There are a number of ways to transfer money between banks or between a bank and another party. Some methods are quicker than others and some are more expensive. It is important to review your options and choose the best one based on what you need, including how quickly you need the funds to arrive. Consider how much you want to send and what the cost is likely to be over time, as standard interest rates will apply if you use a credit card to pay for your transaction.
Bank-to-bank transfers can be done through online banking, mobile payment apps and in-person. In most cases, you will need the recipient’s name, account information and routing number. However, some services, such as Zelle, only require a person’s email address or phone number.
Money can also be sent from one person to another using a wire transfer through a bank, or through a money-transfer company such as Western Union and MoneyGram. Wire transfers can be expensive, especially when sending large amounts to a foreign destination, so it is important to compare fees and rates before choosing a provider.
In addition to the fee structure, you will also need to look at the exchange rate and third-party rates when comparing money-transfer providers. These can be hidden costs, so it’s important to check the fine print carefully. When sending money abroad, it’s a good idea to get a quote from several different providers and compare the rate they give you against the midmarket rate.
Other options for transferring money include a money order or official check, which can be deposited at a bank branch, through an online or mobile payment app or by mail. While these options are not as fast as a wire transfer, they can be cheaper and are more convenient than handing cash to someone in person.
Some money transfer may be subject to special checks and verification, depending on where the funds are being sent and the circumstances of the transfer. This is a safety measure to ensure that the recipient has the right to receive the funds and isn’t a victim of fraud or money laundering. For example, when transferring money to a new employer, the company will likely ask for proof of employment before depositing the funds.
Money transfers can be a convenient and cost-effective way to move money between accounts, or to pay friends and family. The key to getting the most value is to shop around and compare fees before committing to a transaction. It’s also a good idea to review your options regularly, as the cheapest method of sending money in one circumstance might not be the same in another. Taking the time to research your options can save you significant dollars on your next money transfer. For even more savings, try tracking your spending with a free budgeting tool. It will help you spot unnecessary spending and make more informed decisions about how you spend your money.