Capital One International Wire Transfer

Capital One is one of the largest banks in the US and many people use them to transfer money overseas. In this guide, we will look at how to transfer money overseas with Capital One, how long it takes, and how much it costs.

However, they may not be the best option for international money transfers. Many specialist international wire transfer services like Wise, OFX, and Western Union offer fast and convenient transfers. These services can be cheaper than traditional banks like Capital One, with some charging no transfer fees. They are also transparent about the fees and use mid-market exchange rates that are often lower than the rates used by traditional banks.

Capital One international money transfer comparison

Not all Capital One accounts are eligible for international wire transfers. Usually, customers with Essential Checking, High-Yield Checking, and Essential Savings accounts are able to arrange international wires in a Capital One branch – other account types may not be able to send wires internationally.

If your account is eligible for international wire transfers, you’re likely to pay 3 different fees to send money abroad:

  • Transfer fee – this is often the easiest to spot and with some providers can be low, or even free
  • Exchange rate markup – this can be the highest fee, but it’s often hard to see
  • Intermediary bank fees – you may not know about these in advance so your recipient gets less than they expect

We’ll look at each of these payments in turn in a moment. First, let’s take a look at an example – sending a payment to a friend in Canada so they receive 1,000 CAD in the end. The Capital One fees and transfer times reflect the fact you can only send international wire transfers in a branch – for the other providers we’ve profiled, we selected online transfers for convenience and the lowest available cost.

ProviderTotal costTransfer time
Capital One40 USD transfer fee + intermediary fees + exchange rate margin3 – 5 business days
Wise4.31 USD transfer fee + % variable feePayments can arrive within 24 hours
Western Union0 USD transfer fee + exchange rate margin0 – 8 business days
OFX0 USD + exchange rate margin2 – 5 business days

*Fees and rates correct at time of research  – 21 November 2022

As you can see, Capital One international wire transfer fees are far higher than the specialist providers we’ve looked at. You’ll also pay an exchange rate markup which can add to the cost significantly, and third-party fees which can’t always be known in advance.

Sending a Capital One international money transfer is less convenient than using a specialist service, too, because you’ll need to head to a branch to make arrangements. Online specialists can have your money moving for a lower fee, with payments set up online or through an app 24/7.

When it comes to delivery times, Capital One payments may take several working days to arrive. Online specialist services typically deliver payments quicker, with some even offering instant transfers or payments which arrive on the same day.

Sending an international money transfer through an online specialist, like Wise, OFX or Western Union is usually fairly easy to do and you’ll often see the full costs and expected arrival times for your transfer before you confirm the payment.

Go to Wise
Go to OFX

Capital One international transfer fees

Here are the fees for sending and receiving international wire transfers with Capital One’s Essential Checking account:

International transfer typeCapital One international transfer fee
International wire sent in foreign currency40 USD
International wire sent in USD50 USD
Receive an international wire15 USD

Some Capital One accounts do not allow outgoing international wire payments, and some allow incoming wires with no receiving fee. There’s more on the costs and processes involved when receiving an international wire to your Capital One account coming up later.

Capital One exchange rate

You’ll be told the Capital One international wire transfer exchange rate when you visit a branch to set up your payment. The exchange rate you’re offered won’t usually be the same as the rate you can find using a Google search or with an online currency converter. That’s known as the mid-market exchange rate. Instead, banks usually add a markup – an extra fee – to the mid-market rate to calculate the exchange rate passed on to customers.

The exact percentage markup used by Capital One may vary based on the specific payment details, but banks commonly use a markup of around 3%. That may not sound significant but can quickly become the biggest of all the fees you’ll pay when sending an international transfer. Here’s how a 3% markup would add up for a few different transfer values:

  • Sending 1,000 USD – the exchange rate markup adds 30 USD to the total
  • Sending 5,000 USD – the exchange rate markup adds 150 USD to the total
  • Sending 50,000 USD – the exchange rate markup adds 1,500 USD to the total

Here’s a reminder of the total costs – including exchange rate markups – from the providers we looked at earlier. This is what you’ll pay with each if you want your recipient to end up with 1,000 CAD in their account in the end:

