Navy Federal International Wire Transfer: Fees, Rates and Transfer Time 2023
Navy Federal was founded in 1933 to meet the needs of members of the military, veterans, DoD employees and their families. These days, Navy Federal is one of the biggest credit unions in the US, and offers a broad range of services to individuals and business owners.
You can make international payments with Navy Federal – but it may not be the fastest or cheapest way to get your money where it needs to go.
This full review covers everything you need to know about Navy Federal international transfers, and also introduces some alternatives, such as Wise or WorldRemit to consider which may be less expensive and more convenient to use.
Navy Federal international money transfer comparison
Before getting started, we can show a comparison of how much it costs to send with Navy Federal and how long it takes compared to specialist providers. In this case, let’s imagine we need to send 1,000 USD to a friend in Canada, to be received in CAD.
|Provider||Total cost||Transfer time|
|Navy Federal Credit Union||25 USD + exchange rate markup + other costs/commissions||5 – 7 working days|
|Wise||7.56 USD||50% of payments are instant – 90% arrive in 24 hours|
|WorldRemit||2.99 USD + exchange rate markup||1-2 working days|
|OFX||Free + exchange rate markup||1-2 working days|
*Correct at time of writing, 2 March 2023
Key info on transferring money overseas with Navy Federal
- Transfer fees: 25 USD + exchange rate markup + potential third party fees
- Speed of transfer: 5 – 7 business days
- Transfer maximum: May depend on account type and destination country – payments over 5,000 USD in value must be confirmed in writing
- Safety: Covered by National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), deposits are insured to 250,000 USD/depositor
Navy Federal international wire transfer fees
When you set up an international wire payment you’ll often find you’re paying more than one fee for the service – even if you don’t know about it. Navy Federal international wire transfer fees can include:
- 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
- Third party fees – Navy Federal notes that the recipient’s bank may also deduct fees when the payment arrives
Here are the Navy Federal international wire fees you’ll want to know about:
|Service||Navy Federal fee|
|Make an international transfer||25 USD|
|Receive an international transfer||Free|
The Navy Federal international wire transfer fee is $25, whether you set up your payment in a branch, over the phone, by mail or by sending a secure message through your online banking service. On top of that, you’ll pay a variable exchange rate markup, and the recipient’s bank – or other intermediaries – may also deduct fees.
Navy Federal Credit Union Exchange Rates
Navy Federal works with a dedicated correspondent bank – usually Wells Fargo – to arrange international payments. The correspondent bank will set the exchange rate used, which won’t be the same as the rate you see on Google or in a currency converter.
The rate you get from a Google search is known as the mid-market exchange rate. This is the rate banks get when they buy currency themselves. However the mid-market rate is seldom passed on to customers. Instead banks and other currency services typically add a markup – an extra fee – onto the mid-market rate to calculate the rate they offer their customers.
Markups do vary depending on the specific currency you’re sending – but can be around 3% which is added into the exchange rate used to convert your funds. Here’s how much a 3% charge would add to your overall costs across a few different payment 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
As you can see, small percentage increases can really mount up quickly. Here’s a reminder of the overall costs of the providers we compared earlier:
- Navy Federal fees: 25 USD + exchange rate markup + other costs/commissions
- Wise fees: 7.56 USD
- WorldRemit fees: 2.99 USD + exchange rate markup
- OFX fees: 0 USD + exchange rate markup
Navy Federal additional fees
When you complete an international payment request form for Navy Federal, you’ll see a note advising you that the recipient bank may impose their own fees. These will be deducted from the transfer before it is deposited in the recipient’s account.
Charges from third parties – like intermediary banks, or the recipient’s own bank – usually appear when transfers are processed using the SWIFT network. The SWIFT payment system is used by most banks and credit unions to arrange international transfers. It’s reliable and safe, but can also be expensive and slow, because each transfer involves up to 3 separate banks working in partnership to move the money. These intermediary banks – also known as correspondents – can deduct processing fees for the part they play in setting up the payment.
Navy Federal is not a member of the SWIFT network itself, but instead works through a partnership with Wells Fargo to access the SWIFT payment system.
