Money moves: The best ways to transfer funds from bank to bank

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There are a number of ways to transfer money from bank to bank, but how you ultimately do it depends on when you want the funds to arrive and whether you want to pay a fee.

If you want the money to arrive on the same day, you can make a deposit either in person, via a wire transfer or through money transfer companies like MoneyGram or Western Union.

If cost is your main concern, there are free and cheap alternative options out there. Read on to find out how to transfer money from bank to bank.

Bank-to-bank transfers

Banks support many types of fund transfers. If you only need to transfer money from one account to another within the same bank, this can be done easily at your bank for free.

All that is typically required is the recipient’s name and account number. If you’re transferring money to international locations, you have to provide the recipient bank’s IBAN or SWIFT number which are used to identify banks internationally.

You also will need the name of the account holder as it appears on his or her account. Bank-to-bank transfers also can be done over the phone with a customer service representative or online via your bank’s online banking site.

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.

No physical cash is transferred, and it can be done through your bank’s online banking site. To initiate a wire transfer, you will need to provide the recipient’s name, account number and routing number.

Nonbank wire transfers may not require a bank account, but they will require the name of the recipient, the amount you intend to transfer and the destination. You have to pay the amount upfront to initiate the transfer.

The delivery time of wire transfers varies, depending on the destination. If you are making a domestic wire transfer, it usually takes one day for the money to arrive.

If you are making an international wire transfer, it takes two days or more for the money to arrive.

Although a wire transfer is fast and easy, it can be expensive. If you are wiring through a bank in the U.S., there’s a flat fee of around $25 to $35 per transaction. If you are wiring abroad, the fee is about $45 per transaction.

Third-party companies

You also can transfer money through a third party vendor like PayPal. With PayPal, you provide the recipient’s email address and phone number. The funds will be taken from your PayPal balance or from the bank account connected to your PayPal account.

It’s free to transfer money when you use your PayPal balance or bank account. However, if you are using a credit card or debit card to send money, the fee in the U.S. is 2.9 percent plus 30 cents of the amount you send.

International transaction fees are typically 1 percent higher. Also, you will be charged an exchange rate on transfers made in foreign currency.

Email money transfers

Many banks allow you to electronically send money online or use the recipient’s email address and phone number. This method of money transfer works like an electronic check.

You don’t have to provide the recipient’s bank account number, as the recipient provides this information when he or she gets an email or text message, explaining how to complete the transaction.

Transferring money through email money transfer usually comes with a small fee. Receiving funds through this method is usually free of charge.

Writing a check

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

If you’re not in a rush to send money or not comfortable banking over the internet or phone, you can write a check and deposit it into the recipient’s bank account.