A Simple Guide on How to Transfer Money From One Bank to Another

Whether you have money spread out between multiple financial institutions and need to transfer the funds between accounts, or you would like to transfer money from your bank account to someone else’s, online tools have made it easier than ever to transfer funds. EZ Money is here to help you find the simplest way to transfer money from one bank account to another. 

image of two hands passing money symbolizing how to transfer money from one bank to another

Before Starting: Gather the Right Information

Before you start the transfer process, you'll want to make sure that you locate all the information you'll need to make the transfer possible. Although different banks and methods will require different information, in general, you will need to have the following readily available: 

  • The name of the bank you're transferring money to: First, you'll need to know the name of the banking institution that the account you're wanting to transfer money to is held at. You may also need to know the address of the bank, which you can find doing a simple Google search. If you're making an external transfer between your own checking or savings account, you should already have this information. If you're making external transfers to another person's account, then you may need to ask them for the name of the bank the specific account you are transferring to is held at. 
  • The type of account the recipient holds: Next, you'll need to know whether the receiving account is a checking or a savings account. The recipient's bank account may also be an MMA savings, MMA checking, or a brokerage account—make sure you know the specific type of account ahead of time to avoid wasted time or fees. You'll also need to know whether the recipient's account is a personal or business account, as different fees and guidelines apply to business accounts. 
  • Whether the recipient's account is a personal or business account: Because different fees and guidelines apply to business accounts, you'll want to make sure to know whether the receiving account is a personal or business account. 
  • The recipient's account number and routing number: To make sure that the money goes to the right account at the right bank, you'll need the external account number as well as the bank's routing number. The account number is an 8–12 digit number assigned to each individual account. Even if your savings and checking accounts are held at the same bank, they'll each have their own unique account numbers. The routing number, on the other hand, is a nine-digit number associated with a bank. Routing numbers identify a specific banking institution, though some banks may have more than one routing number, so it's important you get the correct one. 

How to Find Your Account Number and Routing Number

There are a number of ways to locate your account number and routing number. One of the simplest ways is to look at the bottom of a cashier's check. The routing number will be the first nine digits on the bottom left-hand side of the check. The 8–12 digit account number will be to the right of the routing number, finally followed by the check number. 

Another easy way to find your routing and account numbers is to log in to your online banking account via the internet or mobile app. You can typically find these numbers under account settings or account information tabs. 

If you're still struggling to find your routing number and account numbers, you can always call your bank to ask. 

How to Transfer Money Between Accounts

Now that you have all the necessary information to make your external transfer, you're ready to transfer money between accounts. 

  1. To make an online transfer, follow these simple steps: 
  2. Log in to your online account via your bank's website or mobile app. 
  3. Navigate to "Transfers, "Account Services," or similar section within your account. 
  4. Select "Make an External Transfer" or something similar. If you have not sent money to the recipient's bank account before, you'll need to add a new external account. To do this, simply click "add new account" (or something similar) when selecting the external account you would like to transfer funds to. Use the information you gathered earlier to complete this step. 
  5. Choose the amount of money you would like to transfer and whether you want the transfer to be recurring. If you're making a one-time transfer, you'll want to double-check that you don't accidentally set up a recurring automatic transfer.
  6. Double-check that you have entered all information correctly and finalize the transfer.  

Other Common Methods for Transferring Money Between Accounts

If you're wanting an alternative to making an online bank transfer via your online banking account, there are other common and reliable options for transferring money from one bank account to another. 

The following methods are other good options for making external account transfers: 

  • Go old school and write a paper check.
  • Use mobile payment services and apps that link to your debit card (such as Venmo, Cash App, and PayPal, to name a few) to conveniently send people money or to make transfer requests. 
  • Make a wire transfer to quickly send money electronically without going through your bank. Wire transfers are typically used for making quick transfers or sending money abroad.

Important Tips for Bank Transfers

Whether you decide to make an online transfer, write a paper check, or use a mobile payment app, here are a few things to keep in mind: 

The money you transfer likely won't be immediately available: Unless you pay to make an instant transfer via a mobile payment app, it's important to keep in mind that the transfer process could take several business days. If you need the money immediately or the following day, you'll want to be mindful of the money transfer method you choose. 

It may cost money to make your transfer: There are a few instances in which it may cost you money to make a transfer. If you don't have enough money to account for fees or penalties—or simply don't want to spend the extra money—you'll want to choose your transfer method wisely. If you're using a payment app to transfer money instantly, inspect a small fee. If you're completing a wire transfer, expect to spend between $25–$45 depending on whether you're transferring money to a U.S. bank account or making an international wire transfer. If you're transferring money outside of the United States, you may also want to keep in mind the exchange rate of the recipient's currency. Making online transfers via your bank account is typically free, though it depends on your bank branch, the amount of money being transferred, whether it's a domestic or international money transfer, and the type of financial institution your account is held at (credit unions may offer lower fees). 

Your account may have a transfer limit: Some bank accounts put caps on the number of transfers and the amount of money you transfer each day or each month.