About Ken Tumin

Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

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Higher Wire Transfer Fees at Wells Fargo and Citizens Bank - Wire Alternatives


Earlier this week I mentioned higher ATM fees and paper statement fees at a few large banks. There's another fee that's going up at some large banks that may have more effect on savers. It's the fee for wire transfers. For those who have done a lot of opening and closing of CDs at non-local institutions, wire transfers can be useful. They provide a fast way to send funds to an institution. One downside is the fees. Most all institutions charge fees for outgoing wire transfers, but many (especially the large banks) charge a fee for incoming.

The fees for both incoming and outgoing wire transfers are going up at Wells Fargo and Citizens Bank. Credit for this information goes to Mary Morgan at Financial Shop Solutions.

Starting in October Wells Fargo is increasing the domestic incoming wire transfers from $10 to $15. For domestic outgoing (non-repetitive), the fee is increasing from $20 to $30.

As I mentioned in the previous post, Citizens Bank has slowly been increasing fees since 2010. This includes wire transfer fees. Incoming domestic wire transfer fees are going up from $13 to $18. Outgoing wire transfer fees (non-repetitive) are going up from $21 to $30.

Alternatives to Wire Transfers

ACH transfers can be a less expensive way to move money. They do take more time than wire transfers, but with interest rates so low, that's less of an issue these days. For example, if you lose a day of interest on $100K, that equals $2.74 for an account with a 1% APY. Back in the good old days, that would have been $13.70 for an account with a 5% APY.

Many banks don't offer ACH transfers, but you can often use the ACH service of another bank to transfer money to or from a checking or savings account. Initiating ACH transfers are almost always free at internet banks, but beware that some banks have relatively small transfer limits.

Another option to send money is FedEx. A reader mentioned in a previous post a good way to send money if you live near the sending institution:

If you are near the sending institution, you can go in, get a cashiers check, and FedEx the check to a specific person or department. Costs less than wire transfer. You get credit the day it arrives.

However, another reader warned about one downside to this:

Only the first $5,000 is available on cashier checks. Depending on the routing number funds can be on hold for up to 3 weeks and longer if the bank thinks it is suspicious.

You can read what Regulation CC has on maximum hold times in this Federal Reserve guide.

If you are trying to send money to a credit union, the shared branch network can help with this. Many credit unions are part of the CU Service Centers. You can use a nearby credit union that's part of the shared branch network to deposit a check into your credit union savings or checking account.

If you have any tips on fast and inexpensive ways to fund CDs or receive funds from a CD, please leave a comment.

Related Pages: Wells Fargo Bank, Citizens Bank (RI)

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  |     |   Comment #2
For international wire transfers, American Express offers a cheap FX Payments service which does not have any fees at all. Unfortunately, it is only available for real business, and not people.
  |     |   Comment #3
BEWARE:  I have a CD in Wisconsin that matures in a few days.

The bank manager told me they charge a flat fee of $20 for a wire transfer PLUS $1.00 per thousand dollars.

So if you have a $100,000 CD, they will charge $120 to wire transfer to you.
  |     |   Comment #6
USPS Overnight or Priority Mail (with a tracking number) is often cheaper than FEDEX or UPS, and the post office is often easier to get to.
  |     |   Comment #7
Hey Anon #3, how about a name of the bank????????
  |     |   Comment #10
The problem with holding your wealth in the form of long term CD is illustrated by Anon #3 and the bank that wants to charge an outrageous $120 for a simple wire transfer.  They've got control of your money, and there is frankly little you can do to stop them from charging whatever they like for whatever they will do.  I know of one brokerage house that has started to charge $12 per ACH transfer now. 

Better to take at least 1/3rd of the cash you might otherwise buy CDs with, and buy gold, silver and platinum.  Keep it hidden somewhere.  PM coins and bars don't earn interest, but no one pays any interest anymore.  With these excessive fees, you are paying the banks to hold your wealth!  As the world economy gets worse and worse, and the corrupt Fed, ECB, Bank of England, and Bank of Japan continue on their ill-fated program of printing more and more money to assist their bankrupt friends at the international casino banks, gold prices will go up faster than the highest interest rates ever paid on bank deposits. 

