Top 7 South African Money Transfers

To and From – UK, Europe, US, Canada, and Australia

Money Transfers To and From South AfricaInternational money transfers To or From South Africa can be a tricky prospect.

Let’s make it simple.

If you are in South Africa or overseas the key is to choose the right service to match your needs.

As an Important Start

For smaller amounts (below R100,000 ZAR) there are some clear leaders.

For larger amounts especially (above R100,000 ZAR), we found the country you are transacting with makes a big difference in who you should use.

Cost, speed and especially service all need to be taken into account.

Last but not least, we cover safety and security.

Below we also cover Domestic Money Transfers

Full Disclosure: We aim to show you the good and the bad so you can make the best choice and there are links contained in this page which are affiliate links (and while not costing you anything) do earn us a commission. We often also get the opportunity to provide you with discounts and limited time offers as part of using the link – see snapshot below. If you use these links thank you for supporting our mission to make money transfers simple (and cheaper 🙂 )!

Jump Links

Country Notes (to and from these countries)

Snapshot Table

Important Factors

  1. Costs
  2. Service
  3. Speed
  4. Safety and Security

Sending cash below $300 USD / R5000 ZAR

A decade or so ago, you’d be limited to services like WesterUnion (review) or MoneyGram to send and receive cash from South Africa. While WesternUnion does have incredible coverage world wide, it’s not the most affordable option.

Review of WorldRemit

So what are your alternatives for sending micro amounts in cash to South Africa?

WorldRemit (review) and Remitly (review) offer easy, fast (in minutes), and affordable transfers from many countries around the world to South Africa.

Your recipient can collect their remittance from any Mukuru network outlet, which are integrated into the post office, banks, convenience stories, shopping malls, or stand-alone collection branches.

Best Below $7000 / R100,000 ZAR

Review of TransferWiseIf you’re sending slightly larger amounts and cash transfers aren’t a priority, TransferWise (review) is our top pick due to its combination of competitive fees, extremely transparent fee structure, great service and smooth online experience.

However as we said at the outset, this may not suit everyone.

For example as with small transfers, WorldRemit can still provide low fees for your transfers in this category but it is hard to beat CurrencyFair (review).

Other services that can help you save big on these transfers include WorldFirst, TransferGo, and XendPay.

Also see: TransferWise vs. CurrencyFair, TransferWise vs. WorldRemit, and Remitly vs. TransferWise

Best Above $7000 / R100,000 ZAR

Review of OFXBased on our in depth analysis and first hand experiences over many years in multiple countries, we recommend OFX (review) for your large and extra large transfers to South Africa.

Unfortunately, at this time OFX does not offer transfers from South Africa, but WorldRemit, TransferWise, and CurrencyFair do.

CurrencyFair is likely to be the least expensive, with WorldRemit our top choice into North America and TransferWise our top pick into Australasia and Europe simply because of their relative strengths service wise in those areas.

Country notes (To and From)

Let’s dive in.

(For a quick overview, check out the snapshot table below. )

UK

From UK to South Africa

For cash transfers “in minutes” to South Africa from the UK, WorldRemit is a very competitive option (you’ll pay about £9 GBP for sending 300 GBP). Remitly comes a close second.

For smaller transfers – above £300 GBP but below £5000 GBP / R100,000 ZAR, CurrencyFair (next day transfers) and WorldFirst (slower – money arrives in 3-5 days) offer excellent rates.

For your large and extra large transfers (above £5000 GBP / R100,000 ZAR) XE and OFX offer similar rates but OFX has a physical office in London which make this an easy pick for superior customer service.

From South Africa to the UK

WorldRemit offers the best exchange rate for your ZAR-GBP transfers and the money arrives the next day (although the banks can effect this).

Europe

From Europe to South Africa

For smaller amounts quickly, the best way to send Euros to South Africa “in minutes” is via WorldRemit (both cash and bank transfers), with fees ranging between €3-5 EUR for sending €300 EUR.

Remitly also offers instant transfers, but their fees are higher (3x) than WorldRemit and they only support bank-to-bank and card-to-bank transfers from Europe (Germany, Spain, Italy, etc.).

Review of TransferGoFor sending €1000-€5000 EUR, TransferGo (review) and TransferWise are excellent service providers, with fees averaging around €12 EUR for sending €1000 EUR (bank-to-bank and card-to-bank transfers only).

For your larger EUR-ZAR transfers, XE has low rates and service and great service.

From South Africa to Europe

For sending micro amounts to Europe (€250 EUR/R5000 ZAR/$300 USD), Skrill (review) is a competitive option. Your funds are processed on the same day (although it can take longer to arrive), with fees averaging around R12 ZAR/€0.60 EUR/$0.8 USD.

For slightly larger amounts – €5000 EUR/R100,000 ZAR/$7000 USD, CurrencyFair’s rates are excellent. However, their service is slower for these transfers (3-5 days) due to the banks at either end.

US

From the US to South Africa

WorldRemit offers the best of speed, convenience, and affordable fees. You’ll pay as low as $5-$10 USD for sending $300-$1000 USD for sending cash in minutes to your recipient’s bank account in 2 days.

TransferWise is a close second, with fees ranging between $18-$25 USD for sending $1000-$3000 USD to your recipient’s bank account (next day transfers).

For your larger transfers, OFX offers great rates and exceptional customer support.

From South Africa to the US

XendPay offers the most affordable rates for sending micro amounts from South Africa to the US (fees are R250 ZAR/$14 USD for sending R5000 ZAR/$300 USD).

For amounts over $1000 USD, CurrencyFair offers big savings with an excellent deal on exchange rates.

Canada

From Canada to South Africa

The cheapest way to transfer money from Canada to South Africa (micro amounts) is via WorldRemit. They offer instant cash transfers (in minutes) and fast bank transfers (2 days) with fees averaging around $7 CAD for sending $300 CAD.

For amounts over $1000 CAD but below $9000 CAD/$7000 USD, WorldFirst offers affordable bank transfers (completed in 3-5 days). Remitly also offers cash payouts, but their fees are 2x higher than WorldRemit and WorldFirst.

For your large and extra large CAD-ZAR transfers, you can’t go wrong with OFX.

From South Africa to Canada

Review of CurrencyFairSending money to Canada from South Africa?

XendPay lets you move money in 2 days, while CurrencyFair offers better rates and slightly slower transfers (3-5 days).

Australia

From Australia to South Africa

For your instant micro transfers to South Africa from Australia, WorldRemit and Remitly are your best bets. WorldRemit sends your cash in minutes while Remitly offers instant bank transfers, with their fees ranging between $5-$7 AUD for sending $300 AUD.

Both WorldRemit and Remitly are great for your instant transfers above $1000 AUD but below $9000 AUD/$7000 USD too.

If instant transfers or cash payouts aren’t high on your list, you can save big with CurrencyFair (bank transfers completed in 2 days).

Looking to send a large amount? OFX’s rates and phone support are unmatched from Australia.

From South Africa to Australia

Review of SkrillSkrill offers fast bank transfers for your micro amounts from South Africa to Australia (next day transfers) with very low fees.
For your slightly larger amounts (below $9000 AUD/R100,000 ZAR/ $7000 USD), CurrencyFair offers a great ZAR-AUD rate and affordable fees.

Snapshot 

Service Name

Countries

Service

Regulated (see Safety below)

Size of amount ideal for

Fees

Offers

TransferWiseUS,
Europe
Online/
phone
USA,
Canada,
Australia,
UK
Small
amount
06%-1.11%
of the
transfer
amount,
no mark
up on
exchange
rate.
See exactly what you pay here and compare
WorldRemitUK,
Europe,
US,
Canada,
Australia
OnlineUKSmall
amount
Flat fee
ranging
between
$3.99 and
$24.99 USD
3 free transactions, use code ‘3FREE”
CurrencyFairUK,
Australia,
South Africa
OnlineIreland,
Australia
Small
amount
Fixed
fee + %
of transfer
amount
Get your first 10 transfers fee free
RemitlyUK,
Europe,
Canada,
Australia
OnlineUKSmall
amount
Flat
fee +
margin
on the
exchange
rate
Click here
WorldFirstUK and
Canada
OnlineUK, Canada,
Australia,
Hong Kong,
Singapore
Small
amount
No fixed
fee |
only
margin
on the
exchange
rate
In UK? click here

In Australia or another country? Click here

XendPaySouth
Africa
OnlineUKSmall
Amount
Unique
“pay what
you want”
model |
for your
first £2000
GBP, you
can pay a
small fee
or no fee
at all
None
XEUK,
Europe
OnlineUK, US,
Canada,
Australia
Large
amount
No flat
fee; only
charges a
margin on
the
exchange
rate
(0.3-1.2%)
XE charges no transfer fee
OFXUS,
Canada,
Australia
Online/
phone
US,
Canada,
UK,
Australia
Large
amount
Flat
($15 USD)
fee +
margin on
the exchange
rate for
all amounts
below
$10,000 USD
OFX may charge a fixed fee of $15, however if you click here you can avoid these fees all together.

 

Important Factors

1. Cost

You can save big on your international transfers to South Africa if you go with dedicated money transfer companies instead of relying on your bank (who tend to charge exorbitant fees).

But which currency transfer company can pass on the most savings to you?

First, you need to understand how remittance companies structure their fees. Essentially, their transfer fees vary based on the target currency, amount, payout method, transfer speed as well as the funding method.

So based on your specific needs, you need to shop around for a service that gives you the most savings based on your priorities for a transfer.

Typically, instant transfers and cash payouts are more expensive than simple bank-to-bank transfers.

Another aspect to note is whether a particular service favours one currency corridor over another. For example, while TransferWise is usually the cheapest for bank-to-bank transfers from pretty much anywhere, but we noted WorldRemit offers better rates for your transfers to South Africa.

2. Service

Scope and quality of service are other important factors for zeroing in on a money transfer company of your choice.

For example, if frequent micro cash transfers are a priority for you, you need to go with a service whose strength lies in this area (so they can pass on the savings to you).

But, let’s say, on an off-chance you need to send a larger amount (above $7000 USD), you need to opt for a service whose systems and rates are geared to handle such transfers.

Essentially, avoid keeping all your eggs in one basket and take advantage of the strengths of all the currency transfer options available to you.

3. Speed

Your choice of remittance company may change based on how fast you need your money to arrive.

If you need to send funds instantly due to an emergency, go with a service that offers that bundles in savings based on cost and speed. But typically, faster transfers are more expensive.

If urgent transfers aren’t a priority, go with a service that combines relatively faster bank transfers (next day or two-day transfers) with affordable fees.

4. Safety & Security

Currency transfer companies are registered financial institutions who are required to adhere to the same regulations as banks. So rest assured, your money is absolutely safe with them.

Other than that, they also employ state-of-the-art digital encryption protocols to keep your money and personal data safe when you transact online or on their mobile app. Money transfer companies also conduct regular audits to make sure a transfer meets their scope of service as well as to prevent financial crime (fraud, theft, or money laundering).

Domestic Transfers

New to South Africa and looking for the best options to move money within the country?

Here are the top three ways:

  1. Sign up for a challenger bank account (for example, with TymeBank – you can open a bank account online in 5 minutes, get a Visa debit card, and set up a savings pool) and move money fee-free or at a very low cost (great for small transfers)
  2. Eventually, you’ll need a high street bank account since most digital/challenger bank have daily/monthly money transfer limits. Most major banks in South Africa allow account holders to send money to your recipient’s phone number linked to a bank account. They can either spend this money from their account or withdraw it from an ATM with a transaction-specific pin. (great for both small and large transfers)
  3. Domestic postal orders are another way to transfer funds within the country. You need to address the postal order to a person or a company and your remittance can be redeemed at either a bank or a post office (great for both small and large transfers)

Top 7 Philippine Money Transfers

To and From – UK, Europe, US, Canada, and Australia

Money Transfers to the PhilippinesInternational money transfers to the Philippines can be a tricky prospect – simply because they are so many to choose from – which ones can you trust?

Let’s make it simple.

In the next few minutes you will find the best service for YOU!

Of course safety is key, but we uncover the big savings on transfer fees, chosen payout methods, and transfer speed.

It all starts with choosing a service designed for the amount you are sending.

Full Disclosure: There are links contained in this page which are affiliate links (and while not costing you anything) do earn us a commission. We often also get the opportunity to provide you with discounts and limited time offers as part of using the link – see snapshot below. If you use these links thank you for supporting our mission to make money transfers simple (and cheaper 🙂 )!

Jump Links

Country Notes (Transfers to the Philippines from these countries)

Snapshot Table

Important Factors

  1. Costs
  2. Service
  3. Speed
  4. Safety and Security

Sending Cash Below $300 USD / ₱15000 PHP

A decade ago you’d be limited to rely on services like WesternUnion (review) or MoneyGram to send micro-amounts in cash to the Philippines. After all, these money transfer giants have been around for a while and have over 500,000 agent locations all over the world.

Review of WorldRemitBut their fees are definitely on the higher side. While they can be cheaper than your typical high street bank, they tend to charge more than most of their new-age competitors.

Now services like Azimo, Small World, WorldRemit (review) make it easy, fast and cheap to send micro cash amounts to the Philippines.

These services support a number of payout methods, including fast cash transfers, while keeping transfer costs low.

In this category WorldRemit is our top pick, offering a great range of services to the Philippines and 3 fee free transfers – see snapshot below.

Apart from great customer support, WorldRemit enables next day cash pickups, bank transfers, mobile airtime top up (Globe/Sun Cellular/Smart/Cignal-TV/Smartbro/SmartGold) and even mobile money (GCash, PayMaya, Coins.ph).

Best Below $7000 USD

For smaller transfers of $7000 USD and below, Remitly (review) and TransferWise (review) are great options.

Review of TransferWiseTransferWise is an all-star for your bank-to-bank and card-to-bank transfers from 60+ countries to the Philippines, bundling the best of fee structure and customer service.

With TransferWise as expat you might also love their Borderless Account (review), including a prepaid MasterCard debit card, a multicurrency wallet, international bank details in major currencies (USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD, and NZD) as well as the ability to pay and get paid local in many countries.

Need cash pick up or super fast transfers?

Remitly is a great option, specialized in fast and affordable transfers for immigrant workers from these 16 countries: UK, US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore and Sweden.

Lowest fees

TransferWise is very hard to beat for bank transfers with WorldRemit also offering excellent fees for transfers to the Philippines (both micro and small amounts).

You might also like: TransferWise VS WorldRemit and Remitly VS TransferWise.

Best Above $7000 USD

Review of OFXFor large transfers to the Philippines OFX (review) is our top pick with XE (review) offering excellent exchange rates as well.

If you’re sending large and extra large amounts to the Philippines, we recommend going with a service that;

  • Is registered in your sending country and ideally has a physical presence (makes a huge difference in customer service)
  • Has structured their fees to help you save on these transfers. Typically, the fees should go down as the amount increases
  • Offers phone support. It’s reassuring to be able to talk to a human being when you’re trying to send significant amounts

Both these services are very strong in all these important elements!

