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Remitly vs. Xoom
Remitly usually offers better exchange rates — but not for every currency.
Remitly and Xoom are two 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 March 30, 2020.
Which has lower fees?
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:
- Sending $499 or less from the US to Mexico – $3.99 fee
- Sending $500 or more from the US to Mexico – $0 fee
- Sending Economy – $0 fee
- Sending Express – $3.99 fee
Check if there are any Remitly promo codes available
Xoom’s transaction fees vary depending on your payment method, the amount and currency you send and how your recipient collects the funds. For example:
- Sending $500 paying by debit card – $12.99 fee
- Sending $5,000 and paying by debit card – $75.99 fee
- Sending $500 and paying by debit card – $5.99
- Sending $5,000 and paying by debit card – $151.49
Remitly almost always offer lower fees, especially if you aren’t in a hurry.
However, Xoom is often more affordable if you need to send money quickly and are paying from your bank account. 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 two different transfer amounts while paying by debit card.
|Remitly $400||Xoom $400||Remitly $2,000||Xoom $2,000|
|Fee||$3.99 (Express rate)||$10.99||$0 (Express rate)||$50.99|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 23.45 MXN (Express rate)||1 USD = 22.67 MXN||1 USD = 23.45 MXN (Express rate)||1 USD = 22.67 MXN|
|Transfer speed||Within minutes||Within minutes||Within minutes||Within minutes|
|Amount received||MXN 9,286||MXN 8,819||MXN 46,900||MXN 44,184|
Which offers better exchange rates?
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 USD = 32.64 THB
- Remitly’s rate: 1 USD = 32.08 THB
That’s a margin of 1.72%.
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 also adds a margin on top of the live mid-market rate. Using the same example of sending money to Thailand:
- Mid-market rate: $USD = 32.64 THB
- Xoom’s rate: 1 USD = 31.33 THB
This works out to a margin of 4.02%.
Remitly’s exchange rates are generally slightly higher than Xoom’s across the board. 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 offers two 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’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.
Both Remitly and Xoom offer options that allow you to send money overseas within minutes, so they can’t be separated in this category.
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 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.
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?
Use our comparison calculator below to compare transaction fees, exchange rates and other key features across a range of leading international money transfer services.
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