What are wire transfer fees and how much do they cost?

Young man sitting at home, using his laptop to read about wire transfer feesImage: Young man sitting at home, using his laptop to read about wire transfer fees

In a Nutshell

Wire transfers can be a safe and convenient way to send money, but they do typically come with fees of anywhere from $15 to $50 per transfer, depending on how much you send and the state you live in.
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A wire transfer lets you send money electronically from one bank account to another within the U.S. or internationally. Many people choose this option because of its reputation for being a safe and convenient way to transfer funds around the world.

But wire transfers are also one of the most expensive ways to send money because, in most cases, banks charge wire transfer fees — and there’s no law setting a maximum amount banks can charge for wire transfers. The exact fee depends on your bank and the state you live in.

Read on for how much you can expect to pay for a wire transfer, how you might avoid wire transfer fees and other options for sending money that aren’t costly.

Will my bank charge me for a wire transfer?

Most banks do charge fees to send money via wire transfer, with outgoing wire transfers costing up to $50. The fee you pay will depend on your bank and the state you live in, account type, the amount of money you’re transferring and where the funds are going.

For instance, international wire transfers tend to cost more because they take longer and require more information than a domestic wire transfer.

Here’s a chart showing what 10 major banks in the U.S charge for incoming and outgoing domestic and international wire transfers. 

Bank charges for wire transfer fees

BankIncoming DomesticOutgoing DomesticIncoming InternationalOutgoing International  
Bank of AmericaNo fee$30No fee$45
Wells Fargo$15$30$16$45
US Bank$20$30$25$50
PNC Bank$15$25–$30$15$40–$45
Regions Bank$15$25$18$45
Ally Bank$0$20$0N/A
TD Bank$15$30$15$50
Fifth Third Bank$15$25$15$45

Do you pay a fee to receive a wire?

Many but not all banks charge a fee to receive a wire. Incoming transfer fees are usually lower than outgoing transfer fees, though. And some banks are willing to waive incoming wire transfer fees if certain conditions are met. 

How can I avoid wire transfer fees?

You can avoid wire transfer fees by using another way to send or receive funds — or by using a bank that doesn’t have — or waives — wire transfer fees. For example …

  • Look into free money-sending apps. A free app like Zelle, Venmo or Cash App might work just as well for a money transfer, depending on the amount of money you’re trying to send and who you’re sending to. These apps are commonly used for transactions between friends or family.
  • Check your bank’s wire transfer policy. Some banks have a wire transfer fee but will waive it under certain circumstances. For example, Chase waives the fee if you use its mobile app or a personal banker to complete the transfer.
  • Do an ACH transfer instead. An ACH transfer is a way to transfer funds between banks and credit unions using the Automated Clearing House network. ACH is typically used for paychecks and it can be a good way to pay bills.

What’s next?

If you need to send a payment, you may have considered a wire transfer through your bank. Wire transfers allow you to send money domestically and internationally, and the other party will receive the funds fairly quickly. But depending on your bank, you may get stuck with a wire transfer fee.

You can avoid wire transfer fees by using a different payment method, like ACH or free money-transferring apps — or if you choose a bank that doesn’t charge wire transfers fees or has conditions you can meet to get the fee waived.

About the author: Jamie Johnson is a Kansas City-based freelance writer who specializes in finance and business. She covers a variety of personal finance topics, including building credit, credit cards, personal loans and student loans… Read more.