“I was thinking on using Xoom to send myself $500 at a time and picking it up at a bank. Charge is only $5 plus the exchange rate is about 2% lower. Seem reasonable compared to ATM fees and the risk risk of losing a bundle of cash.“
Depend on Xoom for your funds and you will get screwed when they block your account because it looks “suspicious” to them. So many guys have had issues with xoom. If you need proof, google “xoom closed my account” and read some of the horror stories.
I have my own horror story of xoom. I *SENT* money to someone that xoom determined had made “prohibited” transactions on xoom. I had no problem with the recipient and they delivered my merchandise. But xoom CLOSED MY ACCOUNT because I dealt with them.
To add insult to injury, they “suspended” my account for “security purposes” and requested a copy of my drivers license and utility bill to prove address. I wasn’t doing anything wrong, so I scanned and submitted everything. Upon receipt, they closed my account because of the above.
I hate xoom.
Based on the above poster’s question, here are the specifics of what would be received when using xoom to send to the Philippines.
A $500 (ACTUALLY $504.99USD in costs) send through xoom would net only 22,772.50php. Xoom is only giving you 45.54 conversion rate.
That is 1.21 points lower than the best street rate.
Checking Yahoo today, the best conversion rate is 46.80; and the best street rate I could get was 46.75. Based on best street rate, $500 should have netted 23,375php. Based on Yahoo’s better rate, the same $500 should have netted 23,400.75php.
Second, if you are an American, there are much better cards and programs available to you. There would be no money conversion fees, all ATM fees would be rebated, and you would get the best conversion rate with the SCHWAB atm card.
Third, you say you want to use a money transfer service to “save” atm fees … but you are willing to pay more than 3 times the cost of the ATM fees in lost conversion fees!
Example: ATM: $500USD times 46.75 = 23,375Php
(loss of $4.28 in ATM fees, rebated with right card)**
Xoom rate $500 send – received 22,772.5php
(loss of 602.5php or $12.89 USD)
plus the $5 send fee, total loss $17.89USD)
**full disclosure: Yes, most machines only give a maximum 20,000php (or $428USD) per pull, so the calculations would be slightly different if you base it on the machine limit. But for ease of presenting the comparison, I left it at a $500USD pull.
XOOM IS A BAD DEAL.