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Western Union international money transfers
A fast, secure way to send money to over 200 countries.
Western Union offers transfers made in person, online and by phone that can be deposited into your recipient’s bank account or be available for them to pick up in cash within minutes — but that convenience can cost you in fees.
Compare personal vs. business money transfers
You get a multitude of options with Western Union
Unlike many of the newer money transfer providers, Western Union does not operate solely online. That means your recipient can pick up the funds as cash in person. In addition, funds can be deposited into a bank account, sent to a mobile wallet or loaded onto a prepaid card. You also have many options for sending the money. Transfer money online, through Western Union’s mobile app, in person or over the phone. Western Union also offers bill payments and money order services.
- In-person transfers. Western Union has over 500,000 global locations, making it easy to send or receive money in person.
- Flexibility. Send or receive money almost any way you’d like.
- Exotic countries. Choose from over 200 countries in more than 130 currencies.
- Cash pickup. Your recipient can pick up the funds at an agent location in their country.
How much does Western Union cost?
Fees vary depending on many factors, including where you’re sending the money, the currency you’re sending, how you are funding the transaction and how the recipient will receive the money.
Calculate your fees and exchange rate
What types of transfers can I make?
Western Union deals largely in on-off transfers. But you have multiple options for getting your money where it needs to be. Choose from:
- Cash pickup. Cash transfers sent online, by phone or in person are available for pickup within minutes at any number of agent locations worldwide. Transfers from your bank account can take one to three days to arrive.
- Mobile wallet deposit. Funds sent online or from an agent location are deposited in minutes.
- Bank account deposit. Expect to wait one to three days for funds to arrive if you pay with a credit or debit card online, while transactions from your own bank account online or by cash at an agent location take two to five days.
- Prepaid card. Load money onto a prepaid card.
Available currencies and limits
The amount of money you can send in each Western Union international money transfer varies depending on the method you use. For example, you can send from $1 to $5,000 online, while the maximum mobile money transfer amount is $500. For transfers initiated by phone, you can send from $300 to $7,499, while there are typically no limits on the amount you can send from an agent location.
Keep in mind, however, that some countries will set limits on the amount of funds your recipient can access.
To send more than $3,000 online, sign up for the Western Union online foreign exchange service. This service allows you to send more than 140 currencies online that include:
- US dollars
- Great British pounds
- Japanese yen
- Canadian dollars
- Australian dollars
- Swiss francs
- Thai baht
How much money can I send with Western Union?
Your limits will vary based on your transaction history, the recipient’s country, your location (state), and the service you choose.
ONLINE: When sending online your limits are typically as follows. When sending using a smartphone, the same limits apply, although not all the same services are offered on mobile.
|Service||Limit per transfer|
|In Minutes, Three Day, and WU® Pay||$2,999|
|Mobile Money Transfer||$500|
|Bill Payments/Quick Collect||$2,500 per 7 days to a biller (certain states have a limit of $400 only)|
|Prepaid Services||Limits vary by card issuer|
|Online FX International Payments||$10,000 (can be raised)|
AT AGENT LOCATION: There’s usually no restriction on the amount of money you may send at an agent location. However, some countries set limits on how much can be received. If you have questions about a specific amount you’re sending or a specific country, you can call Customer Care to inquire.
ON THE PHONE: The money transfer limit ranges from $300 to $2,500.
How do I use Western Union?
The first step in the process is to sign up for a Western Union account online. This is free to do and only requires you to provide your name, contact details and information concerning your linked bank account, credit card or debit card.
If you’d prefer to place a transfer over the phone, Western Union operates a toll-free number that you can phone to send your funds. Just provide the details of your recipient, how much you’re sending, and your method of payment.
You can also send an international money transfer by visiting one of Western Union’s 70,000+ locations across North America. You can pay for these transactions with cash or a debit card, and you’ll also need to choose how you would like your recipient to collect the cash you send.
Western Union also provides multiple options when it comes to your recipient accessing the funds you send. The cash can be sent:
- Directly to their bank account. If you pay online with your debit or credit card expect the cash to arrive within 1-3 days. However, if you pay cash at an agent location or send the cash straight from your own bank account, transactions typically take between 2-5 days to process.
- For pickup at an agent location. Send your money online, over the phone or by visiting an agent location, and your funds will be available for collection within minutes. Funds sent from your bank account usually take 1-3 days.
- Directly to a mobile wallet. Funds transferred through a Western Union agent or online can be available in your recipient’s mobile wallet within minutes.
What is Western Union?
Founded in the mid-19th century as a telegram business, Western Union began offering electronic money transfers in 1871. Today, its global transfer network is huge, with more than 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories around the world. In addition, it operates 100,000 ATMs and kiosks around the world, and in 2015, Western Union managed more than $150 billion. That’s roughly 31 transfers every second.
Based in Englewood, Colorado, Western Union has more than 70,000 locations across North America. It deals in over 130 currencies in more than 200 countries, sending money online or through half a million agent locations, ATMs and kiosks around the world. Specializing in consumer money transfers, Western Union offers online, retail, mobile and ATM transfers. In addition, it also offers prepaid cards, consumer bill payments and cross-border business payments to its customers.
What do customers say about Western Union?
Online reviews for Western Union are a mixed. They get a C rating from the Better Business Bureau, with 2.15 out of 5 stars based on customer reviews. However, TrustPilot gives Western Union a “great” rating, with 4 out of 5 stars. Reviews on TrustPilot range from “great service” to “very easy and fast to use.”
How do I contact customer support?
For customer support, you can access Western Union’s help center, chat with a representative online, send an email, call 1-800-325-6000, or mail a letter to Western Union Financial Services, Inc., P.O. Box 6036. Englewood, CO 80155.
How does Western Union protect my money?
Western Union protects your international money transfer using digital safeguards and a long history of service.
- SSL technology. Western Union uses encryption technology to keep your bank and identifying information safe along every step of the transfer.
- Backup for recipients without ID. If your recipients are in an emergency situation without ID, you can establish a test question to ensure that your funds are not delayed.
- In business since 1851. Rest assured that Western Union has had many years to work out any kinks.
- Publicly traded company. It has a reputation to uphold and shareholders to keep happy.
- 24-hour customer support. It offers around-the-clock help online and by phone.
How do I report suspicious activity to Western Union?
If you receive an email or call from somebody claiming to be Western Union, do not click any links or provide any information. Western Union will never email you to confirm your ID, password or payment details. Instead, contact your local authorities or forward your email to email@example.com.
What other products does Western Union offer?
- Prepaid cards and money orders. These provide a range of options when you need access to funds in the US and around the world.
- Consumer bill payments. Stay on top of all your bills with Western Union’s handy bill paying service.
- Cross-border business payments. Western Union helps small and medium-size businesses manage their international transactions.
- WU GlobalPay for Students. This web-based app helps students make and receive payments by bank transfer or credit card in the student’s local currency.
- Military transfers. Send money to family members stationed overseas with Western Union.
- Domestic transfers. Your transfers aren’t limited to other countries. You can even send money to friends and family in the US, or add money to a commissary account for someone in prison.
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Frequently asked questions about Western Union
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