Eventually, gold will be in a bubble, but that point isn't even close yet, given all the negative comments and newspaper/magazine articles that diss gold and warn us it is in a bubble.  Furthermore, since gold prices are based upon the level of the monetary base, and since the monetary base keeps exploding by virtue of the corrupt money printing game, a tripling in price since 2007 simply shows that it is keeping up with the growth of the monetary base, and has not caught on at all as an investment, again blowing that bubble claim.

When mass media start being very positive on gold, and your shoeshine boy or taxi driver is advising you to buy it, you'll know it is close to the time to sell, as it was in 1980.  By then, inflation will be running in the triple digits, savers will be wiped out, and corrupt central banks will finally be forced to stop printing, or face the guillotine.  That is far from happening, given the recent pledge by the thief and casino-banker shill, Ben Bernanke, to keep rates at near zero through the end of 2013.

Meanwhile, for the time being, the banksters continue to churn out derivatives that, per Warren Buffet, are "weapons of financial mass destruction", and it is only a matter of time before the whole corrupt paper money system comes tumbling down.  The best thing about diversifying your precious metals holdings is that, if there is ever an economic recovery, silver and platinum should maintain their value, even as gold falls.  They are industrial, as well as precious metals, and as business levels increase demand increases. 
  |     |   Comment #11
If you send a lot of wire transfers, First Niagara has an account that offers unlimited free domestic wires (in and out). Free with a $5000 balance or $25/mo with less balance. If you sent many wires it might be worth it.
  |     |   Comment #15

That's the straw that breaks the camel's back. I've jumped over to a visa debit card instead of the usual big bank option when doing a money transfer to Philippines. Costs cheaper, less hassle and I get a nifty visa debit card that's accepted almost anywhere I go.

  |     |   Comment #16
For individual senders, a prepaid debit card is more than sufficient. My visa debit card allows for money transfer to Philippines and across the US with minimal charges, although for businesses bank wires should still be the norm.

  |     |   Comment #17
Wells Fargo increased their international wire fee to $45, was $30. No reason to go with them anymore
  |     |   Comment #18
Any banks in California  with free or minimal fees for domestic wiring ?


  |     |   Comment #19
Wells Fargo, like the other big banks, are run by dumb Ivy League graduates. Raising the reptitive wire fee from $25 to $40 and non repetitive fee from $30-$45 for Internation wires is uncalled for. Now, I will be joining a local credit union that can do it for $15. The big banks are getting worse. I was actually okay paying $25/30 as needed, but to raise the fees by $15 is so typical greedy american. I have always viewed the financial institutions as an enemy, and now my feelings are even stronger on this.
  |     |   Comment #20
The worst part is they did not notify me of the increase in the fee at the counter. I do this often and was hoping I would see a $30 fee charged on my account. Was shocked to see $45 charged. On calling Wells Fargo, the agent was a complete snob and questioned me about not asking the banker at the counter at the time of sending the transfer.

This is not acceptable anymore. I'll be doing something about this.
Left Coast
  |     |   Comment #21
For small amounts, PayPal can be used more cheaply. Have the recipient send an invoice, then pay it using PayPal.

Here is an article on comparing bank transfer fees and Paypal: http://manfrommodesto.hubpages.com/hub/Bank-Transfers-or-PayPal-Money-Transfers-Which-is-Cheaper

  |     |   Comment #22
Does anyone know alternate Florida Bank that charge reasonable fees for frequent International wire transfers. I am sick of paying $45 to BAC each time.

  |     |   Comment #26
I know this is an old article, but just as an FYI - for business customers B of A started offering free international inbound international wire transfers if you keep $15k in the account.  We're going to start taking in our int'l funds into that account.  Citizens will lose their $1500 a year they make from us (we take in a lot of money overseas).

Tried to negotiate a better fee from Citizens and they will not budge even though we keep $50k average in our account.  Phooey on them.  Now they lose all fees.

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