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Western Union vs MoneyGram
Get the best rate for your next transfer overseas by comparing MoneyGram and Western Union.
We found that MoneyGram tends to be slightly cheaper and offer on-average faster transfer speeds than Western Union, but your experience may vary depending on your specific transfer. Because there are so many variables you’ll want to compare Western Union and MoneyGram against one another to see which is best for you.
Compare Western Union versus Moneygram
How they work
The way you go about a transfer with Western Union is nearly indistinguishable from the same process with MoneyGram. So much, in fact, that we can describe them both in one shot: You go to their sites, enter how much you’re transferring and to where and see how much you’ll pay for the exchange.
With either service, you also have the option of visiting an office, calling or using a mobile app to initiate a transfer. And once complete, they convert and deliver your money to a bank account or for cash pickup at locations worldwide.
Who offers lower fees?
Western Union typically offers fee-free transfers when you pay via a bank transfer or debit/credit card, or approximately S$4 if you pay in store, regardless of the amount you’re transferring or recipient’s country.
In Singapore, transfer fees for MoneyGram starts from S$3 and may vary depending on how much money you’re transferring, how you’re sending it and the country you’re sending it to. MoneyGram has an online calculator on its website so that you can find out how much exactly your transfer will cost.
Due to the competitive money transfer market, both MoneyGram and Western Union have significantly lowered their fees in the recent years.
Who offers better exchange rates?
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 that goes straight into Western Union’s coffers.
We’ll use the example of a transfer to the United States (USD):
- If the mid-market rate is 1 SGD = 0.74 USD
- Western Union’s exchange rate may be 1 SGD = 0.69 EUR
MoneyGram also skews exchange rates for a profit. Depending on where you’re sending your money, the exchange rate could be 5% or more above the mid-market rate. Like Western Union, this means hundreds of dollars on a large transfer diverted to MoneyGram’s pockets.
So if you’re sending money to the US:
- If the mid-market rate is 1 SGD = 0.74 USD
- MoneyGram’s exchange rate is 1 SGD = 0.70 EUR
Sending $1,000 to United States with MoneyGram could result in about $10 more to your recipient over Western Union.
Delivery speeds varies with transfer options. At an agent location, your transfer could be delivered in minutes (at higher costs). For transfers via bank accounts or debit/credit cards, it could take up to 3 business days or longer, depending on the country.
Unlike Western Union, delivery speed with MoneyGram varies by receive methods, with cash pickups delivered in minutes and bank transfers within a couple of hours
There’s no question that these services are similar. But MoneyGram’s competitive exchange rates could deliver your cash to loved ones and businesses abroad up to three days faster, depending on the country.
Who offers more options?
|Payment Methods||Minimum and maximum transfers||Delivery methods||Transfer speeds||Countries and currencies|
|Western Union||Bank account, credit or debit card, cash||Minimum and maximum varies by country||Bank transfer, cash pickup||Varies from minutes to 3+ days||200+ countries|
|MoneyGram||Bank account, credit or debit card, cash||Minimum and maximum varies by country||Bank transfer, cash pickup, other options by location||Varies from minutes to hours||190+ countries and 45+ currencies|
While Western Union and MoneyGram can appear similar, you may get a stronger exchange rate with MoneyGram — which is especially important for larger transfers.
Then, if it’s more important that your friends or family be able to pick up your money in cash, Western Union’s 500,000 agent locations worldwide beats MoneyGram’s 350,000.
These two services aside, you could almost always do better with another money transfer specialist. Be sure to compare your options to find a provider that’s perfect for your situation.
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