Remitly vs Xoom: Which one is better?

Adam Rozsa

Both Xoom¹ and Remitly² are major international transfer providers, offering a range of ways to send money to friends and family based overseas. Xoom is part of the PayPal family, letting you send payments using your PayPal balance as well as using your regular bank or credit card, while Remitly was set up to help immigrants in the US send money to loved ones at home.

This guide walks through the pros and cons, features and fees of Remitly and Xoom. We’ll also introduce Wise as an alternative for comparison, and so you can make sure you get the best available deal on your transfer. Get the real exchange rate and save up to 7x when you send money internationally with Wise.

Save up to 7x with a free Wise account

📝 Table of contents

Fees: Is Xoom cheaper than Remitly?

Here’s the key question when it comes to Xoom vs Remitly: which is cheaper?

Well, the answer depends on where you’re sending money to, how you’ll pay, how you want the funds to be received, and the value of the payment. Both companies have relatively complex fee structures, which mean you have to model your payment and create an account to get started.

It’s important to check both the transfer fees and the exchange rate when you’re picking an international transfer provider. We’ll dive into this a little deeper in just a moment - but a poor exchange rate can push up costs significantly, even if the upfront transfer fee is low.

Here’s an overview of the key Xoom and Remitly fees - you can read more about Xoom international payment fees here, and get a full review of Remitly here.

  • Transfer fees vary according to destination country, transfer value and payment method³
  • For example, low value transfers to Mexico come with a 2.99 USD fee⁴
  • Debit and credit card payments to Mexico may be charged 3.99 USD⁴
  • Credit card payments may mean you pay a cash advance fee to your card issuer³
  • Transfer fees vary according to destination country, transfer value and payment method⁵
  • For example, to Mexico a 3.99 USD fee will apply for transfers under 500 USD⁶
  • 3% fee may apply to credit card payments⁷
  • Remitly exchange rates vary depending on whether you choose the express or economy service, and may include a markup on the mid-market rate

remitly vs xoom

Remitly vs Xoom: Exchange Rates

When you use either Xoom or Remitly, the first thing you’ll need to do is model your transfer to see the fees and exchange rates available. Exchange rates matter - and can vary widely between providers. It’s common for payment providers to roll additional fees into the exchange rates used, but this can make your transfer more expensive than expected.

Remitly exchange rates can vary depending on whether you choose the express or economy service for your payment. Express payments arrive within minutes, but have a poorer exchange rate than the economy service, which takes 3 to 5 days to arrive.

Xoom is upfront about the fact that there’s a fee included in the exchange rates used. When you model your payment, you’ll see the following message:

‘In addition to the transaction fee, Xoom also makes money when it changes your send currency into a different currency.’

It’s also worth noting that Xoom’s rates change based on the value of the transfer you’re sending. If you’re sending a low value payment you may get a different rate, as well as paying a higher transfer fee.

💡 If you’re caught out by a bad exchange rate, you’ll end up paying more than you need to for your international transfer. Avoid this by choosing a provider like Wise which uses the mid-market exchange rate with no markups, and charges a transparent transfer fee instead. With Wise, you’ll always get the real exchange rate and a simple, low transfer fee: it’s on average 7x cheaper than old-school banks when you send money around the world.

Open a Wise account in minutes

Example: Remitly vs Xoom

To put this into context, let’s use an example. In this example, we will send 1,000 USD to a friend in Mexico. We want the money to arrive directly into the recipient’s bank account in MXN.

In both cases, we’ve used the cheapest available payment method. For Remitly this is to pay with a debit or credit card - for Xoom it’s to pay by bank transfer or with your PayPal balance.

Transfer fee0 USD0 USD
Exchange rate1 USD = 19.52 MXN1 USD = 19.7246 MXN
Amount your friend will receive19520 MXN19725 MXN


Even cheaper? Save more money on international transfers with Wise

It’s crucial to shop around before you choose an international transfer provider. Take Wise as an example. Making the same payment as we modeled above, your recipient will get more with Wise, because you’ll get a better exchange rate. That means that even though Wise has a transfer fee, it’s better value overall.

Here’s what you need to know:

Transfer fee14.21 USD
Exchange rateMid-market rate
Amount your friend will receive19768.24 MXN


Get a free Wise account today

remitly vs xoom

Remitly vs Xoom: Availability

Which Remitly and Xoom services are available for you will depend on where you are in the world, and where your recipient is. For example, depending on where you’re sending money you may be able to opt to have the payment collected in cash at a local agent, or you might need to transfer to your recipient’s bank account.

