How to Transfer Money Between Banks

Published on May 08 2012 // Written By // Banking, Finance 101, Personal Finance

You may need to transfer money between bank accounts if you have money in two different banks.  There are several ways to do this beyond the obvious of driving to one bank, withdrawing the money and then depositing it at the other bank.  Which way works best for you depends on how quickly you need the money and how much money you want to spend to transfer the funds.

U.S. Mail.  This is the simplest method; just mail a check from one bank to your other bank and wait for it to be deposited and the funds received.  This will take from several days up to a week and will only cost you a stamp.

Wire Transfer.  A wire transfer is best if you want your money quickly; it will be available within hours of the transfer.  (Be advised that some banks have a deadline for the wire transfer to apply the same day.  The deadline is usually sometime in the early afternoon.)  I recently wired money from one of my accounts to the other and had to pay a $15 fee, though this rate will vary based on your bank.  Some banks will allow you to complete the wire transfer over the phone while others will have you come into the bank to fill out a form.

PayPal.  Did you know you can transfer money between banks using PayPal?  Follow these easy steps:

  • Simply add both bank accounts to your PayPal account.  (This may take a few days as you wait for PayPal to verify your account by putting too small deposits in your bank account that you can verify.)
  • Then, choose the bank you would like to withdraw money from and send to PayPal.  (You will use the “Add Money” button on PayPal.)
  • Wait a few days for the money to be deposited into your PayPal account and then use the “Withdraw” button and choose “Transfer to Bank Account” and transfer the money to your other bank account.
  • Within 3 to 5 business days, the money will be in your bank account.
  •  This method takes about 10 to 14 business days, but it is completely free and does not require you to leave your home to make the transfer.

If your accounts are linked to one another, you can transfer online.  However, this is generally only an option if one bank is a brick and mortar bank and the other is an online bank.  If you don’t have this arrangement, you may want to consider opening an online banking account for just this reason—moving money between accounts can be done quickly and easily.

There are various reasons why people may have accounts at two different banks.  Maybe they have a checking account in one bank and a savings account in another, or they might have banks in two different towns they have lived in.  Whatever the reason, these strategies can help you transfer money between your bank accounts.

If you are looking to transfer money from your account to another person’s account, you will be able to use the first two options.

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Melissa is a freelance writer and mom to three children ages 7, 2 and 1. She blogs at Mom's Plans where she shares how her family is learning to live a fulfilling life on less.

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