Sometimes it’s crucial to send money to a different country - whether you’re doing business abroad or simply getting money to friends or family. One of the most popular ways to transfer money abroad is via your bank. With TD Bank in the US, for instance, you can use a wire transfer to get your money to where it needs to go. There may be other options you’d want to consider, like TransferWise. But more on that in a bit.
Here’s our guide on how to make an international wire transfer with TD Bank, as well as a look at other options open to you.
TD Bank offers a simple series of fees for international wires from standard personal accounts.
|TD Bank transaction||Fee¹|
|Incoming wire (both domestic and international)||$15|
|Outgoing wire (international)||$40|
These fees are in US dollars - check with TD Bank to confirm costs in Canada.
Also, you should be aware that these are only the fees charged by TD Bank. Whenever you make an international transfer, up to 3 intermediary banks might be involved in the process of getting your money from your account into the destination account - that’s standard practice with SWIFT transfers. Any or all of them might take a cut as well, and these fees aren't set by TD Bank. It can, therefore, be hard to find out what the real total cost of an international wire is, although you can ask TD Bank if they can provide any further details.
There’s another cost that you might not be told about in the bank. The exchange rate has a huge effect on how much money will make it to the destination. Banks can set their own exchange rates when they convert money into a foreign currency, so rather than using the rate you’ll find on Google, they effectively add a markup. Meaning that they get to keep the difference between the real mid-market rate and the one they gave you.
Be careful when a bank says that an international transfer costs a fixed fee. In addition to that fee, you might end up having to pay fees set by other banks involved in the transfer. Plus, the exchange rate will be chosen by a bank, meaning that an even greater portion of your money goes to them, rather than to its destination. Even worse, it can be really hard to find out what all of these costs will be in advance. So although TD Bank offers fixed fees, that probably isn’t the end of the story.
A quick example
A theoretical online bank transfer sending $1000 from the US to a pound sterling bank account in the UK.
|Provider||Fee||Exchange Rate||Total Cost|
|TD Bank (USA)¹||$40||Exchange rate + markup||$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 TD Bank’s fees are higher in the US.
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.
With TransferWise, you can see exactly what it’ll cost before you send it, and you’ll only be charged one fee, which is always the lowest possible and is based on the amount you send. And TransferWise always uses the real exchange rate - like the one you see on Google - which means that as much of your money gets through the system as possible.
How do they do it? TransferWise has local bank accounts around the world, with smart technology linking them all together. So your money can stay local - going into a local account in the US, and coming out of a local account abroad.
Like with TD Bank, sending money with TransferWise is regulated and secure. But unlike with TD Bank, you can use TransferWise from the comfort of your own home, or wherever you happen to be. You can do it all online, so there’s no need to make the trip into town.
If you want to make an international wire transfer from your TD Bank account, you’ll need to go to your bank in person.² That’s the case whether you’re making a domestic transfer or an international one - you can’t do it online.
You can find your nearest one via their bank locator. If you’re already abroad for example, you probably won’t be able to set up the wire.
You’ll need the following information about your recipient’s bank account³:
- The recipient’s name
- The recipient’s address
- Their bank account number or IBAN
- Their bank’s full name and address
- Their bank’s SWIFT/BIC number
Also make sure you know the amount you want to transfer, and the currency. Talk to a teller in the store to be guided through the process.
You can also receive international wire transfers into your TD Bank account. Here’s an overview of the information you’ll need to give the person or organisation sending you money - it varies, depending on whether the money is being sent in US dollars or another currency.
To receive an international or domestic wire of USD, you’ll need to give the sender the following details⁴:
- Your bank name: TD Bank, Wilmington, Delaware
- Routing number (ABA): 031101266
- Your full name as written on your bank account
- Your account number
To receive a wire in a foreign currency, the sender will need⁴:
- Name of the correspondent bank: The Toronto-Dominion Bank, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- The correspondent bank SWIFT code: TDOMCATTTOR
- For further credit to: TD Bank Store Address: Street, City, State, Country
- Your TD Bank account number
- Your name and address as it appears on your TD Bank account statement
(Source 28 January 2018)
The amount of time international transfers take always varies depending on where the money is coming from and where it is going, but TD Bank’s estimate is 3-5 business days⁵ to either send or receive.
Their cut-off time is 2 pm⁶ - so for a faster processing you should make your transfer before then, or the process might take an extra day.
To contact TD Bank directly, you can try their online customer service page, where you can find contact details depending on where you’re based.
Don’t let an international transfer cost you any more than it has to, and don’t let it inconvenience you either. However you choose to make the transfer, make sure you have the full picture before you do.
¹https://www.feeds.td.com/en/document/oao/pdf/1_fees.pdf, January 28th, 2018
²https://www.tdbank.com/tdhelps/default.aspx/can-i-send-a-wire-transfer-from-my-account-online-or-do-i-need-to-visit-a-td-branch/v/38261498/, March 20th, 2018
³http://www.tdbank.com/internationalservices/payments.html#, January 28th, 2018
⁴https://bank.tdbank.com/faqs/faqs_intl_indiv.html#overseas, January 28th, 2018
⁵https://www.tdbank.com/tdhelps/#how-many-days-it-takes-for-wire-transfer-to-an-international-bankthanks/v/41803856/, January 28th, 2018
⁶https://www.tdbank.com/tdhelps/#how-far-in-advance-do-i-need-to-schedule-a-wire-transfer-if-i-need-it-to-go-through-on-922-what-is-the-deadline-for-initiating-it/v/38681355/, January 28th, 2018