I recently realized that most of my money is going into my checking account where it's just sitting there losing value due to inflation, etc. I want to open a savings account at a different bank (which has high APY) and move most of my money there but gradually. However, I heard that the government monitors transfers of over $10K. Is this something I need to worry about as I move money from my current account to new one? Is there any legal requirements I need to meet before moving money?

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    Did you ask your bank if they can meet (or maybe even beat) the competition? If so, and you don't exceed the FDIC per-bank (per-status) coverage limit of $250k, that's usually more convenient. Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 20:54
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    @dave_thompson_085: That's a waste of breath, as discussed at money.stackexchange.com/q/95167/5458
    – Ben Voigt
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 23:57
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    @BenVoigt It might not be, if he's transferring from one type of account to a different one. Most banks offer different sorts of accounts to their customers, after all.
    – nick012000
    Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 5:08
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    @nick012000: Asking if they already offer an account with the desired terms, sure. But dave sounded like he was advocating negotiation on the rate, and it's not worth the bank's effort setting up customized terms even if someone with authority found them fair. This isn't the sale price of an item at a supermarket we're talking about, it's a bank account contract dozens of pages in length, carefully vetted by lawyers, and any change would also need to be vetted.
    – Ben Voigt
    Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 5:12
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    Another aspect that I think was not addressed adequately in the answers but isn't necessarily deserving of an answer unto itself, is that both accounts are presumably at US banks, and both are presumably in your name. Transfers between these accounts are less interesting to the IRS or anyone else than if either or both of those conditions were false.
    – Doktor J
    Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 13:39

4 Answers 4


However, I heard that government monitors transfers of over $10K

No this is wrong. They want to know about cash or cash equivalent transactions over 10K, or small cash or cash equivalent transactions that are structured to look like they are under 10K.

So if you write a check to move the money, or you move the money electronically, the government doesn't care.

But if you ask for 10K or more in 100 dollar bills, they want to know. In fact two reports would be filed one for the withdraw and the second for the deposit.

They are trying to stop the underground economy. Where income can be hidden. They aren't trying to stop people from moving their own money between accounts.

Depending on the rules for the bank and how the money is transferred the new bank may restrict your access to the funds until they know the check was good. Talk to both banks if the amount of money is large, to see if they have any internal rules you may need to know.

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    One of those rules could be a limit to how much you can use with online banking in one day. I had to request that limit to be raised once, previously it was (and is now again) 2000€. It's probably similar for other banks, so that you can't get forced into a large payout by a robber. Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 19:59
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    Under a different BSA section, US also requires reporting of 'monetary instruments' over $10k imported to or exported from the country, which is broader than just cash but still doesn't include a check on your US account or electronic transfer. Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 20:48
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    Structuring a series of transactions each <10k of cash, in order to avoid reporting a >10k cash transaction is separately illegal and can result in the funds being seized. You are better off just doing a normal report of a >=10k cash transaction, assuming you are not engaged in illegal activities. Banks are required to report structured transactions and have done so on occasions when it's just normal activity for a legitimate business. If you might have a series of transactions that could be seen that way, you are best off discussing it with your bank, or doing >10k transactions and reporting.
    – Makyen
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 22:47
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Commented Apr 30, 2019 at 10:30

No, there is nothing you have to worry about.
You can move much larger amounts between your accounts, even in different countries, without any issues.

The government is interested in large cash amounts, and in large amounts that appear from thin air (meaning they are illegally earned, or you 'forgot' them in previous year's tax filings).


Will your transaction be monitored? Probably.

Should you worry about it? Probably not.

Banks and governments tend to monitor the system for reasons like fraud prevention, anti money laundering and perhaps even tax evasion. And certainly big flows of money will be scrutinized more carefully than small amounts.

However, assuming you are making a legal transaction, between two (or in this case 1) individuals who are proper citizens, and the income to enable transaction has been taxed... then the worst thing that might happen with any likelyhood is that someone might contact you to ask what the transaction is for.

So in short, you transferring 10k to your own savings account is not likely to raise any suspicion, and will definitely not get you into trouble.


I've moved amounts larger than that between my investments and my bank account, or between accounts I have in two different banks, on a fairly regular basis over the years with no problems. The bank may have reported it, but I wasn't doing anything unreasonable so I had no reason to worry; more work for them, but invisible to me.

(Anecdotal digression about a specific multibank transaction removed, since someone seemed to object.)

At worst, you might get audited. If you haven't been trying to do something illegal, that's really nothing to be afraid of; most audits are on the order of "we think you might have made a mistake here, please answer a few simple questions."

  • +1 - sorry, I thought the anecdote was interesting. Not deserving a negative vote. Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 16:46

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