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Western Union vs. MoneyGram

Get the best rate for your next transfer overseas by comparing MoneyGram with Western Union.

Western Union leans slightly cheaper and averages faster transfer speeds than MoneyGram — 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

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
SGD 1 Within an hour SGD 65.00 0.736 USD
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide. Show details
SGD 1 Same day SGD 5.00 0.737 USD
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world. Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

How they work

The process to transfer money over Western Union is nearly the same with MoneyGram. So much so, we can describe them both in one shot: You go to their sites, enter the amount you’re transferring, its destination and see how much you’ll pay for the exchange.

Both services also give the option to call, visit an office or use a mobile app to transfer money. After the transaction is complete, it converts and delivers your money to a bank account or makes it available for cash pickup at any location worldwide.

Who offers lower fees?

Western Union

In Singapore, Western Union charges a nominal fee from S$0 to S$5 depending on where and how you’re sending the money. In most cases, bank transfer, credit or debit card is free. But if you’re opting to pay in cash at an agent location, you’ll typically incur a S$5 fee.


Fees vary depending on how much money you’re transferring, how you’re sending it and the country you’re sending it to. To get an idea of how much your transfer costs, you can use the online calculator on MoneyGram’s website. For most transfers, it’ll only cost S$3 if you pay by debit card and approximately 3% with a credit card.

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Winner: Western Union

Whether MoneyGram or Western Union offers lower fees may depend on where you’re sending the money, how you choose to pay and how your recipient chooses to receive the cash.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 to Mexico

Let’s say you want to send $1,000 to Mexico, but you’re not sure which of these major companies is the right choice. Here are the fees and exchange rates offered by MoneyGram and Western Union when sending money for cash pickup and paying by bank transfer.

Western UnionMoneyGram
Transfer fee$0$3
Exchange rate1 SGD = 13.876 MXN1 SGD = 13.964 MXN
Transfer speedWithin minutes1 business day
Total received13,876 MXN 13,922 MXN

Based on rates when we checked, your recipient would receive about 46 pesos more if you sent your transfer through Western Union.

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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.

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.

Western Union

Depending on the country you’re sending money to, a typical exchange rate at Western Union could be between 0.4% to 1% above the mid-market rate. With all things considered, Western Union is certainly a reasonably-priced service.

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

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 SGD = 0.62 EUR
  • Western Union’s exchange rate might be 1 SGD = 0.6138 EUR


MoneyGram also skews exchange rates for a profit. Depending on where you’re sending your money, the exchange rate could be around 0.5% to 1% 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 Europe:

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 SGD = 0.62 EUR
  • MoneyGram’s exchange rate may be 1 SGD = 0.6169 EUR

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Winner: MoneyGram

Sending $10,000 to Europe with MoneyGram could result in about 31 more euros to your recipient over Western Union.

Who’s faster?

Western Union

Delivery speeds vary 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.


Like Western Union, delivery speed with MoneyGram also varies by transfer option, with cash transfers in person or by phone delivered in minutes, again with higher costs. MoneyGram’s cheaper options take two to four business days for receipt.

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Winner: It depends

These services are similar enough that the time it takes to deliver your cash will depend on the country, your payment method and how your recipient chooses to receive the transfer.

Who offers more options?

Payment MethodsMinimum and maximum transfersDelivery methodsTransfer speedsCountries and currencies
Western UnionBank account, credit or debit card, cashMinimum and maximum varies by countryBank transfer, cash pickup, e-walletVaries from minutes to 5+ days200+ countries
MoneyGramBank account, credit or debit card, cashMinimum and maximum varies by countryBank transfer, cash pickup, other options by locationVaries from minutes to 4+ days190+ countries and 45+ currencies

Bottom line

While Western Union and MoneyGram can appear similar, you may get a stronger exchange rate with MoneyGram — which is especially important for larger transfers. But if your recipient needs to pick up your transfer as 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 procvider that’s perfect for your situation.

Looking for more 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.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
SGD 0 Same day SGD 4.99 0.754 USD
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details
1 day SGD 0.00 0.76 USD
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Go to site Show details
SGD 250 1 day SGD 0.00 0.76 USD
Send guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send has fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.
Go to site Show details
SGD 1 1 - 2 days SGD 45.00 0.763 USD
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details
SGD 5 1 - 2 days SGD 3.00 0.759 USD
Special offer: New customers get unlimited fee-free transfers for their first 3 months. T&Cs apply.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
SGD 1 1 day SGD 43.00 0.763 USD
Pay no fees on your first two transfers, up to S$3000.
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
Go to site Show details
SGD 200 Within an hour SGD 50.00 0.757 USD
InstaReM offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers. Go to site Show details

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