USAA international wire transfer: Fees, rates and transfer time

TransferWise content team
6 minute read

USAA is a bank for military members and their families. As such, its customers tend to be on the go. If you’re a USAA customer with a plan to go overseas, you may be considering wiring money abroad. The details of doing so can be tricky, so you’ll want to make sure you have some understanding of international currency transfers before you make the payment. The good news is, you might be able to save some money and energy if you use a service like TransferWise. But more on that later.

This guide can help you on some of the details with USAA international transfers.

Here’s an example to get us started.

Let’s say you want to transfer $1,000 US to a pound sterling bank account in the UK. Here’s what that would look like using USAA and TransferWise.

ProviderFeeExchange RateTotal Cost
USAA (USA)$20 + $25 international wire service fee¹Exchange rate + markup$45 + exchange rate markup + likely fees from intermediary and recipient banks
TransferWise$8.70The real exchange rate - the same one you find on Google$8.70

TransferWise looks much cheaper from this scenario.

But fees aren’t the only reason to consider an alternative to bank transfers. When banks handle international transfers, they often mark up the exchange rate by an average of 4-6%. There are also normally 1-3 intermediary and recipient banks who can each charge fees.

Which means things get expensive, fast.

Here’s one way you can protect yourself: compare the exchange rate you’re being offered to the mid-market rate with an online currency converter. This will give you a better idea of the real cost of your international transfer.

What are the fees for an international money transfer with USAA in the US?

Fees might change based on the terms and conditions of your transfer. Look into the details of USAA’s rules on the particular country where your money is going, if you want to be extra sure of the transfer cost.

USAA International transfer fees table

The wire transfer fees for USAA are as follows:

USAA Bank TransactionFee¹
Outgoing international wire$20 per transaction
International wire service fee$25 per transaction
Additional feesSee additional fees table below

Additional fees

USAA international wire transferAdditional fees²
Sending/recipient bank and/or intermediary bank(s)Intermediary banks may take fees out of a wire transfer. USAA notes on its website, “The $20 wire transfer fee is our fee to process the wire transfer. The $25 international wire service fee helps ensure that foreign banks involved with the wire transfer don't deduct additional fees from the amount of the wire transfer. This may not prevent the recipient's bank from deducting its fees from the wire transfer amount.”
Express execution (speeding up a transfer)Not available

USAA exchange rates

Since USAA isn’t an international bank, they process international wire transfers through the Bank of New York Mellon. Often, an intermediary bank like the Bank of New York Mellon or any other correspondent bank used to make the transfer, will convert your money into the correct currency for the recipient, and this conversion generally isn’t done at the mid-market rate. USAA doesn’t list exchange rates on its website, so you likely won’t be able to check ahead of time which rate will be used on your transfer, but many banks mark up exchange rates by an average of 4-6% when converting funds.³

So apart from comparing the fees being charged, be mindful of the exchange rates being used to convert your money as well, as this can bring about a significant change in the amount of money being received by your recipient.

A cheap and transparent alternative: TransferWise

TransferWise saves customers confusion, markups, and hidden fees when transferring money. Instead of your money crossing borders and being liable to the fees of intermediary banks, TransferWise transfers money locally - meaning you don’t have to have to pay international transaction fees. Each time you transfer with TransferWise, you’ll only be charged a small transparent fee that’s clearly stated upfront and provided the mid-market rate - the one you’d find on Google - that will be used to convert your money. Taking out the guessing work that usually comes with trying to figure out how much international transfers cost, completely.

With the new TransferWise borderless multi-currency account, you’ll also be able to quickly and easily open an account in up to 29 currencies - including US dollars. You can use the borderless account to manage your money and pay bills around the world at the click of a button, using the real exchange rate.

Before you commit, make sure to compare fees and rates between USAA and TransferWise with a currency converter, to help you make your decision.

How do you make an international bank transfer with USAA?

If you have an eligible USAA Checking or Savings account, you can complete a transfer online if the amount of the transfer doesn’t exceed $10,000. Any transfers above that amount must be set up over the phone. To initiate a transfer over the phone, call USAA at 1-210-531-USAA (8722). They only take these calls Monday through Friday, between 7:30 am and 3:30 pm Central Time. There is a hard cutoff at 3:30 pm, so make sure to call before that time, to give them enough time to process your transfer.2

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

Plan to have the following information on hand to complete your international wire transfer with USAA.4

  • The amount you want to send
  • Your recipient’s full name and address
  • Your recipient’s citizenship
  • Your recipient’s account number for receiving international payments
  • The recipient bank name and SWIFT code or other bank code
  • Recipient bank address
  • Purpose of payment

What do I need or what should I give to the sender in order to receive an international bank transfer?

USAA bank uses Bank of New York Mellon to receive and send international transfers. So to receive an international wire onto your USAA bank account, you’ll need to give the money sender the details of Bank of New York Mellon as well as the details of the USAA bank account within Bank of New York Mellon and the details of your own personal bank account within USAA bank.

The details you’ll need to provide to receive an international wire with USAA are as follows:²

  • The Bank of New York Mellon SWIFT code: IRVTUS3NXXX
  • The name of Bank of New York Mellon and their address: 225 Liberty St, New York, NY 10286
  • Your bank name and address: USAA Federal Savings Bank, 10750 McDermott Freeway, San Antonio, TX 78288
  • Bank of USAA account number: 8900624744
  • Your personal USAA checking or savings bank account number
  • Your full name
  • Your personal address

This method of payment is called For Further Credit, meaning that once Bank of New York Mellon receives the money, they credit it to USAA who then credits it to your personal bank account within their system. To avoid any confusion or issues with the payment being sent, suggest the money sender contact their bank if they have any questions or need help setting it up on their side.

How long does an international bank transfer with USAA take?

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

USAA guarantees that a wire transfer will arrive within 15 calendar days from the date of initiation. They do not guarantee any sooner deliveries, but they do guarantee that the funds are processed the same business day, as long as you set the transfer up before 3.30 pm CT.²

If it’s been more than 15 business days and your recipient has still not received their money, USAA advises the following:

If your outgoing wire transfer isn't received in that timeframe, call 210-531-USAA (8722) or 800-531-USAA (8722) and ask to open a wire investigation.²

Contact / Help - More questions around your transfer?

  • USAA Contact and Support Center
  • USAA Phone number – 1-210-531-USAA (8722)
  • Twitter: @USAA_Help

Transferring money isn’t always straightforward - sometimes the answers you need are buried in a website or must be obtained through phone calls and emails. Use this post as your guide to USAA international wire transfers, so you understand fees, wait times and other details.

  1., April 17th, 2018

  2., April 17th, 2018

  3., April 17th, 2018

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| 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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