As we start the New Year, we are taking a look at some of the most frequently asked questions here in community. One of the subjects at the top of the list is wire transfers. A wire transfer is a way of moving money from one person or financial institution to another. It can be made from and sent to bank or investment accounts. I asked some fellow military spouse bloggers to share their experiences with wire transfers- and they answered these three questions:

  1. Why would I need to use a wire transfer?
  2. How long did the wire transfer take?
  3. Have you ever been contacted by a wire transfer scam? (It has been discovered you are a long lost relative of a prince from Mars)

Emilie from (Inspiring Millennial Women to Live Financially, Physically, and Professionally Fit Lives)

  1. My dad didn't have a bank account but was the named beneficiary of my Nana's life insurance. I had his general POA, so I had the check deposited to my bank and then I had to wire it to my aunt who was handling arrangements with the funeral home.
  2. Three days, I think, but I spent a day in-office getting it set up because I had never done a wire transfer with that bank before.
  3. I get like 12 emails a day. Lots of princes are into me, I guess.

Elizabeth from The Reluctant Landlord (Frugal living and real estate investments)

  1. I have done several wire transfer in regards to getting down payments to banks. I have also received them from tenants for security deposits.
  2. They have all taken an hour or less. A very seamless process.
  3. I get scam email daily to multiple times.

Kara from (Authentic, Sustainable, Nature-centered Living)

  1. My husband has transferred money to family abroad. He did one via Western Union, which did not go well, plus they charge extra fees.
  2. It took several days to a week for the money to transfer, and they messed it up the first time so we had to do it again and were in contact with customer service multiple times. Wouldn't recommend. The easiest way we've found is via PayPal. It's quick and there are no extra fees if you do the gift option.
  3. Of course we've gotten those spam messages, but obvious spam is obvious, they go right to the spam inbox 99% of the time so we never see them.

Kelly from (Learning To Live And Love In Japan)

  1. My mom was visiting us in Japan but she had left her debit card in the states. She had my sister wire money to her via mine and my husband's bank account (we bank with USAA).
  2. It took just about an hour to process it.
  3. I have been contacted by wire transfer scams on multiple occasions. The scariest was when they said I owed them money for a loan (not true) and I had to wire them money immediately before they would have me arrested. They knew where I banked, my address, where I worked, and were calling my parents' phone and my employer's phone repeatedly trying to scare them into paying my loan. They called me repeatedly (like every 5 minutes) for three days until I got the police involved. Then it suddenly stopped. This was about five years ago.

Please share your wire transfer experiences in the comments.


Here are some great resources to protect yourself from wire transfer scams and a frequently asked questions page about USAA wire transfer services.


About the Blogger: Briana Hartzell is a Navy spouse, mother to two beautiful girls (3 years and 6 months), a former full time USAA employee and a graduate of Texas A&M University. Briana writes at Being Briana, a blog focused on the joys that military life and parenthood can bring.


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