Online Banks: How to Beat Annoying Transfer Delays

Everyone knows Carmen’s a big fan of online banks – they’re convenient, their benefits are plentiful, they offer more competitive rates – but they have weaknesses too.

The biggest one? Transfer delays. In a perfect world, money transfers from online banks shouldn’t take longer than two calendar days. But certain transactions take as a long as a week to go through, according to some frustrated customers. That could be the difference between making your mortgage payment on time and facing fees and a credit ding for being late.

The good news is that you can speed up the process if you follow these steps:

1. Make all your transactions early in the day. If you get your order in before noon, it’s more likely to be processed that day.

2. Checks are your best option. See if your online bank offers paper checks or if your money-market funds have check-writing privileges. It’s usually faster to transfer money within banks, through a teller.

3. Talk to the bank where the money’s coming from. If they take a particularly long time to process, the Electronic Payments Associationcan fine them. Don’t be afraid to put the pressure on!

4. Consider wiring your money. There’s usually a fee, but you’re guaranteed to have it received faster than a regular transfer.