Is Xoom International Money Transfer a Good Way to Earn Miles and Points?

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Did you know you can transfer money overseas with Xoom money transfer using a credit card?

Xoom promotes itself as a safe, quick and easy method to send money to friends and family abroad.  And you can use your bank account, debit card, or credit card as a source of funds.

But is this a good method to earn miles and points or meet minimum spending requirements?  I decided to find out!

I used credit cards from Chase, Barclaycard, and Citi (Xoom does NOT take American Express).  The results were disappointing.  You’ll be charged cash advance fees!

Is Xoom International Money Transfer A Good Way To Earn Miles And Points

Send Money to 30 Countries Worldwide Using Xoom

What’s Xoom?

Link:   Xoom Money Transfer

Xoom is an online money transfer company that allows you to send money to others directly from your desktop or mobile device.  They advertise low fees, good exchange rates, and secure transactions which you can track via email or mobile phone.

Is Xoom International Money Transfer A Good Way To Earn Miles And Points

You Can Send Money Using Your Desktop, Laptop, Tablet, or Smart Phone

You can send money to 30 countries by direct transfer to the recipient’s bank.  While not all banks in each country are available, they seem to have many of the major banks on their list.

Here are the countries you can transfer money to with Xoom:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • France
  • Germany
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Vietnam

How Does It Work?

1.  Sign-Up for a Free Xoom Account

Link:   Sign-Up for Xoom

Before you send money with Xoom, you need to sign-up for an account.  Initially, you’ll enter your name, email address, phone number, and a password.

Is Xoom International Money Transfer A Good Way To Earn Miles And Points

Create a Free Xoom Account by Entering Your Details

You won’t need to add your address or phone number until you actually make a money transfer.

2.   Select Country and Amount to Send

Once you have an account, you can select the country you’d like to send money to.  I enlisted the help of a friend in Canada to do my money transfer experiment.  The minimum amount you can send is $25, and the maximum is $2,999.  You’re also limited to:

  • $2,999 in 24 hours
  • $6,000 in 30 days
  • $9,999 in 180 days

Note:   There are ways to get your limits increased, but you’ll have to provide additional information (like occupation, social security number, photo ID, proof of income, and proof of residence).  They’ll review your details before they decide to increase your limit.

Is Xoom International Money Transfer A Good Way To Earn Miles And Points

Select the Country You’re Sending Money To

You’ll be asked how much you’d like to send.  They’ll also let you know what the exchange rate is.  In this case, $25 US = 25.96 Canadian dollars.

Is Xoom International Money Transfer A Good Way To Earn Miles And Points

You’ll See What the Exchange Rate Is Before You Make the Transfer

To compare, I checked the currency conversion calculator for Wells Fargo bank to see if there was much difference.  Wells Fargo’s rate was actually slightly worse.  I’d get 25.59 Canadian dollars for $25.

Is Xoom International Money Transfer A Good Way To Earn Miles And Points

Xoom’s Exchange Rate Was Slightly More Competitive Than Wells Fargo

Out of curiosity, I checked a Canadian bank (RBC) and their rate was also a little worse than Xoom.  They’d give 25.78 Canadian dollars for $25.

Is Xoom International Money Transfer A Good Way To Earn Miles And Points

A Canadian Bank Also Had a Slightly Worse Exchange Rate Than Xoom

To compare, I checked the interbank exchange rate for the same day on xe.com and $1 was worth 1.0673 Canadian dollars.  So $25 would get you ~$26.68.  Keep in mind that consumers don’t usually get this good a rate!

Is Xoom International Money Transfer A Good Way To Earn Miles And Points

The Interbank Exchange Rate Is Better Than Xoom, but Consumers Can’t Normally Get Interbank Rates

Now, I can’t guarantee that Xoom’s rates are good for all countries, but for Canada the rate is competitive.

3.   Select Your Method of Payment

You can choose to send money from your bank account, debit card, or credit card.  Xoom charges a fee depending on the transaction amount and method of payment.  The fee for sending from your bank account is always ~$5.  But for debit and credit card transactions, the fee goes up the more money you send.

