How to send money online to friends and family
At one time or another, most people need to send money to a family member, friend or someone else. Maybe you need to top off the account of a child away at college, pay your son’s piano teacher or split the cost of something with a friend. Whatever the reason, there are several ways to send money, each with its own advantages.
Online transfer using contact information
Your bank may offer the ability to send money securely using just the email or cell phone number of the recipient. This lets you easily send money to someone else’s account, making it a great way to send funds to a student away at school or someone you pay often, such as a babysitter.
- Fees generally do not apply.
- Delivery time is generally less than three days and may be faster if the recipient uses the same bank.
Learn more from this video about how to send money online with Bank of America.
Online transfer using account numbers
Transferring money online using account numbers lets you easily send money to someone else’s account and is also a great way to transfer money between your own accounts. Generally, the bank has a prompt for transfers on your online account page. You’ll need to know the account number and transit routing number of the recipient.
- Fees depend on the bank.
- Delivery time varies, but can take two to four days.
Tip: A transit routing number—also known as a check routing number, ABA number or routing transit number (RTN)—is a nine-digit code that identifies the bank, its branch and location. Bank of America customers can find their routing numbers by using the routing numbers FAQ page.
To send money to someone who can’t receive a transfer through online or mobile banking, a personal or cashier’s check might be your best option.
- Fees may occur for ordering or depositing checks; ask your bank for policy details.
- Delivery time varies based on mail delivery and how long it takes for the recipient to deposit the money. Domestic mail generally takes one to three days. The recipient will then have to cash it. For cashier’s checks, recipients receive the money immediately. For regular checks, recipients may have to wait several days before accessing the money. Though it’s rare, be aware that some checks do get lost in the mail. Ask your bank the procedure you should follow if this happens.
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, you can call, visit or go online with your bank or a wire transfer company. Regardless, make sure you use a trusted source.
- Fees are common and vary based on the institution. Companies may charge a fee for sending as well as receiving wire transfers, and rates may increase if you’re sending the money to someone outside the U.S.
- Delivery time is generally one day or less.
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 depend on where you get the order, how much you send and where you send it. U.S. Postal Service domestic money orders cost $1.20 for an order up to $500 and $1.60 for an order between $500 and $1,000. If you send money internationally, the fee is $4.75 for a money order up to $700. For bank money orders, check the fees with your branch.
- Delivery time is generally one to three days to send domestically and longer internationally. Domestic recipients can cash money orders at either the post office or their banks.
Tip: You may be able to have money orders replaced if they’re lost, stolen or damaged.