  • Capital One: 40 USD transfer fee + Exchange rate margin + relevant intermediary bank fees
  • Wise: 5.38 USD transfer fee
  • Western Union: 1.99 transfer fee, exchange rate margin applies
  • OFX: No transfer fee, exchange rate margin applies

Capital One additional fees

As well as the 40 USD transfer fee and the exchange rate markup, you’ll also often need to pay extra costs when sending a Capital One international transfer. These charges don’t actually go to Capital One. Instead, they’re paid directly to intermediary banks which help to process the transfer. Intermediary fees are deducted from the transfer amount as it passes through the system, and can’t be confirmed in advance. That means you may not be sure exactly what your recipient will get in the end.

Here’s what Capital One says about third-party fees in their wire payment guide:

“Intermediary banks that process payments charge a fee to cover their processing costs. These fees are known as Beneficiary Deduction “Bene Deduct” fees and are in addition to the wire transfer initiation fee. Because not all intermediary banks between the Originator and Beneficiary are known when the wire transfer is initiated, the sum of all fees cannot be determined until after the wire transfer has been completed.”

Intermediary fees like these usually arise when payments are processed using the SWIFT network. That’s the payment process favored by most large banks. It’s safe and reliable, but can also be expensive and slow.

But there are alternatives. Many specialist international money transfer services can help you to avoid these fees. Services like Wise and OFX have their own secure payment processes which allow faster payment times and lower fees. By cutting out the intermediary banks, overall costs are more predictable, and the money arrives faster, too.

Read about these alternatives and how they can potentially save you money later in this article.

Wise Review
OFX Review

How long does a Capital One international money transfer take?

It can take 3 – 5 business days for a Capital One international wire transfer to arrive and be deposited in your recipient’s account. That’s slower than using many specialist international payment providers.

Here’s a recap of the delivery times you may expect from the providers we profiled earlier:

  • Capital One: 3 – 5 business days
  • Wise: 80% of payments arrive in 24 hours
  • Western Union: 0 – 8 days
  • OFX:  1 – 2 business days

Pros and cons of transferring money abroad with Capital One

Pros:

  • Familiar and secure option
  • Get face-to-face in branch service
  • Send to a broad range of countries and currencies

Cons:

  • High fees including exchange rate markups and third-party costs
  • Delivery times are relatively slow
  • Not all accounts are able to send international wires
  • No online service for sending cross-border payments

While sending an international wire with your regular bank is familiar and safe, Capital One’s costs and delivery times are not market-beating. Compare a few providers to see if you can get a more convenient international transfer for a lower fee elsewhere.

How to make an international transfer with Capital One

You can make international transfers either at a Capital One branch, via phone, or online. When making a transfer at a branch or over the phone, a customer service representative will complete the transaction for you.

If you’d like to do the transfer online, you need to follow the steps below.

  1. Sign in to your Capital One online account
  2. Select the account you want to send the money from **
  3. Click on ‘Account Services & Settings’
  4. Select ‘Wire Money’ and enter the details

Keep in mind that international payment systems change all the time and transfers to some countries and currencies may involve additional steps. We recommend that you check with the receiver’s bank before making the transaction.

Not all account types are eligible for international payments. If you have an eligible account, you’ll need to visit a Capital One branch to arrange your international transfer.

What information do you need to make an international transfer with Capital One?

When you arrange your Capital One international wire transfer you’ll need to give the following details:

  • Ordering account number and the sender’s account to be debited
  • Recipient’s name, address, and telephone number
  • Recipient’s bank account number
  • Recipient’s full bank name, address, and SWIFT/BIC Code
  • International Bank Account Number (IBAN), if required
  • If you are transferring money for someone else,  you’ll need their name and address

Additional details may be required depending on the destination country. Please check with the recipient to ensure you have all the information needed.

Transfer limits and available countries

Capital One international wire payments can be made to more than 150 countries. Transfer limits may apply, which can vary by your account type and in accordance with local laws in your destination country.

When you arrange your international wire, a member of the Capital One support team will talk through any limits or additional requirements which may apply based on your specific transfer request.

Receiving money from abroad with Capital One

When you receive an international wire transfer into a personal account, the sender’s bank will be responsible for the transaction. You will also need to contact them if you have any questions.

