When it comes to making international bank transfers, also called international wire transfers, there’s a lot of information to take in. Every bank does transfers its own way, with different processes, requirements and fees. And, still, you may find that you can save quite a bit by using an alternative like TransferWise. However, more on that later.
If you’re a BB&T customer, this guide will contain everything you need to know to make international transfers. Read on to see for yourself.
A quick example before we get started.
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|
|BB&T (USA)||$65||Exchange rate + markup||$65 + 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 BB&T’s fees are higher.
However, if the fees alone aren’t reason enough to consider an alternative, that isn’t taking into account any exchange rate markup — on average a spread of an additional 4-6%. In addition, 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, 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.
|BB&T international transfers||Regular fees|
|Incoming international transfer||$18|
|Outgoing international transfer||$65|
|Additional fees may apply||See Additional Fees section below|
(Source 29 January 2018)
Sending or receiving international transfers in a currency that’s different from the currency used in your home bank account means that, somewhere along the line, the currency needs to get converted. This can be done by either at the recipient bank or one of the intermediary banks, for example. Sounds simple enough, right? The downside is that the bank will often do the conversion at an exchange rate that’s 4-6% poorer than the mid-market rate, allowing it to make a profit on the conversion.
When BB&T converts your money, they say the following about the exchange rate that they will use:
> If you request a wire transfer in US dollars to a beneficiary in a foreign country, we may make the transfer in the currency of that country pursuant to our normal procedures at our buying rate of exchange on or before the transfer date. Such exchange rate may differ from rates offered or published by other sources. You accept all risks of currency exchange rate fluctuations between the time you initiate a foreign wire request and the time it is completed.
That means the person receiving the transfer will see less money arriving in his or her account because of the markup the bank keeps on the conversion.
BB&T offers a daily list of foreign exchange rates on its website, along with the option to subscribe to a mailing list to receive a daily foreign exchange rate update. If BB&T is doing the conversion, you can use an online currency converter to compare its rates to the mid-market rate.
Before you get ready to transfer money, make sure to double check with BB&T’s customer support whether your account is eligible for setting up international wires.
International transfers can sometimes come with other fees, especially if you need to recall or trace a transfer. Here are some of BB&T’s additional fees:
|BB&T international transfer||Additional fees|
|Sending/recipient bank and/or intermediary bank(s)||BB&T says about this: “you shall be responsible for paying any and all fees charged by our correspondent banks, intermediary banks and paying agents for handling or forwarding an international wire transfer from BB&T, some, if not all of which, may be deducted from the wire transfer proceeds.”|
|Stop payment of international payment||$30 per payment|
|Amendment of an international payment||$20 per transfer|
|Recall of an international payment||$30 per payment|
|Tracing of an international payment||$20 per payment|
(Source 29 January 2018)
An alternative to making bank transfers — and paying all those fees — is using TransferWise, which allows you to send money at the mid-market rate - the same rate you find on Google. TransferWise only charges one minimal transfer fee, depending on the destination country and currency. And since money never actually crosses borders with TransferWise, there are no international or intermediary bank fees to pay.
TransferWise also offers borderless multi-currency accounts, so users can hold, send and receive money in multiple global currencies at the same time. As well as receive local account details in GBP, EUR and AUD, so that you can receive or send transfers locally from those countries.
Try TransferWise today to see how easy it can be to send money across borders.
BB&T offers a number of ways to transfer money internationally:
- In person at a branch
- By phone
As it’s not clear from their website whether international wires can be made from all personal bank accounts, make sure to double check with BB&T beforehand, if your account is eligible.
- Log into your BB&T online banking
- Mouse over “Payments & Transfers,” and select “Payments & Transfers” from the drop-down menu
- Select “Make a Payment”
- Fill in the required information and follow the on-screen prompts
- Gather the necessary information (more on this below) and take it to a branch of your choosing. There, a teller or cashier will collect your information and initiate the transfer.
- Gather the necessary information and call 800-810-5625. A customer service representative will collect your information and initiate the transfer.
To make an international transfer with BB&T, you’ll need:
- The name of the recipient’s bank
- The recipient bank’s BIC or SWIFT code
- The recipient bank’s and your recipient’s full address
- The recipient’s international account number
- The recipient’s full name, as written on their account
What do I need or what should I give to the sender in order to receive an international bank transfer?
To receive an international money transfer into your account with BB&T, you’ll need to give the sender:
- The name of your bank: Branch Banking and Trust Company
- BB&T’s SWIFT/BIC code
- Your routing number, based on the region where you opened your account
- Your bank branch’s full address
- Your account number
- Your full name as it appears on your account
BB&T usually process your international wire transfer real time, provided you initiate the transfer before the cut of time of 5 pm ET on a business day. If you submit your transfer after that time, or on a weekend or bank holiday, it will be processed the next business day. Keep in mind that after BB&T has processed the transfer it their system, it also has to be processed by any intermediary banks that are involved, as well as the recipient’s bank.
The time it takes to process your transfer can be different per country and recipient bank, and BB&T doesn’t currently offer a way to speed up your transfer.
Still have questions? BB&T’s customer support can help with that. Numbers and emails will vary by location, though, so check online before you reach out.
With the right information, the mystery and complexity can be taken out of international bank transfers. Hopefully you now have the knowledge you need to choose the best and cheapest way to move your money.
|This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.|