How to transfer money from one bank to another: 5 ways

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From time to time, you’ll need to transfer money from one bank to another. In some cases, you may want to transfer funds immediately. In other situations, time may not be a factor.

Here are five ways to transfer money from your bank to another bank.

1. Bank-to-bank transfers

These days transferring money from one bank to another is pretty easy. You have many options, which will depend on speed, your bank and your personal preference.

Here are some steps to take to transfer money from bank-to-bank.

  • Determine how quickly the money needs to get to the other bank.
  • Compare the fees. Sometimes an option like a wire transfer might be needed for sending large amounts of money quickly, but it likely won’t be free. Other times, a method like Zelle can be both fast and free.
  • Get the recipient’s account information. You’ll probably at least need the recipient’s name, routing number and account number for most methods.

Now it’s time to choose your method. After you’ve decided on the speed, cost and what sending options you have, you’re ready to send this money.

2. Wire transfers

A wire transfer is one of the fastest ways to transfer money electronically from one person to another through a bank or a nonbank provider such as TransferWise and Western Union.

For a domestic wire transfer, you’ll need the routing number, account number and the name of the recipient. You might also need the recipient’s address. You might be able to send this online or you might need to visit a local bank branch.

Wire transfers are quick and might allow you to send more money than some other methods, but they can also be expensive.

Keep in mind your bank might have a weekday deadline for wire transfers and they can’t be sent on weekends or on Federal Reserve holidays.

3. Third-party companies

Your bank isn’t the only option to send money. PayPal and other third-party companies are also options to consider. Sending money from a linked bank account or PayPal Cash are two ways to avoid transaction fees in the U.S.

Western Union and MoneyGram are other options to send money.

Keep in mind that international transaction fees are typically higher. Also, you will be charged an exchange rate on transfers made in foreign currency.

4. Email money transfers

Your bank might have a service that allows you to send money with an email address or cell phone number. Zelle or Popmoney are some of the common services.

In most cases, you’ll be able to send this money right from your bank’s app. This can be a quick option for sending money to another person, but make sure you understand the speed and your bank’s sending limits.

Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay Cash and Venmo are other ways to send money to others.

5. Write a check

One of the traditional ways of transferring money between banks is writing a check.

Official checks and money orders are also options.

Some banks offer your first order of checks free or they might give you free checks. Official checks and money orders could cost money at your bank or they could be free.

Learn more:

Written by
Matthew Goldberg
Consumer banking reporter
Matthew Goldberg is a consumer banking reporter at Bankrate. Matthew has been in financial services for more than a decade, in banking and insurance.
Edited by
Banking editor
Reviewed by
Professor of finance, Creighton University