Zelle Pay Limits: Daily and Monthly Limits for Your Bank

Zelle is one of the top money transfer apps, allowing you to send money to family and friends directly from your bank account. But did you know that Zelle limits vary from one financial institution to another? In fact, the variation from one bank to another can amount to thousands of dollars per day or month.

The following table lists the daily and monthly Zelle Pay limits for 15 major banks and one large credit union:

Bank NameDaily LimitMonthly Limit
Ally Bank$500$10,000
Bank of America$3,500$20,000
Capital One$2,500$10,000
CIT Bank$600Not disclosed
CitiVaries by account, $500 to $5,000Varies by account, $2,500 to $20,000
Citizens Bank$1,000$5,000
Discover® Bank$600Not disclosed
Navy Federal Credit Union$1,500 (instant), $3,000 (1 to 3 business days)$3,000
PNC Bank$1,000$5,000
Regions BankVaries based on your funding account, recipient,
and transaction history for each recipient
Same criteria
TD BankUp to $2,500 (next day or scheduled transfers);
up to $1,000 (within minutes)
Up to $10,000 (next day or scheduled transfers);
$5,000 (within minutes)
U.S. Bank$1,500 to $2,500$5,000 to $10,000
Wells Fargo$2,500$4,000
USAA Federal Savings Bank$1,000$10,000 ($2,500 over seven days)

The daily and monthly limits presented in the table are maximums. You’ll need to check with your bank or credit union to determine your Zelle limits.

Table of Contents
  1. How Your Bank Sets Your Zelle Limits
  2. Why Your Bank Limits Your Zelle Pay Limits
  3. What Happens if I Exceed My Bank’s Zelle Pay Limits?
  4. How to Set up Zelle with Your Bank
  5. Is Zelle Worth It?
    1. What If My Recipient Doesn’t Have the Zelle App?
  6. Zelle Drawbacks
  7. Final Thoughts on Zelle Pay Limits

How Your Bank Sets Your Zelle Limits

Though Zelle is a standalone product, each bank determines the pay limits for each depositor. They use several criteria in setting that limit.

Those criteria include the following:

  • The bank’s maximum limits can be daily, monthly, or weekly. A bank may also set a per-transaction limit below the daily threshold.
  • The speed of delivery. Many banks offer an instant and a standard payment, commonly between one and three business days. You’ll generally be permitted to send more using a standard payment.
  • Your relationship with your bank or credit union. It’s common for a financial institution to limit the amount you can send as a new account holder. But once your account is open for a certain amount of time, your limit will be increased. If your account history is also satisfactory, you may be permitted to send the maximum limit the institution allows.
  • The amount of money you have available in the sending account. After all, you can never send more money than you have in your bank account.
  • Your transaction history with the specific recipient to whom the payment is being sent.

Based on the above criteria, the maximum you can send per transaction on any given day and to any recipient can vary. Once again, be sure to check with your bank to find out exactly what your limits are.

Why Your Bank Limits Your Zelle Pay Limits

All financial institutions limit how much you can send using Zelle, just as they do with debit card payments, ATM cash withdrawals, and other financial transactions.

Banks aren’t being stubborn or unreasonable by imposing limits. The whole purpose is to either a) keep you from overdrawing your account or b) limit how much an unauthorized party could withdraw from your account if he or she were to gain access to your Zelle credentials.

So don’t think of it as an inconvenience but as a way to protect you and your money. Overdrafts will cost you money and damage your reputation with your bank. And if a thief can access your account through Zelle, the absence of daily or monthly limits would make it possible to clean out – and even overdraw – your account.

Given that the pay limits are fairly generous, they won’t affect most users, at least not with most transactions. But it can become an issue if you use Zelle frequently to send payments, like multiple times per day. And if you do, those limits will be one of your best protections.

What Happens if I Exceed My Bank’s Zelle Pay Limits?

Even if you bump up against your bank’s Zelle pay limits, one or more workarounds are usually available. First and foremost is to work within the Zelle pay limits themselves.

If your bank has a limit of $1,000 per day, and you need to send $1,500 to a single recipient, the easiest solution is to send $1,000 today and the remaining $500 tomorrow. Alternatively, you may be able to send a higher amount using standard delivery, though it will take an extra day or two to reach your recipient.

If you need to send the entire amount today, or you’ve already exceeded the monthly limit on Zelle payments, your bank provides you with several options:

  • Provide the recipient with a check.
  • Arrange a direct transfer from your account into the recipient’s account. Most banks and credit unions offer this capability.
  • Access cash for the recipient from either an ATM machine or the bank teller window.
  • Make a Zelle payment from another account with a different bank.

