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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.

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