Country Notes (Transfers to the Philippines from these countries)

Need a quick overview? Skip ahead to the snapshot table below.

UK

WorldRemit is our top choice for fast cash payouts and they maintain a massive network of partners including many banks like M Lhuillier, Banco de Oro, Cebuana Lhuillier, Metrobank, LBC Bank, PS Bank, Palawan Pawnshops, Bank of Commerce, CIS Bayad Center, TrueMoney and many more.

The reason we have chose them as our top pick is that they are very competitive on fees and you can get the first 3 transfers free simply using the link in the snapshot table below.

WorldRemit are also have fast transfers and high customer service standards.

For transfers to a bank account (not cash) our top pick is TransferWise who have no markup on the exchange rate (this makes them a stand out) and transparent fees, but they are limited to bank-to-bank or card-to-bank transfers. 

For larger transfers, OFX is our top choice for you and your recipient in terms of fees and because of their strong presence in the UK (including telephone support if required).

Europe

For cash payouts, it is hard to go past WorldRemit who maintain a massive network of partners including many banks like M Lhuillier, Banco de Oro, Cebuana Lhuillier, Metrobank, LBC Bank, PS Bank, Palawan Pawnshops, Bank of Commerce, CIS Bayad Center, TrueMoney and many more.

They are very competitive on fees and you can get the first 3 transfers free simply using the link in the snapshot table below.

Review of RemitlyRemitly however could be the best choice for you if you as they speak 11 languages and can chat online in English, French, and Spanish 24/7.

For transfers to a bank account, TransferWise is our top pick for smaller amounts because of their competitive transparent fees. They also speak Spanish, German, Italian, French, Portuguese and Hungarian.

For larger amounts of $7000 USD/€ 6000 EUR and above XE is a strong option with multilingual staff providing support in English, French and Spanish.

US

Most remittances to the Philippines are sent from the US, which means there are a huge number of options to choose from.

WorldRemit is our top pick offering fast transfer “in minutes” with super low fees even when sending money in cash or to a bank account. You can also get the first three transfers free when you use the link in the snapshot below.

For larger transfers ($7000 USD) OFX is your best bet as they’re regulated in the US and have offices in New York to ensure good customer service (if required).

Canada

If you want to send cash “in minutes” to the Philippines from Canada, WorldRemit offers excellent rates. You can also get the first three transfers free when you use the link in the snapshot below.

If instant transfers or cash transfers aren’t a priority, TransferWise offers an excellent mix of affordable rates, fast transfers and great customer service.

For those large transfers over $7000 USD/$9500 CAD OFX are ideal options as they’re regulated and have offices in Toronto which can be a huge advantage if you need phone support.

Australia

WorldRemit is our top choice if you want to send cash “in minutes” to the Philippines from Australia. They are very competitive on total fees and as great introduction you can get the first three transfers free when you use the link in the snapshot below.

If instant transfers or cash transfers aren’t a priority, TransferWise wins the day with an excellent mix of affordable rates, online platform, fast transfers and great customer service.

For those large transfers over $7000 USD/$9500 CAD – OFX is our preferred option as they are head quartered in Sydney and regulated in Australia.

Snapshot Table

Best for
transfers
from

Service

Regulated
in

Big or
small
amount?

Fees

Offers

TransferWiseCanada,
Australia,
Europe
Online/
phone
USA,
Canada,
Australia,
UK
Small amount06%-1.11% of
the transfer
amount, no
mark up on
exchange rate.
See exactly what you pay here and compare
WorldRemitUK, US,
Canada,
Australia
OnlineUKSmall
amount
Flat fee ranging
between $3.99
and $24.99
USD
3 free transactions, use code ‘3FREE”
AzimoUK and
Europe
OnlineUK,
Netherlands
Small amountNo fixed fee |
Only currency
conversion fee
Azimo
Small WorldUK and
Europe
OnlineUS, Canada,
various
countries In
Europe
Small
amount
Flat fee +
margin on the
exchange rate
(0.1% – 2.25%)
Small World
RemitlyEuropeOnlineUKSmall
amount
Flat fee +
margin on the
exchange rate
You can see what you will pay (desktop) or get the App for mobile – iOS or Android.
XEUK, USA,
Europe,
Canada,
Australia
Online/
phone
UK, US,
Canada,
Australia
Large
amount
No flat fee; only
charges a
margin on the
exchange rate
(0.3-1.2%)
XE charges no transfer fee here
OFXUK, USA, Canada,
Australia
Online/
phone
US,
Canada, UK,
Australia
Large
amount
Flat ($15 USD)
fee + margin on
the exchange
rate for all
amounts below
$10,000 USD
OFX may charge a fixed fee of $15, however if you click here you can avoid these fees all together.

 

Important Factors

1. Cost

WorldRemit VS TransferWiseCost is one of the most important filters for choosing the right currency transfer service for your specific needs.

While your bank may seem like the safest choice for your international transfers, you’ll end up being saddled with hefty fees and slow transfers.

Important factors that determine your transfer costs include your target currency (if you opt for payouts in pesos, transfer costs are lower), transfer speed, and payout method.

The right transfer company passes on the savings to you while making sure you have an easy-breezy transfer experience.

For your transfers to the Philippines, Azimo, Small World, WorldRemit, TransferWise, and XE help you save on fees while offering flexible transfer options.

2. Service

Scope and quality of service are also major factors for choosing a currency transfer company that fits your needs.

OFX VS TransferWiseWhile you may be tempted to go with a single service for all your transfers, there are many drawbacks to keeping all your eggs in one basket.

This is because some transfer services are better structured for fast cash payouts, while others are optimized for affordable bank transfers. Again, some services are exceptional for small amounts, while others offer big savings and extra support for those large transfers.

In our experience, TransferWise is excellent for bank transfers from anywhere, WorldRemit is great for your fast and affordable cash payouts, while XE and OFX are ideal for your large transfers are their telephone support becomes more important.

3. Speed

Transfer speed is also an important factor that determines which service you should opt for.

Typically, instant transfers are funded with a debit or credit card and tend to be more expensive than bank-to-bank transfers. However, Azimo, Small World, and WorldRemit keep their fees really competitive, whether you instant fast cash payouts, cash card top ups, mobile top ups, or bank transfers.

Transfers funded by bank accounts and sent to a recipient’s bank account are typically slower (taking 3-5 days). However, TransferWise is known for being a game changer and usually processes these transfers on the same day and which means the money often arrives in just a couple of days.

4. Safety and Security

Is your money safe with currency transfer companies?

Absolutely.

Remittance companies and money transfer providers are licensed financial service providers and they’re required to follow regulations such as the FCA (UK) and the CFPB (USA).

All money transfer companies make it a priority to protect your money and data with industry-leading encryption procedures on their website and apps. They also conduct regular audits to make sure the transfers are in line with their scope of service as well as to rule out criminal activities (like fraud and money laundering).

But we do recommend exercising a bit more caution when you’re sending large amounts. For instance, make sure the service you choose is registered and ideally has has a physical presence in the sending country.

Happy Transfers!

Top 7 Singapore Money Transfers

To and From – UK, Europe, US, Canada, and Australia

Money Transfers To and From SingaporeInternational money transfers To or From Singapore can be a tricky prospect.

Let’s make it simple.

If you are in Singapore or overseas the key is to choose the right service to match your needs.

As an Important Start

For smaller amounts (below $9500 SGD) there are some clear leaders.

For larger amounts especially (above $9500 SGD), we found the country you are transacting with makes a big difference in who you should use.

Cost, speed and especially service all need to be taken into account.

Last but not least, we cover safety and security.

Full Disclosure: We aim to show you the good and the bad so you can make the best choice and there are links contained in this page which are affiliate links (and while not costing you anything) do earn us a commission. We often also get the opportunity to provide you with discounts and limited time offers as part of using the link – see snapshot below. If you use these links thank you for supporting our mission to make money transfers simple (and cheaper 🙂 )!

Jump Links

Country Notes (to and from these countries)

Snapshot

Important Factors

  1. Costs
  2. Service
  3. Speed
  4. Safety and Security

Sending Cash Below $400 SGD / $300 USD

Based on our research and use cases, we found that there are limited options for sending cash to and from Singapore.

But one service does shine!

In many countries the post office or a Western Union (review) outlet was the only real option available, now innovative services like WorldRemit (review) are great a alternative.

Review of WorldRemitWorldRemit is our top choice in this category offering cash pick up in many countries. They also have low fees and enable the sender and receiver to use their mobile phone to send money and be notified when it has arrived.

Right now they also have “3Free” campaign which gives you the first three transfers free. Check out the review or snapshot below.

Western Union (review) may not be the cheapest, but as the largest money transfer company in the world, they have over 500,000 agent locations around the world and still might be your only option.

Best Below $9500 SGD / $7000 USD

Review of TransferWiseTransferWise (review) offers low fees, a transparent fee structure, and service coverage to send money to and from Singapore. We also consider them our top pick because of their exceptional customer service and smooth online experience.

In addition to transfers, for expats there are some awesome extras when you opt into their Borderless Account (review) which can make them indispensable, including a multicurrency wallet, access to more currencies, the ability to pay and get paid like a local, a prepaid MasterCard debit card (great for traveling and online payments), and international bank details in major currencies (USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD, and NZD).

Other services that offer excellent services for Singapore are CurrencyFair (review), InstaRem (review) and WorldRemit (review).

See the snapshot below to see why you might choose one of these.

Also see: TransferWise VS CurrencyFair and TransferWise VS WorldRemit.

Best Above $9500 SGD / $7000 USD

Review of OFXOFX (review) and TorFX (review) are our top choices for large transfers to and from Singapore.

Most Important

The reason some services shine above $9500 SGD ($7000 USD) is partly as a result of anti money laundering and counter-terrorism laws. These laws effectively mean that any financial institution transferring your money internationally needs to do additional checks (mostly ID). Services designed for larger amounts typically deal with these requirements when you sign up while services that deal with smaller amounts tend to make it easier to sign up initially but this can result in frozen accounts and other issues which are best avoided.

Telephone service (not just a great online platform) also becomes far more important because the banks at each end of the transaction need to deal with the same regulations and having a money transfer service that can assist with this (if required) can be very helpful.

Review of TorFXLarge amounts call for some extra caution so make sure that

  • Ideally the service is regulated in your sending country. OFX and TorFX for example, are regulated in Singapore by the Money Authority of Singapore.
  • They offer phone support. It’s always reassuring (and occasionally needed) to be able to speak to a human when a large amount of money is being sent between banks. OFX and TorFX are both standouts in their telephone support. OFX even has a physical office in Singapore.
  • Their fee structure is suited to large transfers. For example, their percentage fee goes down as your amount increases. Both OFX and TorFX both have fee structures designed to reduce in percentage terms as amounts increase.

Country Notes (to and from these countries)

Let’s dive in.

(For a quick overview, check out the snapshot table below. )

UK

To Singapore

For same day cash pickups for your recipient in Singapore, Western Union offers fast and efficient service, with fees ranging between £14 – £18 GBP for sending £200 GBP.

If you don’t need cash payouts, CurrencyFair and TransferWise offer affordable fees for same day bank-to-bank and card-to-bank transfers (between £2 – £4 GBP for sending £200 GBP)

For comparison, we found PayPal to be expensive for GBP-SGD transfers. Typically, you’ll pay about £14 GBP for a transfer of about £200 GBP.

XE and OFX offer similar exchange rates for those large transfers. But you may save a bit more if you opt for TorFX.

From Singapore

To send cash from Singapore, try WorldRemit although the countries are limited compared to the (usually more expensive) Western Union.

CurrencyFair usually has the lowest fees for transfers to the UK and the money arrives in just a couple of days.

However for overall excellence our top pick is TransferWise for amounts below $9500 SGD.

For larger transfers from Singapore to the UK, OFX is your best bet in our books with TorFX awesome for those who prefer to transact on the phone.

Europe

To Singapore

TransferWise offers the best rates for amounts below $7000 USD/€ 6000 EUR – you’ll pay as low as €5 EUR for a 1000 EUR transfer, including currency conversion fees (5-8x cheaper than banks)

XE and OFX offer relatively similar fees (which are very competitive) for EUR-SGD transfers above $9500 SGD / € 6000 EUR. If you are fluent in English, OFX is our top pick here. But if you are fluent in French or Spanish XE is likely the best option.

From Singapore

For transfers below $9500 SGD, TransferWise proves to be an excellent option for Singapore to Europe money transfers especially since they have a great footprint in Europe.

For those larger transfers from Singapore, OFX’s fee structure and service works out really well (and they’re regulated in Singapore as well).

US

To Singapore

If you’re looking to save big on smaller (below $9500 SGD) USD-SGD transfers, InstaRem and WorldRemit are great options. Your money will arrive in 2 days and you’ll pay as little as 50c in transfer fees with InstaRem for a micro transfer of $300 USD. When funded with a debit or credit card and sent via WorldRemit, fees are $4 USD.

But you get the best deal (low fees and fast transfers) with TransferWise – same day transfers cost $5 USD when funded with a debit card. For next day transfers, expect to pay about $8 USD for sending $300 USD.

Now, for those larger transfers, OFX is hard to beat due to its dedication to the US which means they have phone support from North America if you need it.

From Singapore

For SGD-USD transfers, TransferWise wins the day again for smaller transfers, while OFX is your best bet for amounts over $7000 USD/9500 SGD as they are regulated and have physical offices in both countries all helping to ensure excellent fees and a smooth transfers.

Be sure to use the link in the snapshot table below to avoid the $15 fee (if applicable).

Canada

To Singapore

For smaller transfers ($300 – $1000 CAD), TransferWise is the cheapest and fastest option with fees ranging between $1 CAD (for 2-day transfers; funded with a bank transfer) and 7 CAD for same day transfers (funded with a credit card).

WorldRemit is a close second, while OFX wins hands down for those large transfers ($7000 USD/$9500 CAD) with an offices in Toronto and Singapore.

From Singapore

InstaRem offers the best rates and lowest fees for your bank-to-bank transfers to Canada. For transfers $400-$1000 SGD, expect to pay as little as $2 SGD and your money arrives in 2 days.

For faster (next day) transfers, TransferWise’s fees can range between $3 SGD and $12 SGD, depending on your funding method.

OFX once again is your best bet for amounts over $7000 USD/9500 SGD as they are regulated and have physical offices in both countries all helping to ensure excellent fees and a smooth transfers. Just be sure to use the link in the snapshot table below to avoid the $15 fee (if applicable).

Australia

To Singapore

The fastest way to get your money to a Singapore bank is likely with TransferWise – same day transfers funded with a credit or debit card.

For those larger transfers, OFX and TorFX offer excellent rates as well as winning customer support.

From Singapore

TransferWise wins the day again for smaller outbound transfers from Singapore to Australia with transparent and affordable fees as well as fast transfers (next day transfers).