The recipient’s bank may ask you to provide them with the following information:

  • Capital One’s SWIFT code (IBAN)
  • Capital One’s address
  • Your Capital One account and routing numbers.

Depending on your Capital One account type, you may need to pay a fee when you receive an international wire:

Capital One account typeInternational wire receiving fee
  • Essential Checking
  • High-Yield Checking
  • Essential Savings
15 USD
  • 360 Checking
  • 360 Savings
  • 360 Money Market
  • Performance Savings
  • Total Control Checking
  • Confidence Savings
  • Savings Now
  • Simply Checking
  • TEEN MONEY Checking
  • KSA (Kids Savings Account)
No fee

If you expect to receive an international wire transfer to your Capital One account, you’ll also have to give the sender:

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

Capital One SWIFT code

When you send or receive an international wire transfer you’ll usually need a SWIFT/BIC code. These are unique identifiers that are issued to banks around the world, and which help to guide transfers to the right recipient account quickly and safely.

If you’re receiving a transfer from abroad to your Capital One account, you should give the sender Capital One’s SWIFT code which is HIBKUS44.

Alternatives to Capital One International Wire Transfers

Traditional banks like Capital One often charge high fees for international wire transfers and transfers can sometimes be slow. Many banks require that you have an account with them to use the international wire transfer service. If you don’t already have an account, you may need to go into a branch to open one.

Alternative international money transfer providers like OFX, Wise, WorldRemit, and others often make it easy to open an account online and offer speedy, low-cost transfers to several countries around the world.

FeesExchange rateSpeedAvailable countries
OFX0 USD + exchange rate marginMid-market + markup1 – 5 business days190+
Wise4.31 USD transfer fee + % variable feeMid-market1 – 2 business days50
WorldRemit2.99 USDMid-market + markup1 – 2 business days130+
Western Union0 USD transfer fee + exchange rate marginMid-market + markup0 – 8 business days200+

*Information correct at time of research  – 22 November 2022, based on sending 1,000 USD to CAD

Summary: Many alternative wire transfer providers offer fast transfers to many countries for low fees at mid-market exchange rates. Which provider is better for you depends on your needs and the features each provider offers.

Wise

Wise offers mid-market exchange rates with transparent fees,  and 50% of transfers are instant, 80% are delivered within 24 hours. They offer a multi-currency account that lets you hold various currencies and a linked debit card that you can use to send, spend and receive money in more than 170 countries.

Go to Wise

OFX

OFX supports international money transfers from over 190 countries in more than 50 currencies. They offer a range of tools like targeting specific exchange rates and fixing future exchange rates. Customer support is available 24/7 where you can speak to a real person.

Go to OFX

Western Union

Western Union has an agent network covering almost every country in the world. You can make transfers online or in person at one of Western Union’s more than 50,000 US agent locations. Western Union also offers a cash-pickup option when sending money overseas.

WorldRemit

WorldRemit lets you send money in more than 70 currencies to more than 130 countries. Fees are often fixed and some countries allow you to send money as cash pickups, home delivery, mobile money, or airtime top-up.

Go to WiseGo to WorldRemit

Conclusion

While most regular banks offer international wire payments, they’re often not the quickest, cheapest, or most convenient option. Capital One’s international wire transfer fees are high, and can also include exchange rate markups and intermediary charges. Instead of using your normal bank, check out some specialist online providers like Wise, Western Union, and OFX. Services that specialize in international payments can often offer streamlined processing which costs less and gets your money where it needs to be faster.

Capital One international bank transfer FAQs

How much does a Capital One international transfer cost?

Standard Capital One international wire transfers have a 40 USD transfer fee, plus exchange rate markups and intermediary costs.

How long does a Capital One international money transfer take?

The exact amount of time it takes for your Capital One international wire to arrive will depend on the destination country and the recipient’s own bank’s processes. Delivery times of around 3 – 5 business days are to be expected.

How to transfer money internationally with Capital One?

Not all Capital One customers can send money internationally. If you have an Essential Checking, High-Yield Checking or Essential Savings account you can send an international wire by visiting your local Capital One branch.

By Ileana Ionescu Updated December 27th, 2022