How to send money online to friends and family
Whether you're sending money to a neighbor across town or helping out relatives overseas, there are a number of easy ways to send money. Here’s an overview of your options.
At one time or another, most people need to send money to an individual, family member or friend. Maybe you need to top off the account of a child away at college, pay your son’s piano teacher or help support relatives abroad. Whatever the reason, there are several ways to send money, each with its own advantages.
1. Online transfer using an email address or mobile number. Some banks, including Bank of America, now offer account holders the ability to send money securely using just the email or mobile phone number of the recipient. This lets you easily send money to someone else’s account, which makes it a great way to transfer money to a student away at school or someone you pay often, like a babysitter. You can even send money via mobile transfer to split a bill or as a birthday gift. Just enter the amount to transfer and the recipient will receive a text or email with instructions on how to receive it.
- Fees: Most standard transfers are no-cost to Bank of America account holders
- Delivery time: Less than a day
- Security: High
2. Online transfer using an account number and routing number. This lets you easily send money online to someone else’s account, and is also a great way to transfer money between your own accounts with Bank of America or at other financial institutions. To perform a transfer, sign in to your account and select Transfers from the navigation menu. You’ll need to know the account number and transit routing number of the recipient.
What’s a transit routing number? A transit routing number—also known as a check routing number, ABA number or routing transit number (RTN) —is a 9-digit code that identifies the bank, its branch and location. Bank of America Online Banking customers can find their routing numbers by signing into Online Banking, selecting your desired account and going to the Information & Services tab of the specific account. Or, if you know the state your account was opened in, use the dropdown menu on our routing numbers from Bank of America FAQ page.
- Fees: Some banks charge a fee
- Delivery time: Varies, but can take 2-4 days
- Security: High
3. Checks. If you’re wondering how to send money to someone who can’t receive a transfer through online banking, checks sent via the mail are a straightforward alternative.
- Fees: Writing and cashing checks may have no cost or carry a small service charge depending on your account. Contact your bank to find out.
- Delivery time: Domestic mail takes 1-3 days. The recipient will then have to deposit the check. For cashier’s checks, recipients receive the money immediately, but for regular checks they may have to wait several days before accessing the money.
- Security: Though it’s rare, some checks do get lost in the mail. Ask your bank the procedure you should follow if this happens.
4. Wire transfers. For sending a large amount of money, wire transfers can be a solution. Keep in mind that there’s typically a fee for wire transfers. To make a wire transfer, call or visit your bank or a wire transfer company, or make an online transaction with a trusted source.
- Fees: Often
- Delivery time: Funds are often transferred the same day
- Security: High
5. Money orders. You can purchase money orders from your bank or the U.S. Postal Service and mail them to people in the U.S. or around the world.
- Fees: For U.S. Postal Service money orders, you pay $1.20 for a money order up to $500 and $1.60 for a money order between $500 and $1,000 in the U.S. If you’re sending money internationally, the fee is $4.50 for a money order up to $700. For bank money orders, check the fees with your branch.
- Delivery time: It will take 1-3 days to mail domestically and longer internationally. Domestic recipients can cash money orders at either the post office or their bank.
- Security: You may be able to have money orders replaced if they’re lost, stolen or damaged.
With so many ways to send money to family and friends, there is sure to be a method that offers the delivery times, fees and security that work best for you.