Fees, security and delivery times for four ways to send money
Everyone needs to send money to family or friends occasionally. You could be topping up the account of a child away at college, or helping support relatives abroad. Here’s our comparison of five ways of sending money.
1. Online Banking
Online Banking lets you send money online to someone else’s account at your bank or another bank, which makes it a great way to transfer money to a student away at school, to your accounts at other financial institutions, and to other people’s accounts. Log into your account, and look for “transfers” to set up a transfer. The sender will need to know the account number and transit routing number* of the recipient (see below).
- Fees: Some banks charge a fee.
- Delivery time: Varies, but can take 2-4 days.
- Security: High
What’s a transit routing number?
A transit routing number, also known as a check routing number, ABA number or routing transit number (RTN), is a 9-digit code that identifies the bank, its branch and location. You will be asked this number when you send money online. On a check, the transit routing number is printed along the bottom left corner, as in this example.
Bank of America Online Banking customers can find their routing number by clicking on the “show routing numbers” link on the “account details” page. Learn more about routing numbers from Bank of America.
If your relative or friend doesn't use Online Banking, checks sent via the mail are an alternative.
- Fees: Writing and cashing checks may be free or carry a small service charge. Contact your bank to find out fees for cashier’s checks.
- Delivery time: Domestic mail takes 1-3 days. The recipient will then have to deposit the check. For cashier’s checks, recipients receive the money immediately, but for regular checks they may have to wait several days before accessing the money.
- Security: Ask your bank the procedure for checks lost in the mail.
3. Wire transfers
If it's a large amount of money, wire transfers can be a solution. Keep in mind that there is typically a fee for wire transfers. To make a wire transfer, visit the bank or wire transfer company, call, or make an online transaction.
- Fees: Vary
- Delivery time: Funds are often transferred the same day.
- Security: High
4. Money orders
You can purchase money orders from your bank or the U.S. Postal Service, and mail them to people in the U.S. or around the world.
- Fees: For U.S. Postal Service money orders, you pay $1.50 to send $1,000 in the U.S., and $3.85 to send $700 internationally. For bank money orders, check the fees with your branch.
- Delivery time: It will take 1-3 days to mail domestically, and longer internationally. Recipient can cash money orders at either the post office or their bank.
- Security: You can have money orders replaced if they’re lost, stolen or damaged.
With so many ways to send money to family and friends, there is sure to be a method that offers the delivery times, fees, and security that work best for you.
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