For my small transaction of $25, the fee to use a credit card was ~$10.

Is Xoom International Money Transfer A Good Way To Earn Miles And Points

It Costs ~$10 to Send a Small Amount to Canada

The highest fee you’ll pay (if you send the maximum amount of $2,999) is ~$40.  But I don’t like my friend that much! 😉

4.   Enter Recipient’s Banking Information

You’ll need your friend’s name, address, bank name, transit number, institution number, and account number.  For other countries, the information required may be different.

First select the bank.

Is Xoom International Money Transfer A Good Way To Earn Miles And Points

Select Your Friend’s Bank From the Pull-Down Menu

The recipient can give you the transit number and account number from 1 of their checks.  The institution number automatically fills in based on the bank you’ve chosen.  You’ll also need your friend’s name, address, phone number, and email address.

Is Xoom International Money Transfer A Good Way To Earn Miles And Points

Enter Your Recipient’s Banking and Personal Information

5.  Enter Your Payment Information

If you’re using a credit or debit card, you can choose 1 you’ve previously used for other transfers.  Or you can add a new debit or credit card.  You’ll have to add your billing address and phone number, too.

Is Xoom International Money Transfer A Good Way To Earn Miles And Points

You Can Choose an Existing Credit or Debit Card Already In Your Account, or Add a New Card

You’ll have 1 last chance to review the transaction before you hit “Authorize Payment.”  There’s a warning that you may be charged a cash advance fee from the credit card company, but I wanted to see for myself!

Is Xoom International Money Transfer A Good Way To Earn Miles And Points

Double Check the Transfer Details Before You Authorize the Payment

6.   Monitor the Transaction via Email

Both you and the recipient will receive emails indicating that a transfer has been initiated.  It takes 2 to 3 business days for the money to arrive in the recipient’s account.  Other countries may have longer wait times.

Is Xoom International Money Transfer A Good Way To Earn Miles And Points

Xoom Will Email Both Sender and Recipient Advising of the Transfer

After ~3 days, the money was in my friend’s account.  I sent 3 separate transactions using a Chase, Barclaycard, and Citi credit card.  My friend did not get charged incoming wire transfer fees that are often charged on bank-to-bank transfers.

Is Xoom International Money Transfer A Good Way To Earn Miles And Points

My Friend Received the Money a Few Business Days After Each Transaction

So Xoom is definitely easy to use, if you don’t mind paying the fees.  But would my purchases count as cash advances?  Would they earn miles and points and count towards minimum spending requirements?

The Results Are In

And it’s NOT good news!

All 3 banks I tried (Chase, Barclaycard, and Citi) treated these transactions as a cash advance!  Cash advances can NOT be used to meet credit card minimum spending requirements.

Chase charged me a $10 cash advance fee.  I didn’t earn points for the purchase.

Is Xoom International Money Transfer A Good Way To Earn Miles And Points

Chase Charged a $10 Cash Advance Fee

Barclaycard also charged a $10 cash advance fee.  I didn’t earn miles for the purchase, either.

And Citi also treated it as a cash advance with no miles earned.

Is Xoom International Money Transfer A Good Way To Earn Miles And Points

No Luck With Citi, Either – Also a Cash Advance!

So while Xoom may be an easy way to send money to friends and family, you will NOT earn miles and points for the transaction (with Chase, Barclaycard, and Citi anyway), and will incur cash advance fees.  And you can NOT count cash advances towards meeting minimum spending requirements for most credit cards.

That said, I haven’t experimented with other banks.  It’s possible there are credit cards that can be used that count as a purchase and not a cash advance.

What About Gift Cards?

Undeterred, I tried sending my friend money using a Vanilla Visa gift card I bought with a miles-and-points earning credit card.

I got denied even before I got to the “Review Payment” screen!

Is Xoom International Money Transfer A Good Way To Earn Miles And Points

I Was Denied Using a Vanilla Visa Debit Gift Card

That said, I haven’t tried every brand of gift card.  If you’ve found 1 that works, please let me know in the comments!

