If you do business overseas, if you’re travelling abroad, or if you need to get money to friends and relatives based elsewhere, you might need to send money to a foreign bank account. If you bank with Citibank, for instance, you can do a wire transfer directly through your Citibank account.
This isn’t the only way of transferring money abroad, however. TransferWise is an alternative to the old world banking system - building a better, cheaper, fairer system for anyone who lives, travels, or does business across borders. Unlike most banks and money transfer services, TransferWise uses the real exchange rate, like the one you see on Google. You pay the lowest possible fee, clearly shown upfront. With bank-level security and the ease of making your international transfers all online without ever leaving your house, you can see why so many are switching the way they send money abroad.
Not everyone is ready to make the switch, though. So read this guide to how to transfer money with Citibank and what that will cost you, as well as a quick look at other options.
A wire transfer with Citibank can be made online or in a branch. If you want to do it online, make sure you have your login details with you, as well as the international details about your recipient’s account.
If you go to Citibank in person, a teller should talk you through the process - you’ll likely have to fill out a form along the way.
First of all, get the following information from the person you’re sending money to:
- The recipient’s name
- Their bank’s name and location
- Their bank account number
- Their bank’s BIC/SWIFT
Then, sign in to your online Citibank account, go to ‘Transfers’, and follow the instructions.
If you’re receiving money into your Citibank account from abroad, you’ll probably need to provide the same information as above. You should check with the person sending you the money about exactly what they need from you, because different banks internationally sometimes require slightly different information.
|Name of your bank||Citibank, N.A.|
|Citigroup SWIFT code for international transfer||CITIUS33|
|Citibank Routing Transit Number||0210000890 for all international transfers, plus the ABA number of the branch where you opened your Citibank account|
|Bank address, city & state||399 Park Avenue New York, NY 10043, USA|
|Beneficiary account number||Complete Citigroup bank account number of the recipient (including leading zeros)|
|Beneficiary name||The name of the recipient as it appears on a bank statement|
The fees for a Citibank wire transfer vary depending on what sort of account you’ve got. Here’s an overview of the fees as Citibank currently lists them.
|Citibank account type||Domestic outgoing transfer fee||International outgoing transfer fee||Incoming fee|
|Citi Private Bank or Citigold Private Client||Waived (with a daily limit on how much you can transfer)||Waived (with a daily limit on how much you can transfer)||Waived|
|Citi International Personal Account||$18.75||$30||Waived|
|Citi Global Executive||$18.75||$30||Waived|
|Citi Global Executive Preferred||Waived||Waived||Waived|
If you’re sending money to another Citibank account around the world, you can do so without an upfront transfer fee. There are limits about the amount you can transfer, however. Take a look at Citibank’s own page on Citibank Global Transfers.
An additional set of fees to keep a lookout for will come from any intermediary banks involved. If Citibank sends your money via SWIFT transfer, there could be up to 3 additional banks that help get your money from one country to another, and all of them take a cut along the way. Ask Citibank for more details to find out if there will be any intermediary banks, and what fees they may charge.
A final cost to keep in mind, is one that's often hidden from view - the exchange rate. Many banks advertise free or really cheap transfers. But that’s rarely true. Most banks and money transfer services add a markup to the exchange rate, which means you may be paying more than you should. If you’re sending money internationally, it will likely be an intermediary bank or the recipient bank that actually converts your money from one currency to another and takes a cut. You can avoid this cost. But more on that soon.
Citibank will usually send your international wire transfer on the same business day that you request it, so long as you do it before their cut-off time: 5:15 pm ET. If you’re making a domestic wire transfer, you have until 6:00 pm ET.
However, be aware that international transfers will take longer than that to reach their destination. Check with Citibank before you make the transfer to find out exactly how many days yours will take. Likely, Citibank will be sending your money via SWIFT transfer - a system that can take multiple business days.
Old school banking systems charge small fees upfront, which makes the cost appear low. Small fees look enticing, right? But, generally, the cost to you, and the profit to the industry, is rolled into an exchange rate that's marked up in the favor of the banks and transfer services. People rarely tell you that, though.
If you use Citibank to transfer your money, it will be converted from one currency to another by a bank - be it an intermediary or the recipient bank. Banks set their own exchange rates, so they choose a rate that works well for them - but not necessarily for you.
An international transfer with Citibank will involve anywhere from 2-5 banks to get your money from one country to another. Often, each of these other banks take a bit along the way. Which means it can be tough to find out exactly how much your transfer will cost you in fees alone, not to mention the exchange rate.
TransferWise, however, has local bank accounts all over the world linked together by smart technology. Which means when you send money, your money will go into a local bank account in your country, and then come out from a local bank account in your recipient’s country. Which cuts out those hefty international and cross-border fees. There is just one fee stated upfront from the very beginning.
TransferWise is different. The company is on a mission to make moving money around the world cheap and transparent. Rather than charging a fixed fee for your transfer, TransferWise charges the lowest possible fee based on the amount that you’re sending. And there are no hidden fees in the form of inflated exchange rates with TransferWise. TransferWise believes that a consumer’s money is worth as much as a big bank’s. Which is why TransferWise gives you the real exchange rate, the same one banks get, and the same one you can find on Google or XE. With TransferWise your money is worth just as much as it would be if you were a major player trading currency on the global financial market.
With TransferWise, you can do the whole process online. And just like Citibank, it’s fully regulated and secure.
Take a look at TransferWise now and see how much you could save on your transfer.
Whether you choose to wire your money internationally with Citibank or use TransferWise, make sure you have the full picture before you hit send. Don’t let transferring your money cost you more than it has to.