If you’re looking for extreme savings on fees and can wait 2-4 days, CurrencyFair is likely your best option.

OFX is an easy choice as they are headquartered in Sydney with an office in Singapore. As usual they offer the excellent rates for larger SGD-AUD transfers  ($7000 USD/$9000 AUD and above) especially when you use the link in the table below to avoid the fixed $15 fee.

Snapshot

Service Name

Countries

Service

Regulated (see Safety below)

Size of amount ideal for

Fees

Offers

TransferWiseUSA,
Canada,
Australia,
Europe
OnlineUSA,
Canada,
Australia,
UK
Small
amount
06%-1.11% of
the transfer
amount, no
mark up on
exchange rate.
See exactly what you pay here and compare
WorldRemitFrom
Canada,
USA,
Australia
OnlineUKSmall
amount
Flat fee ranging
between $3.99
and $24.99
USD
3 free transactions, use code ‘3FREE”
CurrencyFairUK to
Singapore,
Singapore to
Australia
OnlineIreland,
Australia
Small
amount
Fixed fee + % of
transfer amount
Get your first 10 transfers fee free
InstaRemUSA to
Singapore,
Singapore
to USA
OnlineAustralia,
Europe,
India, UK,
Singapore,
Hong Kong,
USA
Small
amount
0.25%-1% of
the transfer
amount, no
mark up on
exchange rate.
Click here
TorFXUK,
Australia
Online/

phone

UK, Europe,
Australia
Large
amount
No flat fee; only
charges a
margin on the
exchange rate
AUS/NZ and Asia – Get a quote online or by phone

UK and Europe – Get a quote online or by phone

OFXUK, US,
Canada,
Australia
Online/

phone

US, Canada,
UK,
Australia,
Singapore
Large
amount
Flat ($15 USD)
fee + margin on
the exchange
rate for all
amounts below
$10,000 USD
OFX may charge a fixed fee of $15, however if you click here you can avoid these fees all together.

 

Important Factors

1. Cost

Cost is one of the leading factors that can sway your decision to choose one money transfer service over another. And, it’s one of the biggest reasons we recommend you look beyond your trusted high street bank for those international transfers.

Typically, a money transfer service makes money by charging transfer fees as well as a margin on the exchange rate. Their fees depend on a number of factors including the amount, target currency, funding method, as well as the payout method.

Generally services are aimed at smaller or larger amounts and their fee structures reflect this. For services aimed at smaller amounts, there are usually more options to fund the transfers and receive the money along with services that are focused on efficiency and doing things online.

For services aimed at larger amounts, the fees tend to reduce in percentage terms as amounts increase and they also have excellent phone support if it is required.

2. Service

The quality of service is another factor that can make or break your currency transfer experience.

For smaller transfers, a stellar currency transfer service offers an easy-to-use online interface, great support while setting up your transfer, and proactive troubleshooting in case of unexpected hold ups.

Some services recommended above (for example, TransferWise, InstaRem and WorldRemit) are aimed at people who are comfortable doing everything online but they also have great customer service, where other services can tend to struggle.

For larger amounts, speaking to a human may be really helpful although doing most things online is usually par for the course.

3. Speed

Sometimes you may need your remittance to arrive instantly, while in other cases you may have the wiggle room to wait a couple of days.

Transfer speed is another important filter for choosing the right transfer service for your needs.

Moreover, the transfer speed also determines your transfer fees. So the right service should give you the best of both worlds – fast transfers with affordable fees.

4. Safety and Security

“Is my money safe with a currency transfer company?” – we get this question a lot.

Assuming you use a well known one, our answer is: probably better than a bank.

Money transfer companies are licensed financial service providers and are required to meet many regulations similar to your high street bank with a few extra requirements that enables them to move money internationally.

Moreover, they use industry-leading encryption to keep your money and data safe online as well as conduct regular checks to rule out illegal activities like fraud and money laundering.

But to be most confident, make sure a currency transfer service is registered with a major regulator and ideally has a physical presence in your sending country so you’re never left hanging if your transfer hits a snag.

Happy Transfers!

Top 7 India Money Transfer Options

Domestic and International

including the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and Europe

There’s a lot of options when it comes to sending money in India or home to family from other countries.

Let’s make it simple!

>> Skip down to international transfers.

Full Disclosure: There are links contained in this page which are affiliate links (and while not costing you anything) do earn us a commission. We often also get the opportunity to provide you with discounts and limited time offers as part of using the link – see snapshot below. If you use these links thank you for supporting our mission to make money transfers simple (and cheaper 🙂 )!

For domestic transfers sending, if you are in India there are an incredible number of options. To determine the best option for you, start by answering the following questions.

  • Do I need to send a large or a small amount?
  • Does the money need to arrive in cash? (many people in the rural areas don’t have access to bank accounts)
  • How fast do I need the money to arrive?

For micro amounts, ₹5,000 INR/$70 USD and below, instant transfers via apps (GooglePay, WhatsApp Pay) and mobile wallets (PayTm, PhonePe) are fast and convenient. The apps are linked to your registered bank account and you need to set up a universal pin code for your transfers (UPI code). You can send money by simply selecting your recipient’s phone number and all transfers are instant with very low fees (free or below ₹5 INR). 

For smaller domestic transfers, ₹10,000 INR/$140 USD and above, most banks offer instant transfers with very low fees (usually free if you’re sending to an account with the same bank; ₹5-₹10 INR if it’s a different bank). 

Both apps and banks use the IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) method for these transfers. 

For larger domestic transfers, ₹200,000/$ 2,000 USD banks are again a better and safer option. (The apps and mobile wallets have a limit on transfer amounts, and larger transfers may be flagged, leading to unnecessary delays.) 

These transfers are done via the RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) system and take a couple of days to arrive. 

If your recipient needs a cash payout, opt for an Instant Money Order via India’s registered postal service. The money arrives instantly and your recipient can collect it from the local post office. 

Jump Links (International)

$300 USD = ₹20,000 INR, $7000 = ₹500,000 INR

Transfers to India from the UK, Europe, US, Canada, and Australia are typically hassle free because India is a popular currency transfer corridor.

But the challenge is choosing the right service from your location to get the best deal in terms of transfer fees, speed, and customer service.

Another important factor to consider is safety and security, which we also cover below.

Country Notes (to and from these countries)

Snapshot

Important Factors

  1. Costs
  2. Service
  3. Speed
  4. Safety and Security

Sending Cash Below $300 USD / ₹20,000 INR

If you’re sending smaller amounts to friends and family, you may need the money to arrive in cash.

Typically, Western Union (link to review) was the number one choice for decades because their agent locations are so easy to find (over 500,000 locations around the world). However, Western Union’s fees can be relatively high and transparency is not awesome. In addition to this service standards earn them 3.5/5 on trustpilot which is significantly lower than many of their competitors.

But good news! 🙂

Review of RemitlyNow new services like TransferGo (review) (from the UK and Europe) and Remitly (review) (from the US and Australia) make it easy to send cash to India in as little as 30 minutes – with low fees and little to no hidden fees.

If you’re sending cash from the US and don’t need urgent transfers, RIA works pretty well.

If sending cash isn’t a priority but you’d still like to send a micro amount, PayPal (international) is an easy, fast and reliable option (though rarely the cheapest).

Best Below $7000 USD / ₹20,000 INR

Review of TransferWiseIf you’re transferring amounts below $7000 USD and prefer bank-to-bank transfers, TransferWise (review) is an excellent option. Their affordable rates, transparent fee structure, and service coverage to send money to India they are hard to beat.

Another option to send money with affordable fees is CurrencyFair (review) – their P2P structure keeps transfer costs super low and often fee-free for popular corridors.

Other affordable and reputable options include InstaRem (review) and WorldRemit (review).

Also see TransferWise vs CurrencyFair and TransferWise vs WorldRemit

Best Above $7000 USD / ₹20,000 INR

Review of OFXFor those large transfers, OFX (review) is our top pick with XE (review) highly recommended if OFX does not work.

If you are in Australasia, Europe or the UK – TorFX (review) is a standout for exception customer service.

A couple of things to remember for those large transfers:

  • Choose a service whose fees go down as the amount increases
  • Excellent customer service, including phone support can be essential in the slight chance they are needed to help out
  • Registered and regulated in your sending country provides added layers of safety and service (even better if they have a physical presence)

Review of TorFXKeeping costs low and trusting there are no hidden fees is important but even more so as the amounts increase. The three mentioned are solid performers in all the important areas and they also get regulatory checks for larger amounts (like ID) out of the way from signup which usually means smooth, stress free transfers.

Country Notes (to and from these countries)

Need a quick overview and offers to save money?

To get the lowest fees do not miss the snapshot below.

UK

Review of TransferGo - Money Transfer ServiceIf you want to send cash “in minutes” from the UK to India, TransferGo is a great option. You’ll typically pay about £2 GBP in fees for a small transfer of £200 GBP (compared to £5 GBP for Western Union’s fees).

WorldRemit is great for same-day bank-to-bank transfers.

But if you want even lower fees and instant transfers or cash payouts aren’t necessary, TransferWise’s rates are hard to beat. CurrencyFair also comes a close second.

For those large transfers, XE and OFX are great options as they’re both regulated in the UK (although XE does provide better exchange rates).

Europe

Review of XETransferWise has a great footprint in Europe and offers affordable transfers to India. However, you can only send money to a bank account and the funds take a few days to arrive.

For “instant transfers” to your family in India, Remitly and TransferGo and recommended due to their low costs, speed and coverage of India and Europe.

Looking to send a larger amount ($ 7000 USD/ € 6000 EUR)? XE has great coverage in Europe and offers excellent rates.

US

If you’re looking for an affordable option that can be transferred “within minutes” to India from the US Remitly (review) is a solid choice.

If cash payouts and instant transfers aren’t a priority, InstaRem (review) is another good option, with very low fees and transfers completed in a day or two.

For those large transfers, you can’t beat OFX’s exchange rate and fee structure.

Canada

TransferWise is our service of choice for amounts below $7000 USD/$9500 CAD, with transfer fees ranging between 0.6% – 2% of the transfer amount (expect to pay about $70 CAD – $100 CAD for transferring $9000 CAD, depending on your finding method), compared to 3-5% charged by other services and banks).

For amounts over $7000 USD/$9500 CAD, OFX and XE are great options, with little difference in exchange rates and fees (they’re also both regulated in Canada) with our top pick in OFX.

Australia

For instant micro-transfers from Australia to India, Remitly offers excellent rates.

For same day transfers to your recipient’s bank account, WorldRemit is our service of choice. TransferWise and CurrencyFair are close seconds with affordable fees and transfers completed within a couple of days.

For those large transfers ($ 7000 USD/$ 9500 AUD and above), XE and OFX offer affordable rates, but XE’s rates are slightly better.

TorFX is also an excellent option if you’re looking for exceptional phone support for setting up your transfer.

Heads up: XE, OFX, and TorFX are all regulated in Australia, but only OFX and TorFX have offices in Australia. For large amounts, this can be a huge difference in customer service.

Snapshot

Service Name

Countries

Online /Phone

Regulated (see Safety below)

Size of amount ideal for

Fees

Offers

TransferWise (review)USA,
Canada,
Australia,
Europe
OnlineUSA,
Canada,
Australia,
UK
Small
amount
0.6% – 2% of
the transfer
amount, no
mark up on
exchange rate.
See exactly what you pay here and compare
WorldRemit (review)UK, USA,
Canada,
Australia
OnlineUKSmall
amount
Flat fee ranging
between $3.99
and $24.99 USD
3 free transactions, use code ‘3FREE”
CurrencyFair (review)UK and
Australia
OnlineIreland,
Australia
Small
amount
Fixed fee + % of
transfer amount
Get your first 10 transfers fee free
Remitly (review)USA,
Australia,
Europe
OnlineUKSmall
amount
Flat fee +
margin on the
exchange rate
You can see what you will pay (desktop) or get the App for mobile – iOS or Android.
TransferGo (review)UK and
Europe
OnlineUK,
Lithuania
Small
amount
Fixed fee +
margin on the
exchange rate
(up to 3%)
TransferGo (opens a new tab use promo code “transumo” and all delivery options will cost zero on first transfer)
XE (review)UK, Europe,
Canada,
Australia
OnlineUK, US,
Canada,
Australia
Large
amount
No flat fee; only
charges a
margin on the
exchange rate
(0.3-1.2%)
Fee free transactions
OFX (review)UK, US,
Canada,
Australia
Online/phoneUS, Canada,
UK, Australia
Large
amount
Flat ($15 USD)
fee + margin on
the exchange
rate for all
amounts below
$10,000 USD
No Fees if you Register through Transumo

 

Important Factors

1. Cost

Cost is an important part of choosing a transfer service that’s right for you and the number one reason we recommend looking beyond your bank.

Typically, transfer fees vary based on the currency corridor, pay out method, how you fund your transfer, as well as transfer speed.

Making a choice based on what’s important for you makes the transfer process smooth and effortless.

2. Service

Apart from cost, a money transfer company’s features and scope of service, including track record of customer service, is another important consideration.

Typically, online only services are great for people who are comfortable handling all aspects of money transfer online or only want to send small or micro-amounts.

But if you need more assistance, especially when you’re sending large amounts, phone support plays an important part.

Service track record is also an important measure of how much support you can expect if you ever hit a snag with your transfer (for example, transfer delays, unexpected account suspensions, producing additional documents).

In our experience, TransferWise is known for exceptional customer service if you ever hit a bottleneck and OFX is great for phone support for larger transfers.

3. Speed

How fast you want the money to reach is also an important filter for choosing the right service.

And heads up: speed also determines your transfer fees.

In most cases, you’ll be required to fund your transfer with a credit or debit card for same day or instant transfers.

Services like TransferWise build these card fees into their transfer fees, but your card provider may charge you extra if you go with WorldRemit and Remitly. But if you want to send money home urgently, it’s well worth paying a premium rate (that’s still lower than your bank).

4. Safety and Security

All money transfer companies are licensed and regulated financial institutions and are required to adhere with many rules similar to banks.

Part of this means they often conduct regular audits to rule out fraud and money laundering, employ industry-leading encryption protocols to protect your data and money online, as well as conduct detailed verifications to stay within the scope of service and serve their customers better.

For sending small amounts, we recommend checking whether the money transfer company is registered in your sending country. For larger amounts, our suggestion is to opt for a service that also has a physical office in your sending country (this often also translates to excellent phone or in-person support with your transfers).

Xoom VS TransferWise

8 Must Knows Before You Sign Up

TransferWise VS XoomSummary

  • Xoom can be useful for smaller transfers ($1000 USD and below) especially where cash is needed.
  • How recipients receive money is very different between the two (this may be the decider)
  • Xoom only does personal transfers (TransferWise does business as well)

But wait there is more. 🙂

In some cases we think there are others you should consider and we will let you know about them.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which can save you money! For more information, see my disclosures here.

