In Send Money Online With a Credit Card, Part 1, I covered three major money-transfer services: Western Union, MoneyGram and Paypal.
In Part 2 I will discuss some lesser known money transfer services.
4. Xoom.com by Credit Card
Based in San Francisco, Xoom.com does not have their own dedicated stores, rather they partner with various financial institutions who act as their agents (this is common of course; Western Union and MoneyGram do it too). For example in Panama, Xoom partners with Citi and the Super99 grocery store chain, among others. They have 42 pickup locations in Panama, which is pretty good.
Xoom seems to specialize in money transfers to Latin America and Europe, though they do have a scattering of agents in Asia and other places. As of this writing they have agents in 30 countries. That may be a far cry from Western Union’s 200+ countries, but Xoom still provides a good service.
The fees are reasonable and you can pay with a U.S.- based credit card or debit card, or with a U.S. bank account. To take the example I used previously of sending $500 to Panama, if you paid by U.S. bank account the fee would be $7.99. If you paid with a credit card or debit card it would be $19.99. They accept Visa, MasterCard or Discover.
I have used Xoom‘s services in the past and found them to be reliable.
If you haven’t read Part 1, here’s my standard warning about funding a money transfer with your credit card:
Be aware that in addition to the normal fees that the money transfer company charges, your credit card company may impose an extra fee. They might see a money transfer transaction as a cash advance, and charge you the cash advance APR (interest rate), which can be considerably higher than your card’s default APR. It’s best to check with your bank first and find out if there are any extra charges for funding a money transfer with your credit card.
5. iKobo.com by Credit Card
I used to use iKobo.com all the time to send money to a web development contractor overseas. Their fee to send $500 to Panama is $21.25 (I use Panama as my example because I used to live there); if you fund the transaction from your bank account you can send up to $1,000 anywhere for only $8, which is a great deal.
However, when I visited the website just now I saw the following notice on their home page:
Important Notice: iKobo money transfer is temporarily suspended while we update our services. Money transfer services will soon be restored.
I don’t know what’s going on with them.
Next: MoneyBookers and Amazon Payments.