It's never been easier to move money from one place to another. Instead of withdrawing cash or swiping a card, you can now use apps or online banking to move money from your account directly into someone else's. These electronic transfers come in handy for everything from reimbursing a friend for pizza to paying closing costs on a new home. But there are things you'll need to know before you transfer funds, including fees and limits.
What Is Bank-to-Bank Transfer?
There are various ways to make bank-to-bank transfers happen, depending on your bank's offerings. Wire transfers were the traditional way to send large sums of cash from one place to another. But in recent years, Automated Clearinghouse, or ACH, transfers have become much more popular. With an ACH transfer, the clearinghouse acts as the middleman to facilitate the transaction. A wire transfer is facilitated directly by the two banks making the exchange. In either case, money is taken from one account and deposited into another without the accountholder having to withdraw the funds and hand them to someone to deposit.
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How to Transfer Money From One Bank to Another Bank
There are two ways to initiate a bank-to-bank transfer. One is to visit or call your local branch with information on the receiving party's bank. A bank employee will get the transfer set up. Another, and likely the easiest, way is to go to your online banking site or app and review your options. If you're paying a business, most banks now allow online bill pay as long as you have your customer account information and a mailing address. If you're paying an individual, personal pay is also an option with many banks. Some banks also now connect up to Western Union to allow you to transfer money online.
Bank-to-Bank Transfer International
If your recipient is in another country, things get a little more complicated. International transfers are definitely doable, though. You'll just need the right service. Your bank can set up a transfer for you, but you're looking at fees of $30 or more for the service. TransferWise provides the service for $1 plus 0.6 percent of the amount after conversion.
Bank-to-Bank Transfer Limit
It wouldn't be a bank service if it didn't have limits. At Bank of America, you'll see a $3,000 per day or $6,000 per month limit if you choose standard delivery. The limit decreases for next-day delivery. Chase allows up to $10,000 per transaction and $25,000 per day, and Wells Fargo will typically limit you to $5,000 per day, depending on your account history. Citibank has various transfer options depending on what you're trying to do, but generally you'll be limited to up to $10,000 per day online.
Bank-to-Bank Transfer Fee
It's important to look into transfer fees before you get started. Many banks charge nothing for domestic transfers, but Bank of America charges $3 for a standard transfer and $10 for next-day delivery. BB&T, SunTrust and Fifth Third Bank also charge $3 for the service. If your bank charges a fee, it might be worth looking into alternative transfer services like PayPal and Venmo to save some money.
Before initiating a transfer, carefully check to ensure you have all of the numbers correct. One wrong number can misdirect the funds, leading to issues. If you're the recipient, contact your bank to verify everything before giving the go-ahead. A few extra minutes of precaution on the front end can save time, money and headaches down the road. You should also make sure you plan in advance, since most bank transfers take at least one business day to process.