Citibank International Transfers: Fees, Exchange Rates, Alternatives, and More

Dec 4, 2021
Affiliate disclosure

Operating out of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States with 723 local branches, 1,494 branches in Mexico, and thousands more in seventeen other countries, Citibank offers international money transfers from the U.S. dollar to Mexican pesos, Canadian dollars, and other foreign currencies across the globe.

However, Citibank's secure and wide coverage of international wire transfers comes with a rather steep price tag. While Citibank does offer a range of competitive wire transfer fees, depending on the client's service plan, even their lowest fee for standard account holders remains rather expensive.

In this guide, we look at Citibank's international wire transfer fees and their exchange rates before exploring alternatives that you can consider when sending your money abroad.

info icon

Citibank International Transfer Fees

Citibank charges the following fees per transaction on international payments made in dollars from the United States:

  • Payment fee: From $35 for standard clients down to $10 for Citigold International clients. Fees are waived for Citigold Private clients.
  • Exchange rate margin: Rates range from an estimated 4.20% to 9.50% depending on the currency.

Citibank International Transfer Fees

Citibank international payments are processed as international wire transfers. As a client, you can set one up through your local branch, although Citibank allows you to conveniently do this fully online with their Citibank Online interface.

After setting up your one-time transfer or your repeat transfer, Citibank will securely wire your funds over SWIFT to reach its destination in a foreign country and currency. Citibank charges fixed fees to process international transfers, which vary according to your payment destination.

Sending to Other Citibank Accounts

You can use the 'Citibank Global' service to send U.S. dollars to any Citibank account in the U.S. or to any Citibank account in a limited number of countries* free of charge.

*These countries include Australia, Bahrain, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Jersey C.I, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

Sending to Other Banks

To send foreign currency into a non-Citibank bank account, then take a look at the fees that will affect you depending on your account type:

Citibank International Money Transfer Fees

Fixed Fee

Outgoing Limits

Incoming Fee

Citigold® Private Client

Waived

No limit for transfers made in US Dollars

Waived

Citigold®

$25.00

No limit for transfers made in US Dollars

Waived

Citi Priority

$25.00

No limit for transfers made in US Dollars

Waived

Citi Private Bank - Citibank® account package

Waived

$50,000 per business day

Waived

Citi Private Bank - Citigold® account package

Waived

$200,000 per business day

Waived

Citigold® Private Client International Account

Waived

No limit for transfers made in US Dollars

Waived

Citigold® International Account

$10.00

No limit for transfers made in US Dollars

Waived

Citi International Personal Account

$30.00

$250,000 per business day

Waived

Citi Global Executive Account

$30.00

$250,000 per business day

Waived

Citi Global Executive Preferred Account

Waived

No limit for transfers made in US Dollars

Waived

All other accounts

$35.00

$50,000 per business day

$15.00

eg: Citibank. Online Wire Transfer Services. Data quoted on 4 December 2021.

Other Fees to Anticipate

Another fee you might pay is a correspondent bank fee (typically ranging between $10.00 and $100.00 per transfer) if your wire transfer cannot be made directly to your beneficiary's bank and requires the help of correspondent banks to get the payment through. As a bank that wires money with SWIFT, Citibank may use intermediary banks to finish the job. We recommend that you ask your Citibank representative for an estimate of these fees prior to completing your transaction.

Citibank Exchange Rates: Beware of Hidden Fees

In addition to the fixed fees outlined above, Citibank will also charge a variable fee called an exchange rate margin on each transfer you send abroad. Citibank mentions on the footnotes on its wire transfer services page that a fee will be charged for converting your U.S. dollars into foreign currency.

This means that Citibank will convert your dollars at a less powerful rate than the standard rate you see on Google, for example (known as the mid-market exchange rate).

While Citibank in the United States does not publish its daily exchange rates publicly, its large American competitors charge exchange rate fees that range between an estimated 4.2% to 9.5% of the transfer amount depending on the currency involved. Not only are these rates already fairly expensive, but these costs continue to stack up the more you send.

Photo John McArthur, Unsplash

The Costs Combined

When accounting for both the fixed fees and the variable costs for international wire transfers, especially for larger transfer amounts (i.e. more than $2,500.00), Citibank's standard services become quite expensive. While Citibank does not publish the exchange rates that it uses to process your wire transfers internationally, we have found that its American bank competitors charge rates from 4.2% to 9.5%.

If we assume you used Citibank to wire transfer $2,500.00 to a friend in Canada at a 5% exchange rate margin, then $158.26 in total fees would be deducted from the send amount (calculated by the $35.00 handling fee and the $123.25 exchange rate margin*). The remaining amount would be converted across to Canadian dollars and deposited into your friend's bank account at around CA$3,007.

