Western Union: A review of the international money transfer service

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Send a quick and secure money transfer to more than 200 countries and territories with Western Union.

Western Union is the world’s largest provider of international cash transfers. With more than 500,000 transfer branches around the globe, it allows you to send funds to more than 200 countries and territories. This allows you to quickly and safely send money to friends and family overseas, with the cash you send usually ready to be accessed within minutes.

GBP 1

Min. Transfer Amount

GBP 5,000

Max. Transfer Amount

Same day

Transfer Speed

Details

Product NameWestern Union International Money Transfers
Min. Transfer AmountGBP 1
Max. Transfer AmountGBP 5,000
Transfer MethodsOnline, Phone, Agent
Transfer Speed
Minimum transfer time
Same day
Customer ServicePhone, Email, Branch
Available CurrenciesAED, AFN, ALL, AMD, ANG, AOA, ARS, AUD, AWG, AZN, BBD, BDT, BGN, BHD, BIF, BMD, BND, BOB, BRL, BSD, BTN, BWP, BZD, CAD, CDF, CHF, CLP, CNY, COP, CRC, CUC, CVE, CZK, DJF, DKK, DOP, DZD, EGP, ERN, ETB, EUR, FJD, FKP, GBP, GEL, GHS, GIP, GMD, GNF, GTQ, GYD, HKD, HNL, HRK, HTG, HUF, IDR, ILS, INR, IQD, IRR, ISK, JMD, JOD, JPY, KES, KGS, KHR, KMF, KRW, KWD, KYD, KZT, LAK, LBP, LKR, LRD, LSL, LTL, LVL, LYD, MAD, MDL, MGA, MKD, MMK, MNT, MOP, MRO, MUR, MVR, MWK, MXN, MYR, MZN, NAD, NGN, NIO, NOK, NPR, NZD, OMR, PEN, PGK, PHP, PKR, PLN, PYG, QAR, RON, RSD, RUB, RWF, SAR, SBD, SCR, SDG, SEK, SGD, SHP, SLL, SOS, SRD, STD, SVC, SYP, SZL, THB, TMT, TND, TOP, TRY, TTD, TWD, TZS, UAH, UGX, USD, UYU, UZS, VEF, VND, VUV, WST, XAF, XCD, XOF, XPF, YER, ZAR, ZMW
Online Transfer Fee9.9%
Exchange Rate UpdatesReal time

 
 
 
 
 
 

Western Union exchange rates

As exchange rates for different currency pairs fluctuate, so too do the rates Western Union offers to its customers. A quick comparison reveals that Western Union’s rates regularly compare quite favourably to those offered by the major banks, although it’s important to remember that you’ll also need to take transfer fees into account when calculating the full cost of a transaction.

To determine the exchange rate that will apply to your transaction, you will need to use the ‘Calculate price’ feature on the Western Union website.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 1 Same day GBP 0.00 1.109 EUR
5,543
Send money online to friends and family around the world with Western Union, now with a new mobile app. Show details

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How much does it cost to transfer money with Western Union?

The fees you’ll need to pay for your Western Transfer will vary depending on where you are sending the money, how much you are sending, how you pay for the transaction and how your recipient will access the money you transfer. The best way to determine how much your transaction will cost is to use the ‘Price Calculator’ on the Western Union website.

As an example, sending £500 to an Australian bank account from your credit or debit card will incur a fee of £2.90, while sending the same amount to Nigeria for cash pickup and paying with your credit or debit card will incur a fee of £34.90.

To better estimate the fees for your transfer, have a look at our Western Union Fees page.

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Minimum transfer amount and available countries

Transfer limits vary depending on the transfer method you select. If you’re sending funds online, you can send up to £800 within a 12-month period without being required to prove your identity. But if you complete the process to verify your identity you can send up to £4,000 per online transfer. If sending funds from an agent location you can send as much money as you would like, as long as you don’t break any laws or regulations.

As mentioned above, Western Union offers transfers to more than 200 countries and territories. These include but do not limit to:

