How to choose between an EFT or a bank wire

There are several ways to transfer money at financial services firms. The two most common are bank wires and electronic funds transfers (EFTs), but understanding how each of these transfer methods work and why you might choose one over the other can be challenging. Here's what you should consider before you make your next transfer.



  Cost Timing Transfer limits (daily) Best for
EFT No fee 1-3 business days

Withdrawals: $100,000  

Deposits: $250,000

Most transfers
Bank wire1 May incur fee from receiving bank Same business day if submitted by 4 p.m. ET $100,000
Transfers that require a faster processing time and larger sums


What is an electronic funds transfer (EFT)?

What is a bank wire?

Unlike EFTs, bank wires are reviewed and verified by employees at both the sending and receiving firms before they’re processed to ensure the sender has the money to complete the transfer, and that the receiving account is available to accept the money.


Choosing a bank wire vs an EFT

There are a few factors you’ll want to consider when you’re deciding whether to send money via EFT or bank wire. Primarily, you should look at when you need to send or receive the money by, how much money you need to send, and whether you’ll have to pay any fees.

Timing

EFTs in and out of Fidelity accounts are generally received within 1-3 business days, though the funds may immediately be available for trading.

Bank wires you submit before 4 p.m. ET are typically available the same day. If you submit your wire request after 4 p.m. ET, the money is typically available the following business day. If you're selling shares from a mutual fund to wire money, your funds are available the following business day for shares sold by 4 p.m. ET.

Fees

Fidelity doesn’t charge a fee for sending or receiving EFTs, but the receiving bank may charge a fee. Fidelity also doesn’t charge fees to process wire transfers to a bank or other recipient. If you’re transferring money to an account at another bank, however, the receiving bank may charge an incoming wire transfer fee.

Transfer limits

There are limits for the amount of money you can send via EFT or bank wire in a given day, and some transactions have minimum dollar amounts.

The transfer limit for bank wires is $100,000 per day, per client. The minimum amount for each bank wire is $100. Like EFTs, if you need to wire more than $100,000 in one business day, you can call our customer service line for assistance.

Eligibility

Enabling your account for bank wire and EFT

Once you've decided how you want to transfer your money, you'll need to make sure your account is set up correctly for the transaction. Most financial institutions call this providing "instructions." When you link a bank accountLog In Required to your Fidelity account, you'll need to select whether you want to enable your account for bank wire or EFT. You can enable your account for both transfer types. Once you've saved your instructions, you can start a transferLog In Required.


Are there other options for transferring money?

There are several other ways you can transfer money into or out of a Fidelity account, including through paper checks and third-party payment apps like PayPal and Venmo. Fidelity accounts are currently compatible2 with PayPal, Venmo, Square, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. For more information, see our mobile payments page.

To deposit a paper check into a Fidelity account, you can upload a photo of the check to the Fidelity Mobile App, or deposit it directly at a local Fidelity investor center. You can also withdraw money from your Fidelity account and have it sent via a paper check that’s mailed to you or another recipient. If you request to have a check sent to you or someone else, the check takes about 5 to 6 business days to process before it's mailed.

For more information on depositing money into a Fidelity account, see our deposits page. For information on taking money out of a Fidelity account, see withdrawals.