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Understanding ACH Transfer Limits for Incoming and Outgoing Transactions

By Sarah Li Cain · May 22, 2022 · 7 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

Understanding ACH Transfer Limits for Incoming and Outgoing Transactions

When it comes to conducting transactions with your bank account, one of the most popular types is using ACH transfers, but they do come with limits. ACH payments are electronic bank transfers that conveniently process regular payments such as mortgages, utilities, loans, and tax payments. They can also be used for one-time payments as well.

While ACH payments are fast and secure, it’s important to know that financial institutions impose an ACH transfer limit — and each one may operate differently. Knowing your limits will help you plan better when it comes to paying your bills and making other types of transfers. It’ll help to make sure all your transactions go through smoothly and avoid any potential hiccups.

So, here we’ll take a look at:

•   How ACH transfers work

•   Incoming and outgoing ACH transfer limits

•   The “fine print” on ACH transfers, including timing and fees.

Let’s get started!

How ACH Transfers Work

First, let’s define our terms: ACH stands for Automated Clearing House. ACH transfers are an electronic transfer system that allows individuals or businesses to transfer money from one financial institution. This network is one of the main ways to send and receive money. Did you sign up for autopay on your utilities bill? ACH transfers will make it happen. Do you receive your paycheck by direct deposit? Yup, that’s also an ACH transfer. Other types of transactions include direct ACH debits, electronic funds transfers (EFTs), electronic checks (eChecks), and direct payments. Aside from banks, third-party apps, such as PayPal, which allow you to pay friends without cash, also use the ACH network.

ACH transfers can involve money being pulled from an account — such as direct debits — where a third-party can take money out from your account once you’ve given permission. For instance, if you pay your life insurance policy monthly, with ACH payments, the company can debit your account each month. You can also push money, where you manually send money to accounts at different financial institutions such as bank accounts of your friends and family members.

Wondering how long ACH transfers take? In most cases, ACH payments, which are only for U.S. transactions, are usually faster than other types of transactions — if there’s enough money in the account, an ACH incoming transfer is usually cleared within one to several days. A few instances where it could take longer is during holidays or if the network suspects the transaction is potentially fraudulent. Debits are typically processed on a next-day basis. (If you need a super-fast transfer, look into how ACH vs. wire transfers stack up.)

Though there technically isn’t a set number of transactions you can do in a day, there are often ACH limits. Plus, there are also ACH period limits — as in, there may be daily or monthly limits, depending on your financial institution. Let’s move on to taking a closer look at the meaning of ACH limits.

💡 Quick Tip: Make money easy. Enjoy the convenience of managing bills, deposits, and transfers from one online bank account with SoFi.

Incoming ACH Transfer Limits

According to the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA), which manages ACH payments, ACH transfer limits can be as high as $1,000,000 per day, up from $100,000 previously. However, this is a recent shift, and your incoming ACH transfer limits may still average around $25,000.

This is important to note because you want to be sure that you can receive the money being sent to you. For instance, if you’re selling a vehicle for a sizable amount, you want to be sure the person purchasing it can successfully transfer the money over to you. If it’s over your limit, your transaction may hit a hitch. By knowing your limits, you can troubleshoot before you wind up in a “Where’s my money?” situation.

Outgoing ACH Transfer Limits

Depending on your financial institution, your outgoing ACH transfer limit may be much lower than what NACHA imposes. Understanding the ACH outgoing transfer limit is important because you want to ensure your transactions go smoothly. If you have multiple transactions set up regularly to send money, you’ll want them all to go through and not run the risk of payments being held up and late fees accruing.

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ACH Transfer Limits at Top U.S. Banks

The following ACH transfer limits and its associated fees are from the six biggest traditional banks, plus SoFi.

Name of Bank

ACH Transfer Limit

Fees

Bank of AmericaVaries, but typically $3,000 daily
$6,000 monthly
$3 for standard
$10 for next-day
Capital One$10,000 daily
$25,000 monthly
None
U.S. BankVaries, but typically $2,500 dailyVaries, $0 to $3
CitibankInbound, up to
$100,000 daily and monthly
Outbound, up to
$25,000 daily
$50,000 monthly
None
Wells FargoVaries, but typically $5,000 dailyVaries
ChaseVaries, but typically $10,00 per transaction, $25,000 dailyNone
SoFiUp to $100,000 dailyNone

As you can see above, a few of the banks have varying daily and monthly ACH transfer limits. Some of these depend on the type of account you have and your relationship with the bank. For instance, those who have more premium accounts (such as ones that require higher balance minimum requirements) may have higher ACH transfer limits, though it’s not always the case. Also, business accounts may have different and/or higher limits than personal bank accounts. ACH transfers can be conducted with both bricks-and-mortar and secure online bank accounts.

ACH Transfer Penalties

While ACH transfers are a convenient way to conduct bank transactions, there are some limitations you need to be aware of.

Cutoff Times

ACH transfers can be conducted on a same-day or somewhat slower basis. For same-day, transfers must be submitted by 4:45 pm ET. In general, though, ACH transfers will take a bit longer, and it’s worth taking into account the day of the week. If you submit a transfer at 5:03 pm on a Friday, it may not get moving until the following Monday, which could count as a late payment.

All this to say: If you’re making a transfer and want it to arrive as soon as possible, it’s best to initiate the transfer earlier in the day. And keep these timing issues in mind if you are tracking an ACH payment, whether incoming or outgoing.

Insufficient Funds Penalty Fee

Many financial institutions won’t charge you for an ACH transfer, but they may charge you a fee if you don’t have enough money in your account. This penalty is typically called the insufficient funds fee, and the amount varies from bank to bank.

No International Transfers

In most cases, ACH transfers aren’t available to send money to another account internationally. If you want to send money overseas from your bank, you’ll have to do so via a wire transfer. You’ll likely be charged a fee for the service.

The Takeaway

ACH transfers are an important part of modern banking, whisking funds from account to account. This process enables direct deposit, automatic bill-pay, P2P platforms, and more. However, these transactions may come with dollar and timing limits, as well as fees. Each financial institution will have different rules and guidelines as to how you can conduct ACH transfers. Knowing these ground rules is important, especially if you have a lot of daily transactions or simply want to send a large sum of money to someone. This is one of those situations in which reading the fine print on your account agreement or checking in with customer support can save you time, money, and headaches.

Here’s another way to simplify your banking life: Sign up for SoFi’s linked accounts. When you open Checking and Savings with direct deposit, you’ll enjoy a host of benefits, from zero account fees to a competitive APY. Plus, we’re a digital bank, so you can expect transactions to be fast, secure, and easily done on the go.

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FAQ

Which bank has the highest ACH transfer limit?

As of press time, SoFi and Citi have the highest ACH transfer limits. However, these higher limits may only be available for those who have certain types of bank accounts or have been a long-time customer with these financial institutions.

Are ACH transfers reported to the IRS?

The IRS doesn’t count ACH transfers as cash, so they are not reported.

What is the maximum amount you can transfer from bank to bank?

The maximum amount you’ll be able to transfer between banks will depend on various factors, such as how much you have in your account, ACH transfer limits for your financial institution, and how much the receiving bank is allowed to receive. NACHA recently raised the maximum possible to $1,000,000, but again, that will not be available to every banking customer.

Which bank is good for ACH?

All financial institutions should be able to initiate and receive ACH transactions. The differences involve limits, processing time, and possible fees. It’s worth checking at specific banks to understand their guidelines if you plan on using ACH transfers.


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SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a deposit to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


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