Capital One international transfer: Fees, rates and transfer time

08.03.18
7 minute read
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Making an overseas money transfer may seem complicated at a glance. There are so many different processes, requirements and fees for every bank. In fact, you might find that you can probably save quite a lot by using a service like TransferWise instead of your bank.

Regardless, though, with a little research, things become much simpler. Read on for everything you need to know to send and receive international transfers, also called international wire transfers, with Capital One.


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
Capital One (USA) $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 Capital One Bank’s fees are higher.

However, if the regular fees alone aren’t reason enough to consider an alternative, you should also take 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 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.

(Source 1 Source 2 8 February 2018)


What are the fees for a Capital One international wire transfer in the US?

Capital One international transfer fees table

Capital One international transfers Regular fees
Incoming international transfer $15 per transfer
Outgoing international transfer $40 per transfer if wire is in a foreign currency$50 per transfer if wire is in US dollars
Additional fees may apply See Additional Fees section below

(Source 1 Source 2 27 January 2018)

Capital One exchange rates

Exchanging money in a currency other than the currency used at your home bank means it has to be converted — there is a chance that this will be done by either the recipient bank or an intermediary bank. The bank that does the conversion gets to do it at an exchange rate of its choosing, and it normally will choose a rate 4-6% poorer than the mid-market rate so it can make a profit on the exchange.

What that means is that the transfer recipient will receive less money than what was actually sent because the bank that does the currency conversion will keep a portion of the money.

As you are a customer of Capital One, you’ll likely get a better exchange rate from them, if they convert your money instead. But just because you’re a customer doesn’t mean you’ll get great exchange rates. Capital One notes themselves:

For international Funds Transfers involving non-U.S. currencies, the exchange rates we use for your transactions are not necessarily the bank-to-bank negotiated exchange rate or other potentially more favorable rate. FDIC deposit insurance does not insure against any loss due to foreign currency fluctuation.

They basically say that they most likely won’t use the mid-market exchange rate to convert your money, but a marked up rate. Which means it’s a good idea to check the exchange rate they’re offering against an online currency converter to see if it’s fair. So even though marked up exchange rates aren’t listed as part of the fees, rest assured that there’s a chance that you’ll lose money that way.

(Source 27 January 2018)

Additional fees

Oftentimes, international money transfers will go through one or more intermediary banks on the way to their final destinations. Those banks have the option of charging a processing fee for passing the transfer along, and those fees can add up.

Capital One international transfer Additional fees
Sending/recipient bank and/or intermediary bank(s) Note that when you send your money internationally, it is nearly always via SWIFT. That means that most likely there will be 1-3 intermediary banks involved. All banks involved in SWIFT transfers take their own flat fee from the amount you’re sending. This will add up, so check ahead with Capital One to see if they can help you estimate the fees that will likely be levied.

A cheap and transparent alternative: TransferWise

If all those fees are getting a bit overwhelming, you should know there’s another alternative: TransferWise. TransferWise is a service that allows users to send money at the exact mid-market rate, or what you see when you Google the exchange rate between two currencies. All you pay for the transfer is a minimal, fair fee, that’s spelled out upfront. TransferWise moves money through a series of local bank transfers, which means the money never actually crosses any borders, and you’re not on the hook for international or intermediary bank fees.

TransferWise also offers borderless multi-currency accounts, so users can manage, send and receive money in multiple global currencies without paying any exchange rates or fees. Borderless account holders will also have access to consumer debit cards by 2018.You can get your own virtual account details in EUR, GBP, USD and AUD, which will allow you to receive those currencies via local transfer methods.

Try TransferWise today, and see how simple and cheap international transfers can actually be.

How do you make an international bank transfer (international wire transfer) with Capital One?

With Capital One you can send international transfers through wire transfers only, and this might mean that your account is not eligible for this. To find out whether your account is eligible for international wire transfers, call 1-866-632-8888 or email TMHelp@capitalone.com

For eligible accounts, international transfers can be initiated by phone or at a branch.

By phone

  • Gather the relevant information for the recipient bank (more on that below)
  • Call the number listed on the back of your debit card
  • A customer service representative will take down your payment information and initiate the transfer

At a Capital One branch

At a Capital One branch, a teller will help you complete your transaction. Make sure you have all the information you need - more details on that later - and fill out the Outgoing Wire Transfer form, or Funds Transfer request instructions, correctly.

(Source 8 March 2018)

What do I need in order to make an international money transfer?

To make an international transfer with Capital One, you’ll need:

  • The account number of the account you’d like to transfer funds from
  • The recipient’s full name with no initials
  • The recipient’s address
  • The recipient’s phone number
  • The recipient’s account number
  • The recipient’s full bank name, bank address, SWIFT Bank Identifier Code (SWIFT BIC), and branch identifier if required
  • The recipient’s IBAN if required
  • For some countries you also have to provide the purpose of the payment, either as an explanation or from a list of codes, or other additional information is required. As this is very country specific, please check with your bank before submitting the payment

(Source 8 March 2018)

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 to Capital One, you’ll need to give the sender:

  • Capital One’s BIC/Swift code
  • Your account number
  • Your account name
  • Your home address
  • You may need to agree with the sender about who will pay the fees associated with the transfer

You can call Capital One customer service at 1-866-632-8888 to find this information.

How long does an international bank transfer with Capital One take?

How long does it take normally to arrive to the destination account?

Typically, international transfers with Capital One will take three to five business days to arrive in the destination account. However, Capital One cannot guarantee these times, and some destinations may take longer to process.

What are the different payment methods and how long do those take?

Payment for an international transfer occurs automatically, which means the recipient typically pays. Alternatively, the sender can pay the fee by adding the fee amount to the transfer total.

Does the amount of time it takes vary by destination?

Transfer times aren’t guaranteed, and some countries and recipient banks may take longer to process international transfers.

(Source 27 January 2018)

Contact / Help - More questions around your transfer?

Do you have more questions about transferring money internationally with Capital One? There are many options for reaching Capital One’s customer service center. Just remember that numbers will vary based on your location, so it’s usually a good idea to check online for the best way to get in touch.

Protecting your money gets a lot easier when you know how transfer processes work. With this knowledge, you can choose the best way for your needs to send money overseas.

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.

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