RBC Royal Bank international money transfer: Fee and transfer time


Sending money overseas should not be hard. But finding the right provider and service to get your money safely to its destination - for a reasonable fee - can take a little research.

This guide covers all you need to know about making an international money transfer to or from Canada's  RBC Royal Bank. 

We’ll also introduce Wise and the Wise multi-currency borderless account as a smart alternative to look into when you’re choosing the best way to send money to someone based abroad.

RBC Bank international wire transfer fees

Let’s start with the important stuff - the costs you’ll need to consider if you’re planning on sending a payment with RBC Bank.

Payment typeRBC Bank fee
Domestic transfer using Interac e-transferInterac transfers are free from most accounts, subject to fair usage limits
RBC international money transfer]Online and using mobile banking: 
CAD6 for transfers up to a value of CAD1,000 + exchange rate markup + potential recipient and intermediary charges
CAD10 for transfers over CAD1,000 + exchange rate markup + potential recipient and intermediary charges
RBC Bank also lists a CAD13.50 per item fee which may apply to some account types - check before you proceed
Wire transferFrom CAD45 - you’ll need to get detailed costing advice  for your specific transfer from RBC’s customer service team

RBC Bank international transfers - additional fees

Before we go on, it’s worth mentioning a few extra costs you may run into when sending money overseas with RBC. There may be an additional fee rolled into the exchange rate which we will cover in a moment - and RBC Bank’s legal disclaimer section also clarifies the following:

“Excess debit transaction fee may also apply depending on the account. Additional service fees by any intermediary and receiving bank may apply.”

The additional service fees referred to here may arise if the payment is sent using the SWIFT network. This is a common, but often costly, way of processing international payments. The SWIFT network involves a series of banks working in partnership to pass a payment along to the right destination account. It’s reliable, but can be slow, and can also result in unexpected costs as intermediary banks - as well as the recipient’s own bank - can take a fee for the service they provide. This may mean your recipient gets less than you expect.

RBC Royal Bank exchange rate

RBC also refers to currency conversion fees in the small print which follows their guide to making international money transfers. You may be wondering what this means.

The costs described are likely to be a markup added to the exchange rate RBC will use for your international transfer. That means they’ll take the mid-market exchange rate - the one you’ll find on Google - and add a margin to create the rate offered to retail customers. This is an extra fee, but because it’s hidden in the exchange rate it can be tricky to spot.

Compare the exchange rate on offer from RBC with a provider like Wise which uses the mid-market exchange rate every time, to see if you can save.

A cheap and transparent alternative: Wise

It’s common practise to add a markup to exchange rates offered to regular customers. But Wise likes to be different.

All international payments made with Wise benefit from the real mid-market exchange rate with no hidden fees. You just pay a low, transparent charge per transaction which can work out much cheaper than regular banks and alternative providers. You’ll be able to set your payment up online for convenience - and because it won’t be processed using SWIFT there are no extra costs lurking around. You’ll see exactly what your recipient will get before you confirm the payment.

You can make it even easier to manage your money across countries and currencies with the Wise multi-currency borderless account. Open your account for free online to hold, send and spend dozens of currencies, using the mid-market exchange rate every time. See how Wise can help, with simple, cheap and secure international payments all over the world.

How to make an international wire transfer with RBC Bank Canada

RBC Bank Canada recommends customers use online and mobile banking to arrange international transfers for the lowest fee. If you’d rather send a wire payment, you’ll need to talk to a team member by phone or in branch to check the costs and get your payment set up.

International e transfer with RBC

To arrange an international payment with RBC via online banking you’ll need to take the following steps:

  • Sign into online banking and head to the Accounts summary page
  • Find the option Quick payments and transfers, and hit International money transfer
  • You’ll be guided through onscreen prompts to enter the required details, which will include the amount and currency you’re sending as well as your recipient’s full bank details

If you’re using the mobile app, the process to follow is similar:

  • Log into the app and find the option Send money on Android phones - or Move money for iOS
  • You’ll see the option International money transfer
  • Click through to be guided through the rest of the process with onscreen prompts

How long does a wire transfer take with RBC Bank?

Using the international money transfer service with RBC your recipient will get their money in an estimated 2 - 5 business days. If you’re sending a wire through your branch or telephone banking, you’ll need to check the likely delivery time before you confirm your payment.

International wire transfer limit

Using the RBC online and mobile international money transfer service, you can send up to CAD2,500 per day. You may be able to send more by talking to your bank in person, or arranging a wire payment instead.

Receiving an international money transfer with RBC

You can receive international wire payments to your RBC account. If the value is CAD50 or under, there is no RBC fee, but there’s a CAD17 charge to receive payments with a higher value.

If someone is sending you money, you’ll also need to make sure they have the correct details to get your payment through safely. You’ll probably need to give the following information to your sender, along with your personal account details:

  • RBC’s SWIFT code - ROYCCAT2
  • RBC’s ABA routing number for U.S. dollar payments - 021000021

You may be asked by your recipient to provide an IBAN (international bank account number). IBAN numbers are used in many parts of the world when making international payments - but do not apply in Canada. If you need to give an IBAN to facilitate the payment, you can use the RBC bank number (003) followed by your personal account number and your bank branch’s transit number.

Your normal bank might not always be the best option when you’re sending money overseas. Check out a few providers to compare the fees and exchange rates on offer - and don’t forget to look at modern alternatives like Wise for convenient, fast low costs payments which can be much cheaper than your regular bank.

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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