Jump Links

The Big Differences

  1. Who Can Get One?
  2. Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)
  3. Currencies
  4. Ways to Send Money
  5. Payout Methods
  6. Transfer Speed
  7. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)
  8. Customer Service and Support

Verdict

The Big Differences

Xoom (review) and TransferWise (review) are worlds apart in many ways with some crossover. Before we dig into the nitty gritty, here are some big differences to save you a whole lot of time.

Personal VS Business Transfers

TransferWise offers both personal and business transfers while Xoom only focuses on personal remittance.

When it comes to business TransferWise takes international money to the next level starting with showing you the fees up front on their calculator and comparing with other services. Offering dedicated accounts that help you invoice easily (integrate with Xero), ability to hold multiple currencies, get paid like a local, or pay your overseas contractors and suppliers. You also get a multicurrency wallet and a MasterCard prepaid debit card for business expenses.

Costs and Fees

TransferWise keeps their fees low by using the interbank rate (explained) and by being very transparent about the fee they charge.

Xoom also charges a fee, but in addition to this they also have a margin built into their exchange rate.

This can increase the cost of your transfer. The key is to be aware of it and factor it into the total fees.

Western Union VS ZoomWhile Xoom is rarely the most affordable option, a whole lot of additional convenience can be gained like how your recipient gets paid.

Skip to “Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)below to learn more.

You might also like “Western Union Review” and “Xoom VS Western Union

How Your Recipient Gets Paid

Your recipient must have a bank account if you’re sending money with TransferWise.

Xoom, on the other hand, offers other options like cash payments, bill payments, and mobile wallet transfers.

Xoom Pros

TransferWise Pros

  • Xoom is a PayPal company they’re regulated in the (USA) FINCEN by both Federal and State Government institutions. Xoom is also registered with the SEC.
  • Top ranked customer service
  • Fast and secure international transfers to over 130 countries
  • Supports cash transfers and bill payments
  • Great online interface and easy to use
  • Quick transfers when funded with debit and credit cards
  • Keeps you updated on transfers
  • Low cost and transparent fees
  • Top ranked customer service
  • Variety of ways to fund your transfer (See “Ways to Send Money” below)
  • Multicurrency wallet with TransferWise Borderless
  • MasterCard prepaid debit card (with free ATM withdrawals up to $200 and available in UK, USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand)
  • Both Personal and Business transfers
  • Regulated with FINCEN (USA), FCA (UK), Belgium (EEA), India, Japan, Malaysia, ASIC (Aus), FINTRAC (Can), Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore.
  • Available in 59 countries and supports transfers to 60+ countries (including the US, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Middle East)
  • Keeps you updated on transfers

 

Xoom Cons

TransferWise Cons

  • Personal transfers only
  • Complicated fee structure
  • Fees can be relatively expensive
  • Sending limits by user Level and country
  • No multicurrency wallet
  • No MasterCard debit card
  • Not available in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia
  • Fewer receiving countries
  • No cash payouts

Both Xoom and TransferWise are great for smaller transfers ($500 USD and below). But if you’re keen to save big on those large and extra-large transfers (Over $10,000 USD), we recommend services that reduced the percentage fees they charge as amounts increase.

1. Who Can Get One

Xoom

TransferWise

Xoom is available in the US, Canada, UK, and Europe (Eurozone and non Eurozone countries) and helps you transfer funds to 130 countries worldwide.TransferWise is available in 59 countries and lets you send money to 60 countries.

But you can only get the TransferWise Borderless card in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and US.

 

Winner: Tie

Xoom has a larger base of receiving countries but they don’t support registrations from residents of Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, Asia, or Africa.

TransferWise has a relatively smaller based of receiving countries but they do have a great footprint in Asia, Middle East, South America, Australia and New Zealand.

But if you’re a frequent traveller, TransferWise is a great option to send money on the go or get paid like a local (you get bank details in major currencies like USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD, and NZD with TransferWise Borderless).

2. Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees)

Xoom

TransferWise

Xoom’s transfer fees vary based on how you fund your transfer, the target currency, the amount, and the payout method.

The transfer fees include a transaction fee and a mark-up on the exchange rate (varies according to market fluctuations).

If you use a credit card or credit, you’ll pay additional fees.

For example, it costs about $30.49 USD in fees for sending $1,000 USD from the US to major destinations.

However, the fees are lower when you fund your transfer with a bank transfer and opt for cash pick up.

In the same example it is $4.99 for $1,000 USD.

Xoom also charges a transaction fee when you pay your bills (typically $2.99/ CAD 2.99/ GBP 2.99/ EUR 2.99).

TransferWise’s fees depend on the currency you’re transferring, the amount, and the method of funding your account.

TransferWise charges a percentage fee (of the transfer amount) and lets you move money at mid-market rate.

TransferWise’s fees ranges between 0.6-2% of the transfer amount, which is very competitive.

TransferWise also charges additional fees if you use a card which range from 0.69% to 4.33% if you use an American credit card.

 

Winner: TransferWise

Hidden Fees

Review of TransferWiseTransferWise’s transparent fee structure is the biggest reason why they’re so popular.

TransferWise keeps their costs low and transparent by charging only a % of the transfer amount. You can see the total amount your recipient will get before you initiate a transfer on the money transfer widget.

Since TransferWise has local bank accounts worldwide, they also keep 3rd party the fees low if not zero.

On the the other hand, while you can check the fees before hitting “Send ” on Xoom’s fee calculator, it’s not obvious what their total fees are. This is because their total fees include a mark-up on the exchange rate.

Also if you opt for a bank transfer to fund your remittance, banks can also charge fees. It is unclear if Xoom have local bank accounts in the areas they service.

Basically, if you can transfer bank to bank – the fees can be significantly less with TransferWise.

3. Currencies

Xoom

TransferWise

Xoom supports both major currencies as well as a large number of exotic currencies for international transfers.

Overall, they support about 100+ currencies for the 130 receiving countries they support.

TransferWise supports over 40 currencies for local and international transfers, including major and exotic currencies.

Check out the full list here.

If you sign up for TransferWise Borderless, you can hold and manage 50 currencies. You can also transfer money and get paid like a local (especially with the local bank details in USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD, and NZD).

Check the full list of currencies supported by TransferWise Borderless here.

 

Winner: Xoom

With a wider base of receiving countries and supported currencies, Xoom wins this round hands down.

4. Ways to Send Money

Xoom

TransferWise

Xoom supports bank transfers, debit cards, and credit cards to fund your transfer.TransferWise supports

  • Bank transfers
  • Credit cards and debit cards
  • Location-specific methods like SOFORT, iDEAL, Klarna, etc.

Before setting up a transfer, check out the currency specific guides here.

 

Winner: TransferWise

TransferWise offers a wider variety of funding options depending on your location. Bank and card transfers are available everywhere, but other location-specific funding options are a great add on.

5. Payout Method

Xoom

TransferWise

Xoom supports:

  • Bank-to-bank transfers
  • Card-to-bank transfers
  • Mobile top ups
  • Bill payments (for friends and family in Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and Vietnam)
  • Cash payouts
TransferWise only supports bank-to-bank and card-to-bank transfers for international and local payments.

 

Review of WorldRemitWinner: Xoom

Xoom supports cash payouts and easy utility bill payments in supported countries. So if your recipient doesn’t have a bank account, Xoom is a great option for your international transfers.

You might also like to compare Xoom with WorldRemit (review).

6. Transfer Speed

Xoom

TransferWise

How fast your money arrives depends on the payout method, the recipient country as well as the transfer amount.

Usually, transfers funded with credit or debit cards are received within minutes. However, large transfers ($10,000 USD and above), transfers funded by bank accounts (and sent to bank accounts), and transfers in exotic currencies usually take 3-5 days.

The great thing about Xoom is they keep you updated with regular text messages and email notifications about the status of your transfer.

TransferWise’s speed depends on two things: how you fund your transfer and your chosen currency.

Transfers funded with a credit or debit card are processed within a few hours (sometimes minutes).

In most cases, TransferWise tries to process your transfers on the same day. But sometimes it can take 2-5 days.

 

Winner: Tie

Neither Xoom or TransferWise offer instant transfers, and there isn’t a noticeable difference in transfer speed between them. In our experience, sending money with both has been easy and fast.

Speed of transfers is usually related to the time it takes for third parties like banks to dot all their I’s and cross all their T’s.

Generally, it’s always a good idea to consider banking hours and upcoming public holidays.

If you need instant transfers, PayPal or Western Union maybe your best bets.

7. Reviews (Incl. negative reviews)

Xoom

TransferWise

Xoom is rated 4.6/5 on Trustpilot with over 21,000 reviews.

88% of the reviewers had an “Excellent” experience, while 4% had a “Good” experience transferring money with Xoom.

They loved the prompt service and the easy-to-use online and app UI.

However, 5% of the reviewers had a “bad” experience and we were keen to find out why.

We learnt that the main causes of those “1-star reviews” were:

  1. Poor exchange rate (Xoom isn’t the most affordable money transfer service and you will end up paying a premium for perks such as cash payouts and fast card-to-bank transfers).
  2. Transfer delays (Usually, Xoom is quite fast, but it’s always a good idea to work with a buffer considering banking hours and upcoming holidays).
  3. Blocked transfers (Xoom may put your transfer on hold if you go above your sending limits or attempt to send a business transfer from your account.)

Check out our full review of Xoom.

TransferWise is also rated 4.7/5 on Trustpilot with over 92,000 reviews.

86% of the reviewers had an “Excellent” experience and 8% had a “Good” experience with TransferWise

Most people love their transparent fee structure and easy-to-use interface.

However, 3% of users had a “bad” experience with the service.

Here’s why:

  1. Transfer delays (TransferWise tries to process your funds on the same day and the delays are usually due to hold ups at the bank’s end)
  2. Unexpected account suspensions (As a regulated service, TransferWise often audits the transfers to prevent theft or fraud. They may also put a transfer on hold if you send a personal transfer from a business account or vice versa.)

But the good news is TransferWise’s customer service team is known to rise to occasion and solve their users’ problems as soon as possible.

Check out our full reviews of TransferWise and TransferWise Borderless.

 

Winner: Tie

Both Xoom and TransferWise are solid performers when it comes to their reviews.

Both suffer from a relatively small number of negative reviews mostly from delays in the transfers and even suspended accounts both of which occur industry wide.

However, one of Xooms key complaints is their poor exchange rate which comes from people who bother to notice.

This combined with the particularly proactive customer service from TransferWise scores a few more points in our book.

8. Customer Service and Support

Xoom

TransferWise

Xoom offers multilingual phone and email support in English, Spanish, Filipino, French, and Arabic (timings may vary).

While they don’t have live chat, they do have a fairly comprehensive Help section on their website.

However, their customer service team can be slow to respond during emergencies.

TransferWise is known for their excellent customer service.Their team is easy to reach via phone, chat or email and are always happy to go the extra mile to help users out in a crisis.

They also have an extensive Help section.

 

Winner: TransferWise

Xoom offers multilingual support, but TransferWise shines with their prompt and helpful customer service. This is always reassuring when your money is on the line.

Verdict

3 Ties, 3 TransferWise Wins and 2 Xoom Wins, they are pretty close but as we have seen very different when you look at each part of the service.

Xoom offers more options and these come with a price.

Generally Xoom is rarely the most affordable option as total fees can add up compared to 0.6-2% for TransferWise.

TransferWise also has helpful add-ons such as a multicurrency wallet and prepaid MasterCard debit card (with TransferWise Borderless). Oh and, you can process both personal and business transfers on TransferWise.

So which service is right for you?

Essentially, Xoom is a good option if you’re looking for cash payouts below $1000. If can pay into a bank account TransferWise is most likely better.

Happy Transfers!

Western Union Review

7 Things You Should Know Before You Sign Up!

Summary

  • Wide availability
  • Flexible options
  • Complex fees and no guarantee on exchange rates
  • 3.5/5 on Trustpilot

Western Union may be top-of-mind for you, simply because they are everywhere and have been around for ever.

In a few minutes, you are going to find out if Western Union is right for you.

But wait there’s more 🙂

There may be alternatives that suit your needs better and can save you a bundle.

Real Reviews

We have also scoured hundreds of user reviews (including negative ones) to uncover what’s really going on.

Let’s dive in!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links (not for Western Union) where you might be able to save money. For more information, see our disclosures here.

Pros

  • Licensed and registered service
  • Wide availability
  • Flexible payout methods
  • Set up your transfer online, via a phone call, or at an agent office
  • Offers different transfer speeds – including instant transfers (See “How Fast is Western Union?” below)
  • Option to get a prepaid debit card powered by MasterCard or Visa (depending on the country)
  • Dedicated business accounts

Cons

  • Complex fee structure
  • Can be relatively expensive (See “The Real Transfer Costs” below)
  • Transfer limits by plan, user usage, and country

Jump Links

  1. When it Works and When it Doesn’t
  2. The Real Transfer Costs
  3. How to Make the Most of Your Western Union Transfers
  4. How Fast is Western Union?
  5. What Reviews Really Say (including negative reviews)
  6. Is Your Money Safe with Western Union?
  7. Verdict

1. When It Works and When It Doesn’t

1.1 When It Works

Wide availability

You can sign up for Western Union from pretty much anywhere in the world – currently they support registrations from 70 countries and transfers to 200 countries in 130 currencies. Plus, they have over 500,000 physical agent locations around the world.

Western Union has exceptional presence in the US, where transfer kiosks and agent counters are integrated into convenience stores, check cashing stores, etc.

Flexible payout methods

Western Union offers a lot of payout methods to make money transfer easy for you and your recipient.

They support bank transfers, cash payouts, bill payments, and mobile wallet transfers (may vary by location).

So if your recipient doesn’t have a bank account, you can always opt for alternative methods of payment.

Both personal and business transfers

Western Union offers dedicated accounts for both personal and business transfers. In fact, Western Union provides industry-specific payment platforms for businesses as well as risk management consulting to save money on transfers in the long term.

Essentially, you can rely on Western Union to pay your family, friends, overseas employees as well as support your favourite non-profits.

Here is a promo video from Western Union, that does give good information on how things work.

1.2 When It Doesn’t Work

You’re looking for big savings on your transfers

Western Union’s exchange rate includes a markup plus their “transfer fees” which increase according to the amount. Additional fees depend on a lot of variables like how you are paying and how the money is being received. Paying by cards and allowing for cash pick up increase the fees.

This makes it difficult to understand the total fees and make comparisons, although we do unpack this in a moment.

WesternUnion V TransferWiseYou might also like: Western Union VS TransferWise for amounts below $10,000 USD.

Also some other transfer services offer fee free promotions from time to time.

You need to send larger amounts

Western Union’s transfer fees tend to increase as the amount goes up, which means they’re not the best option for larger transfers ($500/£400/€450 USD and above).

They also have sending limits that vary based on the country you are sending from.

For example, you can’t send more than $2,500 USD online or $500 through mobile in the US.

Transfers from agent locations have less clear restrictions, but they are also generally more expensive.

The next video touches on a few issues, but there is more to the story.

