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How to send money online to friends and family

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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.

If you have the email or cell phone number of the recipient, you may be able to send money securely using an app on your phone, for example, if your bank's app includes Zelle. This lets you easily get money directly to someone, no matter where they bank.

  • Fees may or may not apply.
  • Delivery time is typically a few minutes but may take one to three business days.

Learn more from this video about how to send money online with Bank of America.

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. You usually need to know the account number and transit routing number of the recipient.

  • Fees depend on the bank, but it could be free.
  • Delivery time may be immediate or 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, or who doesn't want to, a personal or cashier's check might be your best option.

  • Fees may or may not 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 or use mobile check deposit in their bank's app. 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 vary based on the institution, though it could be free based on the type of account a customer has. 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.

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