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How to Transfer Money From One Bank to Another

By Austin Kilham · August 08, 2022 · 8 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

How to Transfer Money From One Bank to Another

You probably find yourself wanting to transfer money from one bank to another on a regular basis. Maybe you’ve opened a high-yield savings account at a new bank and want to set up regular payday transfers from your existing checking account.

Or, perhaps you need to get money to someone else, such as a friend or family member, which also requires a bank-to-bank transfer.

These are just a couple of examples of situations that can have you wondering, “How can I transfer money from one bank to another?” Fortunately, a variety of ways to do this are available, depending on whether you are moving money within a single bank or to a different one, along with other factors. Here, you’ll learn the fastest, least expensive, and most secure ways to get funds where you need them to go, including:

•   Directly making an online transfer from one bank account to another

•   Writing a check

•   Making a peer-to-peer transfer

•   Completing a wire transfer

•   Working with a third-party company

•   Making an email money transfer

How to Transfer Money Between Banks

Here’s a look at different ways to transfer money to someone else or to another account that you own. You’ll also learn which method is best for each situation.

1. Directly Making an Online Transfer From One Bank Account to Another

If you want to transfer money from your account at Bank A to your account at Bank B, follow these steps:

•   Log into Bank A’s account, then choose the option to “add an account,” “link account,” or “add external account.” You can often find these options, or something similar, in your bank’s “customer service” or “transfers” menu.

•   Bank A will likely ask for the routing number (a nine-digit number) and account number (eight to 12 digits) for bank B. You can find these numbers on a check, typically along the bottom (the routing number comes first, followed by the account number, then the check number). If you don’t have checks, you can also find the bank’s routing number on their website and your account number on your monthly statement.

•   To prove that the account at Bank B belongs to you, Bank A may ask you to input the username and password you use for Bank B. Another way Bank A may verify the account is to make a small deposit (maybe a few cents) and ask you to confirm the amounts, a process that might take a day or two to complete.

•   Once the account is confirmed, you can choose an amount you want to transfer from Bank A to Bank B and the date on which you want it to occur. You can also choose to make it a one-time transfer or a recurring transfer (such as once a month). You can then select the option to submit your request.

These steps will work whether you are transferring funds to a brick-and-mortar bank or to an online-only financial institution.

Transferred funds typically arrive at their destination in two or three business days. The timing will depend on which banks you use and whether you are moving money internationally or domestically.

While transferring money between linked bank accounts at different institutions is often free, you might be limited in the amount you can transfer each time. It can be a good idea to check your financial institution’s rules for bank-to-bank transfer limits.

2. Writing a Check

If you want to transfer money from your bank account to someone else’s bank account, you will likely need to find an alternative bank transfer solution.

You may be asking yourself if checks are useful. Perhaps you don’t have any checks on hand and are wondering if you should order a checkbook. That may be wise; here are some ways you can use checks to move money around:

•   Writing a check is still a good way to make a bank-to-bank funds transfer. When you write a check, you are authorizing your bank to transfer funds to the recipient.

•   You can also make a check out to yourself by entering your own name as the payee. This can be a good option if you are closing out a checking account and want to transfer the remaining funds into a new account. If you take advantage of mobile deposit, you can write a check from one account and deposit it into a different account without ever leaving home. That little rectangle of paper’s job is to transfer money from one bank to another, and it will get it done.

You may want to keep in mind, however, that writing a check is not an instant money transfer. It can take a few business days for a check to clear and be available in the new account.

Also, if there aren’t sufficient funds in the account to cover the amount, your check will bounce, and the payment won’t go through. You may also be charged a fee. To avoid this glitch, you’ll want to make sure you have sufficient money in your account before writing a check.

3. Peer-to-Peer Transfer

Whether you’re reimbursing your roommate for the monthly rent or splitting dinner with a friend, a peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfer service or app can be a good solution.

Services like Venmo and PayPal can offer some advantages:

•   They are easy to use, and once your bank account is linked in the app, you can quickly type in a dollar amount, select the recipient, and hit “Send.”

•   These services are typically free if you fund the payment from your bank account. There may be a fee, however, if you fund a transfer with a debit card or credit card. Many banks offer free or inexpensive P2P transfers through Zelle or a similar vendor.

Worth noting, however, is the fact that some payment apps may limit the amount you can transfer in a day or within a week, and some do not allow international transactions. Before using a P2P service, It can be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the company’s fees, timing, and limitations.

4. Wire Transfer

If you need to send a considerable amount of money to someone quickly and/or the recipient is located overseas, it’s useful to know how to wire money using a wire transfer. Here are some specifics:

•   A wire transfer is one of the fastest and most secure ways to transfer money electronically from one person to another. It can be done through a bank or a nonbank wire transfer company, such as TransferWise or Western Union.

