CIBC international transfer: Fees, rates and transfer time

7 minute read

Sending money overseas might seem like a simple process — until you start looking into the requirements, processes, fees, and how they’re different for every bank.

That’s a lot of information to process, and you need to know it all in order to choose the best way to send or receive money, and the cheapest way may be through a service like TransferWise rather than your bank — but more on that, later.

A quick example before we get started.

A theoretical online bank transfer sending C$1000 from Canada to a British bank account in Great Britain.

Provider Fee Exchange Rate Total Cost
CIBC (Canada) C$30 Exchange rate + markup C$30+ exchange rate markup + likely fees from intermediary and recipient banks
TransferWise C$14.78 The real exchange rate - the same one you find on Google C$14.78

Although CIBC advertises that you can send money globally with 0 fees, they do also say that they may apply bank account transaction fees, which means that it’s not without fees after all.

You should also take into account that, on average, most banks mark up the exchange rate by 4-6%, and transfer the money to your recipient via an international SWIFT transfer. A SWIFT transfer can use 1-3 intermediary banks, and they can all charge a fee for making the transfer, as can the receiving bank.

When you start adding those things up, you may find that the free transfer isn’t nearly so free as it looked at first glance.

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. And make an informed decision to find out which is really cheaper in the end.

(Source 1, Source 2, Source 329 January 2018)

But, regardless, now that you know there are more costs involved than just the fees, read on to learn all you need to know about sending and receiving international transfers (sometimes called Global Money Transfers or wire transfers) with Canada’s CIBC.

What are the fees for an international wire transfer with CIBC in Canada?

CIBC Global Money Transfers and International Wire Regular fees
Minimum amount C$100 per transaction
Incoming Wire transfer C$15 per transfer + exchange rate mark up + correspondent bank fees may apply
Outgoing Global Money Transfer No fees + any commission made on the exchange rate + additional fees may apply
Outgoing Wire transfer Up to $10,000: $30.00 per payment$10,000.01 – $50,000: $50.00 per paymentGreater than $50,000: $80.00 per payment
Additional fees may apply See Additional Fees section below

(Source 29 January 2018)

CIBC exchange rates

When you send or receive money in a currency different from what’s used at your home bank, it has to be converted somewhere along the line. There is a possibility that either the recipient’s bank or an intermediary bank will make the conversion at an exchange rate that it gets to choose. This is an opportunity for the bank to keep some of the money by converting it at an exchange rate that’s 4-6% poorer than the mid-market rate, or the actual rate you see when you Google it.

This means the person receiving the transfer will receive the amount originally sent, minus the cost of fees and that poor exchange rate.

In their “CIBC global money transfer agreement” the bank says about the exchange rate they use:

“We derive income from the difference (the spread) between the prices we bid to buy and offer to sell foreign currency. Our spreads may differ from time to time across currencies and can widen (without prior notice) due to volatile market conditions for example.”

In other words, CIBC doesn’t use the mid-market exchange rate to convert your money. You can compare the rate they offer to the mid-market rate by using an online currency converter, to make sure you’re not getting a bad deal.

( Source, 29 January 2018)

Additional fees

Some additional fees you may incur when making an international transfer with CIBC are:

CIBC international transfer Additional fees
Sending/recipient bank and/or intermediary bank(s) As you know, 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 that each take their own flat fee from the amount you’re sending. This will add up, so check ahead with CIBC to see if they can help you estimate the fees you’ll have to pay.
Return of wire payment $35 per payment
Amendment of a wire payment $35 per payment
Recall of a wire payment $35 per payment
Tracing of a wire payment $35 per payment

(Source 29 January 2018)

A cheap and transparent alternative: TransferWise

One alternative to making international bank transfers is using TransferWise, a service that allows you to send money at the exact mid-market rate, only paying a small, fair fee that’s spelled out for you upfront. TransferWise sends your money through a series of local bank transfers, meaning it never actually crosses any borders, and you don’t have to pay international or intermediary bank fees.

TransferWise also offers borderless multi-currency accounts, where users can hold, manage, send and receive money in multiple global currencies all at once, without paying any exchange rates. For EUR, GBP, AUD and USD you can even get your own virtual account details, which means that you can receive money locally in several countries.

Send some money with TransferWise today and see how easy international transfers can truly be.

How do you make an international wire transfer (Global Money Transfer) with CIBC?

CIBC offers a few ways to transfer money internationally.

  • online
  • with their CIBC Mobile Banking app
  • In person at a branch (wire transfers only)

CIBC Global Money Transfers can be sent to more than 50 countries. If you need to send money to a country that’s not included on that list, you can send a wire transfer. CIBC doesn’t offer international money transfers by phone.


  • Sign on to CIBC Online Banking
  • From the menu, select “Global Money Transfer”
  • Enter the requested information and submit

On the CIBC Mobile Banking app

  • Sign on to the CIBC Mobile Banking app
  • From the menu, select “Global Money Transfer”
  • Enter the requested information and submit

In person at a CIBC branch (wire transfers only)

  • Gather the necessary information (more on that below), and head for your preferred CIBC branch.

(Source 1, Source 2 29 January 2018)

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

To make a Global Money Transfer with CIBC, you’ll need:

  • Enough funds in your account
  • The recipient’s full address
  • The full name of the recipient’s bank
  • The location of the recipient’s bank, including country, city, province or state, postal code or area code
  • The recipient’s bank account number
  • The reason for the transfer

(Source 29 January 2018)

To send a wire transfer with CIBC, you’ll need:

  • The recipient’s full name
  • The recipient’s address (including city, province or state and country)
  • The recipient’s bank account number
  • The full name and address of the recipient’s bank
  • The amount and currency of the transfer

(Source 29 January 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 CIBC, you’ll need to give the sender:

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

You can log into CIBC mobile or online banking to find this information, or call 1-800-465-2422 toll free.

How long does an international bank transfer with CIBC take?

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

Typically, an international transfer from CIBC will be delivered within one to three business days. However, CIBC does not guarantee that timeframe, and some destinations may require longer processing times.

Is there any way to make a faster transfer for an extra fee?

CIBC doesn’t currently offer a faster transfer for an extra fee.

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.

Contact / Help - More questions around your transfer?

Still have questions? CIBC’s customer support page offers multiple ways to get in touch with a representative. Numbers will vary based on your location, so make sure you check online to find out the best way to call or email.

Knowing the ins and outs of international money transfers will make the whole process a lot simpler -- and can save you money in the end. Protect your money by educating yourself and choosing the best transfer method for your needs.

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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