Home International money transfers: How to send money from the US
Last update on December 04, 2019

Sending money from the United States to another country used to be time-consuming and expensive, requiring you to make a special trip to your bank and wait days or even weeks for your money to arrive.

This is still what you have to do with some American banks. Other services have developed more efficient ways of transferring money online. But some companies have rethought the entire process. With faster international money transfers, you can send money from the United States to your new home abroad. You’ll even avoid the bank altogether and receive better exchange rates. Charging only a low fee and using the mid-market rate means that more of your money can get to its destination for less and faster.

What are the best ways to wire money from the US?

A wire transfer simply means a transfer of funds from one bank account into another. To send a traditional wire transfer, you have several options. You can go into a branch, where a teller will talk you through the process; most banks offer this service. Alternatively, your bank might allow wire transfers via phone or online, provided you are registered for those services. Whatever method you choose, there are generally fees to pay; these can vary depending on several factors, including which bank you use and where the money is going.

Non-bank exchange services can get the same result, but the cost and transfer time might be better for you. Additionally, it might be more convenient to make the transfer online.

Companies offering international banking services and international money transfers include:

  • CurrencyFair offers international money transfers to over 150 countries. They have exchange rates up to eight times cheaper than the banks, helping you avoid excessive bank fees.
  • Moneycorp offers foreign exchange and global payment services to individual and corporate customers in over 120 currencies.
  • TransferWise is an international money transfer provider available in 59 countries that offers transfers between cross-border bank accounts up to eight times cheaper than traditional banks.

You can also use Monito’s online comparison tool to save on fees, obtain the best exchange rates and find the cheapest option for your international money transfers.

How much does it cost to transfer money from the US?

Wire transfer fees in the United States vary from bank to bank. Additionally, they may change depending on how you make the transfer. Recent research by NerdWallet puts the average fees as follows:

  • Incoming domestic wire transfer: US$9
  • Outgoing domestic wire transfer: US$25
  • Incoming international wire transfer: £10
  • Outgoing international wire transfer: US$44

However, for international transfers, that’s not the end of the story. When banks transfer money into a different currency, they set their own exchange rate; a bank chooses how much your money is actually worth in the new currency.

The true cost of your transfer will also vary depending on what exchange rate the bank uses. This can make a big difference as to how much it costs to transfer money; it’s not just about the fixed wire transfer fee.

How to wire money internationally from the US

In a branch

If you’re located in the United States and have yet to relocate abroad, visit your local bank branch to make a transfer. In fact, some banks actually require you to make an international wire transfer in person. Talk to a teller about making a wire transfer. You’ll need your account details, the recipient’s account details, and the amount you want to transfer. Check the cost of the transfer with the teller. See if it is cheaper to make the transfer in US dollars or the destination currency. Last, ask about fixed fees, the exchange rate, and how long the transfer will take. If you’re happy with the details, go ahead and request the transfer.

Otherwise, some banks allow wire transfers online. Not all American banks offer foreign wire transfers online, however. If your bank does, you’ll need to register for internet banking services before you can wire your money via their website.

Send money by wire transfer

How long wire transfers take depends on a number of factors, including where the money is going and which banks are involved. Different banks give different estimates; check directly with your bank for a reliable arrival date. Domestic wire transfers may reach their destination the next business day. When you send money by wire, it can arrive as early as the next business day; however, they may take five working days or more.

In general, banks have a daily cut-off time. If you request your wire before the cut-off time, the bank will begin the transfer that day; if you request it after the cut-off time, it will have to wait until the next working day.

International money transfers by bank

These are the bank details you’ll need to send money from — or receive money into — accounts with various banks in the United States, including Chase, PNC, and Bank of America.

Chase

 Wire transfer from Chase bank accountWire transfer to Chase bank account
NameRecipient’s nameYour name
AddressRecipient’s address, including street, city and countryYour address, including street, city and country
Bank nameRecipient’s bank nameJPMorgan Chase Bank NA
Bank addressRecipient’s bank address, including street, city and countryChase Bank, 270 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017, USA

 

 

BIC/SWIFT codeRecipient’s bank’s BIC/SWIFT codeCHASUS33
Recipient account numberRecipient’s account number (for US accounts) or IBAN (for most other countries)Your account number

PNC

 Wire transfer from PNC bank accountWire transfer to PNC bank account
NameRecipient’s nameYour name
AddressRecipient’s address, including street, city and countryYour address, including street, city and country
Bank nameRecipient’s bank namePNC Bank
Bank addressRecipient’s bank address including street, city and countryFirstside Center Mail Stop P7-Pfsc-03-W 500 First Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 USA

 

 

BIC/SWIFT codeRecipient’s bank’s BIC/SWIFT codePNCCUS33
Recipient account numberRecipient’s account number (for US accounts) or IBAN (for most other countries)Your account number

Bank of America

 Wire transfer from Bank of America accountWire transfer to Bank of America account
NameRecipient’s nameYour name
AddressRecipient’s address, including street, city and countryYour address, including street, city and country
Bank nameRecipient’s bank nameBank of America, NA
Bank addressRecipient’s bank address, including street, city and countryFor transfers in US dollars or unknown currencies:

 

222 Broadway, New York, NY 10038

 

For transfers in foreign currencies:

555 California St, San Francisco, CA 94104

 

BIC/SWIFT codeRecipient’s bank’s BIC/SWIFT codeFor transfers in US dollars or unknown currencies: BOFAUS3N

 

 

For transfers in other currencies: BOFAUS6S

Recipient account numberRecipient’s account number (for US accounts) or IBAN (for most other countries)Your account number

The best way to send money abroad

International money transfers by wire are the long-established way of getting money from one country to another, but that doesn’t mean they’re the fastest or the cheapest. When some banks still require you to visit them in person, they might well not be the most convenient, either.

If you send money with an online platform, however, they may use the mid-market exchange rate. This is always a better value than the exchange rate chosen by your bank. Some platforms also calculate fees as a small percentage of the amount you want to transfer — these factors make it far more affordable and far faster when sending money from the United States to your new home abroad.