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What Is a Wire Transfer Fee?

Records of an international wire transfer.
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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2014
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A wire transfer fee is a fee that is assessed by a bank or credit union for the service of sending money electronically. The fee may be charged by the bank or credit union sending the wire transfer or the bank or credit union that is accepting the wire transfer. In some cases, a wire transfer fee is assessed on both ends of the transaction. This is why it is important for people who send or receive wire transfers on a regular basis to shop around for a bank or credit union that offers reasonable rates on these kinds of transactions. The amount of money that is assessed as part of the fee often depends on whether the transfer is domestic or international, the latter usually being more expensive.

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It is common for banks to charge their customers a wire transfer fee for sending wire transfers, as well as for receiving wire transfers. Usually it is less expensive to be on the receiving end of a wire transfer. For example, a bank may charge customers $25 or $30 US Dollars (USD) to send a wire transfer but only $10 or $12 USD to receive funds via a wire transfer. People who are receiving payment for goods or services in the form of a wire transfer may charge an extra convenience fee in order to cover the fee that is assessed on their end. This sort of convenience fee means that the person or organization sending them funds has to pay for the convenience of sending a wire transfer instead of a check or some other form of reimbursement that would not cause the recipient to pay fees.

In almost all cases, it is more expensive to send a wire transfer internationally than it is to send a wire transfer domestically. For example, while an outgoing domestic wire transfer fee may cost between $25 and $35 USD, an outgoing international wire transfer is likely to be between 25 and 50 percent more expensive. Incoming international wire transfer fees are also more expensive. Sometimes the cost of an outgoing wire transfer fee will also be determined by the currency in which the funds are being transferred. For example, an outgoing wire transfer that is being sent in the same currency in which it will be received may be less expensive than an outgoing wire transfer that is being converted into local currency.

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