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Xoom Money Transfer Review: When You Want Fast, Not Cheap

May 23, 2017
Banking, Money Transfer
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NerdWallet’s rating: 3.5 / 5.0

Xoom, owned by PayPal, is in the business of speed. Established in 2001, the web-based provider aims to make international money transfers with same-day or next-day delivery.

The bottom line

  • Speedy transfers: Same-day delivery available to many countries
  • Costs are generally higher than competitors
  • Sends money to 63 countries

at Xoom

You can send money from the U.S. to 63 countries, and delivery options can include deposits into bank accounts and cash for pickup at physical locations, depending on the country.

But Xoom’s transfers tend to be more expensive than those of its competitors.

How Xoom rates

We rated Xoom 3.5 out of 5 stars based on its transfers from the U.S. to seven benchmark countries.

Where the provider shines: Fast transfers at average costs in India and the United Kingdom.

Where it falls short: No cheap transfers to benchmark countries, compared to competitors.

Country overall ratings
Average rating for all countries
United Kingdom
  • Delivery in minutes available for some transfers using bank accounts
  • Generally high costs for transfers
  • Cash pickup available in two benchmark countries, Mexico and the Philippines
  • Maximum amount per transfer is $2,999, but daily limits can be higher


For each country, we analyzed Xoom’s money transfers based on four categories: transfer costs, speed offerings, transfer methods and options, and customer experience. We took the average of all countries’ category ratings to get Xoom’s overall ratings:

Overall ratings
Transfer costs
Speed offerings
Transfer methods and options
Customer experience

Transfer costs

High exchange-rate markups, varying fees

2.5 / 5.0

Xoom’s fees for transfers vary by payment method: bank account, debit card or credit card. Although sending with a bank account is cheapest, transfers still tend to be more expensive than web-based competitors because Xoom charges higher markups on exchange rates. Markups tend to be 1% to 3% above the mid-market rate, and five of the seven benchmark countries have markups above 2%. Some providers have markups of less than 1%.

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

Xoom charges a fee of $4.99 or less for transfers using bank accounts to more than three-fourths of its destinations, regardless of how much you send. Funding transfers with debit or credit cards costs up to $149 to send the maximum amount, $2,999. The exact fee varies by amount and by country.

While Xoom doesn’t charge different amounts if you pay with a credit card rather than a debit card, your credit card issuer can tack on costs such as interest and cash advance fees.

Speed offerings

Same-day and next-day delivery regardless of payment method

4.5 / 5.0

Xoom is known for speed. Money can arrive within minutes to some countries, even for transfers funded with bank accounts — this same process can take over a week with some competitors. Across all destinations on the provider’s website, the most common estimate for a delivery is within two business days.

Transfer methods and options

Multiple options for payment and delivery

4.0 / 5.0

  • Sending channels: Xoom’s website and mobile app
  • Payment options: Bank account, debit card and credit card
  • Delivery options: Bank deposit at the recipient’s bank, and in more than one third of the countries Xoom covers, cash pickup at a location such as a bank or retail store; delivery straight to a recipient’s home is available in Vietnam, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic
  • Transfer limits: $10 minimum per transfer, $2,999 maximum per transfer; although the daily limit starts at $2,999, this can be increased to 9,999 for multiple transfers (each with a limit of up to $2,999) when you verify more personal information such as occupation and income

Customer experience

Clear FAQs, 24/7 live support, no live chat

4.5 / 5.0

Xoom organizes its website by destination country, so you can see what costs, speeds and delivery options are available for your transfer. The specific fees and exchange rates are easy to view without logging in. For the frequent customer, there’s a two-step “quick send” feature to repeat a transfer you’ve done before.

Resources for customer support are easy to find. FAQs contain well-organized and clear categories, including requirements for sending and receiving by country as well as instructions on how to cancel transfers. Customer service is 24/7 and support agents can speak English, Spanish or Filipino.

The mobile app receives 4.3 stars on the Google Play store and 4 stars on iTunes.

There is no live chat support online, though, and a few countries that Xoom covers have no delivery estimates advertised.

Fast speeds at high costs


at Xoom

Xoom provides an easy-to-use online and mobile experience for sending money to many countries that receive a lot of remittances, or migrant worker payments, from the U.S. Speed is a top priority, with most delivery estimates within two business days.

But for cheaper transfers, you might want to consider other options.

Spencer Tierney is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: Twitter: @SpencerNerd.

Ratings Methodology

We analyzed 11 top money transfer providers that work in the U.S., including major players and smaller, innovative companies in the international money transfer industry, based on market research, experts, cost analysis and U.S. internet traffic. Providers considered: MoneyGram, OFX, Placid Express, Remitly, Ria, Transfast, TransferWise, Western Union, World First, WorldRemit, and Xoom (owned by PayPal).

What the ratings mean:

— Excellent

— Above average

— Average

— Below average

— Poor

How we rate money transfer providers