Wire transfer are one of the oldest cashless payment methods in the world. In fact, they got their name because they used to be sent be telegraph—that’s how old they are. The question is, do they still serve a purpose today and should they be used for online gambling, or is this payment method as outdated as the telegraph itself?
How to Use Wire Transfers to Play Poker
As long as the poker site accepts wire transfers then using them is as easy as selecting the option from the cashier, inputting your bank account details and then waiting for the money to land. You can also go straight to the bank with the recipient’s details and initiate the transfer from there. This seems to be the preferred method where wire transfers are concerned, but there are quicker and easier ways.
Wire transfers are not used in most European countries and as this is where the top gambling sites are based, they are becoming increasingly rare. However, some of the bigger sites that cater for non-European sites still offer them as an option.
Such is the case with the poker site you can find in our graphic at the top of this page. They will let you deposit and withdraw using wire transfers and host of other payment methods. Just signup and then click on the “cashier” to choose your option.
How Quick is a Wire Transfer?
Wire transfers are not the quickest method, but they are far from the slowest either. They should be processed fairly quickly, but this is only true if you process the payment before the bank shuts up shop for the day. There may also be some additional checks that they need to run and information that they need to receive, which can delay the process.
Once a wire transfer has been processed then it should be through in a couple days, but it will depend on the bank sending it, as well as the recipient’s bank.
Is a Wire Transfer Free?
Not only is a wire transfer not free, but it can actually be quite costly. The exact price will depend on the bank processing it. It can cost as much as $40, but it could also cost as little as $20.
In any case, this is a lot of money when compared to other payment methods. You will not be charged anything to make a payment through a web wallet like PayPal and you will also be able to use debit cards free of charge. Compare that to wire transfers and it’s fair to say that you have a clear winner.
However, there may be some extreme exceptions, such as when you are processing a lot of money via a withdrawal. For instance, if you process a withdrawal through a credit card or an instant payment option then you may be charged as much as 2.95%. If you are withdrawing $5,000 then you will lose a little under $150 based on the aforementioned rate, whereas the flat rate to initiate a wire transfer will likely be a lot lower.
It’s worth noting, however, that you will pay this flat rate on the deposit and the withdrawal, and because the rate is paid by the sender’s bank at the time the money is sent, some poker sites won’t even let you select “wire transfer” as a withdrawal option. You may need to contact them directly and ask them to deduct it from your balance in order to get them to agree.
Using Wire Transfers to Play Poker
As mentioned above, there are circumstances in which it can be a good idea to use wire transfers, but there are also times when it is a very bad idea. On the one hand, they are good for moving large sums of money, but on the other hand they can not be reversed easily like PayPal payments or credit card payments, so if you make a mistake when paying the money then you’re not going to get it back. And if you give the wrong details when initiating a withdrawal, then you’ll probably never see that money.
You also have to consider that while they can be a good option for high-stake players, they are a terrible option for low-stake players. Let’s assume that you want to make a deposit of $10 and after a lot of winning and losing you eventually end up with the same $10 that you then decide to withdraw. Based on the maximum charge you would need to spend $80 just to move that money back and forth!
It is just not feasible. That’s why wire transfers are rarely used in this industry and why that should—and likely will—remain to be the case. They are still the preferred method with a lot of older players who grew up believing that wire transfers were the best and the safest way to move money, but if you’re under the age of 70, you really should be using PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, or even debit cards!
We mentioned the better options above, but to really cement the notion that there are better alternatives to wire transfers out there, take a look at these:
- PayPal and Skrill: These options are free when depositing and withdrawing, but they are also very quick. You can get a withdrawal in a matter of seconds when using PayPal, and Skrill is just as quick. It then takes just a few minutes to move money from your e-wallet to your bank account.
- Credit/Debit Cards: If you have the ability to make wire transfers then you will also have a credit or debit card. They are safe and cheap (credit cards can incur fees at times) and they are also accepted on the vast majority of online gambling sites.
- Instant Transfers: These are similar to wire transfers in that they come direct from the bank, but they are much quicker and easier. Think of them as the modern equivalent for people who like to use wire transfers.
- Check: These options are very slow, we don’t recommend them and they are being phased out, but if you’re moving large sums of money then it might be better to get a withdrawal via check rather than wire transfer. It should cost less (and may even be free for big spenders) and you know that if it gets lost or misplaced, you can still fix it and get your money.