  • Afghanistan (AFN)
  • Albania (ALL)
  • Algeria (DZD)
  • Argentina (ARS)
  • Australia (AUD)
  • Austria (EUR)
  • Azerbaijan (AZN)
  • Bahrain (BHD)
  • Bangladesh (BDT)
  • Belarus (BYR)
  • Belgium (EUR)
  • Bermuda (BMD)
  • Bolivia (BOB)
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (BAM)
  • Botswana (BWP)
  • Brazil (BRL)
  • Bulgaria (BGN)
  • Burundi (BIF)
  • Cambodia (KHR)
  • Canada (CAD)
  • China (CNY)
  • Colombia (COP)
  • Costa Rica (CRC)
  • Côte d’Ivoire (XOF)
  • Croatia (HRK)
  • Cyprus (EUR)
  • Czech Republic (CZK)
  • Denmark (DKK)
  • Dominican Republic (DOP)
  • Ecuador (USD)
  • Egypt (EGP)
  • El Salvador (USD)
  • Estonia (EUR)
  • Ethiopia (ETB)
  • Fiji (FJD)
  • Finland (EUR)
  • France (EUR)
  • French Polynesia (XPF)
  • Gambia (GMD)
  • Georgia (GEL)
  • Germany (EUR)
  • Ghana (GHS)
  • Greece (EUR)
  • Guatemala (GTQ)
  • Honduras (HNL)
  • Hong Kong (HKD)
  • Hungary (HUF)
  • Iceland (ISK)
  • India (INR)
  • Indonesia (IDR)
  • Iraq (IQD)
  • Ireland (EUR)
  • Israel (ILS)
  • Italy (EUR)
  • Jamaica (JMD)
  • Japan (JPY)
  • Jordan (JOD)
  • Kenya (KES)
  • Kiribati (KID)
  • Korea (KRW)
  • Kuwait (KWD)
  • Kyrgz Republic (KGS)
  • Laos (LAK)
  • Latvia (LVL)
  • Lebanon (LBP)
  • Lesotho (LSL)
  • Liberia (LRD)
  • Lithuania (EUR)
  • Luxemborg (EUR)
  • Macedonia FYR (MKD)
  • Madagascar (MGA)
  • Malaysia (MYR)
  • Maldives (MVR)
  • Malta (EUR)
  • Mauritius (MUR)
  • Mexico (MXN)
  • Moldova (MDL)
  • Mongolia (MNT)
  • Montenegro (EUR)
  • Morocco (MAD)
  • Mozambique (MZN)
  • Myanmar (MMK)
  • Nepal (NPR)
  • Netherlands (EUR)
  • New Caledonia (CFP)
  • New Zealand (NZD)
  • Nicaragua (NIO)
  • Nigeria (NGN)
  • Norway (NOK)
  • Oman (OMR)
  • Pakistan (PRK)
  • Panama (USD)
  • Papua New Guinea (PGK)
  • Peru (PEN)
  • Philippines (PHP)
  • Poland (PLN)
  • Portugal (EUR)
  • Puerto Rico (USD)
  • Qatar (QAR)
  • Romania (RON)
  • Russia (RUB)
  • Rwanda (RWF)
  • Samoa (WST)
  • Saudi Arabia (SAR)
  • Senegal (XOF)
  • Serbia (RSD)
  • Seychelles (SCR)
  • Sierra Leone (SLL)
  • Singapore (SGD)
  • Slovak Republic (EUR)
  • Slovenia (EUR)
  • Solomon Islands (SBD)
  • South Africa (ZAR)
  • Spain (EUR)
  • Sri Lanka (LKR)
  • Sudan (SDG)
  • Sweden (SEK)
  • Switzerland (CHF)
  • Syrian Arab Republic (SYP)
  • Taiwan (TWD)
  • Tajikistan (TJS)
  • Tanzania (TZS)
  • Thailand (THB)
  • Timor-Leste (USD)
  • Togo (CFA)
  • Tonga (TOP)
  • Trinidad and Tobago (TTD)
  • Tunisia (TND)
  • Turkey (TRY)
  • Uganda (UGX)
  • Ukraine (EUR)
  • United Arab Emirates UAE (AED)
  • United Kingdom (GBP)
  • Uruguay (UYU)
  • USA (USD)
  • Vanuatu (VUV)
  • Venezuela (VEF)
  • Vietnam (VND)
  • Yemen (YER)
  • Zambia (ZMK)
  • Zimbabwe (USD)
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What types of transfers can you carry out with Western Union?

Western Union offers several options for one-off transfers. You can send money:

  • Online through the Western Union website
  • Using the Western Union mobile app
  • Over the phone
  • By visiting a Western Union branch

The funds you transfer can then be accessed in the following ways:

  • Picked up in cash from a Western Union branch
  • Deposited into the recipient’s bank account
  • Deposited into your recipient’s mobile wallet

If you ever need help or have a question about a transfer, you can always visit your nearest Western Union agent for assistance. The company also offers a useful online support centre with several frequently asked questions, while phone and email support are both offered as well.

Western Union locations in London

We have put together a map with all the locations of Western Union Agents in London – find it here.

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The registration and transfer process

Western Union’s transfer process varies depending on the sending and receiving options you select. To send money online, you’ll need to enter the details of the amount you’d like to transfer and where you’d like the money to be sent. You will then receive a quote that details the exchange rate and fee that will apply to your transaction. If you’re happy with the quote, you can provide your name and contact details, register for an account and then send your funds.

