Like any good Overseas Filipino, I need a fast and reliable way to send money to the Philippines. For the past three years, the main way for me to send money to the Philippines is Xoom.com. I have reviewed this remittance website in the past.
My main problem with Xoom, however, is their terrible, terrible exchange rate. They charge an upfront fee of $4.99 for USD to PHP transfers or $7.99 for USD to USD transfers from your US bank account to your recipient in the Philippines.
However, they also make additional money on the backend through their exchange rate. It’s the same criticism that has always dogged Paypal.com.
This is why I was drawn to another website, Wise.com in sending money to the Philippines. Compared with Xoom, they have a better exchange rate and you also pay the same fee structure.
In the screenshot below, you can get more Pesos from the same amount of US Dollars you send through Transferwise.
A $260 transfer through Xoom.com is equal to PhP 12,711.40. The published exchange rate is USD 1 = 1 PhP 48.89. But on Transferwise, the same amount of USD will yield PhP 13,084. The exchange rate is USD 1=1 PhP 50.325. that is a difference of P373! That’s not insignificant. If you send more money, then you lose more on Xoom.com compared with Transferwise.
That is why I have decided to shift to Transferwise as my Go-To remittance website in 2018.
How to use Transferwise
Transferwise is an online money transfer startup service that was born out of the frustration of two European guys. You can read more about the company here: https://transferwise.com/us/about.
Go to http://Transferwise.com to open an account. You will need an email address or you can sign up for the service using your Google or Facebook accounts. They also have an iPhone or Android app to make transfers easier.
How to pay for your transfer
Just like Xoom, you can upload your money transfer through several ways:
- Checking Account. You can use your checking account to fund your transfer. Just get your account number and the routing number (ACH number) of your account. If you’re unsure where to find this, ask your bank.
- Credit or Debit Card. As with Xoom, I don’t recommend this option because it can be expensive.
How can the recipient receive it?
The best way for the recipient to receive it is through bank account. They do not offer the option of a cash pickup.
The company has provided a very useful Frequently Asked Questions section to help users like you and me. Check it out here: https://transferwise.com/us/help.
When I first tried this service, it took about 2-3 business days for the money to arrive to my bank account in the Philippines. But after that initial transaction, I noticed that the money arrived after just a few hours, about 2-3 hours.
Signup for Transferwise to start taking advantage of their service and the better foreign exchange rates.