2. The Real Transfer Costs (including hidden?)

Western Union’s fees depend on

  • The target currency
  • Transfer speed
  • Funding method
  • How you want the money to arrive (cash or bank account)

There are two main fees are:

  1. Currency Exchange
  2. Fee Shown when setting up a transfer

As a rule of thumb, transfers funded by a credit or debit card (for instant transfers) are more expensive than those funded by bank transfers or where you pay in-store.

Check out the “Money In Minute” fees by location here for the EU, which shows how fees change based on the amounts sent.

You can also use the Price Estimator which shows the exchange rate offered and adds up the other fees.

To figure out the exact fees you are paying you need to calculate the difference between the interbank rate and the rate offered.

To calculate the fees which are part of the exchange rate, use their Price Estimator and they also have a Currency Converter which gives you the interbank rate.

A bigger issue

Western Union’s exchange rates are also subject to market fluctuations and may change when the transfer goes through.

Here’s what Western Union mentions on their website:

“…the exchange rates shown on the website are estimates and the actual exchange rate will be pulled during the time of the transfer.

Western Union will calculate its exchange rates on the basis of the interbank rates available in the market, plus a margin.”

This can be significant as currencies can more in either direction on a minute to minute basis. Many other money transfer companies guarantee the exchange rate at the time of transacting. When currency pairs can move 1% or 2% a day sometimes this can be very valuable.

2.1 Hidden Fees and Others?

There may be some other fees that increase the cost of transfers.

Many of these are outside the control of Western Union, but you should know about them.

Additional fees can be found in their Terms and Conditions (US) for the country you are sending from.

  • Receivers who choose to receive funds through a payout method other than cash or in a currency other than the one You selected may incur additional fees to access funds.
  • Certain countries and/or jurisdictions may impose a tax, fee and/or tariff on Receiver’s receipt of, or access to, transferred funds.
  • Messaging and notification services may be included for additional fees.
  • Transactions to Accounts: The Account provider may impose additional fees on Receiver for receiving the funds into an Account
  • Card Fees

2.2 Western Union Card Fees

Western Union may issue a MasterCard or Visa prepaid debit card, depending on the location.

While not directly related to money transfers, a prepaid debit card can be very useful so it is great to know the fees involved.

For example, their WesternUnion® Netspend® Prepaid Mastercard® (which is only available in the US) has cool perks like:

  • Funding international and local transfers
  • Receiving government benefits
  • Receiving your salary
  • Direct debits features for recurring bill payments

However, this card comes many fees including

  • A monthly or pay-as-you go fees
  • ATM withdrawal fees ($2.50 USD per withdrawal in the US)
  • Inactivity fees ($5.95 USD)

Learn more about Western Union’s prepaid card fees here.

3. How to Make the Most of Your Western Union Transfers

3.1 For online transfers (website and mobile app)

Online transfers are great if you’re comfortable handling all aspects of currency transfer yourself and typically need to send a smaller amount $2,500 USD or below online and $500 for mobile. (The limits may vary depending on your country)

If you need some help before setting up a transfer, you can reach Western Union on the phone.

a. Sign up and verify your details

b. Choose your recipient’s country, transfer amount, and pay out method. Make sure you double check your recipient details – their name and personal details should match the ones on their government ID (heads up: they need to carry this ID for cash pick ups)

c. Fund the transfer with a credit card, debit card, or bank transfer

d. You’ll receive a confirmation email with a tracking number (MTCN), which you need to share with your recipient (especially important if it’s a cash pick up)

3.2 For transfers at an agent location

Western Union has over 500,000 agent locations in all their supported receiving countries, so it’s fairly easy to locate one if you’d rather speak to a human or need more hands-on support with your transfer.

Transferring from an agent location also has the added perk of no-limit transfers (in most cases). However, you may pay extra in agent fees.

A few things to keep in mind

  • Double check your chosen transfer speed and sending limitations by user level, transfer speed (see below), location and transfer method to avoid unexpected transfer hold ups.Here’s a quick over view of Western Union’s sending limits:
    • Phone transfers: $300 USD to $2,500 USD
    • Online transfers: Up to $2,500 USD
    • Bill payments: $2,500 per week to one biller
    • Agent locations: Usually unlimited
    • In Minutes & Three Day: $2,500 USD
    • Next Day: $500 USD
  • Factor in upcoming holidays to make sure your money arrives on time
  • Make sure you don’t initiate a business transfer from a business account and vice versa

4. How Fast is Western Union?

One great thing about Western Union is that they offer a lot of flexibility in terms of transfer speed.

You’ll be able to choose from three available options:

  • In Minutes
  • Three Day
  • Next Day

With the “In Minutes” plan, transfers are near instant. You can fund these with a credit card and your recipient can collect their remittance in 10 minutes.

Usually, the “Three-Day” transfer plan is the most affordable option – you can fund these with a bank transfer and your recipient can either choose to pick it up at an agent location or get it transferred into their bank account.

5. What Reviews Really Say

Western Union has over 17,000 reviews on Trustpilot and is rated 3.5/5.

64% of the reviewers had an “Excellent” experience while 19% had a “Good” experience.

People love the easy availability of agent locations and the quick service.

However, 11% of the reviewers had a “Bad” experience and can be very helpful to know why.

Upon reviewing hundreds of reviews, we found that the top two reasons for dissatisfaction were;

5.1 Delayed transfers/Transfers on hold

As a licensed financial service, Western Union audits their transfers to prevent money laundering and fraudulent activities. Usually, the investigation is over in a couple of days and money’s on the way as usual. Most good money transfer companies have similar policies.

Typical triggers for on-hold transactions are unusually large amounts, business transfers sent from a personal account, and if a transfer is funded from a bank account that doesn’t match the Western Union account holder’s name.

5.2 Poor customer service

It can be distressing when your transfer is unexpectedly put on hold, and even more so if the customer service is difficult to reach or unhelpful.

While you can walk into an agent location to try and get the low down on your transfer (keep your MTCN handy), Western Union has some very stiff competition these days with high customer service standards.

6. Is Your Money Safe with Western Union?

Established in 1851, Western Union is the oldest currency transfer company in the world. Their headquarter is in Denver, Colorado and they’re a regulated financial institution in the US.

Western Union uses advanced encryption methods to protect your money and personal data online. For offline transfers, they require you and your recipient to carry a government-issued ID and share the unique transfer code (MTCN) to make your funds reach the right person.

In the past, Western Union was in the headlines for failing to prevent money laundering and transfer scams.

In recent times they’ve adopted extra protective measures like helping to educate the world on how to avoid scams and fraud.

7. Verdict

Western Union can be a sound option for smaller transactions because of their wide availability and support for a large number of receiving countries and currencies (both major and exotic).

If you’re in the US, Western Union agent portals are very easy to locate as they’re integrated with convenience stores, gas stations, and cash checking points.

However (as we discovered above) you do pay a premium for convenience and transfers can get relatively expensive especially if you are transacting regularly or larger amaounts.

If instant transfers and cash pay outs aren’t a priority, you might like to check out some alternatives and save a significant amount of money with and based on Trustpilot reviews, you will more likely have a much better experience.

Happy Transfers!

PayPal International Transfers

7 Things You Need To Know (and Save a Bundle)

Summary

  • Two Ways
    • PayPal International (to PayPal Accounts)
    • Xoom owned by PayPal (to Bank Accounts)
  • Both convenient but at a relatively high cost
  • May work well in certain situations but alternatives can suit needs better

For years I used PayPal almost daily personally and for business, but I had no idea what it cost and how exactly it worked… it just worked.

Question is, are you wasting money in exchange for convenience?

When does PayPal work and are there better options (like Xoom who are owned by PayPal)?

That is exactly what we uncover now!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which as you will see can save you a lot of money and doesn’t cost you any more. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Jump Links

  1. When PayPal Works and Doesn’t Work
  2. PayPal International Costs and Fees (Including Hidden Fees)
  3. How to Set Up Your PayPal-to-PayPal International Payments
  4. When Xoom Works and Doesn’t Work
  5. Xoom International Transfer Costs and Fees (Including Hidden fees)
  6. How to Set Up Your International Payments on Xoom
  7. Alternatives

Verdict

PayPal makes it easy to transfer money to friends and family in your own country as well as send funds abroad to a PayPal account.

The problem is your recipient then usually needs to transfer those funds to a bank account.

To solve this PayPal owns Xoom (below) to transfer money directly to a bank account. 

They also own Venmo (review) but this is for domestic transfers in the US.

First let’s dig into PayPal to PayPal transactions.

1. When PayPal Works and Doesn’t Work (for International Transfers)

Works

1.1 Convenience

Steps to sending funds overseas by PayPalWith the option of dedicated personal and business accounts, PayPal provides easy, convenient ways to send money to your friends and family, overseas employees, pay for things and even support your favourite non-profits.

Insanely Easy

From a senders perspective you only need the email address or phone number of the intended receiver to make a payment.

From a receivers perspective, you can also request funds and it is just as easy.

Even if they don’t yet have a PayPal account, it is usually a relatively simple matter for them to set up a PayPal account to retrieve the funds.

PayPal supports transfers from 200 countries to 75 countries worldwide in 25 currencies. Your recipients can withdraw money from their PayPal account or use it to pay for goods and services online.

1.2 Confidence

With over 277 million active account holders making about 7.5 billion transactions every year, PayPal is one of the largest payment companies in the world.

In addition to that, your recipient likely also has a PayPal account (or will soon have one) which by default often means payments often work seamlessly and practically instantaneously.

That does not make PayPal perfect, far from it, according to the current Trustpilot rating is 1.3 stars out of 5 but there is more to this story below.

1.3 For small transfers and payment ($100 – $300 USD)

If you make very occasional small transfers or payments between $100 – $300 USD, PayPal is not the cheapest (not even close) but it is no doubt convenient.

Doesn’t Work

1.4 Fees

Here is an example of a test we ran sending AUD to CAD. This is an approximation simply to illustrate the Total Costs but other currencies like USD and GPB are similar.

Paypal Example for Money Transfer

* The “% difference from spot” is also the “percentage in fees” and this varies based on countries, currencies and amounts.

Whilst $5000 is more than most people send, small amounts can add up, and it gives you some idea of what you will pay for the convenience for PayPal especially in comparison to a Money Transfer Service.

For larger amounts (especially above $1000 USD) PayPal can end up being very expensive.

This is because of the fixed percentage fee which remains constant in addition to other fees.

For smaller amounts as will show in the next section, there is a range of fees which also add up to be significant.

PayPal’s fee structure is complex and varies based on many factors but if you want to go deep on what you are paying check out our PayPal Fee page.

1.5 Reviews

We always analyse companies services based on their overall ratings on Trustpilot.

Normally we emphasize the five star reviews which usually run at 80% or better and then dig into the negative reviews to try and get a great handle on a service including its weaknesses.

PayPal stands alone with a poor Trustpilot score of 1.3 out of 5.

80% are one star reviews with just 12% at five stars.

The reality is that PayPal can’t be compared directly with other money transfer companies on Trustpilot simply because it is mostly used as a way to pay for things not transfer money overseas.

Their negative reviews are also compounded because many money transfer companies solicit reviews which gives them more chance of being positive while PayPal gets hammered with negative reviews from upset people who have had issues with vendors or products they purchased.

That said, when it comes to transfers a lot of PayPal issues relate to customer service and for this reason alone we recommend other methods of transferring money.

2. PayPal International Costs and Fees

When it comes to fees, if you use the PayPal site directly you may have found it quite difficult to work out exactly what you are paying.PayPal International Fees

It is not just you.

The PayPal fee structure is complex and based on the country where you reside and if you are sending money to family and friends or for business.

If you want to know exactly what you are paying we have made it easy as we can here.

For the following countries Personal Transfers are uncovered here:

Essentially PayPal’s fees for international transfers can usually be broken down into the following.

  1. A (small) fixed transfer fee
  2. Another fee (based on the transfer amount)
  3. Currency conversion fee
  4. Additional charges by your credit or debit card provider (if not from PayPal balance)

For example, in the best case scenario, if you are sending $100 USD from the US to Canada or Europe, you will pay total fees of about US$3.29 if it is from your PayPal balance and the receiver is happy to receive USD.

Fees Example (Australia to USA)

If you are sending the money to arrive in a different currency then (C) the currency conversion fee also needs to be added. This is a 2.5% to 5% margin from the interbank rate.

Total Fees = (A) + (B) + (C) = $0.30 + 5% + 4% = $9.30

For comparison we compared these fees with the TransferWise which shows exactly what you pay in fees, the fees were $2.69.

However because the amount and countries you are transferring are likely to be different, check out the exact fees you will pay using the TransferWise Widget which shows what you pay up front.

Other fees

If you’re using a debit or credit card to fund your transfer, expect to pay an additional fee (about 2.6% of the amount in my example).

To save the most money and get a suitable service check out the Alternatives section below.

You might also like our pages on free or cheap services.

3. How to Set Up Your PayPal-to-PayPal International Payments

3.1 Signing up

  • You can sign up in minutes with your email address and other primary personal information (for example: location, date of birth, etc.) online or by downloading their mobile app.
  • Next, they’ll ask you to verify your email. The verification email usually arrives within minutes.
  • You may be asked to provide additional verification documents like a bank statement, government issued ID clearly showing your name, etc. for personal accounts and registration, incorporation documents, vendor list, vendor invoices, and bank statements for business accounts.

3.2 Set up payment methods

Log in to your account online and click on “Wallets” to add your payment methods.

You can choose a debit card, credit card, or your own bank account to fund your transfers.

Make sure all payment methods reflect your ownership to prevent any hold ups during the transfer process.

3.3 Setting up your transfer

  • You can send money to your family, friends, or vendors by simply entering their PayPal email or registered mobile number. If they don’t have a PayPal account, they’ll receive an email to sign up for one to access their funds.
  • But before you set up the transfer, make sure you check the currency exchange rate offered by PayPal – Go to “Wallet” and check under “Balances”
  • Select the currency you want to exchange
  • Select in the amount you want to send
  • Select your payment method (bank transfer, credit card, debit card, or PayPal balance)
  • Hit “Send Money Now” if everything looks good

4. When Xoom Works and Doesn’t Work

Works

4.1 Fast personal payments from the US, Canada, UK, and Europe countries

Review of XoomAlthough Xoom is a PayPal company, they only support personal remittance. But the good news is they have a wider base of receiving countries and supported currencies –130 countries and 100+ currencies.

Xoom supports transfers from the US, Canada, UK and Europe (Eurozone and non-Eurozone countries).

4.2 Easy bill payments

Xoom supports bill payments for electricity, phone, water, trash, internet and cable in the following countries: Mexico, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica and Vietnam.

So whether you need to help out your family in these countries or need to make utilities payments for your properties abroad, Xoom is a way to do it. Bill payments are also instant in most cases.

4.3 You need cash payouts and home delivery

Recipient doesn’t have a bank account? No problem.

