National Bank Money Transfer Review

Exchange rates, Payment methods, How to, Transfer fees and much more

National Bank Review

Are you looking to send money overseas from Canada? If so, you may want to consider National Bank’s international money transfers. National Bank is one of the most recognised banks in Canada, and their transfer service is used by many. In addition to wire transfers, they also offer a special International Transfer by Mastercard option.

But is this the right option for you? What are the pros and cons of using this bank, and are the fees and exchange rates offered good? If you have questions, this guide will show you everything you need to know about National Bank’s money transfer services.

How To Fund Your International Money Transfer With National Bank

You can send money internationally by using your National Bank account. Only customers of the bank can use their international money transfer service. There are several types of accounts that you can open with the bank, however.

How Much I Can Transfer With National Bank?

National Bank has a daily transfer limit of $3,000. The weekly limit is $14,000 and the monthly limit is $20,000.

National Bank Transfer Fees

National Bank’s wire transfer fees vary according to the type of account you hold and the method you use, whether in-branch or online. However, a flat fee applies to the International Transfer by Mastercard no matter which account or package you have.

The wire transfer fee for sending in branch to Canada or the United States is $15.00. For all other countries the fee is $20.00.

Online international transfers using International Transfer by Mastercard cost a flat fee of $5.95. If applicable, account withdrawal transaction fees will also be deducted.

National Bank also applies service charges in addition to the above fees. These depend on the type of account held. Line of Credit and Chequing Accounts fees are $1.25. For the High Interest Savings Account the fee is $5.00.

For the All-In-One home equity account, there is no extra fee charged to the customer. This is because most transactions are included in the account’s monthly fee.

Pros And Cons Of Using National Bank


  • Low flat fee for transferring to Europe

  • Easy and fast online transfer option

  • Offers a special bank account for customers new to Canada

  • Cons

  • High fees for wire transfer

  • High fees which vary according to the country you’re sending to.

  • Can only transfer to European countries when using the online option

  • You can transfer money only if you have a bank account with National Bank

  • How Does National Bank Money Transfer Work?

    Here are the two options you have to send money overseas using National Bank. The first is the International Transfer by Mastercard. National Bank was the first Canadian bank to offer this service. It works through the Interac transfer platform. Millions of Canadians already use Interac to send transfers to Canadian accounts. The second option is wire transfer.

    National Bank International Transfer by Mastercard
    1. If you have an online banking account already, sign in using your email and password. If not, create a new profile.
    2. Click on the Send Money button and choose International Transfer.
    3. You’ll then be asked to either select a recipient or add a new recipient.
    4. You must provide the recipient’s full name, International Bank Account Number (IBAN), and their mailing address including their country of residence.
    5. The money will be transferred directly to their account.
    Wire transfer

    A wire transfer can be completed by visiting your local National Bank branch. At the branch a bank representative will assist you in sending the transfer. The same information required for an online transfer will be needed to send in branch. For most countries, you will also need the SWIFT number for your recipient’s account. The bank staff can also locate the SWIFT number if you do not have it.

    Other Money Transfer Providers

    National Bank Exchange Rates

    National Bank displays its exchange rates online.As these change daily, it’s worth checking out what the current exchange rate is before you start your transfer.

    How Does National Bank Make Money?

    In addition to transfer fees, National Bank also makes money on the exchange rate. The way they do this is similar to many other banks and services where currency is exchanged.

    A quick search online will show you the mid-market exchange rate. This rate is the one that banks use to exchange currencies among themselves. The average bank customer, however, isn’t quite as lucky.

    In order to make money on their transactions, banks add a margin to the exchange rate. This is why the rate that a bank gives you will never match the “real” mid-market rate shown on a search engine. National Bank is no exception. When you check the bank’s rate online, compare it to the mid-market rate to see how much of a markup is added.