For bank account deposits you will also have to provide the name of your recipient’s bank, their bank code (for example a SWIFT code) as well as their account name and number.

If you’d prefer to send a transfer by visiting a Western Union branch, you’ll need to complete a ‘To Send Money’ form and then pay the necessary cash to the branch attendant. The transaction will be processed immediately and the funds sent to your recipient, with the cash typically available for collection within minutes.

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What are the pros and cons of using Western Union?

Pros

  • Worldwide access. Western Union operates more than 500,000 transfer locations, making it the world’s largest provider of international money transfers.
  • Sending and receiving options. From in-person transfers to online transactions and bank deposits to cash pickups, there are multiple options to choose from when you send money overseas with Western Union.
  • Trusted provider. With a history dating back more than 160 years, Western Union has plenty of experience moving money around the world.

Cons

  • Fees apply. Fees apply to most transfer options with Western Union and can be quite expensive in some cases.
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What other products and services does Western Union offer?

  • Prepaid cards. Western Union offers a range of reloadable cards to allow quick and easy access to your money all around the world.
  • Business solutions. Western Union also offers a range of services to help UK businesses manage their international payments and their foreign exchange needs.

Frequently asked questions

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14 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    Marc
    June 8, 2019

    I am having difficulties receiving cash from Western Union. I was due to get around £800 sent from Brazil to the UK. However, Western Union called the sender (a family friend) and blocked the cash and sent it back over. Is there any reason for this?

    • AvatarStaff
      Joshua
      June 10, 2019

      Hi Marc,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t receive your money.

      The common reason that this happens is due to security. Another reason is if Western Union suspects malicious activities.

      Best is for you or your sender to check with Western Union. They can further explain the reason why the money was blocked.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  2. Default Gravatar
    Ted
    May 17, 2019

    Hi. When the do a bank transfer on Western union it tells me I have 14 days to complete the transaction by going to my bank and transferring the money to them. If I don’t do that within 14 days the transaction will cancel

    My question is, if I made the transaction say 7 days on, and the exchange rate has become much worse, do I still get the exchange rate agreed at the time? Or is it adjusted to what it is at the time I compete the transaction?
    Thanks
    Ted

    • AvatarStaff
      nikkiangco
      May 18, 2019

      Hi Ted,

      Thanks for your inquiry! The wire transfer is just a notice of movement of funds – there are no rates attached to it because the transfer happens in one of the major trading currencies. This means the actual wire transfer is done in the same currency – USD to USD or EUR to EUR. However, if say you transfer EUR to USD, the rate will be what the bank will sell dollars to you, which will be the amount deducted from your account. This rate is usually the mid-market rate, and it is the rate posted on your bank’s website or available through their normal channels.Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

      Regards,
      Nikki

  3. Default Gravatar
    Alison
    February 6, 2019

    How do I send money to a friend in Lanzarote. It is not coming up on the country list?

    • AvatarStaff
      Jeni
      February 10, 2019

      Hi Alison,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      You may send money to Lanzarote via Western Union. Upon checking on Western Union’s official page, it is considered as part of Spain. There are a few agent locations in Arrecife City and the rest of the area. Kindly check out WU’s official page to get the complete list.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  4. Default Gravatar
    Lynn
    January 11, 2019

    Can charities use this service?

    • AvatarStaff
      Jeni
      January 12, 2019

      Hi Lynn,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Yes. Western Union can service charities. Kindly visit Western Union business solutions page then click on the Speak with a NGO Specialist to contact an NGO specialist and discuss your options.

      I hope this helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  5. Default Gravatar
    Frank
    July 21, 2017

    Why does the currency calculator not work!!?

    • AvatarStaff
      Anndy
      July 23, 2017

      Hi Frank,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Western Union real-time calculation is available on their website. Kindly click the “go to site” button above to get a quote from the Western Union.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  6. Default Gravatar
    Cathy
    June 23, 2017

    What’s the maximum time western union online sending takes when sending for the first time

    • AvatarStaff
      Anndy
      July 21, 2017

      Hi Cathy,

      Thanks for your question.

      With Western Union, the processing times vary depending on your mode of transfer and where you will be sending the funds. Most cash transfers are available for collection or cash pickup within minutes. However, in some circumstances, bank account deposits can take multiple business days.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

      • Default Gravatar
        Fozia
        April 18, 2018

        Can i send money to Pakistan

        • AvatarStaff
          joelmarcelo
          April 20, 2018

          Hi Fozia,

          Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

          Yes you can send money to Pakistan via the Western Union app or in store locations. If you would still like to check out other money transfer services who can send to Pakistan, please go HERE.

          Cheers,
          Joel

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