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Alternatives to Western Union
Is Western Union’s extensive network worth the extra fees and less competitive exchange rates?
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Western Union is a global brand with physical locations and cash pickup hubs in more than 200 countries, but its high fees and weak exchange rates may be driving you to seek out alternative options. Finding better exchange rates may be what brought you here, but these competitors have even more to offer than that.
We’ve listed out some of the more popular alternatives and highlighted what features they have that Western Union doesn’t.
WorldRemit supports a large number of countries, currencies, payment and transfer options.
Why pick WorldRemit instead?
- Flexible payment options
- Quick transfer options
- Transfer to mobile wallet accounts
- Small daily maximum transfer amount of $9,000
- Mobile airtime, cash pickups and door-to-door transfer not available in every country
- XE Money Transfer
XE offers individual transfers in addition to its business account services, so you can use it for more than just sending money to friends and family abroad.
Why pick XE Money Transfer instead?
- No transfer fees
- Max transfer is $500,000 per transaction
- Support for over 55 currencies
- Bank-to-bank transfers only (no cash pickup)
- No credit card payments allowed for international transfers
TransferWise uses a peer-to-peer exchange system that allows you to exchange your funds with others seeking to convert their money to your currency.
Why pick TransferWise instead?
- Straightforward fees
- Offers mid-market exchange rates
- Maximum transfer of $1,000,000
- High fees can offset the benefits of mid-market exchange rates
- Only allows transfer to bank accounts
- Requires a Social Security number (SSN) in the US to send money
CurrencyTransfer services fewer countries than Western Union, but its best-price guarantee and zero fees make it a serious competitor.
Why pick CurrencyTransfer instead?
- Stronger exchange rates
- No money transfer fees, no matter how much or little you are sending
- Can send to more than one beneficiary using a single, guaranteed rate
- Limited global reach
- Limited sending and receiving options, typically restricted to bank-to-bank transfers
- Transfers only go through Monday to Friday
- May require proof of ID when signing up
Ria has agent locations worldwide and is a strong option for cash delivery, flexible payment options and emergency cash transfers.
Why pick Ria instead?
- Mid-market rate margin is typically far lower than that offered by Western Union
- Bank-to-bank transfers are, on average, faster with Ria than Western Union
- Support available through chat, phone, email or a comprehensive FAQ section
- Global reach isn’t quite as large as Western Union
- Sending limits can be restrictive due to daily and monthly limits
- In-person transfers may cost more than online transfers
Like Western Union, MoneyGram has a large global reach and may offer cheaper fees depending on your sending destination.
Why pick MoneyGram instead?
- Pairs with Walmart for same-day in-store transfer service
- Over 40,000 locations in the US
- Fees can be reduced depending on payment type and transfer destination
- Maximum online transfer amount of $10,000, although it can be lower for other currencies
- Local exchange rates vary by transfer destination
InstaReM is one of very few money transfer services to offer the mid-market currency exchange rate for some of its transfers during certain trading hours. It also offers a straightforward fee schedule to make calculating costs a breeze.
Why pick InstaReM instead?
- Transparent fees
- Same-day transfers for most supported currencies
- Loyalty points system that can be redeemed against transactions
- Transfers must be sent to a bank account
- Must pay via bank transfer
- Fewer supported currencies than many competitors
Xoom is a PayPal service and is one of the few money transfer services in the industry to back its transfer times with a money-back guarantee. This is useful when you need the money to get there by a certain time or not at all.
Why pick Xoom instead?
- Money-back guarantee if your transfer doesn’t arrive on time
- Cash pickup in many countries
- Home delivery in many countries
- Requires a government-issued ID
- Limited network compared to larger competitors
- No live chat customer service option
With over 25 years of money transfer experience through the Omnex group, Sharemoney offers transparent fees and exchange rates to make comparing options easy.
Why pick Sharemoney instead?
- Hourly updates on transparent exchange rates
- Home delivery option
- $1 minimum for overseas transfers
- Limited global reach
- Low daily and monthly transfer limits
- Exact pickup location needed when sending a transfer
OFX typically beats out Western Union with its fee-less transfers. You can also send a lot more money in one transaction with OFX.
Why pick OFX instead?
- Zero transfer fees
- No maximum transfer limit
- Exchange rates typically get better with larger transactions
- Must verify your identity for new accounts by phone
- Can only send and receive from bank accounts
- High minimum transfer amount of $1,000
- Doesn’t use the mid-market rate
Still looking for other options?
If you’re looking for something that isn’t specifically listed here like recurring transfers or limit orders, use the table below to explore other options by entering the amount and destination of your transfer. Alternatively, learn more about Western Union in our review.
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