How To Wire Transfer International With USAA 

April 9, 2022

USAA incomplete means the United Services Automobile Association. It is an American financial services company whose headquarters are in San Antonio. USAA is a diversified financial service, such as insurance, brokerage, and investment, to people and families who serve or work in the United States Armed Forces. As an account holder, there are various kinds of transactions that you can do at the company. I will take you through USAA international wire transfer shortly. 

USAA started its operations in 1922 in San Antonio under a group of 25 U.S. Army officers. They aimed to create a mechanism for self-insurance when they could not secure auto insurance because of the notion that they were a high-risk group. However, USAA slowly expanded to offer banking services as well. It serves the past and currently working armed forces officers and their families. 

To be precise, the institution offers services such as banking, brokerage, financial planning, insurance, investments, and retirement. That shows that it is an all-around financial company that you can depend on. The modern world requires individuals to have bank accounts since keeping money in houses is long gone. Many risks are associated with storing money in houses, including destruction by fire or floods and theft. 

How to open a USAA bank account?

There are two main categories of bank accounts that you can open at USAA, including checking and savings accounts. Before opening any of the accounts, you must make sure you have the following things. 

  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Contact information
  • Qualifying military service details (yours or your immediate family member’s)
  • Permanent Resident Card (non-U.S. citizens)
  • Passport (for U.S. citizens)

Once you have all that with you, you then open your account. It is possible to open an account online using your smartphone, computer, or tablet. Let us start with the process of opening a checking account. The following steps are essential.

  • Visit the Checking Account opening page.
  • Select your State
  • Tap on “”Get Started””.
  • Log into your USAA Member account if you are a member. If not a member, you can register as long as you qualify.
  • Have all the necessary information for all account holders, such as identification documents, date of birth, Social Security Number, and physical address with you. Also, make sure you have a minimum of $25 to deposit in your account. You can get the amount from a Visa or MasterCard debit card or another checking account. When recharging from another bank account, you will need to transfer money using the routing number and account number of your USAA account.
  • After that, follow the step-by-step instructions to complete your account opening.

When opening your savings account at USAA, you will also be able to open it online. You require at least $25 to deposit in your account, just as with a checking account. It would help if you navigated to the savings account opening page and scrolled down to the “Apply Now” button to get started.

It would help if you also were an existing USAA member to open the checking account. If you are not yet a member, you can first open a membership account, then proceed with the savings account. 

There are three main types of savings accounts at USAA. We have the USAA savings (minimum deposit of $25), which is the ordinary one, the USAA Youth savings (minimum deposit of $25), and the USAA Performance First (which has a higher interest rate. You need to deposit at least $10,000 or more).

How to send international wire transfers with USAA?

usaa international wire transfer

Wire transfer is a method of transferring funds from one bank to another. It is among the best ways to transfer money internationally within a short period. You can use a wire transfer to send money to a personal account or an organization’s one. It aids in transferring large amounts of money both domestically and internationally. Remember that you can transfer money using either a checking or savings account. 

When sending international wires at USAA, you can only request the service via a phone call. That is contrary to other financial institutions that allow you to log in to your account online and carry out the process yourself. USAA international transfers require a SWIFT code for the recipient’s bank. Other codes that help to identify recipient banks include the following.

  • IBAN (International Bank Account Number)
  • BIC (Bank Identifier Code)
  • CLABE (Clave Bancaria Estandarizada) that identify bank accounts in Mexico

You can get the codes by asking your recipient about them and ensuring they are correct to avoid delaying the transfers. 

When it comes to domestic wires, you can send them online by logging in to your account. You can make two one-time, domestic wire transfers per 30-day period up to $10,000 each. If you want to send money above these limits, you must request by phone.

Wire transfers sometimes may require a correspondent or intermediary bank. This financial institution processes the wire transfer after USAA sends it before being received by the recipient bank.

What time should I request wire transfers?

USAA processes wire transfers during business days from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. C.T. time for domestic wires and from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. C.T. for international requests on business days. You can always reach a representative at 210-531-USAA (8722) or 800-531-USAA (8722).

Online wire transfers are applicable 24/7, although processing will always wait for the following day if done outside working hours. Remember that online transfers are only for domestic transfers. 

Can you set up recurring wire transfers?

You can set up recurring wire transfers if you need to periodically make payments to a particular person or company. You must first successfully transfer a wire online or by phone to succeed in this. After completing the first wire transfer, one of the USAA bank representatives can submit your request about setting up a recurring wire transfer using the exact recipient details you used for your first transfer. 

However, you have to wait 15 days for domestic transfers or 30 days for international transfers after doing the first transfer. To get help with setting up the recurring transfer, you can call USAA at 210-531-USAA (8722) or 800-531-USAA (8722). Wire transfers may not be the cheapest way to send money internationally, but it helps a lot if you have to make large transfers now and then. 

How long does an international wire transfer take?

USAA does not guarantee any specific time when your wire transfer will take effect. However, international wire transfers may take up to 15 calendar days, although they may arrive earlier. If your recipient does not receive their funds within that period, you should call USAA at 210-531-USAA (8722) or 800-531-USAA (8722).

Domestic wire transfers take a shorter time to process. Usually, the recipient can get their funds within 1-2 days. Again, if it takes too long for the recipient to get their money, then you can still call to inquire about the issue. It is important to note that the same time frame applies when receiving wires in your USAA account. 

How much does USAA charge for international wire transfers?

Knowing the transaction cost is very important to adequately prepare the total amount of money required to complete a transaction. USAA charges fees for international transfers. You have to part with a $20 fee for all outgoing wires. Again, additional fees amount to $25 for international wires to cover the fees of correspondent banks.

Additional fees may apply depending on the receiving bank, of which you should be aware of planning your transfers adequately. Interestingly, USAA does not charge fees for receiving wires.  

Can you transfer money from USAA to a prepaid card using a wire transfer?

Prepaid cards accept wire transfers. Therefore, it is possible to transfer money from your USAA bank account to a prepaid card to use for your transactions. Through wire transfer, one can also transfer money from a prepaid card to your bank account. 

For your information, prepaid cards are payment cards that operate like debit cards but do not necessarily link to any bank account. Prepaid card accounts have routing and account numbers just like ordinary banks. Some prepaid card issuers also allow you to save money for future use, just like banks do. 

What is the difference between wire transfers and ACH?

Both wire transfers and ACH are money transfer methods that allow you to send money between banks domestically and internationally. However, ACH transfers take longer to process compared to wires. Domestic wires may happen within 24 hours, while ACH can take 1-2 days. However, we have third-party platforms that allow you to accept ACH payments instantly at a fee.  

Moreover, wire transfers directly involve the sending and receiving bank, and maybe an intermediary bank, while ACH passes through the Automated Clearing House before reaching the intended recipient. 

Another difference between the two money transfer methods is that wire transfers allow you to transfer large sums of money while ACH is for small amounts. 

Bottom line

USAA in full means the United Services Automobile Association. It is a financial services company headquartered in San Antonio, USA. USAA is a diversified financial service company offering banking, insurance, brokerage, and investment services to people who serve or work in the United States Armed Forces plus their families. The bank allows you to open checking and savings accounts for various transactions such as wire and ACH transfers.

Posted by Spencer Tierney
Spencer Tierney is a writer and expert on certificates of deposits at His work has been featured by USA Today, MSN, SF Gate, the Los Angeles Times, NerdWallet and more. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English at UC Berkeley.