How to receive an international wire transfer: Your full guide here


Receiving an international wire transfer: A complete guide

If you need to receive a payment from someone based overseas, you’ll be wondering what you need to do to make sure the money arrives safely and on time. This guide has you covered.

We’ll run through exactly what you need to know about receiving an international wire, including the specific details needed - and fees applied - when receiving a payment with some of the biggest banks in the US. 

We’ll also touch on how you could be better off if you ask your sender to use Wise to process your payment, and introduce the Wise multi-currency borderless account as a simple way to send and receive payments from all over the world.

How to receive an international wire transfer: step-by-step

The steps you need to take to receive an international wire are remarkably simple:

  • Give your sender the full details required to process the payment
  • Understand the fees which will be applied by your own bank, and if there may be other costs incurred such as intermediary charges
  • Check the exchange rate being used so you know how much you’re expecting to receive
  • Make sure you know - and do not exceed - the send limits

It’s worth noting that international wires which are processed without the full information required - or with incorrect details - can be delayed or returned. This may incur extra fees and exchange rate charges.

It’s also important to check the exchange rate that will be used by the sending bank when you calculate how much you’re expecting to receive. 

You might find that there’s a difference between the exchange rate the sending bank offers, compared to the exchange rate you find on Google or using a currency converter tool. That’s because the rate you’ll find from a reliable source online is likely to be the mid-market exchange rate - the best rate available, and the one used on global currency markets. However, banks often add a markup to the rates they offer their customers, which can result in you getting less than you expect. More on how to avoid this issue, coming right up.

What information do I need to provide to receive a wire transfer?

When you need to get a payment sent directly to your bank account from overseas, you’ll firstly have to give the sender your personal and banking details to make sure the money arrives safely. Usually the details you need to give include:

  • Your full name as shown on your bank account
  • Your bank’s name and address
  • Your bank’s SWIFT code
  • Your bank account number

How long does it take to receive an international wire transfer?

The exact length of time it takes to receive an international payment depends on the currency and payment route. For major global currencies you may receive your money in a day or two, but it’s common to have to wait 3 - 5 days for the payment to arrive.

Receive international payments from over 30 countries with Wise

As we mentioned above, international payments can be blighted by inflated exchange rates and high bank fees. That may mean you get less than you expect when someone sends you money from overseas.

A smart way around this problem is to ask your sender to use Wise to process your payment. Sending money with Wise is simple - and all arranged online. You’ll benefit from the real mid-market exchange rate with no markups, and your sender will only pay a low, transparent fee. That can mean lower fees for them - and more money in the end for you.

If you receive international payments frequently, another alternative is to use the Wise multi-currency borderless account. Get an account for free online, and use your free local bank details to receive payments in British pounds, euros, Australian, New Zealand and Singapore dollars with no fee to pay. If your sender is in the UK, euro area, Australia, New Zealand or Singapore, you can simply ask them to make a transfer in their local currency to your multi-currency account. 

Once you hold a foreign currency balance you can either hold it in the account, or convert it back to USD using the mid-market exchange rate and then withdraw it to your regular bank. Simple.

Receiving international wire transfer with Chase Bank - instructions and fees

If you bank with Chase and want to receive an international payment, you’ll need to give the sender the Chase SWIFT code, which is CHASUS33. You’ll also have to pass on your personal bank account number, full name, and any other information required for payment processing.

The fee for receiving a wire payment is usually USD15 - waived if the payment originated from a Chase account. The terms and conditions also specify that there may be other fees to pay:

“Other financial institutions and Chase may deduct fees and/or charges from the amount of the incoming wires, which will reduce the proceeds credited to your account. Any deductions taken by us may include processing fees charged by Chase.”

Receiving an international wire transfer with Wells Fargo

If you hold a Wells Fargo account and need to receive an international wire, you’ll have to tell your sender your bank account number and full name as shown on the account. You’ll also usually need the following:

  • Wells Fargo bank address - 420 Montgomery Street, San Francisco CA 94104
  • Wells Fargo SWIFT code - WFBIUS6S if the payment is sent in USD (or if the currency is unknown), or WFBIUS6WFFX if the payment is being sent in foreign currency

Receiving a domestic transfer will cost USD15, and receiving an international payment will cost USD16. Wells Fargo fees can vary depending on your location within the US - so do check your account’s specific terms and conditions for reference. 

It’s also worth knowing that Wells Fargo warns of another couple or potential costs related to money transfers:

“Fees charged by third parties or other banks, in addition to those described above. Additionally, incoming or outgoing domestic wires that contain incorrect information may be subject to multiple fees assessed by the Bank and/or other financial institutions that process the wire”

Receiving international wire transfers with Bank of America

To receive a wire payment into your Bank of America account you’ll need to tell the sender your personal bank account number and full name. You’ll also need further details, depending on the way the payment will be processed.

If the wire is being sent in USD - or you’re unsure of the currency being transferred - the sender will need the following:

  • Bank of America’s SWIFT code - BOFAUS3N
  • Bank of America’s address - Bank of America, NA, 222 Broadway, New York, New York 10038

If the wire is being sent a foreign currency, the sender can use this information instead:

  • Bank of America’s SWIFT code - BOFAUS6S
  • Bank of America’s address - Bank of America, NA, 555 California St, San Francisco, CA 94104

The fees used by Bank of America may vary by account type and location, so check your own account terms and conditions before you proceed. However, the standard account terms do clarify the following:

“For international wire transfers, in addition to our standard wire transfer fee, other fees may also apply, including those charged by the recipient’s financial institution, foreign taxes and other fees that are part of the wire transfer process. Markups associated with the currency conversion are included in the Bank of America exchange rate”

Receiving international wire transfers with Citibank

To receive an international payment safely to your Citibank account, you’ll have to give the sender your account number, ABA routing number and full name. You’ll also need the Citibank SWIFT code which is CITIUS33. If you need a bank or branch address to process the wire, you can use the following:

  • Citibank, 100 Citibank Drive, San Antonio, TX 78245

If you hold a CitiGold or Priority account package, you might find that the fees for receiving incoming wire payments are waived. Otherwise you’ll pay USD15 for each incoming wire. It’s also worth noting the following, from the Citibank terms and conditions booklet:

“In addition, in the case of transfers into your account which are sent in foreign currencies, we will convert the funds into U.S dollars at our current conversion rate. Our conversion rate for both outgoing and incoming foreign fund transfers includes a commission for the conversion service”

Receiving an international payment is easy - but making sure you get the best possible deal can take a little more work. Check out the simple, low cost international transfers available from Wise to lose less on fees and exchange rates, and keep more to spend on yourself.

Disclaimer: 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. 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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