TransferWise vs Xoom

Which one of these low-cost money transfer services should you choose when sending payments overseas?

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Both TransferWise and Xoom offer lower fees than banks, but which one should you use to send money overseas? We compare the fees, exchange rates and speed to help you find the best deal.

The following fees and rates are accurate as of 24 July 2019.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
CAD 1 1 - 2 days CAD 45.00 0.753 USD
3,729
Make online transfers with transparent exchange rates, low fees and low minimum amounts. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Which has lower fees?

TransferWise

TransferWise calculates its fee based on the transfer amount, the currency being sent and the payment method. The result is a flat fee deducted from the amount you’re transferring.

For instance, the following charges could apply if you sent money to the US:

  • $3.22 for a $100 CAD transfer
  • $6.95 for a $500 CAD transfer
  • $11.61 for a $1,000 CAD transfer
  • $78.84 for a $10,000 CAD transfer

On the other hand, if you sent money to the Philippines, the following charges could apply instead:

  • $4.91 for a $100 CAD transfer
  • $9.15 for a $100 CAD transfer
  • $14.45 for a $1,000 CAD transfer
  • $93.20 for a $10,000 CAD transfer

Bear in mind that these are just examples based on information available at the time of this writing. Actual fees these fees can vary based on the details of your transfer.

Xoom

Xoom’s fees vary and depend on the sending amount, the currency being transferred, the payment method and the location the money is going to.

Transactions under $200 CAD cost a flat fee (often between $2.49 and $4.99) regardless of how you pay. There are usually no fees for transactions at or above $200 CAD if you pay directly from your bank account. However, you will be charged a fee if you want to pay by debit or credit.

For example, if you sent money as USD (United States dollars), PHP (Philippine pesos) or INR (Indian rupees) and paid by either debit or credit card, the following charges could apply:

  • $4.49 for a $200 CAD transfer
  • $10.99 for a $500 CAD transfer
  • $21.49 for a $1,000 CAD transfer
  • $211.49 for a $10,000 CAD transfer.

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Winner: Tie

It’s tricky to pinpoint a clear winner here, because it depends on how you make the initial payment. The fees both companies charge for small transfers are within a similar price range, and both companies scale up the price as the transfer amount increases.

TransferWise often has lower fees than Xoom, however, and this becomes especially pronounced when very large amounts are being sent. On the other hand, Xoom often offers zero fees for transfers above a certain amount if payment is directly from the sender’s bank account. In the end, the company with lowest fees comes down to the details of each individual transfer.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 and $10,000 from Canada to the UK

Let’s see how TranferWise and Xoom compare when sending 2 different amounts from Canada to the UK. We’ll assume payment is by debit or credit card.

Sending $1,000 to the UK
TransferWiseXoom
Transfer fee$10.78$20.99
Exchange rate1 CAD = £0.6097 GBP1 CAD = £0.6033 GBP
Transfer speed1 dayWithin minutes
Total British pounds receivedGBP£603.09GBP£590.63
Receiver getsGBP£12.46 moreGBP£12.46 less
Sending $10,000 to the UK
TransferWiseXoom
Transfer feeUS$78.02$204.99
Exchange rateUS$1 = GBP£0.6097US$1 = GBP£0.6048
Transfer speed1 day3-4 days
Total British pounds receivedGBP£6,049.04GBP£5,924.02
Receiver getsGBP£125.02 moreGBP£125.02 less

With lower fees and a better exchange rate, TransferWise is the more affordable option in this case. For a $1,000 transfer, the receiver gets GBP£12.46 more (around $20 CAD), and for a $10,000 transfer, the receiver gets GBP£125.02 more (around $205 CAD).

Which offers better exchange rates?

TransferWise

TransferWise is one of the few money transfer providers that offers customers the mid-market rate. So if, for example, you’re sending money to New Zealand and the mid-market rate works out at 1 CAD = 1.1135 NZD, that’s the rate TransferWise will give you.

