How to transfer money from one bank to another to combine finances or earn more interest

woman using bank ATM

  • You can transfer money from one bank to another through a paper
    check, a bank-to-bank transfer, an ACH transfer, or a wire
    transfer.
  • For any type of electronic transfer, you’ll need the account
    and routing numbers of the account where you want to deposit the
    money.
  • You can also transfer by check, for which you’ll only need the
    recipient’s name (which can be yourself).
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There are countless reasons you may want to transfer money from
one bank to another. Maybe you’d like to combine finances with your
new spouse, or start
earning more interest by moving your money
to a different
bank.

Fortunately, the process of transferring money from one bank to
another is fairly simple. You can write a check, do a bank-to-bank
transfer, perform an ACH transfer, or initiate a wire transfer.
Here’s how you can transfer money with each of these methods.

How to transfer money from one bank to another Transfer money by
writing a check

If you prefer to transfer money the old fashioned way and aren’t
in a hurry to get it into the other account, writing a check may be
a good option.

  1. Take a check from the bank you’d like to transfer money from
    and fill it out like you normally would.
  2. If you’re transferring money to your own bank account, write
    your name in the “Pay to the Order Of” line. If the money is going
    into someone else’s account, fill out this line with the
    recipient’s name.
  3. Sign the back of the check and deposit the money into your own
    account by visiting a local bank branch or ATM. Many banks also
    allow you to make an electronic deposit by taking a picture of the
    front and back of your check and depositing the money via the
    bank’s app on your mobile device. 
  4. If you’d like to transfer the money into someone else’s
    account, simply send them the check and let them deposit it.

Transfer money through a bank-to-bank transfer

If you’d like to transfer money from your account with one bank
to your account with another bank, you can do so easily online with
a bank-to-bank transfer. Note that the exact process might vary a
little between banks, but in general, the steps are the same: 

  1. Log in to the bank from which you’d like to transfer
    money.
  2. Look for an option that says “transfer” or “pay and
    transfer.”
  3. If you’ve already added another account, simply select it as
    the destination from a drop-down menu.
  4. If you haven’t added the new account, choose the option that
    says “add new account” or “add new bank” from the drop-down
    menu.
  5. The site will prompt you to add your other account’s number and
    routing number.
  6. Then, the first bank need to verify your account, often by
    making two or three small deposits, under $1, into the account
    receiving the money.
  7. Check the receiving account over the next few days to make note
    of the deposits.
  8. Once those deposits go through — usually within a business
    day or two — you’ll log back into your first bank account to
    verify how much was deposited.
  9. Once your other account has been verified, you’ll be able to
    use the same screen to schedule a one-time or recurring transfer to
    the receiving bank. 
  10. It will usually take one to three business days for your
    transfer to go through, so make sure to check that your account has
    been debited and that the receiving account has been credited.

Transfer money through an ACH Transfer

An ACH transfer moves money between banks through the Automated
Clearing House network, one of the largest payment systems in the
US. ACH transfers are almost always free.

  1. Set up an ACH account with your bank in person or online.
  2. When you’re ready to initiate a payment, you’ll need to provide
    the following information:
  • Amount you’d like to transfer
  • The recipient’s nine-digit routing number
  • The recipient’s ten-digit account number 
  • The recipient’s name
  • The recipient’s billing address
  • The recipient’s phone number
  1. Review your payment information and submit for
    processing. 
  2. Wait for the funds to arrive within two to three business days.
    Arrival time will depend on your bank.

Transfer money through a
wire transfer

With a wire transfer, you can move money from one bank to
another within one business day. However, wire transfers typically
cost between $10 and $35 to initiate. A wire transfer may make
sense if your goal is to get the money into the other account as
soon as possible.

  1. Visit your local bank or go online and provide the following
    information:
  • Amount you’d like to transfer
  • The recipient’s nine-digit routing number
  • The recipient’s ten-digit account number 
  • The recipient’s name
  • The recipient’s billing address
  • The recipient’s phone number
  • The recipient’s bank name and address
  1. Review your payment information and submit for
    processing. 
  2. Wait for the funds to arrive within one business day.

Related coverage from How
to Do Everything: Money


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How to transfer money from one bank to another to combine finances or earn more interest