Xoom Money Transfer Review

Spencer TierneyApr 8, 2021
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Xoom, owned by PayPal, is in the business of speed. Established in 2001, the web-based provider makes most transfers within minutes. You can send money from the U.S. to more than 160 countries with different delivery options, such as deposits into bank accounts and cash for pickup at locations, depending on the country. But you’ll need to provide a lot of personal information in order to send larger amounts of money.

Compared with its competitors, Xoom has middling exchange rate margins, and markup rates above the mid-market rate are on par, as well.

The mid-market rate, also called the interbank rate, is the exchange rate that big banks use to swap currencies between each other. Most providers give customers an exchange rate that’s the mid-market rate plus an additional percentage, or markup, to make a profit on the transfer.

Example: If the mid-market rate for U.S. dollars to Mexican pesos is 20 pesos per dollar, then a 2% markup means the provider is giving you 19.6 pesos per dollar. For a $500 transfer, that’s the difference between 10,000 pesos from the first rate and 9,800 pesos from the second. And the higher the markup, the less your recipient gets in the local currency.

Read on for more information about Xoom’s costs, delivery speed, transfer methods and customer experience.

This overview of Xoom is for U.S.-based audiences sending money within the U.S. and abroad only.

» Compare your options: Find out what banks charge for wire transfers

Best for:

  • People looking to transfer money fast — even if it means providing a lot of personal information to send larger amounts.

Xoom Pros

  • Affordable if you fund with a bank account. Xoom charges a fee of $4.99 or less for transfers using bank accounts to many destinations, regardless of how much you send.

  • Xoom is fast. Money can arrive within minutes in most cases, even transfers funded with bank accounts, which can take as long as a week with some competitors.

  • High transfer limits for verified accounts. Send up to $50,000 per day to a recipient’s bank account by verifying personal information through Xoom.

  • Low transfer minimum. You need to transfer at least $10 to move money with Xoom.

  • Easy-to-use website. Xoom organizes its website by destination country, so you can see what costs, speeds and delivery options are available for your transfer without logging in. For the frequent customer, there’s a feature to quickly send a transfer you’ve done before. FAQs are well-organized and clear.

  • Multilingual customer support. Agents can speak English, Spanish, French or Filipino if you need help by phone in the U.S. or Canada. You can get help via email in Vietnamese and Chinese, too.

  • High-rated apps. The mobile app receives 4.7 stars on the Google Play store and 4.8 stars for iOS.

» MORE: Learn if Xoom's the best fit and compare money transfers

Xoom Cons

  • Some destinations take longer. Its website says some deliveries take up to a few days — though this is the minimum for bank deposits at many competitors.

  • Must verify personal information to transfer higher amounts. You can transfer only $2,999 per day if you have only a basic profile on the site.

  • Lacks some support channels. There’s no live chat support, which some other providers do offer.

  • Card funding carries high fees. You'll pay almost $90 to send $2,999 — the daily maximum for a user who has only filled out a basic profile and hasn't verified additional information with Xoom — to some popular countries with a credit or debit card. And your credit card issuer can also tack on additional costs, such as interest and cash advance fees.

» Shop around for your bank: Check out NerdWallet’s best savings accounts

Xoom transfer methods and options

Xoom offers several ways to transfer money. Here’s a breakdown of the options:

  • Sending channels: Xoom’s website and mobile app.

  • Payment options: Bank account, debit card or credit card — standard for many online providers. You can also pay using your PayPal balance.

  • Delivery options: Bank deposit at the recipient's bank, cash pickup at a location such as a bank or retail store in many countries and delivery straight to a recipient’s home in a few countries.

  • Transfer limits: $2,999 per day if you have only a basic profile on the site; up to $50,000 per day to a recipient’s bank account by verifying personal information through Xoom.

» Ready to take the next step? Xoom is among the fastest transfer services out there, but if you’re more concerned about price, you might want to consider other options.

General advice for international money transfers

1. Compare transfer costs across multiple providers. There are two types of costs: upfront fee and exchange rate markup. Find the provider that has the cheapest combination of a low fee amount and the best exchange rate you can get. Usually online nonbank providers offer cheaper transfers than banks.

2. Know how exchange rates work (and how to find the best). An exchange rate is the price of one currency in relation to another currency. For example, if you want to convert U.S. dollars to euros, you would check what one U.S. dollar is worth in euros. Most transfer providers won’t give you the exchange rate you’d find on a currency exchange platform like the one at Bloomberg.com (or when you Google exchange rates), but a currency platform can be a helpful starting point to know what the best rate looks like this minute. When you check the exchange rate for an international transfer with services like Western Union, focus on the foreign currency amount. The higher it is, the more money your recipient receives.

3. Avoid paying with a credit card. It’s an option for some providers, but there might be a higher upfront fee and your credit card issuer may tack on costs such as interest and cash advance fees. If you need money delivered quickly, use a debit card instead. A transfer paid by bank account directly tends to be a much slower transfer.