PNC International Transfer: Fees, Limits and Exchange Rate

This article will cover everything you need to know about PNC international transfers including: how much it costs, how long it takes, and how to make a PNC international bank transfer.

PNC is the 5th largest bank in the US based on branch number – and 4th largest based on its ATM network. However, choosing to transfer money abroad with PNC may not get you the best available deal.

Alternative specialist providers like Wise, OFX and Western Union may be able to get your money where it needs to be faster and for a lower overall fee.

Compare International Money Transfer Providers

PNC international money transfer comparison

Before we get into the details, let’s look at a comparison of PNC against a couple of specialist providers.

The full cost of sending an international wire transfer can include several different fees:

  • Your own bank’s transfer fee – this is often the lowest of the costs you’ll pay
  • Exchange rate markup – this is a percentage fee added to the exchange rate used, which can often be the highest of the 3 fees overall
  • Third party charges  – paid to intermediaries and your recipient’s own bank – you may not know in advance what these fees will be

Here’s how the costs stack up if we are sending 1,000 USD to a friend in the UK:

ProviderTotal feeRecipient gets in the end
PNC5 USD + exchange rate markup + third party chargesContact your PNC representative to confirm the available exchange rate and applicable fees
Wise6.50 USD734.54 GBP
OFX5 USD + exchange rate markup722.65 GBP
Western Union0.99 USD + exchange rate markup709.52 GBP

*Data correct at time of research – 11 February 2022

PNC’s exchange rate will be confirmed when you set up your international transfer. It’ll include a markup on the mid-market exchange rate – which can often far exceed the costs of the transfer fee. Typically bank exchange rate markups are in the region of 3%. It doesn’t sound like much, but that’s an extra 150 USD fee on a transfer worth 5,000 USD.

Specialist providers can often offer lower overall fees, and a better exchange rate compared to banks. Because international money transfers are their core business, getting set up and using the platforms is usually straightforward, too.

PNC international transfer fees

First let’s look at the international transfer fees applied by PNC – which can vary based on whether you send your payment with assistance from a bank employee or through a self service route – and also depending on the transaction value and where it’s headed.

These fees are the PNC international transfer fees which apply at the time of research to virtual wallet and standard checking accounts. Some other account types may have different fees – and costs also change over time, so it’s worth double checking your own account’s terms and conditions.

International wire typePNC fee
Incoming international wire15 USD
Agent assisted outgoing wire45 USD
Self service outgoing wire40 USD
International money transfer5 USD

PNC’s international money transfer option is available to select destination countries, based on the transfer amount and the specific beneficiary bank involved. If international money transfers are not available for your PNC international payment, wire transfer fees will apply instead.

PNC exchange rate

You’ll be notified of the available PNC international transfer exchange rate when you set up your payment in a PNC branch. It’s useful to know that the exchange rate used by banks for international transfers is often not the same as the rate you’ll find on a currency converter or using a Google search.

The rate you find on Google is the mid-market exchange rate – the one banks and currency services access when they trade currencies on global markets. However, banks usually add a markup to this rate when they offer a quote to customers for international payments or other foreign currency transactions. This markup might be called a margin or a spread – but whatever it’s called it’s an extra fee which can be hard to spot.

The markup used by banks can be around 3%, which may sound small, but does push up the costs significantly. In fact, as we mentioned above the exchange rate markup can often be the most costly fee of all. Here’s how the exchange rate markup would stack up with a 3% margin used for 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’re sending 1,000 USD to the UK:

  • PNC: 5 USD transfer fee + exchange rate margin + possible third party fees
  • Wise: 6.50 USD
  • Western Union: 0.99 USD + exchange rate margin
  • OFX: 5 USD + exchange rate margin

PNC additional fees

When banks process international transfers they’re often sent using the SWIFT payment network. This is a reliable and safe way to send money – but it’s also slow and expensive.

Under SWIFT your payment is passed through a network of partner banks known as intermediaries. Each intermediary can charge a fee as they process the payment – pushing up the costs. And 1 to 3 different intermediaries can be involved in a single payment – slowing your money down. You don’t always know in advance which intermediaries will be used to process your payment, which means you also can’t see the full fees in advance.