Check the details and availability for your specific payment before you select a service - here are the key facts:

  • Available anywhere in the world PayPal is on offer
  • Send to over 150 countries around the globe⁸
  • Send from 17 countries including the US, Singapore, Canada and most European countries
  • Recipients can be in any of over 100 countries⁹

Remitly vs Xoom: How long does a transfer take?

The transfer time for both Remitly and Xoom can vary depending on the specifics of your payment. The way you fund your transfer, as well as the payment collection or delivery method you choose, will make a difference.

Factors which might slow down your payment include entering incorrect details for your recipient, local holidays in the destination country, or your own bank’s payment processing times.

  • Most payments arrive within minutes
  • Occasionally payments may take a few days to arrive
  • Express payments arrive within minutes
  • Economy payments may take 3 - 5 business days to arrive

It’s worth knowing that both Xoom and Remitly have several different ways to get money into the hands of your recipients. The choice you’ll have depends on your destination country. With Xoom that might mean you can have your recipient collect cash at a local agent - or even a 24-hour local agent - or have it deposited into their bank account. Remitly’s services include bank transfers, cash collection or payment to a mobile money account¹¹.

When you model your payment with either service, you’ll be able to see the delivery methods available in your destination country.

remitly vs xoom

Remitly vs Xoom: Safety

Both Remitly and Xoom are very safe services which are registered and licensed wherever they operate.

Xoom is owned by PayPal - a global leader in digital payments. As such you can expect measures such as 128-bit security encryption, secure servers and an anti fraud team looking out for suspicious payments¹².

Remitly was built with security at its heart and also uses advanced encryption and comprehensive anti fraud measures¹³.

The biggest challenge with international payment services tends to be if people inadvertently send money to scammers. Because payments are often instant it’s very hard - or impossible - to get your money back if it ends up in the wrong hands. Use these services when dealing with people you trust only.

remitly vs xoom

Verdict: Is Remitly better than Xoom?

Choosing between Remitly and Xoom? Which service is best for you might depend on where you’re sending to, how you want to pay, and how you want your recipient to get the money in the end.

Xoom is available in more countries compared to Remitly, so that might influence your choices. Both are safe and use high level security, so there’s little to pick between them there.

On fees and exchange rates, Xoom has the option to pay with your PayPal balance, which may mean no upfront transfer fee depending on the value and destination currency of your payment. With Remitly you might be able to get zero transfer fees if you’re sending larger amounts - but in both cases the more important factor is likely to be the exchange rate on offer. Picking the best exchange rate out there is usually a good way to get the best value overall.

💡 If you’re looking for alternatives to Xoom and Remitly, check out Wise. With Wise you’ll always get the real mid-market exchange rate with no markup or margin, just a low, transparent transfer fee. That means it’s easy to see the true cost of your payment, and can also mean your recipient gets more in the end.

You can also learn more about alternative international payment services here.. Or just see how much you can save with Wise:

remitly vs xoom

Frequently Asked Questions

Who owns Remitly?

Remitly was founded by Matthew Oppenheimer and has offices in several locations around the world¹⁴.

Is Remitly trusted?

Remitly takes measures to make sure your money is safe, including encryption and anti fraud measures. Remitly has an excellent 4.3/5 score on Trustpilot¹⁵.

Choosing an international transfer provider is easier when you do a bit of research. Check out this full Remitly vs Xoom guide, and remember to also take a look at some alternative providers like Wise to get the very best deal available on your particular transfer.

Learn more about Wise


1]Xoom - About
2]Remitly - About
3]Xoom - How much does it cost to send with Xoom?
4]Xoom - Send money to Mexico
5]Remitly - How much does Remitly cost?
6]Remitly - USD to MXN pricing
7]Remitly - Mexico
8]Xoom - Locations
9]Remitly - Available Locations
10]Xoom - When will my money get there?
11]Remitly - Mobile Money
12]Xoom - Online Security and Privacy
13]Remitly - Is Remitly Safe?
14]Remitly - Meet the Remitly team
15]Trustpilot - Remitly

All sources checked on 9 August 2021

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 Wise Payments 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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