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Remitly vs. Xoom

Remitly usually offers better exchange rates — but not for every currency.

Remitly and Xoom are 2 popular international money transfer services that allow you to send funds to dozens of countries around the world. To decide which service offers the best value for money, compare Remitly and Xoom side by side on fees, exchange rates and transfer speeds.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of May 5, 2020.

Which has lower fees?

Remitly

Remitly’s transaction fees vary based on how much money you’re sending, the country you’re sending it to and whether you choose an Express or Economy transfer. For example:
Mexico

  • Sending up to $99.99 from Canada to Mexico (Express) – $4.99 fee
  • Sending between $100 and $199.99 from Canada to Mexico (Express) – $5.99 fee
  • Sending between $200 and $299.99 from Canada to Mexico (Express) – $6.99 fee

Philippines

  • Sending Economy – $2.99 fee
  • Sending Express – $6.99 fee

Check if there are any Remitly promo codes available

Xoom

Xoom’s transaction fees vary depending on your payment method, the amount and currency you send and how your recipient collects the funds. For many transfers, the fee is $0.00 if you pay from your bank account or PayPal balance. For example:
Mexico and the Philippines

  • Sending $500 paying by debit card – $10.99 fee ($0.00 if you pay by bank account)
  • Sending $5,000 and paying by debit card – $106.49 fee ($0.00 if you pay by bank account)

Australia

  • Sending $500 and paying by debit card – $9.99 ($2.99 if you pay by bank account)
  • Sending $5,000 and paying by debit card – $96.49 ($0.00 if you pay by bank account)

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Winner: Tie

Remitly generally offers lower fees, especially if you aren’t in a hurry. However, Xoom charges $0 fees for many types of transfers if you’re paying from your bank account or PayPal balance (depending on your destination country and transfer amount). That said, it’s worth using the transfer calculator that each service offers on its website to work out which one offers lower fees for the specific transaction you plan to send.

Crunching the numbers: Sending $400 and $2,000 to Mexico

To give you an idea of how they directly compare, let’s look at their fees and exchange rates for 2 different transfer amounts while paying by debit card.

Remitly $400Xoom $400Remitly $2,000Xoom $2,000
Fee$8.99 (Express rate)$8.99$24.99 (Express rate)$42.49
Exchange rate1 CAD = 16.7700 MXN (Express rate)1 CAD = 16.9443 MXN1 CAD = 16.7700 MXN (Express rate)1 CAD = 17.0295 MXN
Transfer speedWithin minutesWithin minutesWithin minutesWithin minutes
Amount receivedMXN 6,557.24MXN 6,625.39MXN 33,120.92MXN 33,335.42

Which offers better exchange rates?

Remitly

In addition to fees, Remitly makes a profit by adding a margin on top of the mid-market exchange rate. For example, if you want to send money to Thailand:

  • Mid-market rate: 1 CAD = 23.04 THB
  • Remitly’s rate: 1 CAD = 22.54 THB

That’s a margin of 2.17%.

It’s also worth noting that Remitly regularly offers first-time rates to new customers that are higher than their standard daily rates — so new customers can lock in stronger rates for their first transfer.

Xoom

Xoom also adds a margin on top of the live mid-market rate. Using the same example of sending money to Thailand:

  • Mid-market rate: 1 CAD = 23.04 THB
  • Xoom’s rate: 1 CAD = 22.40 THB

This works out to a margin of 2.78%.

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Winner: Remitly

Most of the time, Remitly’s exchange rates are slightly higher than Xoom’s. While there wasn’t a major difference between the rates offered, this still means that more of the money you send will make it to your recipient.

Which is faster?

Remitly

Remitly offers 2 choices when sending your transfer:

  • Express transfers are typically sent within minutes and usually attract a fee. However, this fee is often waived on larger transactions to specified destinations.
  • Economy transfers involve paying by bank deposit and usually take 3-5 business days.

Xoom

Xoom’s transfer times vary depending on the following:

  • Where you’re sending your money.
  • Whether you send a bank deposit, cash pickup or home delivery.
  • Whether you pay via bank account, credit card or debit card.

However, Xoom claims that most transfers are available for your recipient within minutes.

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Winner: Tie

Both Remitly and Xoom offer options that allow you to send money overseas within minutes, so they can’t be separated in this category.

General features

Remitly

Remitly specializes in international transfers in more than 30 different currencies. To get started, sign up for an account online or download the Remitly app on your smartphone. You can then enter the amount of money you want to send, your recipient’s information and pickup method and your payment details. Make sure to double-check the exchange rate and any fees that apply before sending your transfer.

Xoom

Xoom offers international money transfers, mobile top-ups and the ability to pay bills all around the world. If you want to send a personal transfer, the first step is to sign up for an account online or download the Xoom app to your phone. You can then specify how much money you want to send, in which currency and where to, as well as choose how your recipient will access the funds. The final step is to review all transaction details and confirm the transfer.

Bottom line

Remitly beats out Xoom in saving you money, but both are pretty evenly matched when it comes to speed. The fact that Remitly’s exchange rates are generally (but not always) slightly better means that it comes out on top almost every time. However, given the wide range of factors that can affect transfer fees and exchange rates, it’s worth comparing your transfer options before deciding.

Looking for more options?

Our table below lets you compare services you can use to send money abroad. Compare fees, exchange rates and discounts from different money transfer services, and when you have made your choice, click Go to site.
1 - 8 of 8
Name Product _compare_ Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Wise (TransferWise)
24 hours
From 0.43%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Xe Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Instarem
Within minutes
From $0
Use code HELLO to get $20 off on first two transfers on a min transfer of $250. Valid until November 30, 2023.
Instarem offers zero transfer fees on all transfers.
Africhange
Within minutes
From $0
Send money in CAD to Africa on this blockchain and P2P powered provider.
Remitly
Finder Award
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
From $0
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
MoneyGram
Finder Award
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $4.99
For a limited time, get $0 fees on your first money transfer from Canada. Conditions apply.
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
OFX
Finder Award
OFX
24 hours
$0
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
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