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Western Union vs. Walmart2Walmart

Walmart now offers a fast, low-fee way to send money domestically that may beat Western Union's prices.

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Western Union

Western Union logo
  • Track your money transfer in real time
  • Send money online, through our app, or at an agent location
  • Fast money transfers to 200+ countries and territories
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Walmart2Walmart is a service powered by Ria that lets you transfer money within the US, Mexico and Puerto Rico almost instantly — but you’ll have to pick up the cash in a Walmart store and you can’t send an international transfer.

How they work?

While Western Union allows for online transfers to anywhere in the world, Walmart2Walmart is mostly a domestic service that transfers money from store to store only.

Western Union

To transfer money online with Western Union, you visit its site and enter how much you’re transferring and to which country. You’re able to see the exchange rate and select a transfer options and associated fees.

Once you confirm, Western Union converts and delivers your money to a bank account or makes it available for cash pickup at locations worldwide. You also have the option of initiating a transfer by phone or in person at an agent location.

Read review: Western Union

Walmart

Walmart has been in the international money transfer business since 1999 through a partnership with MoneyGram. But Walmart2Walmart is an entirely separate service with the backing of Ria money transfers service. With Walmart2Walmart, you send money from one Walmart location to another and Bodega Aurrera stores.

That’s right: You walk into your local Walmart, specify the amount you’d like to send and to which US state, and hand over your cash or debit card for payment. Within minutes, it’s available for pickup at any Walmart store within the state you’ve specified. You can also use Walmart’s app to pay your bills to over 3,000 merchants or to send money internationally through its Walmart2World service.

Read review: Walmart

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Who offers lower fees?

Western Union

How much you’ll pay varies by how much you’re transferring, how you’re sending it and the country you’re sending it to. Fees start at $5 but can soar to up to $45 or higher when paying by credit or debit card for cash pickup in specific countries. To send $100 from bank account to bank account in the US carries a fee of $14.

Walmart2Walmart

Walmart2Walmart offers a fee structure with two transparent pricing tiers:

  • $4 for transfers up to $50
  • $8 for transfers of $51 to $1,000
  • $16 for transfers of $1001 to $2,500

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Winner: Varies

Ultimately, who’s best depends on your circumstances. Given its clear pricing structure, you’ll definitely save with Walmart2Walmart. But you’re limited to in-person store-to-store transfers of $2,500 or less. With Western Union, you’ll pay more — though how much more depends on many factors, but you can send money online and worldwide.

Who offers better exchange rates?

To understand who offers better exchange rates, you’ll need to first look at the mid-market rate. This is the true exchange rate that averages the buying and selling rate of a global currency — and the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves. We’ll look at the rates Western Union offer compared to the mid-market rate.

Western Union

Depending on the country you’re sending money to, a typical exchange rate at Western Union could be up to 6% above the mid-market rate. If you’re sending a large amount overseas, this means hundreds of dollars goes straight into Western Union’s pocket.

Let’s use the example of a transfer to euros (EUR):

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 0.95 EUR
  • Western Union’s exchange rate might be 1 USD = 0.88 EUR

Walmart2Walmart

With Walmart2Walmart, there are no worries about exchange rates — because you can only send domestically.

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Winner: Western Union

Walmart2Walmart does not send money abroad, so Western Union is your only option for money transfers into foreign currencies.

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Who’s faster?

Western Union

Delivery speed varies with transfer options. At an agent location or by phone, your transfer could be delivered in minutes (at higher costs). Your cheapest options could take five days or longer, depending on the country.

Walmart2Walmart

No matter how you pay, your transfer is delivered from your Walmart to any Walmart in your recipient’s state in minutes.

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Winner: Walmart2Walmart

While both Western Union and Walmart2Walmart offer instant delivery for certain situations, Walmart2Walmart will get your money where it needs to go faster than Western Union every time.

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Who offers more options?

Payment MethodsMinimum and maximum transfersDelivery methodsTransfer speedsCountries and currencies
Western UnionBank account, credit or debit card, cash$1 minimum. Maximum varies by method and paymentBank transfer, cash pickup, e-walletVaries from minutes to 5+ days200+ countries
Walmart2WalmartCash or debit card$1 minimum; $2,500 maximumWalmart and Bodega Aurrera store pickupIn minutes3 countries

Compare other transfer services

Our table lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Compare services on transfer speeds and fees, then click Go to site when you're ready to send.
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Airwallex
Airwallex
Within minutes
$0
After spending $15k in your first 90 days, receive a one-time $500 bonus that will automatically be credited to your account on any FX conversion.
Airwallex can help you make business payments to 150+ countries in 60+ currencies.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.41%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Cash App
Within minutes
From $0
With this peer-to-peer payment app make payments to your friends and family with no transfer fees within the US or from the US to the UK or EU.
Instarem
24 hours
From 0%
New Instarem customers will get a special FX rate and zero-fees on their first transfer.
Instarem offers offers rewards on every transaction.
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $0
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
Western Union
Within minutes
From $0
Enjoy $0 fee on your first online transfer. Western Union makes money from currency exchange. Not valid on credit cards or sends to Cuba.
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries and territories around the world.
OFX International Money Transfers (Business)
24 hours
$0
Business customers: Send safe, no-limit transfers with no fees and competitive exchange rates.
CurrencyTransfer for Business
24 hours
$0
Increase business efficiency with zero transaction fees and same-day transfers.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Xe Money Transfer for Business
24 hours
$0
Save your time and money with Xe Money Transfer for business.
Currencies Direct (business)
24 hours
$0
Minimizes costs of international transactions and offers custom solutions for business clients. Currencies Direct may call you to confirm your transfer, so be prepared for a phone call shortly after initiating a transfer.
Xe
Within minutes
$3
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
$0
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
Currencies Direct
24 hours
$0
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates. Currencies Direct may call you to confirm your transfer, so be prepared for a phone call shortly after initiating a transfer.
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Code exclusive

WorldRemit: First Transfer FREE

You first transfer is free with WorldRemit when you use this coupon code. Send or pick up cash in the US or around the world.

Bottom line

Walmart2Walmart can save you time and money with transfers in minutes, but you’re limited to sending to Walmart and Bodega Aurrera store locations in the United States, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Western Union will send your money to any of its more than 500,000 agent locations globally.

Ultimately, you’ll want to compare your options to find a service that’s right for your situation.