Contrast that to using Wise, a London-based global money transfer service, for the same transfer. With Wise, you'd pay only $15.60 in service fees without an exchange rate margin, getting your friend CA$3,192 — 17% more than if they had received your money through Citibank.

To get a more detailed look at how much your international wire transfers might cost with Citibank's standard services across different sizes and different currencies, take a look at the following chart:

* Conversion made at 5%, which is a typical exchange rate charged by large American banks.

Sending $2,500 from the U.S. to Canada with Citibank

Although Citibank in the U.S. does not publish its daily exchange rates for international transfer services, this chart offers a few estimates by comparing different levels of exchange rates.

Exchange Rate Margin (%)

Exchange Rate Margin (USD)

Handling Charge (USD)

Total Cost (USD)

Total Cost (%)

Received (CAD)

4%

$98.40

$35.00

$133.40

18.74%

$3,038.69

6%

$147.90

$35.00

$182.90

13.67%

$2,975.38

8%

$197.20

$35.00

$232.20

10.77%

$2,912.08

Quoted: 06/12/2021

While Wise is a leading money transfer service, it is not always the best one to use if sending money from the United States. The best provider for you will largely depend on the size of your transfer and the currency of its destination.

To find the best deal on every transfer, compare the top money transfer services on Monito's real-time comparison engine and save up to 95% compared to the bank:

Compare Citibank's Fees

Is Citibank Right for Your International Transfer?

Citibank has been in business since the War of 1812 and is indeed a trustworthy and world-class bank for your everyday needs. As a client, you'll be able to rely on their wide range of services and their high-quality security.

International Money Transfer Specialists

However, the international money transfer industry has become highly developed by specialists like Wise, Remitly, and Small World. In fact, Citibank closed nearly 40 branches in India because the company's international payment services in the region became less necessary¹. To see which service may be the most cost-effective and convenient for you, run a search on Monto's real-time comparison engine above!

To get a better picture of how Citibank's foreign exchange services compare against the top international money transfer services in the U.S. market, see the table below that outlines a $2,500.00 transfer to Canada:

Citibank vs Top Transfer Services

Compare a $2,500.00 transfer from the United States to Canada

Service

Time

Received (CAD)

Payment Option(s)

Cost Overview

Citibank

1-5 days

3007*

Wire

Upon paying

Go To Citibank

Wise

3-5 days

3192**

Wire, SEPA payment, credit/debit card

In advance

Go To Wise

WorldRemit

2 days

$3,178

SEPA payment, credit/debit card

In advance

Go To World Remit

InstaReM

1 day

$3,187

SEPA payment, credit/debit card

In advance

Go to InstaReM

Quoted: 06/12/2021
* At an estimated 5% exchange rate margin
** Receiving amount of bank transfer only

References Used in This Guide

How Citibank's International Transfers Compare With Other American Banks

Instant International Money Transfers 2021: What You Need To Know
July 22, 2021 - by Byron Mühlberg
Cheapest Ways To Exchange Money
March 14, 2022 - by Jarrod Suda
How To Exchange Currency in India — Monito’s Guide
January 14, 2022 - by Jarrod Suda

Why Trust Monito?

You’re probably all too familiar with the often outrageous cost of sending money abroad. After facing this frustration themselves back in 2013, co-founders François, Laurent, and Pascal launched a real-time comparison engine to compare the best money transfer services across the globe. Today, Monito’s award-winning comparisons, reviews, and guides are trusted by around 8 million people each year and our recommendations are backed by millions of pricing data points and dozens of expert tests — all allowing you to make the savviest decisions with confidence.

Learn More About Monito
  • Monito is trusted by 15+ million users across the globe.

  • Monito's experts spend hours researching and testing services so that you don't have to.

  • Our recommendations are always unbiased and independent.

Monito.com

Global Impact Finance Ltd
Avenue de Montchoisi 35
1006 Lausanne
Switzerland

Affiliate Disclosure
Instead of banner ads and paywalls, Monito makes money through affiliate links to the various payment service providers featured on our website. While we work hard to scout the market for the best deals, we're unable to consider every possible product available to you. Our extensive range of trusted affiliate partners enables us to make detailed, unbiased, and solution-driven recommendations for all types of consumer questions and problems. This allows us to match our users with the right providers to suit their needs and, in doing so, match our providers with new customers, creating a win-win for everybody involved. However, while some links on Monito may indeed earn us a commission, this fact never impacts the independence and integrity of our opinions, recommendations, and evaluations.