Xoom lets you set up cash payouts in most of the supported receiving countries. And if your recipient is in Vietnam, they can even opt for same-day home delivery. Check out Xoom’s home delivery details here.

Doesn’t Work

4.4 Fees

As we will see in greater detail in the next section, like PayPal itself Xoom is relatively expensive Xoom charges a mark up on the exchange rate and their fees are based on a lot of other variables.

4.5 Availability

If you’re based in Australia, New Zealand, or in the Asian countries and want to send money overseas you can’t use Xoom.

4.6 Restrictions

Xoom has sending limits that vary according to user level, sending country, and rolling periods. While you can lift these restrictions, this may increase the transfer fees. See “How Xoom Works” here.

5. Xoom International Transfer Costs and Fees (Including Hidden fees)

Working out the exact fees for Xoom (like PayPal) is not easy as we uncovered in a review and go into a lot more detail.

Xoom’s transfer fees depend on:

  • Funding method
  • Payout method
  • The target currency
  • The transfer amount

When you use Xoom they have a quite clear “Show Fees” link highlighted. Clicking this will give you the Transfer Fee and it you look carefully you will see the following message,

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

Xoom Costs and Fees5.1 Hidden Fees + Others

Hidden

Xoom’s transfer fees include a mark up on the exchange rate (which varies according to market conditions).

This fee can be dominant.

To find out exactly what fees they are charging you will need to calculate it yourself by comparing it with the interbank rate offered.

Some Others

For card-to-bank transfers, you may also pay a fee charged by your card issuer.

Other fees to be aware of include fees charged by banks at either end which can be between $10 and $30 USD.

There may also be transaction fees for bill payments usually $2.99 USD/ $2.99 CAD/ £2.99/ €2.99.

6. How to Set Up Your International Payments on Xoom

6.1 Signing up

  • Sign up for your Xoom account with your email and personal details on their website or by downloading their app
  • Activate your account by confirming your details on the confirmation email

6.2 Setting up your funding methods

You can fund your Xoom transfers with a bank account, credit card, debit card, or PayPal (in some countries). Typically, you must use a payment method to conduct a transaction first before you can use it to fund your international transfers.

If you’ve been using PayPal for a while, your linked bank accounts and cards should be available to you for funding your transfer (You’ll be able to check this out in the “My Account” section of your Xoom online or app dashboard).

6.2 Setting up your transfer

  • Make sure you have the following information handy: your recipient’s address and phone (as it appears on a government id) and their banking details
  • Check out the fees based on target currency, funding method, and pay out method on Xoom’s currency calculator
  • Once you’re happy with the fees, enter your transfer details (recipient details, amount, payout method)
  • Fund your transfer and hit send

6.3 Paying bills with Xoom

  • For bill payments abroad, you need the following information: utility company’s name and the recipient’s name and account number as it appears on the bill (family member’s or yours, depending on whose bill you’re paying)
  • Enter the payment details and amount
  • Hit send

A few things to remember

  • Xoom only supports personal transfers – so any payments made to vendors, non-profits, or for other purposes not in their scope of service is likely to be blocked
  • Xoom has sending limits based on user usage levels and countries and you may need to provide additional documentation to increase your limit. Learn more here.

Check out our full review of Xoom here.

7. Alternatives

PayPal and to a lesser extent Xoom are leaders because of their size and perception of safety. PayPal is very convenient simply because you probably have a PayPal account already or your recipient does.

However both services are relatively expensive and there are other excellent services to consider.

7.1 Top Picks and Comparison

Service

Fees

Trustpilot
Review
Score

Countries
Available

Type of
Transfers

Use Mid
Market Rate

PayPalIt’s complex,
please see
section on
fees
1.2200 countries to 75 countriesPayPal to PayPalNo
XoomIt’s complex,
please see
section on
fees
4.6US, Canada, UK,
and Europe to
130 countries
Bank-to-bank,
Card-to-bank, PayPal to Bank
No
TransferWise0.4% – 1%4.6From and To
pretty much
the whole world – Check if your countries are supported here
Bank-to-bank,
card-to-bank
Yes
OFX0.4% – 2%4.3From US, UK,
CA, HK, NZ,
SG to pretty much the whole world.
Bank-to-bankNo

7.2 More Information and Options

TransferWise (below $7000 US) and OFX (above $7000 US) are our top picks but they are limited to transfers to a bank account.

Here is some more information and transfer services that are highly recommended.

1. TransferWise (Personal and business transfers)

Service highlights: Low, transparent fee structure, transfers at the mid-market rate, personal and business transfers, great customer service and multi-currency wallet. Useful extras include prepaid MasterCard debit card, international bank details in major currencies, ability to transfer money and get paid like a local, access to more currencies with TransferWise Borderless (review).

Service lowlights: Only transfers to bank accounts. Online focus limits awesomeness for larger amounts. 

Availability: Available in 59 countries (including the UK, Europe, US, Canada, Australia, and NewZealand) and supports transfers to 60+ countries in 40+ currencies.

Ideal for: Anyone based in the supported sender countries and especially digital nomads, solopreneurs, and freelancers.

Check out our full review of TransferWise here.

2. OFX (Personal and Business transfers for extra large amounts)

Service highlights: Excellent rates for extra large transfers ($10,000 USD) but also a solid performer for smaller transfers, great phone support, keeps transfer costs low and reduces percentage fees you pay as amounts increase. No daily or monthly sending limits.

Service lowlights: Charge a $15 fee for amounts below $10,000 US but you can get that removed here

Availability: Available in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Hong Kong (not available in Europe). OFX supports transfers to 190 countries and 55 currencies.

Ideal for: If you frequently make large transfers for your business or need excellent support for a one-off, extra-large personal transfer, you can’t go wrong with OFX.

Check out our full review of OFX.

3. WorldRemit (Personal and business transfers)

Service highlights: Wide base of receiving countries, both personal and business transfers, affordable option for smaller amounts ($1000 USD and below), many payout methods (cash pick up, mobile wallet transfers, bank transfers, home delivery in Vietnam).

Service lowlights: Relatively complex fee structure and not as competitive as the best. Some limits on larger amounts.

Availability: Available in 44 countries and supports transfers to 150 countries worldwide.

Ideal for: People based in the UK, US, Europe, Canada, Australia, and NewZealand as well as the Middle East and looking for flexible pay out methods for international transfers.

Check out our full review of WorldRemit.

4. Remitly (Personal transfers only)

Service highlights: Designed from the ground up for immigrants. Instant transfers and flexible payout methods.

Service lowlights: Fees can be at the high end compared to other alternatives and can only send from the 16 countries to developing countries.

Availability: Available in 16 developed countries including the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore and Sweden.

They support transfers to 50+ developing countries.

Ideal for: For immigrants based in the 16 sender countries who need easy, fast, and flexible international transfer options to support their families back home.

See our full review of Remitly here.

5. XE (Personal and business transfers for large amounts)

Service highlights: Great rates for large transfers ($1000 USD and above), great support for setting up transfers, minimizes costs with local bank details in most supported sender and receiving countries

Service lowlights: Only transfers to bank accounts. Online focus for smaller amounts, prohibits confidence in large transfers.

Availability: XE has a great presence in Europe as well as the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and NewZealand. They support transfers to 170 countries worldwide in 60+ currencies.

Ideal for: People who want to save big on their large transfers (both personal and business transfers).

Check out our full review of XE here.

6. TorFX (large personal and business transfers)

Service highlights: Great rates for large transfers ($1000 USD and above), set up transfers online or over the phone, assigns a dedicated account manager, great support for large transfers for businesses (including transfer strategies to minimize costs in the long term).

Service lowlights: Focus is premium service and online offering is not as awesome as other top picks here. 

Availability: Great presence in UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia (not available in the US).

Ideal for: People who’d rather speak to a human while setting up large personal and business transfers.

Check out our full review of TorFX.

Verdict

Between PayPal and Xoom there are lots of ways to fund transactions and for the funds to arrive.

Unfortunately both are usually expensive for international transfers and the complex fee structures both have makes it hard to figure out exactly what is going on.

Fortunately if you want to save on fees and have access to more receiving countries, currencies, pay out methods and useful extras (like a prepaid debit card, multicurrency wallet, transparent fee structure, phone support for your transfers, etc.), there are some recommended alternative services (above).

Happy Transfers!

TorFX Review

7 Things You Should Know Before You Sign Up.

Review of TorFXSummary

  • Top ranked customer service at every step
  • Not always the least cost 
  • Pro transfer options

In a moment you are going to find out if TorFX is the best option for your needs.

(I’ll also show you how you can save potentially thousands $$$’s or £££’s no matter which money transfer company you choose.)

But wait there’s more 🙂 and this is important.

This is not your average “TorFX is wonderful” kind of review.

In many situations TorFX is a clear leader (especially when you value or need customer service) but I am also going to uncover situations where TorFX is NOT your best option and point you in the right direction to who might be.

Real Reviews

We also dig deeper on real customer reviews particularly the negatives ones where we uncover what is important to you.

Here is the good, the bad and even the ugly, so that you can decide.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Pros

  • Top ranked customer support – you’ll be assigned a dedicated account manager (UK, Europe and Australasia)
  • High end support for both personal and business transfers 
  • Flexible transfer options (offers forward contracts, spot contracts, and market orders)

Cons

  • No service for those in USA and Canada
  • £100/$250 minimum transfer 
  • Bank-to-bank or card-to-bank transfers only

Jump Links

  1.       When it Works and When it Doesn’t
  2.       The Real Transfer Costs
  3.       How to Make TorFX Work Best
  4.       How Fast is TorFX?
  5.       What Reviews Really Say
  6.       Is Your Money Safe with TorFX?
  7.       Verdict

Look for “Things to Know” at the end of each point

1. When it Works and When it Doesn’t

1.1  When it Works

1.1.1 You’re based in Aus/NZ, Asia, UK/Europe and want to send money worldwide

Choosing your best option ideally starts with a service that has offices in your timezone and ideally country of residence because of the service and security advantages inherent.

Given that TorFX is very telephone oriented and has offices in the UK, Singapore and Australia there is a slight advantage to choosing TorFX for customers of Europe and Australasia who are in the same time zone during TorFX office hours.

AUS/NZ and Asia – Get a quote online or by phone

UK and Europe – Get a quote online or by phone

If you are based in the Americas – OFX (review) is our suggested alternative.

1.1.2 You want flexible transfer options

TorFX makes business and personal transfers fit your needs through their personalised service business and partly because they are extremely flexible in the way they can transact. 

Examples:

  • Your business has to pay people overseas each month they can structure the transactions to work best for your business.
  • Sold a house overseas and you want to transfer funds to a new country within certain timeframes.

Spot Contracts

If you’re looking to transfer money immediately (in a couple of days), TorFX can help you secure a great exchange rate.  

Forward Contracts

With forward contracts, you can secure a rate for your international transfers for up to 2 years. This protects your funds against market fluctuations.

Market Orders

Eyeing a specific currency pair only? On TorFX, you can opt for a limit order or a stop loss order to reign in risks from surging or falling exchange rates.

1.2 When it Doesn’t Work

1.1.1 You want to do everything online

First it is important to point out, as amounts increase, particularly above £4000 GBP/€4500 EU/ $9500 AUD you will likely want and often need a telephone call to assist with making transfers go smoothly (this usually is usually because of limits your bank enforces) – TorFX excels at ensuring these transfers go smoothly.

However below £4000 GBP/€4500 EU/ $9500 AUD and most transactions can be done online without any assistance. Online transactions can be done relatively easily and sometimes more inexpensively through alternate services (although TorFX is no slouch).

1.1.2 You want cash payouts

Like most of their competitors who focus on large transfers, TorFX only supports bank-to-bank or card-to-bank transfers only.

However, if you’re looking for alternate payout methods such as cash transfers or mobile wallet transfers, check out WorldRemit (review).

Before we get too far – See if TorFX can do what you need:

Thing to Know 1

When you speak to a “Personal Account Manager” have an open conversation about your needs now and in the future. Apart from getting a good rate, there are also advantages to developing a relationship beyond what you might expect.

2. The Real Transfer Costs (including hidden costs)

Services like TorFX have three main ways they can make money.

  1. Fixed Fees       
  2. The Exchange Rate Offered
  3. Hidden Costs

2.1 Fixed Fees

TorFX doesn’t charge any fixed fees. Instead, they keep things simple by adding a margin on the exchange rate they offer (interbank exchange rate).

2.2 The Exchange Rate Offered

To figure out their margin you have to start with the base the rate they offer you and compare it with the interbank or mid-market rate between two currencies at a particular point in time. 

For comparison how fixed fees + exchange rates add up:

2.3 Hidden Costs

TorFX does not hide any costs, however it is important to note that banks at both ends can charge fees. 

TorFX has local bank accounts in Australia and the UK, so if you are working outside of these countries it may be worth checking with your bank what they will charge especially for smaller amounts.

Thing to Know 2

The next section shows you how to register online (slightly quicker) or by phone (more personalised) based on the region where you live!

3. How to Make TorFX Work Best

You can set up transfers easily online (24x7), on the TorFX app (24x7), or via phone.

Register and set up your transfer with these 3 steps.

3.1 Open an account

You can register for a TorFX account online or over the phone in minutes. In either case you’ll be asked whether you’re opting for a personal or business account (you can’t make business transfers from a personal account and vice versa).

AUS/NZ and Asia – Get a quote online or by phone

UK and Europe – Get a quote online or by phone

For those who would rather not speak to someone initially, when you click on those links you will find there is a simple four step process which aims to essentially get you to the same place quicker.

This sets up the account username and password and some of the fundamentals need to open your account.

Next you get a call from TorFX so they can understand your needs (very prompt response in my experience and another reason to love TorFX).

3.2 Talk to your Personal Account Manager and secure a rate

A “Personal Account Manager” will start by asking a few questions to get an idea of the amounts you are sending. This is also a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

After having your questions answered they send you an email to complete the sign-up and account verification process and by this point you will feel a lot more confident and comfortable with their system.

You can arrange transfers of any size with your Account Manager over the phone or via email. If you’d rather do it by yourself, you can always log in to your account online or initiate a transfer via the TorFX app.

Quick Notes:

  • Personal account holders can transfer online 24/7 up to £25,000 GBP or $50,000 AUD
  • Business account holders can send up to £100,000 online in the UK/Europe. However in Asia/Australia/NZ you need to go through your account manager for those extra large transfers.

3.3 Fund your transfer

Once you zero in on a suitable rate – either by checking online or by speaking to your Personal Account Manager – fund your transfer from your bank account or with a supported debit card (TorFX supports Sterling-nominated Visa debit cards. Also includes Solo and Switch branded cards.)

Here are the timelines to fund your transfer for different transfer options on TorFX

Spot transfers: Prompt funding is important if you want your immediate transfer to go through on time for spot transfers

Forward contracts: For forward contracts, please make sure that your funds reach TorFX at least one business day before the settlement (or transfer initiation) date specified on your contract note.

