7 best Xoom alternatives for cheap international transfers

Adam Rozsa
06.05.22
4 minute read

Founded in 2001, and acquired by PayPal in 2015, Xoom offers a quick and easy way to make international transfers online. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only way to do it.

If you’re looking around for alternative ways to send your money abroad, here are some options.  For example, with Wise, you can send money abroad 6x cheaper compared to banks. 

Take a look, and see which one’s right for you.


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1. PayPal

Although Xoom is owned by PayPal, PayPal is also in the international transfers business itself. It’s one of the oldest online payment services, and has amassed more than 200 million active users in the last 20+ years. If you and the person you’re sending money to are among the millions who already have a PayPal account, their services could be worth considering.

As you’d expect from such a major company, it services a large number of countries, however, PayPal’s fees have the potential to stack up when you’re sending money abroad - especially if you’re using PayPal for business payments.

Pros

Cons

  • Users can send and receive payments more or less anywhere in the world

  • It’s free to send money to friends and family within the US and Canada (except for card transfers)¹

  • PayPal has multiple services depending on the type of payments you need to make, including PayPal Friends and Family and PayPal Goods and Services

  • 2.9% fee for sending a domestic payment using credit cards¹

  • 3% - 4% currency conversion spread¹

  • 5% transfer fee for international transfers¹

2. Wise

Wise is a decade younger than Xoom. It was set up in 2011 and connects a network of local bank accounts in countries around the world. That way, the main cost of international transfers is eliminated, and its customers get the real mid-market exchange rate, with no markup at all - it’s the same rate you’ll find on Google.

Wise only charges one, low percentage cost, which is always stated upfront before you hit send, so you know the exact value of your transfer and won’t have any nasty surprises. In fact, an independent researcher found that Wise is 6x cheaper than legacy US banks, including PayPal, if you’re spending abroad.

Sounds good, right? Find out how to make your first transfer with Wise.

Pros

Cons

  • Send payments to 80 countries with low and transparent fees

  • You always get the mid-market rate for your transfer

  • Hold more than 50 currencies on your multi-currency account

  • There is a small and transparent fee when you transfer money – though Wise is committed to further reduce them.

  • Not available in all countries

Get a free Wise account

3. Remitly

Remitly is a Seattle-based company that’s been going since 2011. You can send money from the US, and 20 other countries, to 150+ destinations - although the destinations you can transfer to depends on where you’re transferring from². You’ll need to go to the Remitly website and model your payment to check if your destination country is available³. You’ll also be able to see the payment and delivery options, and exchange rates available to you.

Pros

Cons

  • Cash pickup and home delivery options in some countries⁴

  • Express payment options, for a fee, which should be processed within minutes

  • Remitly’s English phone line is open 24/7

  • Payments to fewer countries than its competitors

  • Exchange rates can vary depending on whether you choose the express or economy service for your payment

4. OFX

Established in 1998, OFX is among the more established money transfer services. The company is based in Sydney, and has over 1 million customers across the world. OFX allows you to make transfers to both individuals and businesses, and is best known for being one of a few transfer services that doesn’t charge transfer fees. However, the third-party bank or intermediary involved in your transfer may charge a fee, and OFX still adds a margin on top of the mid-market rate on transfers.⁶

Pros

Cons

  • There are no fees for transfers

  • The margin that OFX applies to transfers is based on the amount, as well as how often you transfer with them, meaning loyal customers are rewarded with friendlier rates⁵

  • Customer service is available 24/7

  • You’ll need to transfer a minimum of $1,000, and smaller amounts may have higher exchange rate markups

  • No way to know what the third-party bank or intermediary fees will be until you’ve made the transfer⁶

5. Skrill

Based in London, Skrill was set up in 2001, when it was known as Moneybookers10. As well as international transfers, Skrill offers a way to make and receive payments online, a bit like PayPal. It uses a system of ‘mobile wallets’ for its international transfers: you can send money from your wallet to the recipient’s, although they may need to sign up for Skrill to receive the funds.⁷ This system means you can bypass the need to get your recipient’s bank account details - their email address should suffice.

Pros

Cons

  • Skrill users receive money between each other

  • Personal and business accounts

  • Users are given a prepaid card

  • Skrill’s unique setup means that there are various points in the process that may incur fees⁸

  • Skrill’s verification is quite lengthy and can take a while to complete.

6. Money2India

Money2India is an offshoot of one of India’s largest banks, ICICI Bank, and it does what its name suggests: it’s a way of sending money, from various places around the world including the US to India. They offer an efficient service, connected to a large number of Indian banks, and ‘lock-in’ your exchange rate when you set up your transfer.

Pros

Cons

  • Transfers are free if you’re sending more than $975 abroad

  • You can track transfers online, and through their app.

  • You’ll need to use an alternative service to transfer money out of India

7. WorldRemit

WorldRemit is a global business that was founded in 2010. It facilitates international payments to over 100 countries by various methods, including bank account transfers, cash pick-ups, airtime top-ups and as mobile money - although it’s important to note that not all services are available in all locations. The company operates online, by app, and through a network of agents around the world.

Pros

Cons

  • Depending on the destination country, you might be able to send money for cash pickup

  • Model your transfer online to check fees and exchange rates

  • WorldRemit typically shows you the exchange rate they’ll use upfront⁹

  • While WorldRemit has a range of payment delivery methods available, they’re not all available in every location

  • The various fees vary depending on which delivery method you choose⁹

Bottom line

As we’ve shown, there’s no shortage of Xoom competitors when it comes to making international transfers. However, each service’s fees are widely varied, so you should always make sure you’ve researched what your transfer will cost you. Don’t forget to check out an online currency converter to make a comparison against the mid-market rate.

Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate with no markup or margin, and just charges a low transparent fee per transfer. This may work out cheaper than most regular banks or alternative providers.

Learn more about Wise


Sources:
  1. https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/paypal-fees
  2. https://www.remitly.com/gb/en 
  3. https://www.remitly.com/us/en/faq/272/Where-can-I-find-information-about-exchange-rates-transfer-fees-and-which-currencies-Remitly-supports 
  4. https://help.remitly.com/s/article/cash-pickup-details?language=en_US 
  5. https://www.ofx.com/en-us/faqs/what-is-the-customer-rate/ 
  6. https://www.ofx.com/en-us/faqs/are-there-any-transfer-fees/
  7. https://www.skrill.com/en/footer/terms-conditions/skrillaccounttermsofuse/
  8. https://www.skrill.com/en/siteinformation/fees/ 
  9. https://www.worldremit.com/en/how-it-works

All sources checked on 28 April 2022


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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