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Bank of America: Foreign Currency Exchange, International Wire Transfer  & ATM Fees explained

Travelling or sending money abroad? Discover Bank of America's fees for International Wire Transfers, Currency Exchange and for using your credit or debit card abroad (incl. ATM fees). You'll learn how to save money and how to make smarter decisions about currency exchange.

    Bank of America International Wire Transfer - All you need to know

    Last updated April 4, 2019
    Written by François Briod

    BofA, one of the biggest retail banks in the US, offers international wire transfers to 200 countries right from the Online Banking or at one of its many financial centers near you.

    What are Bank of America International Wire Fees and exchange rates?

    An outbound international wire costs $30 if sent in a foreign currency and $45 if sent in U.S. dollars.

    You may wonder why the wire transfer in a foreign currency has a lower fee? It’s because in this case, Bank of America makes money on the exchange rate margin when converting your dollars into foreign currency, which enables them to offer a reduced fee. If you don’t want to read our complete guide on how banks and money transfer operators make money with hidden fees, Bank of America’s small print says it nicely:

    "Bank of America does not publicly disclose the exchange rates for international wire transfers in foreign currency. "

    According to a study by TransferWise in 2017, Bank of America’s markup on exchange rates for a $1,000 to EUR transfer was 3.4% or $34.5.

    The total cost for a USD 1,000 to EUR transfer with Bank of America was therefore $30 foreign currency wire fee + $34.5 currency exchange rate margin = $64.5 total fees. That’s 6.45% of the amount wired!

    This is why it is generally not recommended to wire money internationally with Bank of America if you’re looking for the cheapest way to send money abroad, but to compare all providers with Monito and find cheaper alternatives.

    How long does a Bank of America international wire take to arrive at the recipient bank?

    If the international wire is sent by 5 p.m. ET, it generally arrives within 2 business days.
    If you’re in a hurry, try finding the fastest way to send money abroad by comparing all international money transfer services with Monito.

    How to make a Bank of America International Wire Transfer?

    In order to send an international wire transfer with BoA, you can sign in to Online Banking and follow this path click by click: “Transfer > Send money to Someone > Using their account at another bank” and then enter the recipient’s bank details.

    What is Bank of America’s Swift Code?

    If someone needs to send you money from abroad, they’ll need a SWIFT Code for Bank of America.  If the incoming wire will be in U.S. Dollars, the sender needs to use BOFAUS3N and if the incoming wire is in a foreign currency, you can use BOFAUS6S. If you’re unsure about the currency, you should use  BOFAUS3N. Please verify the latest Swift Code information on the Bank of Americas website.

    Which Bank of America address should someone use when sending me money from abroad?

    BOFAUS3N (US dollars or unknown currency)

    Bank of America, NA

    222 Broadway

    New York, New York 10038

    BOFAUS6S (foreign currency)

    Bank of America, NA

    555 California St

    San Francisco, CA 94104

    What is Bank of America’s IBAN?

    BoA does not have an IBAN, as the United States does not participate in the International Bank Account Number system.

    Source: https://www.bankofamerica.com/content/documents/deposits/service/pdf/Domestic-international-wire-transfers-info-sheet.pdf

    Bank of America

    What we like about Bank of America

    • If you’re a BoA customer, you can send money internationally simply from your Online Banking

    • Secure transfer with a bank you already trust with your money.

    What we dislike about Bank of America

    • Super expensive international money transfers

    • Hidden fees in the currency exchange rate margin

    • No visibility on the exchange rate applied to your transfer beforehand

    • You can only send money to a bank account

    • It takes up to 2 business days (3 days if done after the 5 pm ET cut-off time)

    Alternatives to Bank of America

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    Bank of America Currency Exchange Service

    Currency Exchange service is limited to Bank of America account holders.

    If you’re travelling abroad and want to exchange US Dollars to a foreign currency before your travel,  you have several options:

    • If you need to exchange up to $1,000 BofA can mail you foreign currencies ordering online or at one of its many financial centers near you.  
    • If you need more than $1,000, you can’t order it by mail but you have to go in exchange in person. The upper limit is $10,000.

    If you need to exchange foreign currency against USD when you return to the US, you can exchange the bank notes (no coins) at a financial center as well.

    What are the fees for using BoA currency exchange service?

    • $7.50 fee for the purchase of foreign currency bank notes worth less than $1,000
    • The fee is waived for orders of $1,000 or more

    Beware: Bank of America also charges a hidden fee on the currency exchange rate, by selling you the foreign currency at a worserate compared to the real rate they pay to acquire the currency.

    You can check Bank of America Exchange Rates online and compare them to what you find on Google. A quick comparison for ordering 5,000 MXN tells it all:

    On the right, you learn that 5,000 Mexican Pesos are worth $260.67 on 03/04/19, while you’ll need to pay Bank Of America $276 to acquire 5,000 MXN. In short, Bank of America’s revenue on the transaction is $15.33 or 3%.  

    If you cancel your trip and want to sell your Mexican Pesos back to BofA after the same day, they will offer you $247. That’s another $13 less in your pocket compared to Google Exchange Rates.

    Using your Bank of America Credit Card abroad

    In general, the foreign fees applied for using your BoA credit card abroad will depend on your credit card. You can compare the options on BoA’s website or learn about new innovative multi-currency cards here.

    What are the fees for using BoA credit or debit cards at an ATM abroad?

    First: BofA is part of the Global ATM Alliance, which means that it has an agreement with foreign banks abroad where you won’t be charged the foreign bank’s usage fee for withdrawal, transfer and balance inquiries.

    What you need to know when withdrawing money/paying abroad?

    The ATM or Point of Sale device will often ask you if you want to use your card’s currency (USD if you’re banking with Bank of America) or the local currency (let’s say Euros if you’re in Paris).

    • 💡 Tip
      You always want to pay in the local currency! If you pay in your home currency (USD), you’re getting a dynamic currency conversion (DCC) which is often a very bad rate (we’ve seen 5-18% currency exchange margin).

    What are the fees for paying in foreign currencies online or at a shop with BofA credit or debit cards?

    Paying with a Bank of America debit card abroad will incur a 3% foreign transaction fee with a Personal Bank of America Advantage Banking Account. With some credit cards, like the Bank of America Travel rewards, the 3% foreign currency fee  is waived. The VISA or Mastercard exchange rate will apply to your transaction.

    Save money now and find the cheapest way to send money abroad

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    Questions you may have

    Read our guides on sending money abroad