RBC international transfer: Fees and Rates Revealed [CA] 2023
If you bank with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and need to make an international bank transfer you might be wondering what your options are. This guide has you covered with all you need to know about RBC international money transfers and international wires, including the costs, rates, limits and delivery times.
RBC is a huge operation spread across almost 20 countries, and serving over 10 million customers in Canada alone. That doesn’t mean it’s always the best way to go
RBC international money transfer comparison
When you transfer money abroad with RBC there are a few different costs to consider:
Transfer fee - online transfers may have a relatively low transfer fee, but in branch services are pretty costly
Exchange rate markup - a percentage rolled up in the exchange rate - often the highest of all the fees you’ll pay
SWIFT fees - intermediary fees paid to third parties involved in processing your transfer
To give an idea of how RBC compares with other payment services, let’s look at an example. Here’s what you’d pay if you were sending a standard online transfer of 1,000 CAD to a USD denominated account, with RBC and a few specialist services.
|Provider||Total cost||Transfer time|
|RBC||10 CAD + exchange rate markup + any relevant intermediary bank fees|
1 - 5 working days
|Wise||8.58 CAD||80% of payments arrive in 24 hours|
|OFX||15 CAD + exchange rate markup||Most transfers arrive within 24 hours|
|WorldRemit||3.99 CAD + exchange rate markup||90% of transfers are completed within the same day|
Royal Bank of Canada international money transfers up to 2,500 CAD/day can be made online for convenience. But for higher value payments you’ll need to visit a branch, and pay a far higher transfer fee. Whichever option you choose, you’ll also face an extra fee wrapped into the exchange rate, plus intermediary charges which can be deducted as the transfer is processed. This pushes up costs overall.
RBC international transfer fees
You can send an RBC international payment online for a relatively low upfront fee, but only for sums of up to 2,500 CAD. For higher value payments you’ll need to make an international wire which comes with hefty charges and can only be arranged by visiting an RBC branch. Here’s what you need to know about RBC international remittance fees:
|Transfer type||RBC international transfer fee|
|International money transfer|
6 CAD - 13.50 CAD + exchange rate markup + any relevant intermediary bank fees
|International wire transfer in branch||From 45 CAD + exchange rate markup + any relevant intermediary bank fees|
|Receiving an international payment|
Free to receive payments under 50 CAD
17 CAD fee to receive higher value wire transfers
RBC exchange rate
When you send an international money transfer with a traditional bank, one of the highest overall fees can also be the trickiest to spot - the exchange rate markup. That’s an extra charge which is added into the exchange rate used. To see how much the cost is, you’ll have to compare the RBC international transfer exchange rate for your currency against the mid-market rate you can get from Google.
Bank exchange rate markups are often around 3%. Doesn’t sound too bad - but this can quickly push up costs, especially on higher value payments:
Sending 1,000 CAD - a 3% exchange rate markup adds 30 CAD to the total
Sending 5,000 CAD - a 3% exchange rate markup adds 150 CAD to the total
Sending 50,000 CAD - a 3% exchange rate markup adds 1,500 CAD to the total
Here’s a reminder of the total costs - including exchange rate markups - from the providers we looked at earlier. This is what you’ll pay with each if you set up your payment online and send 1,000 CAD to a USD denominated account:
RBC: 10 CAD + exchange rate markup + any relevant intermediary bank fees
Wise: 8.58 CAD
OFX: 15 CAD + exchange rate markup
WorldRemit: 3.99 CAD + exchange rate markup
RBC additional fees
RBC international payments are processed through the SWIFT network. This is a reliable process which has been in operation for over 50 years. However, it’s not cheap, as several banks can be involved in a single payment. Intermediary banks which help to process a transfer can deduct a service fee as the transfer passes through the network, meaning your recipient gets less than expected in the end.
RBC also has one other fee to watch out for - an extra 35 CAD charge if you try to arrange a wire transfer without the full details including SWIFT BIC code for your recipient. More on that later.
How long does a RBC international money transfer take
RBC international transfers usually arrive within about 5 working days. That's not likely to be the fastest service out there. Here are some comparisons with the providers we looked at earlier:
- RBC: 1 - 5 working days
Wise: 80% of payments arrive in 24 hours
OFX: most payments arrive within 24 hours
WorldRemit: 90% of transfers are completed within the same day
Pros and cons of transferring money abroad with RBC
Online or in branch options
Impressive global reach
Relatively low transfer fee for online transactions
Exchange rate markups and SWIFT fees push up costs
In branch wire payments are expensive
Low online transfer limits
Instead of using Royal Bank of Canada take a look at specialist online services like Wise or OFX, which may be able to offer an easier and faster online or in-app service.
How to make an international transfer with RBC
You can transfer money overseas with RBC online, via your mobile device, or in a branch. If you’re sending a payment using your mobile divide you’ll first need to register the recipient through the online banking service.
Here’s the core process for sending a payment through the RBC online banking service:
Log into your online banking
Open the Accounts Summary page
Under Quick Payments & Transfers, select International Money Transfer
Follow the on-screen prompts to add your recipient or select an existing recipient
Enter the payment amount and currency
Check everything over, confirm, and your money is on its way
What information do you need to make an international transfer with RBC?
You’ll be able to follow the online prompts which will tell you what information to enter to get your RBC payment moving. In most cases you can expect to need:
Beneficiary full name
Beneficiary bank account number or IBAN
Additional information based on the country - SWIFT/BIC code or ABA for example
It’s important to note that you may be charged up to 35 CAD extra if you don’t provide the full information for your payment, including the correct SWIFT code if required.
Transfer limits and available countries
Under RBC international transfer limits for online payments you can send up to 2,500 CAD per day. This total can be split into as many separate transactions as you like. Higher value transfers must be made by wire, which involves higher fees and can only be done in a branch.
You can send an RBC international money transfer to over 200 countries and territories worldwide.
Receiving money from abroad with RBC
To receive an international payment into your Royal Bank of Canada account, give the sender:
Your RBC account number
RBC Royal Bank institution number: 003
RBC Royal Bank Routing/ABA number (if funds coming from US): 021000021
RBC Royal Bank SWIFT BIC for all other international payments
Your RBC Royal Bank branch phone number, address and transit number
RBC SWIFT code
SWIFT/BIC codes are issued to most banks around the world which facilitate international transfers. They’re like postal codes, used to guide money from one bank to another - even if it’s being sent to a country on the other side of the world. To make sure your money arrives safely, give the sender the correct RBC SWIFT code - and don’t forget to use the right SWIFT code when sending your outward payment with RBC, or you could face extra charges.
The RBC SWIFT/BIC code is: ROYCCAT2
RBC international money transfers are reliable and familiar - but may not be the fastest or the cheapest way to make your payment. If your destination country is covered by an online specialist like Wise or OFX it’s worth comparing the costs and delivery times available - you might find you can save significantly, and get your payment where it needs to be quicker, too.
RBC international transfer fees are up to 13.50 CAD online, but from 45 CAD in a branch. Exchange rate markups and intermediary fees also apply.
RBC international transfers can take up to 5 days to arrive.
Send an RBC international transfer online by logging into online banking or for higher value payments you can send an international wire by visiting a branch.