    Platforms Where National Bank Is Available

    Mobile banking, telephone banking and online banking are all available with National Bank. Its online banking service is still evolving and new services are being added all the time. One unique feature of National Bank’s online service is that you can add accounts from other banks and view all your money in the same place. The bank’s apps in the App Store and Google Play Store are rated 4.1 out of 5 and 4.3 out of 5, respectively. Using the app it’s possible to deposit cheques, make transfers and more.

    Is National Bank Secure?

    National Bank has several measures in place to enhance security. These include dual authentication when you sign in. That means that you get a verification code sent to you when you try to access the bank online. All of these measures help to protect against fraud.

    What Countries Does National Bank Allow You To Send Money To?

    National Bank’s International Transfer by Mastercard is currently only available to European countries. Wire transfer, on the other hand, can be used for all of the countries where SWIFT transfers are available..


    How To Contact National Bank

    Methods to contact National Bank include:




    By signing into online banking or using the contact form if you do not have an account

    In branch:

    Find your closest branch on the bank's website.

    Alternatives To National Bank Money Transfer

    Other banks

    Your first alternative to National Bank for sending money internationally may be another bank. For many people banks are seen as a safe and trusted option for transferring money. It’s important to know though that it is often the most expensive and slowest option. Bank transfers typically take 3 business days to complete. Sometimes it even takes longer. It is best to look at other options if you want a speedy transfer and lower fees.


    Online banks

    Canada has three main online banks that could be an alternative to National Bank money transfer. The major online banks are Tangerine, EQ Bank, and Simplii Financial. It’s best to compare their products to see if their accounts work for you. All three only operate online, so you should be comfortable with technology if you choose this option.


    Traditional Money Transfer Providers

    Traditional money transfer services include companies such as Ria, Western union and MoneyGram. They offer the convenience and speed that many senders and receivers like.

    However their fees are high and their exchange rates are far from competitive.



    The specialist money transfer service Transferwise is very popular with senders, and for good reason. It operates strictly online, like online banks. Like online banks, it uses bank accounts to send and receive. Where Transferwise has an advantage though is in its low transparent fees and the fact that it offers the true mid-market exchange rate on all its transactions. It is available for recipients in many countries worldwide.


    Online Money Transfer Companies

    Online money transfer companies that offer international transfers have several advantages. They don’t have the high operating costs of traditional banks. That means they can pass these savings on to you. These include companies like Transferwise and Remitbee, the Canadian online transfer service.


    National Bank Frequently Asked Questions

    National Bank has a daily, weekly and monthly limit of $3,000, $14,000, and $20,000 respectively.

    Using the International Transfer by Mastercard option, you can send money to the Eurozone online. If you go into a branch, you can send money to any country where the SWIFT bank transfer option is available.

    You can only send a money transfer from National Bank using your bank account.

    The money will be in their account in approximately 1 to 3 business days.

    History Of National Bank

    The current National Bank group dates back over 160 years. Its current form today started in the 1980s. That was when Banque Canadienne Nationale and The Provincial Bank, in one of history’s largest-ever bank mergers, came together. Since then the National Bank group has been through several mergers and acquisitions. The bank even expanded into America with a branch in Florida.

    Today, the bank has over 20,000 people working for it at all its locations. It also manages $263 billion in assets as of 2019. It is the sixth largest commercial bank in Canada.

    Other Services National Bank Offers

    • Chequing and high interest savings accounts
    • US dollar account
    • No fee and cashback credit cards
    • Loans
    • Mortgages
    • Savings and investments such as RRSPs
    • Insurance

    How To Open An Account With National Bank

    With National Bank’s Newcomer Bank Account you can take advantage of special benefits for customers who are new to Canada. You may even be eligible for three years of banking without monthly fees. Studying in Canada? There’s a special student account as well. In order to open an account with National Bank, make an appointment with an advisor.

    So What Is National Bank Money Transfer In A Nutshell?

    For customers looking to do all their transactions in one place, National Bank could be a good international money transfer option. That is, if you already have an account with the bank. If you send money to Europe regularly you can also benefit from the flat fee that the bank offers for sending money online. If you’re interested in getting to know all your options for sending money overseas, read more on the Remitbee blog.

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