International bank transfer: what is the maximum amount?

France By Fabien Lesage Oct 10, 2023

International bank transfer: what is the maximum amount?

In brief

Whether you’re transferring money to help a family member, to give a friend a birthday present or to make a payment, it’s important to know the maximum amount that can be sent by international bank transfer. This will enable you to know exactly how much money you can transfer at any one time.

The maximum amount you can send by international bank transfer varies from bank to bank. Limits can also vary depending on the duration over you conduct a transfer, whether it’s a maximum limit for individual transfers, or limits set per day, week or month.

This guide will help you learn more about the general regulations and maximum amounts you can transfer internationally, so that you know what to expect the next time you send money to your loved ones living abroad.

In this article

– The different types of international transfers

– What is the maximum amount for an international transfer?

– How can you increase your transfer limit?

– Interesting regulations to be aware of

– Western Union, the alternative to traditional international transfers

– Guides and frequently asked questions

The different types of international transfers

There are two main types of international transfer: SEPA transfers and SWIFT transfers.


SEPA transfers (Single Euro Payments Area) are those made in euros. These transfers must be made between two banks within the Single Euro Payments Area.


SWIFT transfers (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, also known as non-SEPA transfers) are transfers made outside the Single Euro Payments Area in a currency other than the euro. International SWIFT transfers are the most common.

What is the maximum amount for an international bank transfer?

The maximum amount that can be transferred via an international bank transfer can vary from one bank to another. The exchange rates and transfer fees that apply to these international transfers also vary from bank to bank.

In general, the rules for domestic transfers apply to international transfers made within the SEPA zone, although this may vary from bank to bank. Outside the SEPA zone, banks are free to apply their own limits and charges to each transfer.

It is common for banks to cap instant SEPA transfers at €15,000. However, some banks may use lower limits for SEPA and SWIFT transfers. If you would like to know exactly what limits apply to you, it is important to contact your bank to find out more.

The maximum amount for an international bank transfer applies to periods defined by each bank. For example, the following banks offer variable limits that may change:

– Société Générale: €4,000 per day to an external account.

– LCL: €2,000 over a three-day period.

– Caisse d’Épargne: €5,000 per transaction, €10,000 per day, €20,000 per week and €25,000 per month.

– BNP Paribas: €6,000 per day.

– Hello Bank: €6,000 per day

– Banque Populaire: €20,000 per day, €60,000 per month.

– Crédit Agricole: €3,000 per day.

– La Banque Postale: €3,000 per day for a registered beneficiary; €500 per day for a non-registered beneficiary.

Bank transfers are monitored by TRAFCIN, a department of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance. Its aim is to combat money laundering and financial terrorism, which involves checking for abnormal financial flows. Your bank may therefore ask you to justify your international transfer, to ensure that it complies with the criteria it must meet. It may be worth taking this into consideration before transferring large sums of money.

How quickly are international transfers processed?

Although processing times vary from bank to bank, a SEPA transfer can generally be completed in less than 48 hours.

SEPA credit transfers are a fast and well-known alternative to international credit transfers within the SEPA European zone. SWIFT transfers, on the other hand, can take between three and five working days.

How can I increase my transfer limit?

When it comes to changing or increasing the limit on international transfers, some banks can be quite flexible on a case-by-case basis. You may be able to negotiate a new limit for your bank transfers with your bank.

Each bank has complete discretion when it comes to changing transfer limits. To renegotiate this amount, you can:

– Talk to a bank employee face-to-face.

– Make your request on your bank’s website.

– Contact a bank employee by telephone.

Interesting regulations to be aware of

In most cases, you can make an international transfer directly from your bank account. However, for some bank accounts, the bank may have to activate the possibility of making international transfers. Before proceeding, be aware of the following factors:

– It is not possible to make a transfer from a savings account: if you wish to use the funds in your savings account to make an international transfer, you will first need to transfer them to your current account.

– You will need to register your beneficiary before making a transfer to their account: you will need to register the beneficiaries of your transfers before you can transfer money to them, which can be done via your bank’s website.

– It can take up to 72 hours to register a beneficiary: this is an important point to be aware of when you need to make last-minute transfers. Once a beneficiary has been registered, this time will no longer apply to subsequent transfers.

Western Union, the alternative to traditional international transfers

Would you like to make an international transfer without using a traditional bank transfer? There are many payment solutions available today. With Western Union, you can transfer money online or send money in person to your loved ones without going through a traditional bank.

But what is the maximum amount for a Western Union transfer? From a point of sale, the website or the Western Union mobile app, you can send up to €1,000 per transaction if your identity has not yet been verified. If your identity has been verified, the international transfer limit increases to €5,000 per transaction.

Note that this limit may vary depending on the country you wish to send money to.

Guides and frequently asked questions

Making an occasional SEPA transfer

Making a SEPA bank transfer

How do I receive a transfer from abroad?