How to Transfer Money From One Bank to Another

Some consumers prefer to have more than one checking or savings account because of handy features that a bank may offer. You might choose to have your funds in one bank for checking, while you use another institution solely for your savings because of higher interest rates.

You will need to determine the best method to transfer money between your accounts or to send money to someone who banks at a different financial institution from yours.

Consumers have many options to move their money from one bank to another — these are usually free and do not take more than a couple of business days.

[Read: Best Savings Accounts.]

Steps for Transferring Money Between Banks

Transferring your money between accounts at different banks is simple, especially because many digital options are readily available for free.

You can move money from one bank to your other one online in a few steps:

1. Log into your bank’s website or connect via the bank’s app.

2. Click on the transfer feature and choose transfer to another bank.

3. Enter the routing and account numbers for the account at the other bank.

4. Make the transfer.

5. Your bank may require verification that you are the owner of the other account. The transfer likely will take one to two days or maybe more if verification is needed.

If you are transferring money, be mindful of whether your bank requires minimum balances because you could drop below and owe a fee, says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate, a financial data company.

Several U.S. banks offer the Zelle platform, which allows money to be moved from one bank to another for free and usually within minutes. Zelle only requires that you know the recipient’s mobile phone number or email address. The amount you can transfer and receive through Zelle depends on your bank.

For example, Bank of America’s daily transfer limit is $3,500, while Discover Bank’s is $600.

What Are Alternative Ways to Transfer Money?

If you’re sending a large amount of money, you may want to use a wire transfer at your bank. You’ll need the recipient’s account and routing numbers. You and the recipient will likely incur fees.

Wire transfers take place in less than 24 hours but do not occur on weekends or on bank holidays.

Other methods of sending someone money can be quick or free.

“You can write a paper check to yourself or a friend/family member or use a third-party service to send money,” says Leslie Tayne, a debt relief attorney at Tayne Law Group. “Using PayPal, Zelle, Venmo, Apple Pay and Block’s Cash App are all no-cost options when sending money from your bank account to another’s bank account.”

How Is a Bank-to-Bank Transfer Different From Other Transfers?

A bank-to-bank transfer, also called an external transfer, allows you to send funds electronically from your bank account to an account at another financial institution. That’s different from an internal transfer, which shifts funds between your accounts at the same bank.

You can set up recurring external transfers, but note that some banks set transfer limits per transaction, day and month.

Peer-to-peer payment apps, wire transfers and paper checks are other ways to transfer money between bank accounts. Looking at speed, cost and transfer limits can help you choose the right method for your needs.

[READ Best High-Yield Savings Accounts]

Be Aware of Regulation D When Transferring From Savings

Activity in your savings account is governed by the federal Regulation D. The federal government has loosened its Regulation D limits on the number of withdrawals allowed from a savings account each month, but some banks and credit unions are still enforcing the limit of six withdrawals a month.

Check your bank’s rules before you attempt to make a transfer. Transfers count as one of the kinds of withdrawals that are limited.

“While the limits were removed, banks can still charge fees for excessive withdrawals from savings accounts,” Tayne says.

[Read: Best CD Rates.]

Always Be Careful When Transferring Funds

Make sure you double-check all the account numbers, cellphone numbers and email addresses before you transfer money, especially when you use apps like Venmo, because there are no safeguards in place to return your money if you send it to the wrong person.

Contact the company you used to send the funds if this occurs — maybe the unintended recipient will be honest enough to return your funds. One way to avoid making a mistake when you are sending money to someone with a long email address is to copy and paste the recipient’s address instead of typing it.

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How to Transfer Money From One Bank to Another originally appeared on

Update 05/22/24: This story was previously published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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