Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own. Advertiser disclosure

Western Union vs. WorldRemit

We compare a tried-and-true company with a newer digital provider to help you learn who’s best for your next transfer overseas.

Promoted

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
Go to site

With both Western Union and WorldRemit offering cash transfers to many global destinations, picking between these two can be tricky. We’ve compared them on fees, exchange rates and transfer speeds to help make your decision a bit easier.

Western Union and WorldRemit: How they work

Western Union and WorldRemit both offer ways to transfer your money online.

Western Union

To use Western Union, go to its site, enter how much you’re transferring and to where, and see how much you’ll pay for the exchange. You also have the option of visiting an office, calling or using a mobile app to initiate a transfer. Once complete, Western Union converts and delivers your money to a bank account or makes it available for cash pickup at locations worldwide.

Read review: Western Union

WorldRemit

With WorldRemit, you go to its site, enter how much money you’ll be transferring and then send your funds to WorldRemit. When creating your transfer, you provide a mobile number for both yourself and your recipient, as well as a copy of your personal ID. Once approved, WorldRemit converts your currency and sends it to your recipient, who collects it via bank transfer, cash pickup or Mobile Money.

Read review: WorldRemit

Back to top

Which offers lower fees?

Western Union

Fees vary depending on how much you’re transferring, how you’re sending it and where you’re sending it to. Fees start at $5 but can soar to up to $45 when paying by credit or debit card for cash pickup in certain countries. When sending money to high-traffic countries such as Mexico or India, some agents offer fee-free transfer options.

WorldRemit

Transfer fees for WorldRemit can vary slightly depending on where you’re sending your money, but the fee for most countries is $3.99. The method you use to send money will depend on the country to which you’re sending.

Trophy icon
Winner: WorldRemit

Although you’re limited somewhat on how you can send and receive money using WorldRemit, it has a clear leg up on Western Union when it comes to transfer fees.

Back to top

Which 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 that Western Union and WorldRemit 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 straight into Western Union’s pocket.

We’ll use the example of a transfer to euros (EUR):

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 0.96 EUR
  • Western Union’s exchange rate might be 1 USD = 0.88 EUR

WorldRemit

WorldRemit takes a smaller margin than Western Union — sometimes less than 1% above the mid-market rate.

Using the same example of a transfer to euros (EUR):

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 0.96 EUR
  • WorldRemit’s exchange rate might be 1 USD = 0.92 EUR

Trophy icon
Winner: WorldRemit

Competitive exchange rates make WorldRemit the clear winner. Send $500 to France with WorldRemit instead of Western Union would give your recipient nearly 20 more euros to play with.

Back to top

Which is faster?

Western Union

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

WorldRemit

Sending money via bank transfer typically takes one to three business days to most banks, although a few banks offer instant transfers. Cash is available immediately through Mobile Money or airtime top-up.

Trophy icon
Winner: WorldRemit

While transfer speeds can vary for both Western Union and WorldRemit depending on transfer method and your recipient’s country, WorldRemit edges out Western Union in bank-to-bank transfer speeds and costs.

Back to top

Which offers more options?

Payment MethodsMinimum and maximum transfersDelivery methodsTransfer speedsCountries and currencies
Western UnionBank account, credit or debit card, cash$0.01 minimum; maximum varies by method and paymentBank transfer, cash pickup, e-walletVaries from minutes to 5+ days200+ countries
WorldRemitBank account, credit or debit card, Apple Pay$1 minimum; maximum varies by country and method of paymentBank transfer, cash pickup, Mobile Money, airtime top-upVaries from minutes to 3 days130+ countries
Back to top

Bottom line

Western Union offers more flexibility in terms of transfer methods and currencies, but WorldRemit comes out on top when comparing nearly every other aspect of your money transfer. If low fees, competitive exchange rates and quick transfers are your top priorities, WorldRemit is the clear choice.

Of course, it can help to compare your options to find the service that best fits your individual needs.

Still looking for other options?

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.
loading