Xoom

Xoom makes a profit by adding a margin on top of the mid-market rate. For example, Xoom’s exchange rate for New Zealand is 1 USD = 1.1135 NZD, while the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 1.1344 NZD. In this case, the margin is 1.84%.

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Winner: TransferWise

By offering the mid-market rate, TransferWise is a clear winner here.

Which is faster?

TransferWise

Paying with a credit or debit card means the money could be available to your recipient within minutes. However, some currencies and payment methods will take longer, and could take up to 4 days.

TransferWise says 90% of transfers from the UK to Europe happen within 1 business day. On the other hand, if you send $1,000 to Bangladesh, it will take up to 4 business days.

Xoom

Xoom says the money will be available to your recipient within minutes. It can take longer depending on factors such as the country you’re sending it to, how you make the initial payment and how the money will be received.

If you send more than US$10,000, it will take another 2-3 business days on top of the normal processing time, while Xoom settles the funds with your bank.

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Winner: Tie

Both TransferWise and Xoom offer payments within minutes, but times vary depending on the method of payment, the currency and country. In this category, it’s difficult to pick a clear winner.

General features

Payment methodsReceiving optionsMinimum and maximum transfersTransfer speedsCurrencies
TransferWiseBank transfer, credit card, debit cardBank account onlyMinimum: $1

Maximum: $1,500,000

1 - 2 days45+ currencies
XoomBank transfer, credit card, debit cardBank transfer,

cash pick-up, home delivery

Minimum: $10

Maximum: Varies by country and account verification level

Within minutes – a few days130+ currencies

TransferWise

Head to TransferWise’s website and choose the currency and amount you want to send. You transfer your local currency to TransferWise, and they transfer your recipient’s local currency out of their bank account in that country. At every stage of the transfer, you will be updated via email. You also have the option of using an app to track your transfer, or checking it through the TransferWise website.

Xoom

After setting up an online account or downloading the Xoom app, choose the amount you wish to send and the currency, and where the recipient will access the money. Xoom offers a money-back guarantee if your transfer isn’t received. There is also 24-hour support, and you can track your transfers via text, email or online.

Bottom line

It’s a close call between these two international money transfer providers, and both have their advantages. TransferWise offers the mid-market rate with no added margin on top, while Xoom offers no fee if you pay by direct bank transfer. Ultimately what you choose depends on your payment method and the currency you’re sending, so make sure to compare a range of services before you make a choice.

Looking for more options?

Use our calculator below to compare fees, exchange rates and transfer speeds of leading international money transfer providers. Just enter the details in the calculator to see what fees and exchange rates you would get.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
CAD 1 1 - 2 days CAD 1.99 0.744 USD
7,441
Quick, affordable transfers around the world. Remitly also has an express option that can transfer your money in minutes for a higher fee. The cheaper option takes several days. Go to site Show details
USD 150 1 day CAD 0.00 0.75 USD
7,495
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in 45 currencies.
Go to site Show details
CAD 2,000 1 day CAD 0.00 0.75 USD
7,495
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply.
Send money overseas in 45 currencies.
Go to site Show details
GBP 3,000 1 day CAD 0.00 0.75 USD
7,495
Global Reach will match any competitor's exchange rates. Conditions apply.
Get no fees for both business and personal transfers when you send your money overseas with Global Reach.
Go to site Show details
CAD 0 Within an hour CAD 3.99 0.749 USD
7,488
Use code FINDERCA and pay zero fees on your first transfer. Conditions apply.
An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
Go to site Show details
CAD 1 1 - 2 days CAD 90.00 0.753 USD
7,458
Make online transfers with transparent exchange rates, low fees and low minimum amounts. Go to site Show details
CAD 0 1 day CAD 0.00 0.749 USD
7,488
Send money in more than 60 currencies. Fee-free international money transfers with a global brand. Go to site Show details
GBP 5,000 1 - 2 days CAD 0.00 0.749 USD
7,493
Aimed at larger transfers, CurrencyTransfer is an online marketplace that lets you shop around for the best exchange rate. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

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