Sending money overseas can be complicated. The first resource you’ll probably turn to is your bank. The process can vary from bank to bank, and so can the fees and wait times. The good news is, you might be able to save if you use a service like TransferWise. But more on that later.
Regions Bank is an American bank headquartered in Alabama. This guide outlines the international wire transfer process for account holders with Regions Bank.
A quick example before we get started.
Say you need to transfer $1,000 US to a British pound sterling account in the UK.
|Provider||Fee||Exchange Rate||Total Cost|
|Regions Bank (USA)¹||$45||Exchange rate + markup||$45 + exchange rate markup + likely fees from intermediary and recipient bank(s)|
|TransferWise||$8.70||The real exchange rate - the same one you find on Google||$8.70|
So which has higher fees? It looks like Regions Bank does.
But there’s more to an international transfer than just the bank fees. Many banks convert currency at a marked up exchange rate, often 4-6% higher than the mid-market rate. Plus, there can be 1-3 intermediary banks as well as the recipient bank who also charge fees.
See how this can get expensive?
You can take some steps to protect yourself from hidden costs. Use an online currency converter to compare the exchange rate offered to you with the mid-market rate to find out how much your international transfer is really costing you.
Fees aren’t always consistent. They can change depending on the country you’re sending money to, as well as your account details and the terms of your transfer. You can check into your particular transaction’s details with Regions Bank, however you can find a general outline of the possible fees applicable below.
|Regions Bank Transaction||Fee|
|Incoming international transfer¹||$18 per transaction|
|Outgoing international transfer¹||$45 per transaction|
|Western Union money transfer through Regions Bank²||Starting from $5 and subject to change without notice (full fee depends on the amount and the service you request)|
If you send money abroad in the currency of your bank account, there’s a good chance that the receiving bank will be the one converting the money and likely charging the receiver for it. As an alternative you can also have your bank do the converting, which usually happens when you create the payment in the currency of the recipient. Whichever bank does the conversion for you, you should keep in mind that they most likely won’t use the mid-market rate that they use to trade between themselves, they’ll use a marked up exchange rate instead. Also the recipient may get charged by their bank upon receiving the money, regardless of which bank did the converting. Therefore it’s important to also compare the exchange rate you’re being offered as well as the fees applied by different providers.
With Regions Bank you can also make international transfers through Western Union. This is what they say about the exchange rate that Western Union uses for your payment²:
Please note that Western Union also makes money from currency exchange. When choosing a money transmitter, carefully compare both transfer fees and exchange rates.
|Regions Bank international transfer||Additional fees¹|
|Sending/recipient bank and/or intermediary bank(s)||Most international wire transfers are done via the SWIFT system, which means your money is likely to pass through a series of intermediary banks before reaching its final destination. Each of these banks may charge a fee for its part in the transfer. To find out if your transfer will be subject to intermediary fees, contact Regions Bank.|
|Amendment of an international payment||$30|
|Recall of an international payment||$45|
|Tracing of an international payment||$40|
Instead of using your bank to transfer your money overseas, consider using a different provider, like Transferwise. Transferwise uses local bank accounts to complete your payment, both for receiving your money and for transferring the money to your recipient, so you don’t have to worry about any intermediary bank fees. They’ll also use the mid-market exchange rate to convert your money, without any mark ups. The fee you have to pay will be shown to you upfront, meaning there are no hidden fees involved.
With the new TransferWise borderless multi-currency account, you’ll be able to quickly and easily open an account in 29 different currencies - including US dollars. You can use the borderless account to manage your money and pay bills around the world, and when you want to switch between different borderless currencies your money will be converted with the real exchange rate, too. TransferWise charges a small, transparent fee on each conversion. You can compare TransferWise’s fees, to those you’ll have to pay with Regions Bank, and see who has the better offer for you.
When you have a consumer deposit account with Regions bank, you can make international transfers online via Western Union. You can create the payment through your online banking, only when you are an eligible user. This means that you have to have had a checking or money market account for at least 6 months, and you need to be a Regions online banking customer³.
If all of the above applies to you, then you can make the payment online⁴. If you’re not an online banking customer with Regions bank, than you can also make the payment at any branch, in person⁵.
You need to make sure that you have the correct recipient details before you initiate your transaction. If you’re sending money with Western Union through your Regions Bank account, you’ll need the following information:
- Destination country
- Recipient name
- Bank account number for the account that you want to debit
- Amount to send
- Test question and answers (optional)
Once you’ve set up the payment, you should contact your receiver and provide them the following:
- The 10-digit tracking number you’ll find on the receipt at the end of your transaction
- If you added a test question, you’ll need to provide them with the answer
- Remind them to bring their ID document when they collect the money
Your recipient can pick up their money in cash at any participating Western Union Agent location⁴.
What do I need or what should I give to the sender in order to receive an international bank transfer?
To receive money as a Regions Bank account holder, you’ll need to give the sender certain information⁶:
- Your account number
- Your name and address as it appears on your bank statement
- SWIFT/BIC code for Regions Bank - UPNBUS44
- The address of Regions Bank - 1900 Fifth Avenue North, Birmingham AL, 35203
Once you receive the funds, you’ll be able to access the money on that same day.
When you set up the payment you can select how fast you want the payment to reach the recipient, the option you choose here will also partly determine the fee that you’ll pay. Do keep in mind that there are certain factors - such as, destination country, currency availability, regulatory issues to name a few - that play a role in the speed of delivery. As well as the recipient bank’s and it might take longer for your recipient to receive the money because of those factors⁴.
It might also be a good idea to check with Region Bank what their cut off times are, as this is also a factor that comes into play. If you create your payment after cut of time, it won’t be processed until the next business day⁷.
- Regions Bank contact form
- Regions Bank Phone number – 1-800-734-4667
- Regions Bank social media page
- Regions Bank branch
Whether you’re sending money abroad once or want to regularly transfer money around the world, the process can prove to be fairly difficult. Use this post as your guide for international wire transfers with Regions Bank. Understand your options before you initiate a transaction.
¹https://www.regions.com/virtualDocuments/Checking-Pricing-Schedule.pdf, Februari 19th, 2018
²https://www.regions.com/help/online-banking-help/transfer-funds/western-union-money-transfer/what-is-the-fee-to-send-a-western-union-online-money-transfer, March 22nd, 2018
³https://www.regions.com/help/online-banking-help/transfer-funds/western-union-money-transfer/how-do-i-get-started-using-this-service, March 22nd, 2018
⁴https://www.regions.com/personal_banking/western_union_money_transfer.rf, March 22nd, 2018
⁵https://www.regions.com/personal_banking/now_banking_western_union_money_transfer.rf, March 22nd, 2018
⁶https://www.regions.com/help/products-services/checking-accounts/deposits-and-wire-transfers/what-is-a-wire-transfer, March 22nd, 2018
⁷https://www.regions.com/personal_banking/now_banking_worker.rf, March 22nd, 2018
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