Transferring money is a basic banking transaction that can be done for a myriad of reasons. You may need to send money to a friend or family member’s bank account, pay your bills, or transfer money to a newly opened bank account. It’s very common and even advised for consumers to have bank accounts open with several different financial institutions throughout their lifetime. Consumers often choose to close an account with one bank and open an account with another because of better terms or lower banking fees.
Some may want to close their account completely or have multiple accounts open with different institutions. This could be the case if, for instance, the person wants to keep their checking account open at one bank, but also wants to take advantage of another bank’s better interest rates on a high-yield savings account. Whatever the reason may be, when you open a new bank account, you’ll most likely need to transfer all or some of your money from one account to another.
Online money transfers are a common way to get your money from one bank account to another, so it’s important you know how money transfers work and what your options are for doing so.
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How to transfer money between banks
If you’re ready to close a bank account at one institution and open a new account at another, you’ll need to transfer your money over to the new account. Luckily, thanks to online banking and financial technology, you have several options for how you can do this. Choosing the right method for you will depend on your bank, the speed at which you need the transfer to go through, any fees, and where the money is going.
Transfer money between banks: 6 ways to do it
A bank-to-bank transfer is probably the most convenient way to transfer money from one bank account to another, as long as you own both bank accounts. Bank-to-bank transfers between connecting accounts are typically free and fast. You can set up the transfer with the sending bank, and the receiving bank will receive the transfer after about 2 or 3 business days (the timing will depend on the bank and whether you are transferring money locally or internationally).
To transfer your funds bank-to-bank, take the following steps*:
- Log in to your bank’s website or app.
- Select the option for making transfers and choose “transfer to another bank.”
- Provide account information for the account at the other bank, such as the routing number and account number.
- Confirm the new account by entering verification information, such as your username and password.
- Make the transfer by selecting the sending and receiving accounts and entering the amount to be transferred and the date for the transaction to occur.
Check with your bank to find out if bank-to-bank transfers are free, as this may not be the case for all banks.
*Note: This process may differ depending on your bank.
If you are sending money to someone else’s bank account, a third-party transfer is likely your best bet. Peer-to-peer payment services (or P2P payments) offer safe and fast ways to send money to friends, family, or a business. These services are usually free, but some may charge a small fee for certain situations, such as transferring money on the same day or sending money via credit card, etc.
Make sure you understand the fees, timing, and policies of each P2P app before using it to transfer money. For example, some payment apps don’t allow international transactions, or they may have transaction limits. In these situations, you may need to choose a different payment method or be prepared to pay a larger fee.
A wire transfer will come in handy when you need to transfer a large amount of money in a short period of time. Wire transfers are a quick and secure way to transfer funds, but this method will usually come with a fee. Fees will vary depending on the bank and whether you’re wiring money domestically or internationally. In general, wire transfer fees usually fall between $25 and $30 for domestic transfers and between $45 and $50 for international transfers.
Wire transfers can be done directly through your bank or with a non-bank provider, such as Wise and Western Union. You’ll need the recipient’s name, account, and routing numbers. Wire transfers will usually be available within 1 business day or even within a couple of hours. Wire transfers are very difficult or even impossible to reverse, so take extra care to make sure you’re sending the right amount of money to the right person.
Writing a paper check might seem like an old, outdated way to send money, but paper checks still have their relevance in today’s technology-driven world. A paper check is a straightforward way to transfer money between banks. To do it, you can simply write a check to yourself for the amount of money you want to transfer and then deposit it into your new account. Keep in mind that it may take a few business days for the check to be deposited and clear in your account. Some banks and financial institutions even offer mobile check deposits via their mobile banking app, so you can transfer funds without ever needing to leave home.
Online bill pay
Some banks and financial institutions offer their customers online bill pay services. This method entails a bank or credit union sending a check or electronic payment to a merchant or bank account on your behalf. To set up online bill pay, you’ll need to sign in to your account and select the bill pay feature. Then you enter the account information for the account you’re sending it to, so if you’re sending the money to yourself, you’d simply provide your new account info. You’ll also need to determine how much you want to send, when to send it, and whether you want it to be a one-time payment or a recurring payment.
Email money transfer
Another option for sending and receiving money from one bank to another is an email money transfer (EMT). An email money transfer is a service offered by some banks and financial institutions that allow users to transfer funds between personal accounts using email or cell phone numbers. When you use an EMT, the participating banks will notify the recipient by email of the transfer, and the money is delivered through a transfer network, such as Zelle or Google Pay. Transferring funds through an EMT is typically free for the recipient, but the sender will usually need to pay a small fee to use the service. You won’t need the recipient’s bank account information, but the recipient will need to answer some security questions before they have access to the funds. This method will generally take a few days for the money to show up in the recipient’s account.
Things to consider when transferring money between bank accounts
To better help you decide which type of money transfer is best for your situation, consider the following factors:
- How quickly do you need the money to get to the other bank account? Some transfer methods are fast, while others might take a couple of days.
- Are there any fees associated with the money transfer? There are quite a lot of options for fee-free transfers, but sometimes you might opt to pay a small fee if it better suits your immediate needs.
- Do you need account information to enact the transfer? For most money transfer services, you will need to know the account information for where you are sending the money. If that’s something you don’t have, look for a service in which you can bypass this.
How do I transfer money from one bank to another internationally?
Most of the methods described in this article will work if you need to send money internationally, but keep in mind that some won’t allow for international transfers or will charge a fee for doing so. Another method not described above is to look for an international money transfer provider such as Wise, MoneyGram, or Xoom. When selecting a service to send cash internationally, pay attention to exchange rates and fees charged by the service.
How do I transfer money to someone else's bank account?
Transferring money to someone else’s bank account can be done in several ways. The most common method is using P2P payments, in which you send money to someone through an online provider. Some other options are paper checks, wire transfers, and money orders.
How long does it take to transfer money between banks?
The time it takes to transfer money from one bank account to another will depend on several factors. First and foremost, the method you use will determine how long a transfer takes to go through. For example, a wire transfer will typically go through in a couple of hours, while a bank-to-bank transfer will generally take 2 to 3 business days. Your bank and its terms will also factor into the length of a money transfer.
Is it safe to transfer large sums of money between bank accounts?
Most bank transfer services are generally considered a safe and secure way to send and receive money. That being said, you should still always be cautious when using any money transferring services, especially online. Read up on online scams and always practice safe online banking techniques when conducting any sort of online transaction.
What’s the fastest way to send money?
The quickest way to send money will typically be with an electronic funds transfer (EFT). EFTs are any money transfers that take place via an electronic network. This includes things like payment apps, online bill pay, direct deposit, wire transfers, etc.
Whether you’re switching banks, sending money to a friend, or simply opening a new account at your existing bank, transferring money from one bank account to another shouldn’t be a struggle. There are multiple ways to get it done, so do a little research and choose the best option for your needs. Look for what’s fast, secure, and inexpensive — so you can move money as easily and efficiently as possible.
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