Need a cheaper alternative for sending cash transfers?
Western Union has tons of locations and a convenient cash pickup option, but high fees and unfavorable exchange rates mean you may be better off using a different money transfer company.
Why is Western Union so popular?
Around for more than 160 years, Western Union is one of the oldest and most recognizable names in money transfers. Available in 200 countries and territories across the globe and with more than 500,000 agent locations worldwide, money pickups are easy and accessible.
- Low minimum transfer of $1
- Send money in minutes
- Transfer to a wide range of countries
- Cash pickup
- Can be more expensive than other transfer companies
- High fees can eat into your money transfer, leaving your recipient with less
The second-largest international money transfer service in the world, MoneyGram is a big contender for money transfer. Its services transfer and exchange currencies in over 200 countries and territories around the world to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide. If you’re not confident about transferring money online, an employee can walk you through the process at of the 40,000 locations here in the States.
- Extensive global network of 350,000 agent locations
- Large pool of services available for sending, receiving or financing
- Secure and reliable
- Fast transfers, with same-day service in many locations
- Maximum online transfer amount of $6,000
- Fees vary depending on payment type and transfer destination
- Transfers must be made in US dollars from the US (no exchanges before transfer)
- Local exchange rates vary by transfer destination
WorldRemit provides a variety of transfer options in more than 120 countries worldwide, including online, bank-to-bank and cash transfers. Fees vary by country you’re sending funds to and the global exchange rate at the time of your transfer. WorldRemit is ideal for small businesses, offering transfers from $1 to $2,000.
- Flexible payment options
- Easy three-step transfer process
- Transfers to mobile wallet accounts
- Cash pickup available
- Mobile airtime account transfers
- The higher your transfer, the greater the transfer fees
XE Money Transfer is a service designed to help you transfer your funds to a bank in a foreign currency. If you’re working far from home, XE is ideal for getting cash to your family or making investments overseas. Given how easy it is to transfer your money to foreign companies in their currency, it’s especially ideal for business accounts.
- One of the most trusted money transfer names
- Competitive exchange rates save you money in the long run
- Quick turnaround means transfer is complete in 3 to 5 days
- Rate comparison tool not available until after you’ve registered with the site
TransferWise is a money transfer site designed to help you save money on exchanges through a peer-to-peer system. Its unique system allows you to exchange your funds with those of another seeking to convert their money to your currency. It’s basically trading money with another person, but it doesn’t cross borders.
- Maximum 1% fee
- $3 minimum fee
- Minimum transfer of $1
- Maximum transfer of $36,000,000
- Apps for both iOS and Android
- Uses mid-market exchange rate with no hidden fees
- Transfers to bank accounts. No cash pickup option.
Around since 1976, Travelex is an international money transfer service in 177 countries worldwide. Through its simple online process, you can transfer money to someone on the other side of the world within a couple of days. Its minimum transfer amount for overseas is $500, and it keeps you up to date on exchange rates, so you can know exactly how much money your recipients will receive in their accounts.
- Flat fee of $5 for any transaction under $5,000
- No fee for transfers of $5,000 or more
- Exchange to more than 45 different currencies
- Home delivery available
- Exchange rates not always the most competitive
- No cash payments or cash pickups allowed
Known for its retailing business, Walmart offers money transfer services to over 190 countries thanks to a partnership with MoneyGram. Funds can be picked up at any Walmart in the US or Puerto Rico or sent to any one of MoneyGram’s 336,000 agents around the world.
- Widespread network of agents gets your money where it needs to go
- Transfer to more than 190 countries
- Efficient transfers in as little as 10 minutes
- Cash pickups only
Sharemoney is a part of the Omnex group, a company that’s specialized in money transfers for over 25 years. Its constantly expanding service range and offer door-to-door and cash pickup options on top of the usual transfer techniques.
- Low transfer fees
- Exchange rate calculator helps you see just how much money you’ll get for your dollar
- Fast and easy service
- Door-to-door delivery in as short as 48 hours
- Discounts available on Facebook
- Doesn’t transfer to every country
- Exact location must be specified for cash pickup
- Daily transfer limits of $9,999
In business for more than 30 years, RIA is a global monetary transfer network with more than 240,000 agent locations in 130 countries. It is the third-largest international money transfer provider in the world. Offering a wide variety of payment options and transfer services, RIA knows how to keep its customers happy with a simple transfer process.
- Wide variety of transfer options
- Good rates and minimal fees
- Online price calculator simplifies money conversion
- Expert advice
- Maximum daily transfer cap of $2,999.99
TorFX is a strict money exchange and transfer company that focuses on getting your funds where they need to go quickly. Unlike other services, it requires that funds to be cleared by individuals who hold TorFX accounts. The money must be sent in advance before the transaction can be performed. TorFX cares about its customers, with clarity and friendly service two of its highest priorities.
- Competitive exchange rates
- Free market news
- Fixed exchange rate protection
- Can save you 5% on bank exchange rates
- No bank charges or commissions
- Consult with currency experts
- Potential risks of exchange include market volatility
- Can only send from Australia
- Users report technical and administrative problems that delay transfers
Currencies Direct is an international money transfer service dedicated to helping its customers save more when transferring money internationally. With 39 currencies to choose from (and others that can be discussed with the company itself), it is more flexible than other money transfer services. So long as there’s a bank account available, Currencies Direct will transfer and exchange your funds at a low flat rate.
- No fees for 90% of its transactions
- Worldwide service
- Competitive exchange rates
- Low minimum transfer of $100
- Supports large transactions at a seemingly unlimited max
- Monitors exchange rates for your ideal transfer
- No cash pickup option
- Does not support all currencies (though you can contact them if yours isn’t listed)
Xoom is a leading provider in the digital money transfer market, offering transfers to 38 countries around the world. Using online money transfers, it streamlines the process without taking chunks out of your funds for commissions.
- Specializes in international money transfers
- More than 14 years of experience
- Money-back guarantee if your transfer doesn’t work out
- Small international network compared with competition
12. Currency Online
Founded in 1986, Currency Online was one of the first to offer online money transfer services. It continues to offer low competitive rates by cutting the usual banking fees out of the picture.
- Exchanges more than 25 different currencies
- Multiple services like spot contracts and market orders
- Quick turnaround in 1 to 4 days
- 24-hour customer service
- No minimum transfer
- No cash pickup
- Not available in the US, Quebec (Canada) or Japan
- Threshold fee charged for some amounts
You likely know PalPal’s digital service for online purchases, but you may not know that it supports wireless overseas transfers. Its popularity around the world makes it possible to transfer up to 20 currencies across more than 200 countries. While PayPal is like a digital banking service, its rates are competitive compared with most banks and financial institutions, making it a good choice to avoid headaches.
- Minimum rate of $0.02
- Available in 203 countries
- Offers recurring payments
- Excellent for smaller transfers
- Multiple digital safeguards in place to protect against fraud and hacking
- Fees are proportionate to the amount transferred. The larger the transfer, the more money they take.
- Fees vary by location of transfer and method, with better deals for using a PayPal credit card or account