Money Moves: Which method is best for which purpose

Money Moves: Which method is best for which purpose?

When you need to move money, it’s important to know the different ways you can do it, how quickly the transfer takes place and how much it will cost.

Here’s a primer on the main ways to move the dollars in your personal accounts from place to place.

Transfers between your deposit accounts at the same institution can be performed instantly in online and mobile banking, whether one time or recurring.

Inter-bank transfer (aka P2P or external transfer) between two different banks takes some planning. You connect your accounts using a form that has the receiving bank’s routing and account number. Each transfer takes three business days. There is a limit to the amount that can be transferred. This service is free at Pinnacle.

Online & Mobile Bill Pay is great for paying an individual or a company invoice. The payments are often sent digitally by a process called ACH transfer. If that can’t be done, the bank will print a check automatically and mail it for you. It’s recommended to schedule payments a minimum of four days before they’re due. You can choose the date of a one-time payment or set up recurring payments and save the payee for future use.

Payment Apps like Zelle® are very convenient for instantly sending a one-time payment to a person or business from your personal account—but use them with caution. Recurring payments are available but may not be instant. It’s important to know if the person requesting money is legit. You need to validate you’ve got the right recipient, because once the money is sent, you can’t retrieve it. At Pinnacle, Zelle® is free to use for personal accounts.

Wire Transfer is best for higher amounts and sending money outside the United States. Personal account holders must make wire requests at a Pinnacle office. The transfer is instant, subject to a cutoff time, which at Pinnacle is 4 p.m. CT/5 p.m. ET. There is a fee, and the amount differs based on whether the wire is domestic or international and outgoing or incoming.

Here’s a chart that breaks down the essentials for each method. This information is accurate for Pinnacle; parameters may vary slightly at other banks.


Same Bank Transfers

Inter-bank Transfers

Online/Mobile Bill Pay



One time and recurring?








3 days for initial set-up, 3 days per transfer. Daily cutoff time 7pm CT.

ACH 1-2 days,

Checks 4 days

Instant if between two enrolled users, < $500 and one-time. Longer for non-Zelle recipients, recurring and/or higher amounts.

Instant, with daily cutoff: international 3pm CT, domestic 4pm CT





No for personal




$500, with temporary and permanent increases by request


$500/day for instant

$1,000/day 3-day


15 Tx per day, 30 per month


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