Do you need to send money to a different country? If so, whether you’re doing business or sending money to friends or relatives, a wire transfer is a well-established way to get your money abroad. And if you bank with Capital One, you might well want to make your wire transfer directly with your bank.
However, there are other options. One alternative is TransferWise, which gets your money to its destination in a different way than the old school banking system. Using the real, mid-market exchange rate - like the one you see on Google - and charging only the lowest possible fee, TransferWise could be a cheaper way to make your transfer, while still fully secure, efficient and easy to do online.
Here’s our guide to wiring your money with Capital One, and a quick look at the other options you have.
International wire transfers made through a bank usually cost a fixed fee - although, as explained below, that might not be the only fee you end up paying. Here are the fees Capital One charges with a standard retail account - with other accounts, the fees might be different.
|Incoming wire (both domestic and international)||$15|
|Outgoing wire (domestic only)||$25|
|Outgoing wire (international)||$40|
Whenever you make an international transfer through a bank, a number of different banks might end up getting involved. Not just your own bank and the receiving bank, but also up to 3 intermediary banks might play some role in moving the money. And any of these banks might charge another fee. So the fees in the table above might not be the full picture.
Additionally, the bank that converts your money to the new currency can set the exchange rate itself. That means that it won’t be the exchange rate you’ll find on Google: instead, it’ll be a rate that’s good for the bank that sets it - and not so good for you. Therefore, you should think of the exchange rate as another cost involved, every time you transfer your money into a different currency.
If your most convenient option is to go into a branch and talk your international transfer through with someone, then Capital One can provide that service, as long as you don’t have a 360 account. For the convenience of making the transfer online, TransferWise can help you out.
A quick example
A theoretical online bank transfer sending $1000 from either a Citi International Personal Account or with TransferWise, from the US to a pound sterling bank account in the UK.
|Provider||Fee||Exchange Rate||Total Cost|
|Capital One (USA)||$40¹||Exchange rate + markup³||$40 + exchange rate markup + likely fees from intermediary and recipient banks|
|TransferWise||$8.70||The real exchange rate - the same one you find on Google||$8.70|
It seems clear that Capital One’s fees are higher.
However, if the fees alone aren’t reason enough to consider an alternative than you should also take into account any exchange rate markup — on average a spread of an additional 4-6%. On top of that, there are normally 1-3 intermediary and recipient banks who also charge fees.
Those costs start adding up. Fast.
To make sure you really know what you’re getting before you commit, compare the exchange rate you’re being offered with an online currency converter to find out how much your international transfer is really costing you.
If you transfer your money with Capital One, the bank’s own fee will probably be as listed in the table above - but, as explained, there might be additional fees, plus the uncertainty of an exchange rate set by the bank. Capital One states in their Terms and conditions³:
Foreign exchange rates are constantly changing due to market conditions and may vary based upon the particular currency, transaction amount, time of day, market volatility, and/or other factors influencing the liquidity and Bank pricing for such currency, and Customer acknowledges and accepts the risk of such fluctuations. Further, the exchange rate used for each particular transaction will be based upon normal retail exchange rates reflecting market conditions, which will be different from the wholesale (bank-to-bank) published rates.
TransferWise charges one simple fee stated upfront, based on the amount you’re transferring. It’s always the lowest fee possible, and the exchange rate used - also stated upfront - is always the real, fair mid-market rate, like the one you can see on Google.
TransferWise does this because it doesn’t work like a bank. Instead, it has a system of local bank accounts all over the world, linked together through smart technology. So your money doesn’t need to cross borders - you can send and receive the money locally, without any additional banks needing to get involved and charge fees. It is fully regulated and secure like any other financial institution.
Find out if you could save money with TransferWise and check to see the exact value of your transfer before you make it.
If you have a Capital One 360 account, you can’t make an international wire transfer, although you can receive one². You can make one, however, if you have a standard Capital One retail checking account. Unfortunately, there’s not much information about these accounts available online.
With one of those accounts, you have to make your international wire transfer in a branch or over the phone - you can’t do it online.
Before you call them up or head into a branch, make sure you have the following information about the transfer you want to make⁴:
- The recipient’s full name
- The recipient’s address and phone number
- The recipient’s bank’s name and address
- Their account number, often an IBAN
- The bank’s SWIFT number
Don’t forget to know exactly how much you want to transfer, as well, and what currency you want to use. It’s a good idea to have your own account details there too.
You can also receive money from abroad into your Capital One account². Here’s the information you’ll need to provide.
|Name of your bank||Capital One NA|
|SWIFT code for international transfer||This varies, depending on what sort of Capital One account you have and where it was opened - you should check with your bank what the SWIFT code is, or check on online BIC/SWIFT tool: SWIFT/BIC finder|
|Routing Transit Number (ABA number)||Varies. For a Capital One 360 account the number is 031176110|
|Bank address, city & state||Varies|
|Beneficiary account number||Your account number - as it appears on your statement|
|Beneficiary details||Your name|
Capital One will process your international wire on the same working day if you submit the payment before the relevant cutoff time⁴. For faster processing, make sure you submit the transfer by their cutoff time, 5 pm ET, to take advantage of this.
It can be hard to find out the full picture when you’re transferring money abroad. Whether you choose to make a traditional wire transfer through a Capital One branch or decide to try out TransferWise, make sure you know how much of your money will reach its destination.
¹http://wiretransfer.io/capital-one-wire-transfer/, January 28th, 2018
²https://helpcenter.capitalone360.com/bnk/Topic.aspx?category=TRANS1#FCOMXFRB07, January 28th, 2018
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