What Is a Wire Transfer Fee?
Bank of America charges customers a fee to send and receive money domestically and internationally via wire transfer. A Bank of America wire transfer, sometimes called a bank transfer or credit transfer, is a way to electronically move funds from one bank account to another.
Wire transfers take place using secure financial transfer services between Bank of America and SWIFT, the Federal Reserve Wire Network, or the Clearing House Interbank Payments System.
Different fees apply to incoming and outgoing transactions, as well as whether they are domestic wire transfers or international wire transfers. Depending on the type of account that you have at Bank of America, you may be able to get this fee waived.
How Much Does a Wire Transfer Fee Cost at Bank of America?
Bank of America charges domestic wire transfer fees and international wire transfer fees, which also vary based on whether you are sending or receiving the funds.
Domestic wire transfer fees
When transferring domestically, Bank of America charges $15 for each incoming wire transfer, and $30 for each outgoing wire transfer.
International wire transfer fees
Bank of America charges $16 for each incoming international wire transfer. For outgoing international wire transfers, Bank of America charges a different amount depending if you send the funds in the foreign currency or in U.S. dollars.
If you send an international wire transfer in the foreign currency, Bank of America charges a $35 fee per transfer. If you send an international wire transfer in U.S. dollars, Bank of America charges a $45 fee per transfer.
You will be charged a higher fee for international transfers made in U.S. dollars because Bank of America must convert the funds into the foreign currency before routing it to its final destination.
The exception to international wire transfers in foreign currency
While it can be cheaper to send most wire transfers in the foreign currency, Bank of America notes that international wire transfers to certain destinations should only be sent in U.S. dollars. These locations include: Colombia, Nigeria, Palestine, Panama, Somalia, Timor–Leste, and Venezuela.
What Is a Remittance Transfer?
A remittance transfer is a certain type of international wire transfer made by a Bank of America customer to someone in a foreign country for personal, family, or household purposes, the financial institution notes.
Like standard wire transfers, you will likely incur fees when making remittance transfers through Bank of America. The bank is legally required to inform you of the fees that you will incur from both Bank of America and the receiving bank before you make the transfer.
What Do You Need to Send a Wire Transfer?
In order to complete a wire transfer through a Bank of America account, you will need to complete certain security protocol. You will need to register for Secured Transfer or a USB Security Key; at the time of transfer, the bank will also prompt you to register an additional security key. The security keys are in place for wire transfers over a certain dollar amount.
What Is IBAN?
IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number. It is the standard for how financial institutions identify bank accounts internationally. The U.S. does not participate in IBAN, therefore Bank of America does not have an IBAN.
However, when making an international money transfer to a bank account outside of the U.S., Bank of America recommends including the IBAN of participating countries when you make a wire transfer request.
To obtain an IBAN from an international, recipient bank, contact the bank directly.
How to Send a Wire Transfer Through Bank of America
You can initiate a domestic or international wire transfer online using Bank of America Online Banking, or you can make an appointment to make a wire transfer at a local Bank of America branch.
How to Receive a Wire Transfer Through Bank of America
Someone can wire you money domestically or internationally if they have:
- Your account number
- Your wire transfer routing number
- SWIFT Code (for incoming international transfers)
A SWIFT Code is a unique identification code that some banks require to complete secure international wire transfers. Bank of America requires a SWIFT code from international wire senders. SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.
How Long Do Wire Transfers Take?
If you are transferring the money from your account, you can expect the debit to hit your account on the day of the transfer. Bank of America will also send the funds immediately. The recipient bank should receive the money within 1–2 days, and the wire transfer recipient themselves can expect access to the funds within 2 days.
There are some factors that may delay the wire transfer process, such as local holidays or delays.
There may be a foreign transaction charge involved in international wire transfers through Bank of America. Your bank (the sender of the wire transfer) may automatically charge you a fee to convert your money to foreign currency.
If your bank does not automatically convert your money, the foreign bank can impose an interbank or mid-market exchange rate, which you would be forced to pay for as well.
Depending on the type of Bank of America account that you have, the institution may waive your fee on certain types of wire transfers. Accounts that qualify for a fee waiver on incoming domestic wire transfers include:
- Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking
- Bank of America Advantage with Tiered Interest Checking
- Bank of America Advantage Regular Checking accounts
- Bank of America Preferred Rewards customers
Bank of America will also waive the fee for incoming international wire transfers for Preferred Rewards customers who are part of the Platinum and Honor tiers only.
How to Avoid a Wire Transfer Fee
Explore free options first
Before doling out money to transfer funds from here to there, you should do some research to find another option that won’t burn a hole in your wallet.
Digital payment companies, such as Zelle and Venmo, enable you to send and receive money in real time and free of charge.
When using an online banking option, you should still check with Bank of America that you are not on the hook for additional charges.
Research fees and select the best option
If you decide that you need to send money via wire transfer, it can pay off to find a bank that charges the least amount in fees for such transfers. Some banks have absolutely no fees, while other banks have minimal fees.
For instance, Fidelity offers free outgoing and incoming domestic and international wire transfers completed in U.S. dollars.
How to Get a Wire Transfer Fee Refund
It can be challenging to successfully negotiate a wire transfer fee refund with Bank of America, but it’s not a lost cause. There are a couple of things that you can do to increase your chances of success. Note that these suggestions apply for negotiating Bank of America fees if you send an international wire transfer but may not apply to fees imposed by the foreign financial institution.
Properly prepare for your negotiation
Have all personal information ready when you contact Bank of America customer service, including your name, account number, when you completed the transfer, and any other necessary information that will help you feel prepared.
Start with: “Hello. My name is , and I recently received a wire transfer fee. I’m contacting you to see if you would be willing to issue me a refund.”
Note your points of leverage
Are you facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19? Is this your first time requesting a wire transfer fee refund from Bank of America? Do you not send wire transfers frequently?
Be patient, persistent, and prepared not to get a refund
Remember that the customer service representative that you are speaking with likely didn’t write the rules on bank fee refunds. No matter how the conversation is going, be calm and polite to the representative. In these situations, a little kindness can go a long way toward helping you achieve your goal — in this case, getting a refund.
You can be kind but also be persistent. The representative will likely tell you that they can not issue you a refund right off the bat. That is okay and highly likely. At this point, you can present whatever points of leverage that you’ve prepared to try to get the representative to see things from your point of view. If you’re not able to make progress with one customer service representative, you can always ask to speak with a supervisor, or call back at a later date to speak with someone new.
Finally, you should go into the conversation knowing that not every negotiation will end positively for you. In fact, the more often that you incur and attempt to negotiate fees, the less likely that your bank might be to negotiate them. If you do not win one negotiation, try to remain positive and focus on avoiding fees in the future.
Find Bank of America’s full fee schedule here.