How Long Does an International Money Transfer Take?

man making an International money transfer

Making an international money transfer can take up to minutes, hours or weeks. Why does such a big difference exist between delivery times? This usually comes down to the two key factors mentioned in this article.


  1. How you choose to send the money: Sending money through your own bank is one of the most common approaches people take to transfer money overseas. Doing so is convenient because the money is already there in your account. If you make it before the daily cutoff time your transfer should leave the same day. Chase, for example, estimates the transfers as taking 2-3 days but allows for the fact that it depends on the receiving bank as well.Many Americans simply use their bank for money transfers, but it might not be the cheapest or fastest option
  2. Using a currency provider :On the other hand, you can choose to use a dedicated currency transfer provider like Western Union or OFX. Sometimes these companies can complete transfers more quickly, although sometimes it takes an additional day to process payment to them.  For a review on them, click here for Western Union and here for OFX.


If you’re only interested in transferring small amounts, you can opt for Paypal or Moneygram. Both of these can send money on the same day. Setting up accounts with these providers takes a bit of time, but once done they can be great alternatives to using a bank.


How long does it take to get into your recipient’s account?

Once the funds leave the United States, how long it takes is largely up to the receiving bank or organization. Some process transfers within hours whilst others may take days to let the funds clear. Unfortunately, there is no predicting how long an international money transfer can take as banks vary so much country to country. Many banks are going to charge some type of processing fee as well, so be sure to keep this in mind for your budget.


How long do most international money transfers take to arrive?

As the world becomes more and more connected, the world’s banking systems are getting more integrated as well. This is good news for the speed of transferring money. Payments to developing countries used to take between 3 days and 3 weeks. Now, most transfers are completed within 1-4 business days regardless of where you’re sending your cash.


Payments to Australia, United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Germany are all especially fast.


It’s pretty standard for funds to arrive within 1-2 days in these countries. If you hit a daily cutoff time for sending money you should expect the transfer to take no more than 1-3 days. Again, the main factor in how long it takes your money to arrive is a matter of which bank you’re sending to.


For Chase’s cut off times, click here

For Bank of America’s cut off times, click here

For Citi’s cut off times, click here

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