WISE and XOOM: Best Ways to Send Money to the Philippines, based on my experience

Based on my experiences, WISE and XOOM (US dollar to dollar) are the two best ways to send money to the Philippines from other countries. I can say this with certainty because I’ve been constantly checking over the years the best ways to receive my salary from my US-based employer and money from overseas relatives.

couple use wise and xoom to send money to the Philippines


  • WISE gives the highest US dollar-to-peso exchange rate. Check for yourself. Receive money via WISE, then compare with the rates offered by banks and money changers.
  • If you’re the Sender, WISE shows you the exact amount of pesos the Philippine recipient will get before you press SEND.
  • WISE charges competitive remittance fees. The Sender sees the amount of the fees before sending. WISE claims it’s 5 times cheaper than banks. Again, check for yourself. See bottom chart for WISE fees.
  • WISE now sends money almost real time, unlike in the earlier days of WISE operations.
  • WISE sends only to your recipient’s bank account. Your money is safe. The money is ready for your transfer to other banks and money apps or for payments.
  • WISE is reliable. It’s licensed in the UK where it operates its headquarters and is registered and regulated in Australia, Belgium, European Economic Area, Brazil, Canada, HongKong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, United Kingdom and the United States. It has been remitting money since 2011.
  • WISE has become a $5 billion money-transfer fintech
  • More than 16 million people are using Wise.
  • Notice: WISE will require additional verification if you’re sending large amounts of money for the first time. This is to comply with Anti-Money Laundering regulations.

WISE is launching its Wise Account and Card in the Philippines! This May 2024.
You can now send money abroad from the Philippines.
What’s more? You can now get paid in over 9 currencies. See more info here: WISE Account

Why XOOM (US Dollar to US Dollar Option)?

  • Use the XOOM (US Dollar Account to US Dollar option). Can be cash pickup of US Dollars, or Deposit of US Dollars to a US Dollar Account. The amount of US dollars you send is the same amount of US dollars your receiver will get. Do not use the US dollar-to-peso option; the exchange rate is not favorable.
  • XOOM sends real time. Your remittance is immediately posted onto your receiver’s bank account a few minutes after you press Send.
  • If the Sender sends US dollars, the Receiver can get the money in US dollars over the counter. If the Receiver has a US dollar account, he or she can withdraw the money in US dollars.
  • XOOM was founded in 2001 in California, and has been owned by Paypal since 2015.
  • Notice: XOOM will also require additional verification if you’re sending large amounts for the first time.

Best US Dollar Account to Receive XOOM Remittance

It’s BDO Kabayan US Dollar Savings Account. You only need an initial deposit of at least US$10 and latest receipts of remittance from countries sending US dollars. Of course, your valid IDs. Some BDO branches might ask for proof of address, like Meralco, water or phone bill.

Best Bank to Exchange US Dollars

Eastwest Bank gives the best US dollar-to-peso exchange rate among banks, based on my monitoring. Even higher than popular money changers like Czarina or Sanry’s. Please comment if there’s another bank that gives a higher exchange rate.

Disclosure: I’m an affiliate of WISE. Pero kahit affiliate ako ng WISE, hindi ko sinasabing highest ang exchange rate ng WISE dahil affiliate ako, totoo talaga na WISE gives the highest US dollar to peso exchange rate, compared sa lahat ng money changers or banks. Makikita mo rin kapag magpadala ka na ng US dollars.

3rd Best Way: US Dollar Check

This is one of the cheapest ways, if not the cheapest way, to send US dollars to the Philippines. However, this takes time. And this is usually done by people in close relationships.

As the receiver in the Philippines, you deposit a US dollar check (issued by Sender’s bank in the US) into your US dollar account. Then you wait for check clearing in the US, for about 3 weeks to a month. So this process needs advance planning.

How you get the US check depends on your planning. Your Sender, while vacationing in the Philippines, can give you a bunch of signed blank checks that you can deposit one at a time upon the Sender’s instructions.

WISE and XOOM Fees in US Dollars (on April 23, 2024)

Dollar to PesoDollar to Dollar
Source: US Dollar Bank AccountSource: US Dollar Bank Account
$ 1,000$ 8.43$ 7.99
$ 2,000$ 15.70$ 14.99
$ 2,500$ 19.33$ 15.99
$ 2,999$ 22.94$ 15.99
$ 3,000$ 22.94$ 60.99
$ 4,000$ 30.21$ 80.99
$ 5,000$ 37.48$ 100.99
For Wise: Fee for Philippine partner bank is already included in the total fees. For Xoom, no fee if receiving bank account is a BDO Kabayan US Dollar Account.

For Wells Fargo Account Owners, ExpressSend Might Work Best for You

If you have a Wells Fargo account, and you have time to visit your branch, the Wells Fargo ExpressSend remittance service might also be a good option to send money to the Philippines. The remittance fee is only $4 for any remittance amount from $25 to $3,000.

And their US dollar to peso exchange rate is not bad. For smaller remittances, ExpressSend could be okay for you, as you already have a Wells Fargo account. On April 23, 2024, their exchange rate was 56.92, the same day BDO’s exchange rate was 57.15 and WISE’s exchange rate was 57.39.

You can send dollars to your receiver’s peso account in BDO, BPI, Metrobank and BPI, up to $3,000 a day, with a total monthly limit of $12,500. You can send up to $1,000 a day for cash pickup at MLhuillier and Cebuana Lhuillier.

By the way, you can not use your mobile phone for this ExpressSend transaction. Use your Wells Fargo online banking via your laptop or desktop computer.

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