Thing to Know 3

Sometimes your Account Manager can get you a better rate than what’s listed on the website. So, contacting them after checking the exchange rate online can reduce costs.

4. How Fast is TorFX?

Your transfer speed on TorFX depends on the following:

  • Your location and the destination country
  • The currency pair selected
  • When you initiate the transfer
  • Verifications and security checks

Typically, it takes about 1-3 days for your money to go through once you set up the transfer. For exotic currencies, it can take up to 4 days.

Card payments are processed faster than bank payments. However, your card issuer may charge a convenience fee, which can potentially drive up the cost of the transfer.

And, when you initiate your transfer can also affect the transfer speed. TorFX can only handle your money during normal banking hours.

Thing to Know 4

If the sending bank you are using is not in the UK, Europe or Australia, it might take an extra day given that you need to send money to a TorFX account in those countries. 

5. What Reviews Really Say

TorFX is rated 4.8/5 on Trustpilot with over 3,400 reviews.

An exceptional 88% of the reviewers had an “Excellent” experience while 8% had a “Good” experience transferring money with TorFX.

They loved the smooth registration and transfer experience as well as the excellent advice provided by their account managers.

However, 2% of the reviewers had a bad experience with the service and we were keen to know why.

We dug through all the negative reviews to give you the real picture and the top issues we uncovered were

5.1 Transfer delays

Some TorFX users were thrown off by unexpected transfer delays, and we agree that it can be concerning when a large amount of money is on the line.

3 Top tips to avoid delays

  1. Understand transfer speeds can be slower for exotic currencies
  2. Initiate personal transfers from personal accounts and business transfers from business accounts
  3. Fund your transfer from a bank account in your name (instead of a third party account holder)

5.2 Unexpected deductions

TorFX doesn’t charge any hidden fees, but the sending or receiving banks at either end may charge some processing fees.

For larger amounts these are going to be negligible. However below £4000 GBP/€4500 EU/ $9500 AUD and these amounts can start to become a factor. Banks typically charge £10 to £20 / $15 to $20 at each end.

5.3 Poor exchange rates

Some users were dissatisfied by TorFx’s exchange rates for their transfers.

In our experience, TorFX has provided bank-beating rates for those large transfers. Your Account Manager can also be helpful for getting an even better rate.

Thing to know 5

If you want arguably the best service in the industry, simply transfer larger amounts to lower your total costs. However if you are always going to send amounts below £4000 GBP/€4500 EU/ $9500 AUD you can likely save some additional money on fees and do things 100% online here

6. Is Your Money Safe with TorFX?

TorFX is regulated by the FCA in the UK and ASIC in Australia. They also have an Australian Financial Services License.

But there’s more.

TorFX holds your funds in separate accounts and never merges it with their operating funds. Moreover, Barclays Bank Plc is the custodian of clients accounts at TorFX and the company’s own accounts are audited by PriceWaterhouseCoopers to ensure complete compliance.

TorFX also uses industry-leading TLS encryption to safeguard your data on their website. And, they employ two-factor authentication to make sure all the actions on their app and website are indeed initiated by you.

So it’s safe to say that your money is in good hands.

7. Verdict

For those seeking who want a smooth as possible setup and would rather build a relationship with someone to make things happen easily and cost effectively as possible TorFX is a clear leader.

AUS/NZ and Asia – to get a quote online or by phone

UK and Europe – to get a quote online or by phone

However if you would much rather not have to speak to someone and want to save every penny on smaller transactions there are most likely better services for you.

Either way your transfers will certainly be much cheaper than your bank.

Happy Transfers!

 

Xoom VS Western Union

8 Must Knows Before You Sign Up

Western Union VS ZoomOn one hand you have the oldest currency transfer company in the world – Western Union, established in 1851 and inevitably top of mind when you think “I need a fast, reliable, flexible option to send money across the world.”

On the other, you have Xoom – a new age giant with PayPal’s reputation and weight behind it.

At a glance, it may seem like they offer the same thing.

But when you dig deeper, there are important differences.

Good news!

We’ve done the research to make it easy for you.

Here we’ll show how Xoom and Western Union stack up against each other in 8 important categories.

To help, we award a Winner in each of the categories, so you can see what works best for you. (Look for the “Winner” in each category and don’t miss our verdict (below))

But wait there is more. 🥩 🔪

In some cases Xoom and Western Union may not be best for you and we suggest some alternative options.

Let’s dive in.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Jump Links

3 Big Differences

  1. Who Can Get One?
  2. Transfer Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)
  3. Currencies
  4. Ways to Send Money
  5. Payout Methods
  6. Transfer Speed
  7. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)
  8. Customer Service and Support

Verdict

3 Big Differences

Before we get stuck into the 8 categories, it can help a lot to know the big differences between Xoom (review) and Western Union.

1. Type of payments

Xoom only offers personal remittance options.

That is, you can only send money to and pay bills for your friends and family. They have a bunch of checks and balances in place to verify that funds are indeed being transferred for personal purposes to remain in their scope of service.

Western Union, on the other hand, offers both personal and business transfers.

They have a wide network of agent locations across the world and this makes it easy for them to support both smaller and larger transfers for personal or business purposes.

2. How you send money

Xoom is for folks who are comfortable handling all aspects online. They have a great online interface and an easy-to-use app that lets you check their fees, set up transfers, and stay updated on the status of your transfer.

Western Union lets you set up transfers online, in cash at agent locations, via their app, or on a phone call.

Essentially Western Union has got your back whether you’re comfortable setting up everything online or need to speak to a human during the process.

3. Helpful extras

Xoom’s extra services include bill payments for your family and friends.

Apart from bill payments and business transfers, Western Union also offers a prepaid debit card (the Netspend card – powered by MasterCard or Visa, depending on the country).

Xoom Pros

Western Union Pros

  • A PayPal company
  • Available in the US, Canada, UK, and Europe
  • Supports transfers to 130 countries worldwide
  • Easy-to-use online interface and app
  • Cash payouts, bill payments, and mobile top ups
  • Fast transfers when funded with a credit or debit card
  • Transfer notifications
  • Registration from 70 countries and transfers to 200+ countries (Including US, UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Middle East)
  • Supports cash payouts, bill payments, and mobile wallet transfers
  • Set up a transfer online, at a physical agent location, or via a phone call
  • Flexible transfer speeds
  • Prepaid debit card
  • Personal and business transfers

 

Xoom Cons

Western Union Cons

  • Relatively expensive service
  • Not available in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Middle East
  • Complicated fee structure
  • Personal transfers only
  • Sending limits based on usage level and country
  • No debit card
  • No support at physical locations
  • Relatively expensive service
  • Complicated fee structure
  • Poor reviews

Both services are relatively expensive compared with most money transfer services which focus on transfers to bank accounts.

There are also services like WorldRemit (review) that allow cash pickups which are cost effective and excellent.

While Western Union is available in almost every country worldwide, their “Bad” reviews (uncovered below) are far more significant compared to Xoom. 

If you are planning on sending smaller amounts of a few hundred dollars quite regularly, don’t miss our discussion comparison of remitters which also includes like Skrill, Remitly and Moneygram.

1. Who Can Get One

Xoom

Western Union

You can sign up for Xoom from the US, Canada, UK, and Europe (Eurozone and non-Eurozone countries) and transfer money to 130 countries worldwide.Western Union accepts registrations from over 70 countries and lets you send money to 200 countries around the world.

Wondering if they support sign ups or have agent offices in your location? Hop over to their website, scroll down to the footer, and search for it in the drop down list.

Quick note:

The availability of their Netspend prepaid card may be limited to the US, some Latin American countries, and Europe.

Winner: Western Union

While Xoom has a wide base of receiving countries, the supported sender countries are limited.

Western Union has both – a wide base of both sender and receiving countries, including over 500,000 agent locations and pick up points.

2. Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees)

Xoom

Western Union

Xoom’s transfer fees vary based on

  • The transfer amount
  • The pay out method
  • The target currency
  • How you fund your transfer

Their transfer fees include a transaction fee plus a mark-up on the exchange rate (which is not so easy to figure out, but can be figured out as we show here).

For the transparent part of the fee, typically you’ll pay about USD 30 in fees for sending USD 1,000 from the US to common destinations (card-to-bank transfer).

You’ll definitely pay a lower amount – about $4.99 USD – if you fund your transfer with a bank transfer.

And a quick heads up:

Xoom also charges a transaction fee when you pay your bills abroad (fees are typically USD 2.99/ CAD 2.99/ GBP 2.99/ EUR 2.99).

Western Union’s fees vary according to

  • Your chosen transfer speed
  • The target currency
  • The funding method

Western Union’s transfer fees also vary according to market fluctuations and the rates displayed on their website.

Here’s the fine print:

“Western Union will calculate its exchange rates on the basis of the interbank rates available in the market, plus a margin.”

Typically, you’ll pay a maximum of 6% mark up on the exchange rate + a transfer fee based on the transfer method, pay out method, and the transfer speed.

For example, your transfers will be more expensive if you fund the transfer with a credit and opt for the Money in Minutes plan.

Learn more about their fee break up for instant transfers here.

Western Union Netspend card fees

The Western Union debit card also comes with a bunch of fees including monthly fees, ATM withdrawal fees, inactivity fees, etc.

 

Winner: Tie

Both Xoom and Western Union have complex fee structures but you have a lot of flexibility in the way you fund the transfer and the way money is received.

Trying to figure out the exact fees you are being charged is quite difficult especially considering the biggest fee is often the margin built into the exchange rate which you need to calculate to get a full break down of of all the fees.

Even then, there may be other fees.

Additional (sometime hidden) fees

Additional fees that can drive up the cost of transferring money with Xoom and Western Union include a cash advance charged by your credit card company and fees charged by banks at either end for (bank-to-bank transfers).

And if you’re opting for Western Union, some agent locations may also charge pick up or set up fees.

Bottom line?

Xoom and Western Union are rarely the cheapest options for moving money internationally. But it can be worth paying a premium for the flexibility they offer.

However for transfers less than $7000 USD if you’d like to save big on transfers and instant transfers aren’t high on your list, we recommend going with TransferWise (review) who are known for their low, very transparent fee structure. If you need cash to arrive check out WorldRemit (review).

You might also like our comparison of TransferWise VS Western Union

3. Currencies

Xoom

Western Union

Xoom supports a large number of major as well as minor currencies for international transfers.

Overall, they support about 100+ currencies for the 130 receiving countries.

Western Union supports 130+ currencies for their 200+ receiving countries,

However, not all the sender countries support all the 130+ currencies (but you can easily check supported currencies for your country on Western Union’s location-specific domain).

 

Winner: Western Union

Western Union wins this round with a larger selection of supported currencies.

4. Ways to Send Money

Xoom

Western Union

You can fund your Xoom transfer with

  • bank transfers
  • debit cards
  • credit cards

But you can’t use your PayPal balance to set up your transfers or bill payments abroad.

Western Union’s funding methods vary according to the sender’s currency and the selected currency corridor.

Usually, you can fund your transfer with

  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Bank account
  • Cash (in-store)
  • Wire transfer

 

Winner: Western Union

Western Union has a slight edge here with cash inputs for setting up transfers (but it can make a world of difference to some folks).

5. Payout Method

Xoom

Western Union

Xoom supports:

  • Bank-to-bank transfers
  • Card-to-bank transfers
  • Mobile top ups
  • Bill payments (for family and friends in Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and Vietnam)
  • Cash payouts
Western Union supports:

  • Bank-to-bank transfers
  • Card-to-bank transfers
  • Cash pick ups (at 500,000 Western Union agent locations across the world)
  • Bill payments
  • Mobile Wallet Payments
  • Prepaid card top ups

 

Winner: Tie

Xoom and Western Union are head-to-head here with all the different payout methods. So if you’re looking for a lot of flexibility for your transfers, you can’t go wrong with either service.

6. Transfer Speed

Xoom

Western Union

Transfer speed on Xoom depends on the payout method, the transfer amount, and your recipient’s location.

Typically transfers funded with credit or debit cards arrive within minutes.

But larger transfers ($10000 USD and above), transfers in exotic currencies, and bank-to-bank transfers take longer (3-5 days).

Western Union offers three plans for your transfers that determines the transfer speed:

  • In Minutes
  • Next Day
  • Three Day

The fastest option is “In Minutes,” which allows your recipient to collect the cash from an agent location within 10 minutes (must be funded with a credit card; typically more expensive due to the attached cash advance fee and the fee charged by the agent).

Bank-to-bank transfers are the cheapest but they also take longer (3-5 days).

There are also sending limits for each service:

In Minutes & Three Day – $2500

Next Day – $500

 

Winner: Western Union

Western Union offers a lot of flexibility so you can choose your transfer speed based on your needs.

While Xoom’s card-to-bank transfers also usually arrive in minutes, this can vary based on the currency corridor and amount.

So if you need specific and assured timelines for your transfers, Western Union is a great option.

And though the “In Minutes” service is usually more expensive, it’s well worth paying a premium during emergencies.

7. Reviews (Incl. negative reviews)

Xoom

Western Union

Xoom is rated 4.6/5 on Trustpilot with over 21,000 reviews.

88% of the reviewers had an “Excellent” experience, while 4% had a “Good” experience transferring money with Xoom.

The reviewers raved about the prompt service and the simply online interface.

However, 5% of the reviewers had a “Bad” experience and here’s what we uncovered:

a. They were unhappy about the exchange rate: Xoom’s transfer fee is based on a lot of variables and they also charge a mark up on the exchange rate. But they also offer a lot of pay out methods and thus charge a premium.

b. Transfer delays were another cause for concern: Your transfer can arrive in minutes if you fund it with a credit card and if you’re exchanging a major currency. But it’s always a good idea to set your expectations based on the currency corridor, banking hours and upcoming holidays.

c. Blocked transfers were another big cause for dissatisfaction – Going over the sending limits or attempting to send a business transfer from your Xoom account can result in a hold up.

Check out our full review of Xoom.

Western Union is rated 3.6/5 on Trustpilot with over 17,000 reviews.

65% of reviewers had an “Excellent” experience and 19% had a “Good” experience.

Most of the reviewers loved their quick service and the support for setting up transfers.

However, 10% of the users had a “Bad” experience with Western Union.

Here’s the low down on the top causes of user dissatisfaction:

a. Transfer delays: These can be avoided by choosing the right service when you set your transfer. It’s also a good idea to factor in things like the currency corridor and upcoming holidays

b. Transfers on hold: Western Union regularly audits transfers to prevent scams, money laundering, and other illegal activities. Usually these are resolved pretty quickly (keep all important documentation like bank statements handy though).

c. Customer Service: Some users found it difficult to reach Western Union’s customer service, which can be concerning. But it’s reassuring that you can walk to your nearest agent office to sort things out.

 

Winner: Xoom

Both Xoom and Western Union offer a lot of flexibility for your international transfers by supporting a wide base of receiving countries, 100+ currencies, and a variety of payout methods.