To cut out these extra SWIFT payments, alternative services like Wise and WorldRemit have built their own payment networks, which can help customers avoid these additional fees.
Need a cheaper alternative?
Using a regular bank or credit union to process an international wire might not be the cheapest – or most convenient – option available. Here are a few alternatives you may want to compare to Navy Federal before you get started:
Wise: Low, transparent fees, from 0.41%, with the mid-market exchange rate and no hidden fees
TorFX: No upfront transfer fee – exchange rate markups may apply, but you could find the markup applied is lower than that used by traditional banks
OFX: No upfront transfer fee – exchange rate markups may apply, but you could find the markup applied is lower than that used by traditional banks
Remitly: Fee varies based on destination and delivery speed – choose a cheaper Economy payment or a faster Express transfer, for a higher charge
WorldRemit: Fee varies based on destination and delivery speed
How to make an international transfer with Navy Federal
You can initiate an international transfer with Navy Federal in any of the following ways:
- Complete the request form, send through online banking, and await a call back to confirm the transfer
- Visit your local Navy Federal branch – check the branch offers international transfer services first
- Call on 1-888-842-6328
- Mail the completed request form to Navy Federal
If you’re sending a payment of over 5,000 USD you must confirm it in writing by sending your request form by secure message or mail – or you can visit a branch to set up your transfer instead.
The international payment request form is available on the Navy Federal website or online banking service, and can be downloaded or printed and completed in hard copy.
Here’s a quick step by step guide to complete the international payment request from and get your money moving:
- Download the international payment request from on the Navy Federal website or online banking service
- Enter your own information, including your account number
- Confirm the payment value and currency
- Add the recipient’s bank information, including the bank’s name, address and intermediary bank
- Enter the recipient’s personal details, including name, address, and bank account information
- Submit your form online, by mail, or in person at a branch
What information do you need to make an international wire transfer with Navy Federal?
To complete the international transfer request form you’ll need the following information:
- Your name, address and account number
- Your recipient’s name and address
- Your recipient’s account type, account number, and IBAN/CLABE
- Your recipient’s bank’s name, address, and SWIFT/BIC code
- Correspondent or intermediary bank routing information if applicable
- Transfer amount and currency
- Whether the payment is to an account in your own name, or to a third party
Navy Federal may be obliged to check your identity for some types of transfer – in this case you’ll be asked to provide ID documents like a driving license, and your payment may be delayed pending verification.
How long does an international money transfer with Navy Federal take?
International wire transfers with Navy Federal take 5 to 7 business days to arrive. The exact delivery time will depend on where you’re sending money to, and the processes in place at the recipient’s own bank.
Here’s a reminder of how the Navy Federal wire transfer time compares with the other providers we profiled earlier:
- Navy Federal: 5 – 7 days
- Wise: Can be instant – 90% of payments arrive in 24 hours
- WorldRemit: 1 – 2 days
- OFX: 1 – 2 days
Can the transfers be sped up?
Navy Federal doesn’t have an express payment service which can get your money moving faster.
If you need faster alternatives, consider checking money transfer specialists like WorldRemit and Wise. More on these services coming up in the next section.
Need a faster alternative?
Specialist international payment services can often provide a faster service compared to regular banks and credit unions. Let’s take a look at a few alternative options.
- Wise: payments can be instant – most arrive in 24 hours or less
- TorFX: same day for major currencies, 2 working days for exotic currencies
- OFX: 1 – 2 days
- Remitly: Express payments can be deposited in minutes, Economy payments take 3 – 5 days
- WorldRemit: 1 – 2 days
- Western Union (for cash collection): Usually instant
Pros and cons of transferring money abroad with Navy Federal
- Familiar and secure service
- Initiate your payment online or by phone
- Members who prefer an in-branch service can get help in person
- Send money all around the world for the same fee
- High transfer fee
- Exchange rates include a markup
- Your money may take 5-7 business days to arrive
- You can’t complete the entire payment process online – you need to await a call back from a team member to confirm the transaction
Navy Federal international business transfers
Navy Federal has several different business checking accounts, as well as savings accounts, credit cards and loans. The key business checking accounts on offer are:
- Business Checking
- Business Plus Checking
- Business Premium Checking
These accounts are aimed at different business stages. The basic business checking account is perfect for new businesses, with no monthly fee to pay. The Business Plus Checking account is aimed at growing businesses with steady banking activity. You’ll pay a monthly fee of 8 USD, but can add unlimited signers to the account.