Bottom Line

Xoom is a good way to transfer money to friends and family overseas.  Their rates seem competitive, and transfers take ~3 days.  You’ll pay fees depending on method of payment and amount sent.

But it is NOT a method to earn miles and points or meet minimum spending requirements.  All 3 credit cards I tried (Chase, Barclaycard, and Citi) posted the transaction as a cash advance, which means NO miles and points, a cash advance fee, and NO credit toward minimum spending.

I have NOT tried other banks, so don’t know if this is true for all credit cards!

Have you found a credit card that works with Xoom without posting as a cash advance?  Or a debit gift card that can be used?  Please let me know in the comments!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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16 responses to “Is Xoom International Money Transfer a Good Way to Earn Miles and Points?

  1. Suntrust Delta Debit card treats it as a Checkcard Purchase. I’ve been using Suntrust debit card for a few years now earning miles on transfers.

  2. DO not transfer Money by xoom. I have heard lot from my friends about this… They were very good at the start but things have changed a lot. In recent days I have heard more bad news then the good.. please use this service at your own risk

  3. Wow, really dumb and time wasting post. why bother writing an entire post with all your arrows and diagrams for something that doesn’t work? that’s just bad content editing. This could have been summed up in 2 lines. Its like watching CNN for hours without getting any actual news.
    Keep up the work! (notice I didn’t say good work)

  4. Firt thought was great, this will save me driving money over the border to my put in my USA bank account. (Live in Canada, have a house in usa, HOA fees and such), but… It looks like money can only be transferred out of USA, not into.

  5. Looking at my last quick comment, uhhh… you would think english is not my first language! Hopefully it is obvious that I meant “to put money in my USA bank account”, and firt…. I meant “first”

  6. @ Shan – Would you elaborate on the bad news you refer to? I need to use Xoom (for its intended purpose, not for MS) and would appreciate a heads up. In case it matters, the intended use is to send money to myself for an upcoming trip to Argentina (where economic conditions make it very unfavorable for tourists to use credit cards or ATMs). Without this service I would literally have to carry thousands of USD to Argentina to pay not only incidentals but also my hotel bill and all other expenses. Thanks in advance.

  7. I have been using Xoom for its intended purpose for over 2 years now and have had absolutely no issues. Maybe Shan can clarify what s/he has heard secondhand?

  8. I have been using Xoom since Dec 2013 and transfer money using my bank account, there is no fees > $1000 or so in one transaction. Their exchange rates are a little lower and looks like that’s where they make profit.

    I still have been using this service since money transfers within one day, recently they have started collaborating with more banks and now money transfers immediately. i.e. money starts showing up in overseas a/c as soon as I transfer and it is debited from US a/c in 2-3 days.

    I tried using Bluebird a/c to transfer money but it did not accept.

  9. All,
    I have shared my thoughts which I heard through my friends regarding xoom.

  10. Nice post Darius.

    I have been using Xoom since the past 2.5 years to send money to my parents in India and I like their service and have absolutely no complaints.

    Even though this post did not conclude on how to earn miles and points by using xoom, I still like it because of the fact that it enabled a discussion on possible methods to do so.

    I could see that we already have a suggestion (in the comments section) about a specific debit card which can earn points for Xoom transactions (Thanks a lot Danny). Hopefully, more people might experiment with more debit/gift/credit cards and post their findings here.

    Thanks,
    Vijay.

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  12. Thanks for the review. How about their home delivery service? I am curious how’s their home delivery service.

  13. Pingback: Economical Xoom Money Transfer Mexico | Home

  14. Has anyone tried using Visa Gift Card in Transfast ?

  15. does xoom accept american prepaid card…???

  16. Xoom.com is a lose-lose-lose proposition.
    1. They get you on an unfavorable exchange rate.
    2. They get you with their own fees.
    3. You get screwed by your own credit card company (if you choose the credit option), and I don’t recall seeing a warning by Xoom of the possibility of a credit card cash advance fee.