Wire transfers are often the most efficient way to send and receive money when conducting business with clients or customers in other parts of the country. But with that convenience often comes fees. Because these costs can impact your bottom line, it’s essential that you understand everything there is to know about domestic wire transfer fees.
Average rates for domestic wire transfers
Just like any other aspect of banking, wire fees vary from bank to bank, and those fees are constantly changing. According to data from MyBankTracker, the national average for an incoming domestic wire transfer is $13, while the average outgoing fee is $29.
The most expensive institution for outgoing transfers is currently Capital One, which charges up to $40 per transaction for some of their wires. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Regions Bank, BMO Harris Bank, and TD Bank all charge $25.
Incoming transfers are generally less expensive across the board. However, Citizens Bank charges a $30 fee if an incoming transfer is initiated online. Those who bank with BMO Harris or Discover will be pleased to know that those institutions don’t charge anything for incoming transfers. Some banks, like Santander, Bank of America and Citibank, will waive incoming fees for qualifying accounts.
Incoming vs. outgoing costs differ
The costs for incoming and outgoing wire transfers vary so widely because of the time and resources required for banks to initiate transfers. It’s easier for a bank to accept transfers, so they charge less (or waive the fee) for the service.
When conducting business via wire transfers, ensure both parties understand the associated incoming and outgoing fees. The last thing you want is for your client, vendor or contractor to get hit with an unexpected fee when they send or receive a payment.
Are domestic wire transfers more affordable than international?
The good news about domestic wire transfers is that they’re much more economical than international wire transfers. Foreign wire transfers range anywhere from $40 to $65 per outgoing transfer and $15 to $30 for incoming transfers.
This price discrepancy is due to the fact that sending money overseas requires more time and resources than it does domestically. Banks must also take into account other countries’ taxes and any corresponding fees when conducting international transfers. Since banks don’t want to eat that cost, they impose higher transfer fees on customers.
Additionally, banks may charge high exchange rates for international transfers. Some banks have better exchange rates than others. Do your due diligence and choose a bank with the best exchange rate.
Credit unions may offer more affordability
Consider switching to a credit union if you’re unhappy with how much your current bank charges for domestic or international wire transfers. Credit unions charge significantly less—or nothing at all—for wires.
According to MyBankTracker, the only major credit union that charges for an incoming domestic or international wire transfer is San Diego County Credit Union. And they only charge $5. Star One Credit Union charges the most for outgoing domestic and international transfers. However, they offer $10 discounts for customers with an account or loan with a balance of $5,000 or more.
The national average for outgoing domestic transfers is $22, and the fee for outgoing international transfers is roughly $41.
Are there discounts available for recurring wires?
Some banks offer wire transfer discounts for businesses that set up recurring transfers or maintain a certain account balance with them. For example, some banks like Wells Fargo provide $5 discounts for each repetitive wire transfer. Instead of paying $30 per transaction, it’ll only cost you $25.
Businesses can also talk to their bank about upgrading or modifying their current account to maximize savings on wire transfers. As mentioned, some banks will waive fees or offer discounts for certain accounts or banking products. Bank of America, for example, charges a $15 incoming fee unless a customer has an Interest Checking or Advantage Plus Preferred Reward account.
Unfortunately, there are few ways to avoid the costs that come with wire transfers—it’s simply the price of doing business.
Domestic wires are safe, speedy and reliable
Any time a business needs to send money quickly, securely and in a large sum, a wire transfer is immediately useful. Unfortunately, their fees can make them prohibitive as an ongoing form of payment. They’re best reserved for special instances or specific use cases. For everything else, consider digital payments.
Digital payments and digital wallet payments have risen in popularity in recent years because they offer many of the same benefits as wire transfers—without the crippling fees. Moreover, they deliver a better level of transparency to both the sender and receiver of funds. If your business doesn’t use them already, consider digital payments the next time you need to send money quickly, securely and affordably.