How Long Does a Wire Transfer Take? a Guide on Wire Transfer Processing Times

How Long Does a Wire Transfer Take

A wire transfer is a broad term associated with sending money electronically. It can include bank-to-bank transfers or credit union transfers like Western Union. Wire transfers can take a few minutes to a few days based on how and where you are sending the money.

Let’s explore how long wire transfers take under different circumstances. Below are the timelines that generally apply to different modes of wire transfers:

Domestic Wire Transfer

The Expedited Funds Availability Act (EFAA) mandates every financial institution in the US to credit funds to a recipient within a business day. As a result, wire transfers within the country are generally cleared within 24 hours.

Wire transfers through credit unions may happen within a few minutes. The same is also applicable for some bank transfers, especially within the same institution.

Automated Clearing House (ACH) wire transfers within the USA generally take 2 to 3 days. However, ACH transfers have lower fees than wire transfers.

International Wire Transfer

An international wire transfer can take between 1 and 5 days to clear the funds. The actual duration depends on several factors like banking regulations, currency conversion, and differences in time zones.

Various non-banking services also exist to help you transfer money internationally. You can use online methods like Western Union to process international transfers within one business day. These apps or websites generally need your debit or credit card to initiate the process.

Some banks also provide same-day transfers to chosen countries for extra charges.

What Factors Impact the Processing Time of Wire Transfers?

As you may have noticed, some wire transfers happen faster than others. But what are the factors that decide how long a wire transfer takes?

The Location of Funds Transfer

Domestic transfers are way faster than cross-border transactions. You can send or receive money within one business day within the United States. It is also possible to process funds instantly using some methods.

Wire Transfer Method You Choose

You can choose various ways to transfer funds via wire. Even banks offer several methods to send money to your recipient’s bank, like:

Fedwirea reliable way to send large amounts in less time within the country. The method uses real-time gross settlement (RTGS) and credits your funds instantly. As a result, you can get your money within a few minutes.

Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS): a good option to process multiple payments in a single batch within the country. Banks process CHIPS wire transfers several times a day based on their cut-off times.

Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT): a network of financial institutions to facilitate wire transfers. You can use SWIFT for transactions between banks without any direct relationship. SWIFT transfers can take 1 to 4 business days.

The Time of Wire Transfer

Banks process wire transfers on the same day from Monday to Friday. As a result, money sent on weekends will have to wait for the next business day to be processed.

Along with that, the wire transfer cut-off times also impact processing times. Let’s say the cut-off time of your bank is 5 pm for same-day transfers. So, if you initiate a transfer after 5 pm, your bank will process it on the following business day.

Here are the cut-off times of some popular banks for same-day transfers:

BankDomestic Wire TransfersInternational Wire Transfers
Bank of America8 pm ET5 pm ET
Goldman Sachs (Marcus)10 pm ET (Monday to Friday)
7 pm ET (Weekends)
Citibank6 pm ET5:15 pm ET
Chase Bank4 pm ET (Personal accounts)
5 pm ET (Business accounts)
4 pm ET (Personal accounts)
5 pm ET (Business accounts)
Wells Fargo5 pm ET5 pm ET

Final Thoughts

A wire transfer takes less than 24 hours within the US. You may need 1 to 5 days for your international transfers to be credited to your recipient’s account. It is also possible to send money instantly using methods like Fedwire. However, factors like bank cut-off times and transfer methods can impact how long a wire transfer takes.


What is a wire transfer?

A wire transfer is an electronic method of sending money that can take a few minutes to a few days, depending on the circumstances.

How long does a domestic wire transfer take?

Domestic wire transfers within the US are typically cleared within 24 hours, while some transfers within the same institution or through credit unions can happen within minutes.

How long does an international wire transfer take?

International wire transfers can take 1 to 5 days to clear, depending on factors like banking regulations, currency conversion, and time zone differences. Non-banking services like Western Union may process international transfers within one business day.

What factors affect wire transfer processing time?

The location of the transfer, chosen wire transfer method (such as Fedwire, CHIPS, or SWIFT), and the time of the transfer can influence processing time. Additionally, bank cut-off times and weekends can impact the duration.

Can wire transfers be processed on weekends?

Banks generally process wire transfers on business days (Monday to Friday). Transfers initiated on weekends will be processed on the next business day.

How quickly can money be sent using Fedwire?

Fedwire allows for instant funds transfer within the US, often taking just a few minutes.

How long does a wire transfer take using SWIFT?

SWIFT transfers, facilitating transactions between banks without a direct relationship, typically take 1 to 4 business days to complete.

What is the general timeframe for wire transfers?

Domestic wire transfers in the US usually take less than 24 hours, while international transfers can take 1 to 5 days. However, various factors such as transfer methods, bank cut-off times, and weekends can impact the overall duration.

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