Capital One International Wire Transfer: Fees, Rates and Transfer Time

If you plan to transfer money abroad with Capital One this guide is for you. Read on for all you need to know including the fees for a Capital international wire transfer, how long it takes, and how to get started.

Despite being the fifth largest bank in the US, Capital One may not be the best way to send your international wire transfer.

Specialist services like Wise, OFX and Western Union are convenient to use and could help you make your transfer cheaper and faster. 

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
Wise5.38 USD transfer fee80% of payments arrive in 24 hours
Western Union1.99 USD transfer fee + exchange rate margin0 - 8 business days
OFX$0 + exchange rate margin1 - 2 business days

*Fees and rates correct at time of research  - 14 December 2021

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, TorFX or OFX, 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.

 

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 wire 15 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. Many specialist international money transfer services 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.

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

 

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 wire. A member of the customer service team will walk you through the process and tell you the fees, exchange rate and expected delivery time for your 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:

  • 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

Additional details may be required depending on the destination country.

Transfer limits and available countries

 

Capital One international wire payments can be made to a broad range of countries and currencies. 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

 

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 which 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

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 which specialize in international payments can often offer streamlined processing which costs less and gets your money where it needs to be faster.

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.

Can I transfer money to a card with Chase?

Chase only offers the option to set up international wires to bank accounts.

Sending money abroad? Compare exchange rates and fees

By Ileana Ionescu Updated December 22nd, 2021