USAA Wire Transfer: Fees and Transfer Time


 

USAA offers a broad range of banking, insurance and investment products. If you bank with USAA and need to make a payment overseas, you’ll want to know a bit about the USAA wire transfer fee structure and processes. This guide has you covered.

To help you decide if a wire transfer with USAA is the best option for you, we also take a look at an alternative - TransferWise. With currency conversion, international payments, and a smart new TransferWise multi-currency account, you’ll find all you need to manage your money across borders for less.

USAA international wire transfer fee

To make an international wire transfer from your USAA checking or saving account you‘ll have to call the customer service team, Monday to Friday between 7:30am and 3:30pm, CT. The agent will then talk you through USAA money transfer processes, collect your details and tell you the relevant USAA exchange rate for your payment.

Only domestic wire payments can be made online with USAA.

A quick cost example: sending USD1,000 to CAD, in Canada

Let’s look at an example of making a USAA transfer to another bank based overseas. Imagine you’re sending USD1,000 in Canada.

The fees for both USAA and TransferWise are outlined below. The USAA international bank transfer fee actually includes 2 separate costs. There’s one fee for USAA to process the payment, which is USD20. Then, you’ll also pay a USD25 international payment fee which is used to offset the costs of intermediary banks. 

Intermediary banks are involved when international payments are processed using the SWIFT payment system. This system is a network of banks which work together to process international transfers. Several different banks may be involved in a single transfer - and each can charge their own fee. USAA aren’t able to say in advance exactly what these intermediary bank fees will be, and so you may find that the costs deducted are even higher, meaning your recipient gets less than you’re expecting in the end.

ProviderFeeExchange rateTotal cost
USAAUSAA fee - USD20 + international wire fee - USD25  Exchange rate + possible markupUSD45 + exchange rate markup + potential intermediary bank charges
TransferwiseUSD9.48Mid-market exchange rate with no markupUSD9.48

USAA exchange rate

To arrange a USAA international wire transfer you’ll need to call the service team, and discuss your specific needs. You’ll then be told the relevant exchange rate for the currency you’re sending in, as well as any USAA wire transfer limit which may impact your payment.

It’s important to know that the exchange rate you find online for your currency - the mid-market rate - may not be the same as the one USAA offer for your payment. It’s common for banks and international payment providers to add a markup or margin to the exchange rate they offer their customers. This is an extra fee, and it’s not always obvious exactly how much it is.

Compare the exchange rate you’re quoted by USAA against the mid-market exchange rate, which you can find with a simple Google search. You’ll also be able to make a quick comparison against the rate offered by a modern alternative provider like TransferWise. TransferWise uses the mid-market exchange rate and charges a low transparent fee per transaction, which means it’s simple to see what you’re paying - and what your recipient will get in the end. 

How do you make an international bank transfer with USAA?

The only way to initiate an international bank transfer with USAA is to call the service team on 800-531-8722. Lines operate on weekdays, 7:30am to 3:30am, CT. Outside of these times you won’t be able to set up your payment through USAA directly and will need to find an alternative provider. If you call the service line after hours, you’ll simply be asked to call again later.

How to transfer to non USAA account

The service agent will talk you through the USAA wire transfer instructions in full when you call to initiate your payment. You’ll need to have a number of pieces of information ready when you call, including:

  • Send amount in USD or foreign currency
  • Full name and address of the recipient
  • Name and address of the recipient's bank 
  • Recipient’s account number, and bank SWIFT code or other bank code
  • Purpose of the payment

USAA wire transfer time

USAA international wire transfers may take up to 15 calendar days to arrive in your recipient’s account. If you provide incorrect payment details, fail to give a transfer reason, or if any other issue arises, there could be additional delays or fees.

USAA contact - How to get in touch with the bank?

If you have a specific question about your international payment you’ll be able to call the number given above. Otherwise, you can try the following options:

  • Call USAA main switchboard on 210-531-8722 or 800-531-8722
  • Mail USAA at USAA, 9800 Fredericksburg Rd.,San Antonio, TX 78288
  • Connect with USAA on social media

Making an international payment shouldn’t be hard. However, the processes used by traditional banks can be restrictive, tricky to navigate and take some time. You might also find you’re paying more - or getting a poor exchange rate - if you decide to send your payment using your regular bank.

Compare the cost and convenience of making your payment with USAA against TransferWise to see which suits you best. With both one-off payments and the smart TransferWise multi-currency account for managing your money across borders simply 24/7, you could save time as well as money.