8 Must Knows Before You Sign Up
Wise and Xoom may seem pretty similar on the surface.
But here’s the deal: They are not the same.
We uncover some important differences that will affect which is better for you.
- Xoom only does personal transfers (Wise does business as well)
- 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)
More Big Differences in a moment.
Also, 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.
- Who Can Get One?
- Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)
- Ways to Send Money
- Payout Methods
- Transfer Speed
- Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)
- Customer Service and Support
Xoom (review) and Wise (review) formerly TransferWise 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
Wise offers both personal and business transfers while Xoom only focuses on personal remittance.
When it comes to business Wise 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
Wise 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.
Skip to “Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)” below to learn more.
How Your Recipient Gets Paid
Your recipient must have a bank account if you’re sending money with Wise.
Xoom, on the other hand, offers other options like cash payments, bill payments, and mobile wallet transfers.
Both Xoom and Wise 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.
|Xoom is available in the US, Canada, UK, and Europe (Eurozone and non Eurozone countries) and helps you transfer funds to 130 countries worldwide.||Wise is available in 59 countries and lets you send money to 60 countries.|
But you can only get the Wise Debit Card in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and US.
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.
Wise 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, Wise 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 the Wise Multi Currency Account).
|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).
|Wise’s fees depend on the currency you’re transferring, the amount, and the method of funding your account.|
Wise charges a percentage fee (of the transfer amount) and lets you move money at mid-market rate.
Wise’s fees ranges between 0.4-2% of the transfer amount, which is very competitive.
Wise also charges additional fees if you use a card which range from 0.69% to 4.33% if you use an American credit card.
Wise 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 Wise 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 Wise.
|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.
|Wise 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 Wise Multi Currency Account, 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 Wise here.
With a wider base of receiving countries and supported currencies, Xoom wins this round hands down.
|Xoom supports bank transfers, debit cards, and credit cards to fund your transfer.||Wise supports|
Before setting up a transfer, check out the currency specific guides here.
Wise 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.
|Wise only supports bank-to-bank and card-to-bank transfers for international and local payments.|
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).
|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.
|Wise’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, Wise tries to process your transfers on the same day. But sometimes it can take 2-5 days.
Neither Xoom or Wise 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.
|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:
Check out our full review of Xoom.
|Wise 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 Wise
Most people love their transparent fee structure and easy-to-use interface.
However, 3% of users had a “bad” experience with the service.
But the good news is Wise’s customer service team is known to rise to occasion and solve their users’ problems as soon as possible.
Both Xoom and Wise 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 Wise scores a few more points in our book.
|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.
|Wise 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.
Xoom offers multilingual support, but Wise shines with their prompt and helpful customer service. This is always reassuring when your money is on the line.
3 Ties, 3 Wise (was Wise) 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 the usual range of 0.4-2% for Wise.
Get the fees you will pay (right now) from the Wise money transfer widget.
Wise also has helpful add-ons such as a Multi Currency account and prepaid MasterCard debit card (with Wise Borderless). Oh and, you can process both personal and business transfers on Wise.
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 Wise is most likely better.