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How to Transfer Money to Another Bank

Kailey Hagen
By: Kailey Hagen

Our Banking Expert

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page. APY = Annual Percentage Yield

There's a lot to think about when opening a new bank account, like what features it offers and how you're going to access your cash. But just as important is knowing how to transfer money to another bank. There are a few ways you can go about this, and we'll talk about each of them below.

How a bank transfer works

There are several ways to transfer your money from one bank account to another, whether the new account is at the same bank or a different one. Usually, all you have to do is tell the bank that currently has your money where you'd like it sent and it will move it for you. But to do this, you need to know two things: your routing number and your account number.

Routing number

Your routing number corresponds to the institution that's holding your money. You can often find your routing number by:

  • Searching for it online
  • Contacting the bank
  • Finding it on your checks


Finding your routing number

If you have checks, you can find your routing number listed on the bottom of each check. It's usually the first number written there, and it's nine digits long.

Account number

Your account number identifies your personal account within that bank. This can be 10 or more digits long, depending on the bank.

You can find yours as the second number written on the bottom of your checks or you can contact your bank to ask. You may need to answer some personal questions to verify your identity before the bank will give you this information.

Types of bank-to-bank transfer

There are four ways you can transfer funds between banks. Here's a closer look at the pros and cons of each.

Electronic transfers

Electronic transfers are the simplest option for most people and they're free. All you need is:

  • An online account with your current bank
  • The routing and account numbers for your new bank account

When you do an electronic transfer to another account at the same bank, it's often instant. But when you transfer funds to another bank, it can take up to three business days.

Plus, many banks limit how much their customers can transfer per day or per month. Oftentimes, these limits are several thousand dollars, so they should be enough for most people. But those looking to transfer large sums at once may have to explore some other options.

Pros of electronic transfers

  • Free
  • Safe to use

Cons of electronic transfers

  • May take a couple of days to transfer
  • Not great for large single-day transfers

How to transfer money to another bank electronically

If you want to electronically transfer funds to another bank, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your online banking account at your current bank.
  2. Select the Transfer option. If you can't find this, reach out to your bank for assistance.
  3. Enter the routing and account number for your new bank account.
  4. Select how much you'd like to transfer.
  5. Confirm the transfer and wait for the funds to show up in your new account.

Wire transfers

Wire transfers are an alternative if you need to access your funds quickly or if you need to transfer large sums at once. These are similar to electronic transfers, but they happen much faster. Most domestic transfers can be processed on the same day.


Look for fees

Many banks charge fees for outgoing wire transfers and some charge for incoming wire transfers as well. Wire transfers can also be difficult to stop if you change your mind after you've initiated them.

Wire transfer pros

  • Quick
  • Secure
  • Can transfer large sums at once

Wire transfer cons

  • Fees
  • Can be difficult to cancel

How to transfer money to another bank with a wire transfer

If you want to move funds via wire transfer, take these steps:

  1. Log in to your online banking account or mobile banking app.
  2. Choose Wire Transfer.
  3. Enter the routing number and account number for your new bank.
  4. Enter the amount you want to transfer.
  5. Confirm the transfer.

Zelle is a popular money transfer app used by many U.S. banks and credit unions. It doesn't have fees, and transfers between banks are often instant.

Learn more: Full Zelle Review

Check transfer

If you're not comfortable banking online, you may decide to move your funds via a check transfer. This is where you write a check from your current bank account and deposit that check into your new bank account. You need a checkbook to do this and your current account must offer check-writing capabilities.

Security is also a little more of a concern here because if you lose your check, there's a possibility that someone else could find it and use it to steal your money. Another issue for those depositing large checks is that you may only get access to a portion of your funds right away. It can take a few days for your bank to release all the funds to you.

Check transfer pros

  • No fees
  • Can transfer larger sums

Check transfer cons

  • Security risk if you lose your check
  • May not have access to all your funds right away
  • Not available if your current account doesn't offer check-writing capabilities

How to transfer money to another bank with a check transfer

Here are the steps to transfer your money to another bank with a check:

  1. Fill out your check with your name and the amount you'd like to transfer.
  2. Sign and date the check.
  3. Take a photo of your check and remote deposit it using your new bank's mobile banking app.
  4. Or you can take it to your new bank's branch, fill out a deposit slip for your account number, and give this to a bank teller.
  5. Wait for the funds to show up in your new bank account.

Things to keep in mind when transferring money between banks

Here are a couple things to keep in mind when moving money between banks.

Always verify that you've entered your information correctly

Before you send money using any of the methods above, make sure you've entered all of your information correctly, especially your account number. If you accidentally transfer your funds to someone else, you may not be able to get them back.

If you do inadvertently send money to the wrong place, reach out to the bank to see if you can stop the transfer before it completes.

Watch out for excess withdrawal fees from savings accounts

When moving your money out of a savings account, you could face excess withdrawal fees if you make more than six withdrawals in a month. This is because of a federal law known as Regulation D that required this limitation on savings accounts.

It's worth noting that not all withdrawals are created equal. The six monthly withdrawal rule usually only applies to "convenient" withdrawals, such as:

  • Electronic transfers
  • Check withdrawals
  • Automatic bill pay

But withdrawing money at a bank branch or taking cash out at an ATM doesn't count toward these limits.

If you have any questions about transaction limits or what kind of fees you could face for moving money out of your savings account, reach out to your bank to ask.

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  • The best way to transfer your money depends on your needs and goals. For most people, electronic transfers are the way to go because they are safe and free.

  • Wire transfers can move your money quickly, but you'll usually pay a fee for this convenience. Some money transfer apps also allow for instant transfers, again at a cost.

  • Transferring your money electronically is usually pretty safe, assuming you've got the routing and account numbers correct.

Our Banking Expert