USD or another currency.

You might need to add more information. You should carefully follow the directions provided by the recipient’s bank, which can provide specific instructions on how to route the transfer.

Your Options for International Transfer Comparison

To find the best choice for sending money abroad, research service providers. Here are some of the most crucial elements.


Transferring money abroad typically incurs fees. You might have to pay a per-transaction fee, which could be a set sum of money or a percentage of the total transfer (or both). In order to decide which billing approach is best, compare it with both large and small transfer amounts.

Prices of exchange

Although exchange rates are a factor in your overall costs, it’s possible that the amount you pay won’t appear as a line-item transaction. When converting your money from U.S. currency, the intermediaries involved in your transfer might make money. S. Some providers are more competitive than others in terms of converting dollars to other currencies.

Compare vendors carefully, paying close attention to both the exchange rate and any flat fees you incur. An unfavorable exchange rate and a low flat fee for a big transfer may cost more than a higher flat fee and a better exchange rate.

Transfer Period

Although the duration can vary depending on the service you use, international transfers frequently take several days. Always keep in mind that financial transactions occasionally take longer than you’d like, so it’s a good idea to allow some wiggle room.

Transaction Caps

Check to see if your preferred transfer service can handle large transfers if you need to send one. You can send large amounts of money using some operations, but only relatively small amounts with others.

Country accessibility

Depending on where your recipient is, you might have to choose a different service. You shouldn’t have too much trouble because major banks and money transfer services frequently operate in 100 or more countries. However, on occasion, you might need to look for a provider that works with a particular nation.

The best services for international wire transfers

Your credit union or bank

A great place to start your search is if you have an account with a bank or credit union. You typically conduct an official wire transfer, as previously described. The cost can range from free to $45.

Paying a small fee may make sense if you don’t anticipate making many transfers—as long as the exchange rate is fair. Opening new accounts for lower transaction fees and comparable exchange rates for something you do only occasionally might not be worth the time.

For instance, Chase Bank provides free international wire transfers for customers who submit their requests online and send at least $5,000. If you’re a business customer, you may send money to more than 90 nations. There is a fixed $5 fee if you send less than $5,000. According to Chase, funds should become available in three to five days.

Money Centers of the Past

Money exchange locations like Western Union and MoneyGram might be a solution if you want the choice of in-person services. Although they may not always be equivalent to bank-to-bank wire transfers, these money transfers make it possible to send money quickly to foreign nations.

Depending on how you fund the transfer and how the recipient receives their money, Western Union fees can range from free to $34 for a transfer of $1,000. 3 You can fund a transfer with a bank account for free or (with higher fees) a debit or credit card. Payees can sometimes pick up cash at a retail location or have money deposited into their bank account right away. In excess of 200 nations are served by Western Union.

Pay close attention to the exchange rate as you weigh your options. Depending on how you decide to fund your transfer or how the payee receives funds, it might change.

Internet-based services for international transfers

There are a number of online services created specifically for international money transfers. You can use these services to fund international transfers with an ACH transfer, a bank wire, or a card payment. Additionally, because these services concentrate on international transfers, the money can move quickly-sometimes even the same day.

In order to help you estimate your costs, online money transfer services frequently provide calculators. (This one is by Wise. With this knowledge, you can select the best service, and you can frequently finish the procedure online.

Although there are other options, two that are well-liked are Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, and Xoom. In addition to a variable fee based on the amount you transfer, Wise levies a fixed fee that is determined by your payment method. Your money should be converted at a fair rate since the company claims to use an exchange rate based on Reuters data (without a markup). You can send large sums of money if necessary because there are no published limits. 61 countries are supported by Wise.

P2P Payment Resources

Money transfers to other nations are already possible if you have accounts with services like PayPal. While personal payments made within the U.S. S. are generally free, but sending personal payments abroad costs money. For the majority of personal payments, PayPal levies a variable fixed fee (based on the currency exchange rate) and up to 5% of the transaction, whichever is less.

You may be charged a fee of up to 4% when converting between currencies, and PayPal may also charge a spread. Although there are limits on individual transactions, PayPal does not place a cap on the total amount you can send. Possibly, you will need to split up large transfers into several transfers. Typical bank transfers from your bank to PayPal (and vice versa) take a few days, though you may be able to pay more for a quicker service. Over 200 different countries offer PayPal.

Final Verdict

Sending money overseas is a relatively simple process that is made secure and quick by electronic transfers. However, there are costs involved, and it’s important to be aware of unforeseen expenses like a poor exchange rate. It pays to take the time to weigh the pros and cons of various vendors, as with the majority of financial transactions.


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