Card to Card Money Transfers

Sending money to someone else and paying by card may be a popular means of transferring funds - but how easy is it to transfer money directly from one card to another? In this guide, we’ll be looking at card to card money transfers, how easy they are to initiate, and whether it’s the best way to send money.

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What are the pros and cons of card to card transfers?


There may be lower fees associated with this type of transfer, especially if using debit cards
Transfers should usually be made within 24 hours and be available for your recipient to use soon as their account is credited


Less common transfer method and therefore less widely available
You may incur more charges if using a credit card
There may be a sending limit when transferring using your card

Sending money with a card

While sending money to a card is not a common method of transferring money, many transfer providers do provide the option to pay by either credit card or debit card for your transfer.

To do this, you’ll need to provide the following card details:

  • The long 16-digital number on the front of your card

  • The expiry date

  • The security number (the last three digits on the back of the card)

Depending on the provider you are using, you may also need to provide the account number and sort code that is associated with this card, or you may need to provide further verification of your identity to confirm you are authorised to be using the card.

Sending money with a debit card

Sending a transfer via your debit card can be a fast and convenient way of moving your funds around, and is a widely accepted payment method with many popular money transfer providers. Most card payments are processed instantly, although you may have to wait up to 24 hours for your payment to be cleared.

Read the full pros and cons to sending money with a debit card to decide if this is the right option for you.

Sending money with a credit card

Sending a money transfer with your credit card could seem like an appealing option because you don’t need to have the funds instantly available in your account when making your transfer. However, transfers that are paid for by credit card to tend to have higher fees (both charged by transfer providers and by your card provider) so may not be the best method of sending money if keeping costs down is a priority.

This guide to sending a wire transfer via credit card can offer some useful insights into sending money this way.

Receiving money to your card

The most popular way of getting money directly available to your debit card is to have money sent to you in the form of bank transfer, with the money sent to the bank account that is linked to your debit card.

To do this, you’ll need to provide the sender with the following details:

  • Your name as it appear on your account

  • Your account number

  • Sort code or routing number

The sender will also need to provide a payee reference so you know where those funds have come from.

Alternative option: An alternative is if you use a money transfer service that provides the option to link the card you have registered with your transfer provider. PaySend, for example, enables you to enter your recipient’s card details for a transfer, which you can then pay for with your own card details.

What information do you need to make a card to card transfer?

If you are paying by card, you’ll need to have your card to hand to make the payment, plus the details for your recipient.

If you are sending a payment directly to their card, you may need their card details, or more commonly you’ll need their bank details to deposit the money directly into their account. This will include their full name, account number, sort code/routing number, and in some cases, the IBAN and BIC codes of their bank.

What fees are associated with a card to card transfer?

A card to card transfer can involve more transfer fees than alternative methods, because of the additional processing and security checks required for this type of payment. International money transfer comparisons will give you a clear idea of fees between different providers. Fees to be aware of include:

  • Transfer fees: Whether you are sending a money transfer domestically or internationally, you should make yourself aware of any charges you may incur with your bank or the provider you are using. Transfer fees are usually higher when paying with credit card than by debit card.

  • Exchange rate: For international transfers, a common area to incur additional charges is with the exchange rate you are given. Make sure you’ve compared providers and know exactly how much your recipient will receive.

  • Additional fees: It’s important to note that your credit card provider may also charge you a fee when making a transfer using your card, so take this into account when weighing up your options.

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How long will a card transfer take?

How long any money transfer will take really depends on the individual circumstances of your transfer. Factors that can affect this include:

  • Location: If you are sending an international transfer, the two currencies you are converting between can have a big impact on your transfer time.

  • Your transfer provider: Some transfer providers are more equipped to process certain types of transfers than others. We always recommend comparing providers to find the service best suited to you.

  • The withdrawal method: A transfer deposited into a bank account can take longer than a card payment that can be picked up as cash, for example. If you need an urgent money transfer, the payout option you choose can have a big impact on timings.

It's also worth bearing in mind that the faster your transfer, the higher the fees involved (in a lot of cases). A card transfer can take anywhere from minutes up to a few working days, but urgent transfers are likely to incur higher transfer fees overall.

Alternative to receiving money by card

If you are open to alternatives to card to card money transfers, there are plenty of options for safely and securely transferring your money to anywhere around the world. Your main options are paying by card and your recipient receiving the funds via:

Bank transfer

This is close to a card to card money transfer as the funds will be debited directly to your recipient’s bank account, which may already be linked to their debit card. For a bank transfer, you’ll need their account details to hand.

Bank transfers often cost less with money transfer providers versus banks, although they can take a little more time.

Mobile wallet

Another popular option for many money transfer operators is to transfer money directly to your recipient’s mobile wallet, which allows for a more convenient way to access and manage your money using your smartphone.

In some cases, your recipient may need an account with your money transfer operator in order to set up their wallet.


Finally, you could opt for your recipient to receive your funds as cash. Not all transfer operators offer this service so you’ll need to check if it’s available, but cash transfers do tend to be one of the fastest ways to get your money to your recipient.

Heads up! You should note, however, that cash transfers are difficult to reverse, and near impossible to get your money back if you change your mind but the cash has already been collected.

Alternatives to sending money by card

Sending money directly to a card is not the most common money transfer option available to you, which could lead to you using a less reputable service, incurring higher fees, or delayed transfer times. Alternative ways for you to pay for your transfer include:

Bank transfer

Paying by bank transfer often has lower fees than paying by card, although it’s best to check your individual provider first, for example, if you would like to send money from Canada to another country via bank transfer, you can use CIBC Bank (check CIBC currency Exchange rates). Or maybe, if you would like to send money from the US, you can use the Bank of America (check Bank of America foreign currency exchange rates) If sending money this way, you may be able to link your bank account to the provider you are using for quick and easy money transfers. However, international bank transfers can take longer to clear, if you want to know more take a look at our guide: how long do international bank transfers take?

If you would like to know more about international bank transfers, you can read the following guides to see the exchange rates and fees of the main international banks:


This option is less commonly offered, but some operators such as Western Union and MoneyGram still provide the option to visit one of their agent locations directly and start a money transfer using cash. It’s important to note that fees and exchange rates can be higher with this method.

More ways to send money abroad

Bottom line

Overall, sending money from card to card is not a hugely popular way of sending money and therefore not our top recommendation. Limiting yourself to this method may mean having to use a less reputable transfer operator and incurring delays or higher charges to your transfer.

We recommend using our innovative comparison engine designed to help you find the best way to transfer money for your individual transfer needs. We take costs, transfer times, security and more into account to help you find the best option tailored to you.

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Article Factchecked by Elliot Laybourne on 20th July 2022: Elliott is a former investment banker with a 20 year career in the city of London. During this time he held senior roles at ABN Amro, Societe Generale, Marex Financial and Natixis bank, specialising in commodity derivatives and options market-making. During this time, Elliott’s client list included Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Schroders Asset Management, and the Pennsylvania State Public School Employees Retirement System, amongst others.
Yasmin Purnell
Yasmin Purnell
Yasmin Purnell is a Content Writer and Editor for Yasmin has a wealth of experience writing across a range of topics within the personal finance, student, and business niche. Yasmin joined the team with the one main mission to provide accessible financial, career and business information and advice for all.