However, Xoom has risen to the occasion and stepped up their customer service game, which has led to better user reviews on Trustpilot.

8. Customer Service and Support

Xoom

Western Union

Here’s how you can reach Xoom’s customer service team:

  • By phone (they offer multilingual phone support in English, Spanish, Filipino, French, and Arabic – timings may vary)
  • Via email (also multi-lingual support)

They don’t have a live chat option, but they do an extensive Help section on their website.

You can reach Western Union via

  • Via Email
  • On the phone
  • At a physical location for multilingual support

This is great for folks who’d rather not handle all aspects of money transfer online.

On the flip side, their customer service team can be slow to respond at times.

 

Winner: Xoom

Both services offer multi-lingual support, which is really helpful.

In some cases, while Western Union can be reached at a physical location, Xoom’s customer service is easier to get hold of.

Verdict

With 3 wins for Western Union, 2 wins for Xoom, and 3 ties, you can be rest assured that both are potential options for moving your money.

But let’s make it easier for you.

Xoom’s edge: strong presence in the US, Canada, UK, and Europe with the convenience to set up and track your personal transfers online. If you need multi-lingual support, they’ve got your back. And, they support a variety of payout methods.

Western Union’s edge: supports sign ups from pretty much anywhere in the world, dedicated accounts for personal and business transfers, flexible transfer speeds and ways to receive money.

So which service is best for you?

We’d suggest you weigh your options based on your specific requirements: long term and short term needs (personal transfers only or business transfers as well), location, and target currency corridor.

Also consider that they have some great competitors (above) that should be considered if low, transparent fees are important to you.

Happy Transfers!

Xoom Review

8 Things You Need to Know Before You Sign Up!

Review of XoomIn the next few minutes, you are going to find out if Xoom is right for you.

Xoom lets you send money internationally, pay your bills, and top up prepaid phones.

Since Xoom is owned by PayPal and regulated in the US, it’s a safe and secure way to move your money.

But there are many other things to consider while transferring money overseas.

And that’s where we come in.

Real Reviews

We’ve analysed hundreds of real user reviews so you can make an informed decision.

Ultimately you’re going to find out if Xoom is your best option.

You will also want to check out their competitors below to see if other services might suit you better and you are going to want to know about the real costs to transfer

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Pros

  • Fast and secure international transfers to over 130 countries
  • Many payout methods (includes cash pick up)
  • Many ways to fund transfers (credit card, debit card, and bank transfer)
  • Supports utility bill payments (varies by country)
  • Great online and app interface for easy transfers
  • Helps you stay updated on your transfers with regular text messages and email notifications

Cons

  • Not always the cheapest option (See “The Real Transfer Costs of Xoom” below)
  • Transparency on fees 
  • Sending limits by user level, country, and rolling periods
  • Personal transfers only

Jump Links

  1. When Xoom Works
  2. When It Doesn’t Work
  3. The Real Transfer Costs of Xoom
  4. How Does Xoom Work?
  5. How Fast is Xoom?
  6. What Reviews Really Say (Inc. Negative Reviews)
  7. Xoom Alternatives
  8. Is Xoom Safe?

Verdict

1. When Xoom Works

  • Xoom is a great currency transfer option if you want to move money from the US, Canada, UK, and Europe to over 130 countries around the world.
  • Your recipient doesn’t necessarily need a bank account to receive money as Xoom supports cash payouts, mobile top ups, home delivery (depends on the location) as well as bank transfers.
  • You can fund your transfer with a credit card, debit card, and bank transfer.
  • You can pay utility bills for your friends and family members if they are in Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, and Vietnam.
  • If you’re comfortable handling all aspects of money transfer online, Xoom has a great web interface as well as an easy-to-use mobile app (for both Android and iOs).
  • If you need multilingual phone support, Xoom has you covered. (They offer support in English, Spanish, Filipino, French, Italian, German, and Arabic.)
  • Xoom transfers funded with credit or debit cards reach your recipient within minutes (although this may cost you more – See “The Real Transfer Costs of Xoom” below).

2. When It Doesn’t Work

  • You’re based in Australia, New Zealand, or in the Asian countries and want to send money overseas. Xoom currently only supports transfers from the US, Canada, UK and Europe (Eurozone and non-Eurozone countries).
  • Xoom doesn’t offer a multicurrency wallet like some of their competitors
  • Xoom has sending limits that vary according to user level, sending country, and rolling periods. While you can lift these restrictions, this may increase the transfer fees. See “How Xoom Works” below.
  • If you want to save big on your transfers, Xoom may not be the right option for you. Xoom charges a mark up on the exchange rate and their fees are based on a lot of other variables. (See “The Real Transfer Costs of Xoom” in the next section).
  • You want to pay your overseas contractors or cover other business expenses.

For many, Xoom is not an option, but even for those who can use them, there are better options you will find in the Xoom Alternatives section.

3. The Real Transfer Costs of Xoom

How much does it really cost to send money through Xoom?

The costs to send money through Xoom are highly variable and depend on the following:

  • How you fund your transfer
  • The payout method
  • The target currency
  • The amount you’re sending

Generally, Xoom fees can be broken into 3 areas:

  1. A Transfer Fee for carrying out the transfer
  2. Xoom Exchange Rate (*hidden fee)
  3. Bank & Other Fees – your bank may charge you additional fees on top for making the transfer

Xoom Costs and FeesWe will uncover these now!

3.1 Xoom Transfer Fee

These transfer fees are quite variable and relate mostly to how you fund your transfer and the payout method.

Xoom has an impressive range of ways to fund transfers as well as the way in which the transfers can be received. Their fee calculator (opens a new tab – select your country) does a pretty good job of focusing on fees attached to these.

After clicking on the link above, start by simply selecting the country where you want to send the money to.

For example, you’ll pay $30.49 USD extra in fees for sending $1000 USD from the US to major corridors like Canada, the UK or Europe if you transfer money to a bank account and fund it with a debit or credit card.

3.2 Xoom Exchange Rate

As you will see when you visit Xoom, you could be forgiven for thinking that their transfer fee is the only fee they charge.

However, a * hidden fee we think that a lot of customers miss that can make up a significant part of the total fee is the exchange rate that your money is converted at.

As with most money transfer companies, the exchange rate they give you is not always the best exchange rate. Typically they add a mark up to the rate which is an additional cost you should take into account.

Luckily there are some alternative providers who focus on transparency and making international transfers as cheap as possible. For example, one of the leaders in the market are TransferWise. They’re a global tech platform whose focus is on making sending, receiving or spending money as cheap, convenient and fair as possible. They always convert money at the mid-market rate (ie. the one you see on Google) so you’ll know you’re always getting the best rate possible. They then charge just one, low transparent fee for your currency conversion which can make them a much cheaper alternative. See the Xoom Alternatives section below for more information.

3.3 Bank & Other Fees

Other fees to consider involve the banks at each end of the transaction. In some instances they can charge their own fees. This can differ based on the way that you decide to fund your transfer or the method in which you want your transfer paid out eg. direct to a bank account, in cash, to someone’s card details. These fees can be minimised or eliminated by Xoom but it is unclear to what extent Xoom has done this.

Also consider other fees which may be indicated when using the fee calculator (opens a new tab).

4. How Does Xoom Work?

Setting up your Xoom account for transfers, mobile top ups, and bill payments is pretty straight forward.

  • You can either sign up on their website or by downloading their mobile app (both iOS and Android options available). If you have a PayPal account, you can use that to sign up for Xoom.
  • Next, fill out your basic details on the sign up form
  • Verify your ID and email to activate your account
  • Connect your bank account, credit card or debit card (you can manage or delete it at any time from your “My Account” page)

Although Xoom is a PayPal company, you can’t dip into your PayPal balance for international transfers, bill payments, and mobile reloads.

You can’t use your PayPal balance to pay for a Xoom transaction at this time.

However, once you log in or sign up with your PayPal login information, you’ll be able to use your PayPal-linked bank account, credit card, or debit card (when available). Source

Things you can do;

  1. Sending international payments with Xoom
  2. Mobile top ups with Xoom
  3. Paying bills with Xoom

4.1 Sending international payments with Xoom

To send money internationally, you’ll need:

  • Your recipient’s name (as it appears on their national ID), address, and phone number
  • Their bank account details if you’re making a bank transfer

The amount you can send depends on

  • Your location
  • The Payout method
  • Partner limits (local banks, cash pick up points, etc.)

Xoom Money Transfer Limits – Sending and Rolling Periods

Your sending limit depends on the “user level” and rolling periods.

For example, if you’re a Level 1 user from the US and want to send money to a recipient’s bank account, you can send $ 2999 USD in a 24-h period, $6000 USD in a month, or USD $9999 USD in 5 months.

You can increase your sending limit by verifying additional documents with Xoom.

Learn more about Xoom’s sending limits by country here and the documents you need to increase your limit here.

Quick heads up: Xoom’s local partners like banks and cash pick up points may impose limits based on amounts that can be paid out in a single transaction or over a period of time.

So it’s always a good idea to dig deep into operating hours and partner sending limits too before initiating a transfer.

4.2 Mobile top ups with Xoom

For mobile reloads, you’ll just need your recipient’s mobile number (Xoom identifies the carrier for you).

  • Navigate to “Reload” on the mobile app
  • Choose your recipient’s country
  • Enter their phone number and a reload amount
  • Choose your payment method if you’ve added multiple options (bank transfer, credit card, or debit card)
  • Hit “Authorize”

While Xoom doesn’t impose limits on reloading a prepaid mobile, the provider may have limits based on rolling periods.

Learn more about these limits here (scroll down to “Partner limits on reloads received”).

4.3 Paying bills with Xoom

Currently, you can pay utility bills for your friends and family in Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, and Vietnam.

In these countries, Xoom supports bill payments for

  • Phone
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Electricity
  • Internet
  • Trash Collection
  • Cable

To pay a bill with Xoom, you’ll need your recipient’s name (as it appears on the bill), their bill number, and the name of the utility company (the required information can vary by country).

Make sure you double check this information before hitting send or contact Xoom ASAP if you think money was transferred to the wrong utility account.

5. How Fast is Xoom?

Xoom’s transfer speed depends on the funding method, the payout method, the recipient country as well as the transfer amount.

Typically, transfers funded with credit or debit cards are usually received within minutes.

However transfers funded by bank accounts (and sent to bank accounts) usually take 3-5 days which is normal and most of this time is taken up by the banks at either end.

The great thing about Xoom is they keep you updated with regular text messages and email notifications about the status of your transfer.

6. What Reviews Really Say

Xoom is rated 4.6/5 on Trustpilot with over 21,000 reviews, which is great according to industry standards.

Overall, 88% had an “Excellent” experience while 4% had a “Good” experience transferring money with Xoom. Users loved the prompt service and the easy-to-use online and app UI. They also felt safe using Xoom since it’s a PayPal company.

However, 5% of their users had a “Bad” experience with the company and rated them “1 star.” We were curious to know why so we dug deep and went through 100s of negative reviews on Trustpilot.

Here’s what we uncovered:

6.1 Some users were dissatisfied with the exchange rate, and we can understand why. Xoom does have a complicated fee structure and the markup on the exchange rate makes it a relatively expensive service compared to leading competitors (below).

6.2 Transfer delays were a major cause of dissatisfaction. Xoom tries to process your transfers as soon as possible, and the hold up is generally caused by their transfer partners (cash pick up points, home delivery services, or local banks).

To avoid unnecessary delays, we recommend:

  • Double checking your recipient’s information
  • Factoring in the varying transfer speeds based on funding methods and payout methods. Sometimes transfer delays can also be caused if you send money on a weekend or holiday.
  • Keeping all documentation (your id, your recipient’s information, bank statements, etc.) handy if Xoom needs to verify these

6.3 Some users were also upset when Xoom asked for additional documentation to process a transfer. As a regulated financial services provider, Xoom often needs to audit their transfers to prevent theft or fraud. They may also put your transfer on hold if you’ve breached your transfer limit.

6.4 A few users were also annoyed when Xoom blocked their transfers initiated for charity purposes. Currently, Xoom is a person-to-person remittance company, which means they only support personal transfers to friends and family. All other types of transfers, such as business transfers or donations, are likely to be blocked by Xoom as it’s beyond their service scope.

7. Xoom Alternatives

While the vast majority of reviews are positive for Xoom the negative reviews help show where some alternative services may be preferable for your needs.

Service

Fees

Trustpilot
Review
Score

Countries
Available

Type of
Transfers

Use Mid
Market Rate

XoomIt’s complex,
please see
section on
fees
4.6US, Canada, UK,
and Europe to
130 countries
 No
TransferWise0.4% – 1%4.6From and To
pretty much
the whole world – Check if your countries are supported here 
Bank-to-bank,
card-to-bank
Yes
OFX0.4% – 2%4.3From US, UK,
CA, HK, NZ,
SG to pretty much the whole world.
Bank-to-bankNo

 

7.1 TransferWise VS Xoom

TransferWise and Xoom are a great comparison because in many important ways they are very different.

For example, TransferWise always convert money at the mid-market rate and are upfront and transparent on their fees, while Xoom are less transparent around their fees and don’t highlight as predominantly the additional fees charged from the exchange rate they give.

Having used TransferWise extensively and reviewed them here, you will find the fees not just transparent but also very competitive.

This can be done through their widget which shows you upfront the exact fees you will pay and even gives you a comparison with other services. They’ll even tell you when their service is not as cheap as other providers!

Compare TransferWise fees here

If bank-to-bank or card-to-bank transfers work for you, we suggest TransferWise as an alternative for speed, customer service and their great online platform.

7.2 Xoom VS OFX

OFX is also inexpensive and also provides an excellent service by mixing online transactions with phone support.

For amounts above $7000 USD we recommend OFX (review) but also because of the limits Xoom has (see above).

They also have a fee structure that is conducive to larger transfers as they systematically reduce the percentage fees you pay as amounts increase.

8. Is Xoom Safe?

Xoom is a money transfer service by PayPal Inc. and they’re regulated by both the state and federal government agencies in the U.S.

Xoom partners only with major banks and retailers for cash pickups and home deliveries to ensure complete safety and compliance with local laws.

Moreover, they use industry-leading security like 128 bit SSL on their website and app. They also used advanced encryption to protect your personal data as well as your money in transit, which makes Xoom one of the most secure currency transfer companies out there.

Learn more about Xoom’s robust security policies here.

Verdict

Xoom is a good currency transfer option if you’re looking for a safe and secure way to move money from the US, Canada, UK, and Europe to 130 countries worldwide.

Xoom also supports cash picks and home deliveries, which is helpful if your friend or family member is travelling (or recently immigrated) and doesn’t have a local bank account.

But (as we discovered above) Xoom is rarely the cheapest option to send money abroad. Plus, their sending limits (based on user levels, rolling periods, and country) make it really difficult to process larger amounts.

For the majority of people who can keep within the limits, competitors (above) like TransferWise who offer bank-to-bank and card-to-bank transfers for small amounts) are worth a very good look.