To avoid exceeding the Zelle pay limits, know what they are and send payments accordingly. It may be that Zelle will only be appropriate for certain payments but not others.

How to Set up Zelle with Your Bank

First, not all banks and credit unions use Zelle. If it’s a common payment method you’ve become accustomed to using elsewhere, check with the financial institution to make sure Zelle is one of the services they offer to their customers.

Fortunately, the list of banks and credit unions partnered with Zelle has been growing steadily. If you’d like to know if a particular institution is a Zelle partner, check with that bank or credit union before opening your account or go to the Zellepay Get Started page. There, you’ll find a list of hundreds of financial institutions that are already working with Zelle.

If your bank or credit union partners with Zelle, you’re in luck. The institution will have the entire process set up for you so you can begin using the service immediately.

If your financial institution does not offer a Zelle, you can download the Zelle mobile app and link your bank debit card. That will enable you to send and receive Zelle payments through your bank account.

Is Zelle Worth It?

This is a legitimate question. After all, in an age of online banking and electronic money, there are already multiple ways the send and transfer money, even between individuals.

That being said, Zelle is a popular payment service with three key benefits:

It’s free to use. There’s no cost to download the app, and Zelle does not charge fees to send or receive payment. (But be sure your bank or credit union doesn’t charge a fee for using Zelle with your account. They usually don’t, but it’s worth checking before using the service.)

Fast transfers. Smaller payment amounts will appear in the recipient’s account within minutes. Higher amounts may require a delay of between one and three days. But most payments tend to be smaller amounts.

It’s accessible. Zelle allows you to send and receive payments to and from anyone with the app. Google Play indicates Zelle has been downloaded from the site more than 10 million times. It’s likely the App Store has seen a similar number of downloads. That means millions of people are already using Zelle. And that will make it easy to send and receive payments.

What If My Recipient Doesn’t Have the Zelle App?

Even if the recipient doesn’t have the Zelle mobile app, sending money to that person from your bank account is still possible. You only need to get that person’s email address and phone number, and you can send payment.

There will be no need to collect their bank account information. Once you send payment, the recipient will receive an email confirmation from their bank indicating receipt of payment.

Zelle Drawbacks

No payment system is 100% problem-free, including Zelle.

  1. If you’re making regular transfers, it can be hard to keep track of your money. Also, if you also write checks against your account, there will be a possibility of overdrawing your account due to the lack of funds resulting from Zelle payments. You need to develop a system for keeping track of your money and knowing how much is remaining in your account.
  2. It’s possible to send money to the wrong party. This can happen if there’s an error with either the phone number or the email the recipient supplies or if you enter the wrong information. This happened to me on a different payment service. A family member sent payment to my name. As it turns out, I’m not the only Kevin Mercadante on the planet. ; )There’s another one on the West Coast, and – you guessed it – he got the payment intended for me.

The family member ultimately reversed the payment through the payment service, though it took at least a full week to resolve. It’s not a common problem, but it is one to be aware of if you use Zelle or any other payment service frequently.

Final Thoughts on Zelle Pay Limits

Zelle is one of the most convenient ways to transfer money from one bank to another. If you’re already a frequent user of Zelle, good for you. You’re already embracing the post-cash world that seems certain to come. But if you’re not using Zelle or another person-to-person payment service, I recommend signing up.

Cash might not disappear altogether, but fewer people carry it, and some businesses refuse to accept it. With a payment system like Zelle, you’ll already be prepared for a world that uses less cash.

Chances are good your bank already has Zelle in place. If they do, research the limits and any other potential restrictions, then begin using the service. But even if they don’t, download the app to your phone so you’ll be ready when the next payment moment comes.

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About Kevin Mercadante

Since 2009, Kevin Mercadante has been sharing his journey from a washed-up mortgage loan officer emerging from the Financial Meltdown as a contract/self-employed "slash worker" – accountant/blogger/freelance blog writer – on OutofYourRut.com. He offers career strategies, from dealing with under-employment to transitioning into self-employment, and provides "Alt-retirement strategies" for the vast majority who won’t retire to the beach as millionaires.

He also frequently discusses the big-picture trends that are putting the squeeze on the bottom 90%, offering workarounds and expense cutting tips to help readers carve out more money to save in their budgets – a.k.a., breaking the "savings barrier" and transitioning from debtor to saver.

Kevin has a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Montclair State University.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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