A final additional cost to be aware of is any fee levied by your recipient’s own bank. If your recipient’s bank deducts a fee before the payment arrives, they might get less than you were expecting in the end.

How long does a PNC international money transfer take

The length of time it takes your payment to arrive will depend on a range of factors:

  • Where your money is headed
  • The transaction value
  • The recipient bank’s own processes

As we mentioned, it’s common for banks to send payments through the SWIFT network. In this case they can take up to 5 working days to arrive.

Here’s a roundup of how long it takes to get payments with PNC compared to the specialists we profiled earlier:

  • PNC: Up to 5 working days
  • Wise: 80% of payments arrive in 24 hours
  • Western Union: Up to 2 days
  • OFX: 1 – 2 business days

Pros and cons of transferring money abroad with PNC

Pros:

  • Familiar and reliable service
  • Get help in branch if you need it
  • Payments arrive directly in the recipient’s bank account

Cons:

  • Transfer fees are on the high side
  • Exchange rate markups may apply
  • International wires tend to take up to 5 days to arrive

While sending money overseas with PNC may be an obvious and familiar choice, it might not be the cheapest or fastest way to get your money where it needs to be. Compare the options available from PNC against convenient online alternatives and specialist providers to see if you can get a better exchange rate and a lower fee elsewhere.

How to make an international transfer with PNC

To arrange an international transfer with PNC you’ll need to visit your local branch. You can find your local PNC branch using the PNC online locator tool, and make an appointment in advance if you’d prefer.

Once you’re in the branch, a member of the service team will assist you to arrange your international wire, and confirm the documents and information required as well as the fees and exchange rate that will apply.

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

A member of the PNC team will help you to arrange your international payment. However, you’ll need to give them some information about your recipient to get started, including:

  • Your recipient’s name and address
  • The name and address of the recipient’s bank
  • Your recipient’s bank account number
  • Recipient bank’s SWIFT/BIC code
  • Other country specific information like a sort code for the UK or a CLABE number for Mexico

Transfer limits and available countries

The transfer limits – and the countries you can send money abroad to with PNC – aren’t publicly available and may vary based on your account type. To find out more, head to your local PNC branch and ask about the specific terms which apply to your account.

Receiving money from abroad with PNC

You can receive international wire payments to your PNC account. You’ll need to give the sender some information including:

  • Your full name as shown on your bank account
  • Your bank account number
  • The correct routing code for the payment type
  • Your bank’s address

You can find your bank account number by logging into your online banking or on your checks. However, it’s worth knowing that incoming wires may need a different routing number to the one on your checkbook. In some cases you’ll need to use the PNC Bank Routing Number: 043000096. Double check the details before your payment is sent.

PNC SWIFT code

Using the right SWIFT code is important to make sure a payment headed to your account can arrive quickly and safely. It’s like adding a zipcode to your letter before you mail it.

The main PNC SWIFT/BIC code is: PNCCUS33XXX. However, PNC uses several different types of SWIFT/BIC codes depending on the type of payment, so you’ll want to double check the exact one you need before your payment is sent.

Conclusion

Although sending money with your regular bank might seem like the easy way to make an international payment, it’s not necessarily the most convenient or cost effective. PNC international transfers must be arranged in a branch, have relatively high fees, and are likely to use a marked up exchange rate. All in all this might mean you can save time and money when you arrange your payment with a specialist provider instead.

 

FAQs

1. How much does a PNC international transfer cost?

Where they’re available, PNC international money transfers have a 5 USD fee. This service is only available in select markets – elsewhere fees of 40 – 45 USD + exchange rate markups apply.

2. How long does a PNC international money transfer take?

Bank international transfers typically take 1 – 5 business days to arrive, depending on the destination country and currency.

3. How to transfer money internationally with PNC?

To make a PNC international transfer you’ll need to call into your local PNC branch.

By Ileana Ionescu Updated March 28th, 2022