•   Wire transfers are convenient because you can make them over the phone and online as well as in person.

•   Wire transfers can be extremely fast. If you are making a wire transfer to another bank in the U.S., the funds may be available within one business day or even a few hours. Sending money to a bank in another country may take more time to process.

•   There is usually a fee involved in making a wire transfer. For outgoing domestic transactions, the charge could be as high as $35; international transfers are often between $35 and $50.

Since wire transfers are not reversible, you’ll want to make sure you are sending money to the correct recipient and not a scam artist. To make a wire transfer, you’ll likely need to have the recipient’s bank name, routing number, and account number.

Recommended: The Biggest Money Scams in the U.S.

5. Third-party Companies

Another option to send money domestically and overseas is to use a third-party wiring service like MoneyGram or Western Union. Here’s how these work:

•   These companies do not require you to have a bank account to take advantage of services such as money transfers, money orders, and bill pay. You can fund your transaction using cash or perhaps a credit card.

•   Pricing varies widely depending on factors such as where money is sent from, where it is delivered, whether it’s paid in cash or wired to a bank account, and how fast the money is delivered. International transfers tend to be more expensive than domestic transfers.

Recommended: How to Send Money With A Credit Card

6. Email Money Transfers

Some banks will allow you to make email money transfers, an online service that allows you to send money between bank accounts using an email address. A few details to consider:

•   Recipients are notified of the transfer via email, though the funds are actually sent through traditional bank transfer channels. Popmoney and Zelle are two companies banks commonly partner with to provide these services.

•   You can usually make email money transfers directly from your bank’s app.

•   These transfers are typically free and can be instantaneous, though the speed is determined by the banks involved.

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How to Transfer Money from One Bank to Another at a Glance

Here’s a quick look at your options when you want to know how you can transfer money from one bank account to another. Included are such factors as cost and timing.

Online Transfer

Check

Peer-to-peer Transfer

Wire Transfer

Third-party Transfer

Email Money Transfers

Cost Typically fee-free. Check with your bank Banks may charge for boxes of checks Free domestically Up to $30 for domestic transfers, and up to $50 for international transfers Fees vary. May range from $5 to $50 Free
Timing Up to three days Usually take 1-2 days to clear May take a few minutes or a few days depending on the service Typically 24 hours for domestic transfers, up to 5 days for international Speed varies by fee, from immediate to multi-day transfers Varies by bank, but often immediate

There May be Limits on How Many Transfers You Can Make

You can typically make as many transfers into a savings account as you would like, but there may be some limitations when it comes to taking money out of a savings account.

Online withdrawals from savings accounts were once governed by the Federal Reserve’s Regulation D . Some banks are still enforcing the legacy limit of six withdrawals per month and will charge an excessive withdrawal fee for each transaction over the limit. Or they might convert your savings account to a checking account.

It can be a good idea to check your financial institution’s rules before you try to transfer money from a savings account into a different account. Transfers count as one of the kinds of withdrawals that may be limited.

The Takeaway

There are multiple ways to transfer money from one bank to another. The best option will depend on where you are sending the money, whether or not you own both accounts, how quickly you want the funds moved, and how much (if any) in fees you are willing to pay.

Options typically include online and email transfers, wire transfers, third-party services, checks, and P2P apps like Venmo. Isn’t it nice to know that there are so many bank-to-bank transfer options to help you get funds where you want them to go, at the speed and price you want to pay?

Banking Made Simple With SoFi®

SoFi Checking and Savings is a high yield online bank account that makes managing your money easy, and that includes transferring funds. You can use the app to quickly transfer money to another person’s account. If the recipient is also a SoFi Checking and Savings account holder, they’ll get access to that money immediately. Plus, SoFi helps you bank smarter on other fronts: Set up direct deposit, and you can earn an incredible 2.00% APY and pay zero fees!

Find out how easy it is to bank with SoFi.

FAQ

What is the easiest way to transfer money from one bank to another?

Online transfers, email transfers, and P2P apps can all make moving money very convenient; no checking writing is required, nor do you need to fill out as many forms as you might have to for wire transfers or when using a third-party service.

What is the safest way to transfer money from one bank to another?

While all methods of moving money have security features, wire transfers are generally thought to be one of the safest ways to send money from one bank to another.

How do I transfer money from one bank to another bank manually?

If you are using a banking or P2P app, you typically will need to type in the details of the account you are sending money to, the amount, the date you want the transfer to occur, and then verify that the specifics are correct. If you have cash in hand that you want to deposit in another person’s account and don’t want to use an electronic method, you might consider a third-party service like Western Union.

Is it free to transfer money from one bank to another?

Whether or not it’s free to transfer money from one bank to another depends on the method you select. An online, email, or P2P transfer and writing a check (excluding the postage to mail it) can be free; check details with your particular provider.


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