How Much Does It Cost to Wire Money?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 7, 2018

When a friend or family member is in need of some financial help, one way to get them the funds quickly is to wire it to them.

How much does it cost to wire money?

The cost of wiring money depends on the amount of money being wired, how fast the money will get there, how the money will be received, how you will be paying, the financial institution you deal with, and if it’s being sent either domestically or internationally.  The cost of wiring an amount, such as $200 within the United States, will be between $8 to $65 — about 4% and 15% of the money being sent.  We did research with most major banks, and you can see our results noted below.

Online services, such as MoneyGram, will charge about $12, while Western Union charges about $8 for next day service or $12 for same day service.

Increasing the amount of money being wired will increase the fees at a somewhat constant rate.  For example, MoneyGram charges $12 for $200, $23 for $400, and $62 for $800.  These prices are for the cheapest wire transfers – the more services you add, the higher your percentage would be.

Walmart offers a service where it can send money from one Walmart to another.  With this service, it will cost $4.50 to transfer up to $50 and $9.50 to send up to $900.

BankOutgoing Domestic WireOutgoing Domestic Wire
Ally Bank$25$50
Bank of America$30$35
BB&T$25$65
BBVAUp to $25$45
Capital OneUp to $40N/A
Chase Bank$25$40
Citibank$17.50 to $25 (fee may be waived for some members)$25 to $35 (fee may be waived for some members)
Discover Bank$30$30
Nationwide Bank$25$35
PNC Bank$30$45
SunTrust$25$50
TD Bank$25$40
U.S. Bank$30$50
Wells Fargo$30$45

What you need

In order to perform a wire transfer in person, online or via the phone, you will need the following pieces of information:

The bank name and address

The account number and routing number

SWIFT Code

Once this information is processed, it can take a few minutes to process; however, it can take up to 24 hours if it’s done internationally.

What are the extra costs?

Some services charge more fees than just the wire transfer fees.  These fees can include the processing fee or service fee.  Be sure to read the fine print when signing up for a wire transfer.

Some services charge the fee to the recipient while others charge the sender.  For instance, a wire transfer of $200 with a $12 fee charged to the recipient would result in $200 being sent and $188 being received.  This still costs the sender exactly $200.  A wire transfer of $200 with a $12 fee charged to the sender would result in $212 being sent and $200 being received.  Check with the service you choose to see what their policy is.

If you send the money in a foreign currency, a higher foreign exchange rate may apply.  Each bank will have its own policy, so it’s best to know the terms.  For example, Bank of America and Wells Fargo will charge $5 to $10 if you use a different currency.

Tips to know:

Remember that wiring money is the same thing as sending cash.  Once you send that money out, you’re not going to be able to get it back.

Never wire out money to someone that you have never met or haven’t done business with.

Avoid sellers that demand a wire transfer or an employer that says it’s part of a new “job.”  Common scams that one should be aware of include lottery, sweepstakes, overpayment, relationship and mystery shopper scams.

To learn more about these scams, the FTC has set up a page that is designated to those that want to prevent them.

Wire transfer scams

Scammers often use the “prize” technique, and in order to claim your prize, you will have to wire money over, which they refer to as the “processing fee.”

Another common scam involves those who sell goods online.  A prospective buyer will often offer a check that’s much larger than the amount the seller is asking for.  Once you deposit it, they will ask for you to send the difference minus any wire transfer fees.

Remember, once you wire money, even to a scammer, it can be very hard to retrieve, especially if it’s done internationally.

How can I save money?

Wiring money through your bank can be cheaper since it negates the need for a third party to be involved.  Most banks, such as Bank of America, charge a flat fee for domestic and a slightly higher flat fee for international wires.

Be careful of paying for goods or services through wire transfers, especially when the goods and services have not yet been received.  Craigslist and eBay have both been known to have wire transfer scams.

Consider sending money through services such as Paypal.  Paypal has reasonable fees and accounts can be set up within minutes if one doesn’t have one.

At most banks, sending a wire online can often be the cheapest option.

If you plan on to send wires on a regular basis, banks may be able to cut you a repetitive wire transfer deal.  This can often knock $5 to $10 off the price.


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