Finally, the Business Premium Checking account is for mature businesses, with a monthly fee of 20 USD you can avoid by hitting a minimum daily balance of 5,000 USD.
Navy Federal business transfer fees
The final fee you pay to send or receive money through your Navy Federal business account may vary based on the account type, payment and destination country. Exchange rate markups and third party charges may also apply. Here’s a rundown of the key Navy Federal international business transfer fees you should know about:
|Service||Navy Federal business fee|
|Make an international wire transfer||25 USD|
|International cash transfer||14.50 USD|
|Western Union Quick Collect||12.95 USD|
|Receive an international transfer||Free|
Specialist providers like Wise and OFX, also provide business accounts and transfers, which can help you manage your money more flexibly – with no need to visit a branch to transact:
Wise Business: Hold money in 50+ currencies, get paid with local bank details for 10 currencies, and send payments to 70+ countries with the mid-market rate and low, transparent fees from 0.41%
OFX for Business: Get a multi-currency account to hold a balance and get paid from abroad, send one off and recurring payments, and access currency risk management products and services
TorFX Business: Make online and phone business transfers, 24/7 with low overall costs and competitive exchange rates
Navy Federal Transfer limits and available countries
The amount of money you can send through Navy Federal may depend on the type of account you have and the destination country. Any payment over 5,000 USD in value must be submitted in writing – and Navy Federal may need to see proof of identity to process the payment.
Transfers can be made to a broad range of countries around the world, with the exception of a handful of sanctioned countries where payments are not permitted.
Navy Federal contact information
The Navy Federal credit union address for wires – if you want to process your payment by mail – is as follows:
- Navy Federal Credit Union, Attn: Funds Disbursement Section, 820 Follin Lane SE, Vienna, VA 22180
Struggling to get your transfer set up, or have other questions to ask? Here’s how you can get in touch with Navy Federal if you need help with your international transfer:
|Navy Federal Contacts||Contact Details|
|Phone support||Personal banking: 1-888-842-6328|
Business banking: 1-877-418-1462
|In person service||Visit a local branch for face to face help|
|Online banking||Log into your account and send a secure message|
|Chat or social media||Connect on Facebook or Twitter, or through the chat service offered online and in mobile banking|
P.O. Box 3000
Merrifield, VA 22119-3000
Conclusion: Is Navy Federal right for you?
Sending an international transfer with Navy Federal is a familiar and secure way to make your payment. You’ll also be able to get face to face service in a branch if you want to. However, it’s worth being aware of the delivery times which can be up to 7 business days. The fees are on the high side too, at 25 USD plus an exchange rate markup.
If you’d prefer to send a transfer online, using a specialist service like Wise or WorldRemit may be cheaper and more convenient as you’ll be able to set up the entire transfer on your laptop or mobile device.
Choosing the right provider for your international transfer comes down to your personal preferences and the specifics of the payment you need to make. Compare a few options before you get started to make sure you get the best available deal for your specific needs
FAQs on International Wire Transfers with Navy Federal
How much does an international transfer cost with Navy Federal?
You’ll pay a 25 USD transfer fee to send an international wire with Navy Federal. There’s also an exchange rate margin, which is a fee added into the rate used to convert your payment.
How long does an international transfer take with Navy Federal?
A Navy Federal international transfer will take 5 – 7 business days to arrive in your recipient’s account.
How do I transfer money from Navy Federal into someone else’s account?
Set up your transfer by sending a secure message and awaiting a call back from Navy Federal, by phone, in a branch, by mail or using a fax.
Can I do a wire transfer online with Navy Federal?
You can start your wire transfer online, by downloading the international transfer request form and sending it in using a secure message from your online banking service. However, you’ll need to talk to an agent to complete the transfer.
Does Navy Federal do currency exchange?
You can send a foreign currency international money transfer with Navy Federal. Your USD funds will be converted to the currency you need, through Navy Federal’s banking partners – usually Wells Fargo.