Western Union money transfers review September 2018 | finder.com

Review: Western Union international money transfers – September 2018

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

Enjoy easy, flexible international money transfers when you send funds overseas with Western Union.

finder.com’s rating: 3.25 / 5.0

★★★★★

How’d we get our score?

Fees & rates: 2.0 / 5.0
Speed: 5.0 / 5.0
Services: 4.0 / 5.0
User experience: 2.0 / 5.0

Western Union’s brand name and services are well-known in many countries around the world. For over 160 years, Western Union has made it easy to transfer money over long distances, whether you’re sending funds inside the US or across international borders.

Today, Western Union operates one of the world’s largest money transfer networks by providing customers the ability to transfer money quickly and easily to 200 countries and territories across the globe. With a four-star rating on TrustPilot, it boasts more than 500,000 agent locations around the world, 70,000 of which are in North America.

Product NameWestern Union Money Transfers
Min. Transfer AmountUSD 1
Max. Transfer AmountUSD 5,000
Transfer Methods
Online, Phone, Agent, , International Money Order, ...
Transfer Options
Regular payments, One off payments
Transfer Speed
Minimum transfer time
3 - 5 days
Customer Service
Phone, Chat, Email, Branch, ...
Available CurrenciesAED, AFN, ALL, AMD, ANG, AOA, ARS, AUD, AWG, AZN, BAM, BBD, BDT, BGN, BHD, BIF, BMD, BND, BOB, BRL, BSD, BTN, BWP, BYR, BZD, CAD, CDF, CHF, CLP, CNY, COP, CRC, CUC, CUP, CVE, CZK, DJF, DKK, DOP, DZD, EGP, ERN, ETB, EUR, FJD, FKP, GBP, GEL, GGP, GHS, GIP, GMD, GNF, GTQ, GYD, HKD, HNL, HRK, HTG, HUF, IDR, ILS, IMP, INR, IQD, IRR, ISK, JEP, JMD, JOD, JPY, KES, KGS, KHR, KMF, KPW, 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, PAB, PEN, PGK, PHP, PKR, PLN, PYG, QAR, RON, RSD, RUB, RWF, SAR, SBD, SCR, SDG, SEK, SGD, SHP, SLL, SOS, SPL, SRD, STD, SVC, SYP, SZL, THB, TJS, TMT, TND, TOP, TRY, TTD, TVD, TWD, TZS, UAH, UGX, USD, UYU, UZS, VEF, VND, VUV, WST, XAF, XCD, XDR, XOF, XPF, YER, ZAR, ZMW, ZWD
Exchange Rate UpdatesReal time

Pros

  • Low minimum transfer amount of $1.00
  • Option to send money in minutes
  • Transfer to a wide range of countries

Cons

  • Not the cheapest option depending on transfer location

Western Union provides a variety of options

Western Union helps individuals and businesses transfer money around the globe and right here in our own country. You’ll find many options for transferring and collecting funds, like cash pickup, mobile wallet deposits and more. You can even transfer money to an inmate in a correctional facility. And you can make your transfer online, through WU’s mobile app, in person or over the phone. The variety of options Western Union offers is unusual in today’s mostly online-based money transfer providers.

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

International money transfer fees vary depending on the transfer method you use. The best way to learn how much you’ll pay is to input your transfer details into the price estimator on Western Union’s website.

To give you an idea of transfer fees, here’s what you’d pay to send $1,000 to Mexico:

Location Fee
Cash pickup at an agent location $4 from a bank account; $15 with a credit or debit card
Deposit into a bank account $14

Sending the same amount to the UK would attract different fees, such as a fee of $2.99 for a transfer between bank accounts or $81 for a Money in Minutes transaction paid for with your credit or debit card.

Western Union exchange rates

You’ll need to take the exchange rate into account when sending money overseas. Western Union’s rates are updated regularly based on the market, and you can find out the rate that applies to your specific transaction by clicking Estimate Price at the top of the Western Union website.

Our experience transferring money with Western Union

Here’s what we found when we sent live transfers to Mexico and France through Western Union.

  • money transfer awards logo-mobileWestern Union would not accept our recipient’s Mexican bank account, resulting in an incomplete transfer.
  • Our funds were deposited into our recipient’s French bank account in a speedy 24 hours.
  • Western Union’s easy-to-use website allowed us to sign up and initiate a transfer in an impressive 3 minutes.
  • Through its Business Solutions, Western Union offers the flexibility of rate locks, forward contracts and recurring transfers.

We recognize Western Union as a winner of three categories in the finder.com Money Transfer Awards 2017: Best User Experience, Most Convenient and Fastest Transfer.

What types of transfers can I carry out with Western Union?

There are multiple ways you can send money overseas with Western Union, starting with the ease and convenience of online transfers. The next option is to initiate a transfer by phone, although you can also visit one of Western Union’s 70,000 North American locations for a face-to-face transaction using cash or a debit card.

With Western Union, your recipient can collect the cash you send by:

  • Cash pickup. Cash transfers sent online, by phone or in person are available for pickup within minutes at any number of agent locations worldwide. Transfers from your bank account can take one to three days to arrive.
  • Mobile wallet deposit. Funds sent online or from an agent location are deposited in minutes.
  • Bank account deposit. Expect to wait one to three days for funds to arrive if you pay with a credit or debit card online, while transactions from your own bank account online or by cash at an agent location take two to five days.
  • Prepaid card. In select markets you can have the money transfer loaded onto a Western Union branded prepaid card.

Pros and cons of using Western Union

Pros

  • Trusted provider. Western Union has managed domestic and international money transfers since 1871.
  • Huge network. More than 500,000 agent locations around the world.
  • Flexible transfer options. Whether you pay with your credit or debit card or a bank account for cash pickup or a bank deposit, Western Union can take care of your transaction.

Cons

  • Weak exchange rates. With weak exchange rates that can be nearly 5% more than the mid-market rate, you have cheaper online options.
  • High fees. Where some companies offer free transfers or low-fee transfers, expect to pay more in fees to transfer with Western Union.

Shopping for an alternative? See a list of other sites like Western Union for sending money.

How do I use Western Union?

Western Union offers several ways for you to send your money. You’ll need:

  • A Western Union account. It’s easy to set up a free account as part of your transfer.
  • Valid payment method. You can pay by debit card for Western Union’s fastest and cheapest transfer or use a credit card or bank account.
  • Your recipient’s name and contact information. If sending to a bank account, you’ll need the bank name and account number. If you’re sending a prepaid card for home delivery, you’ll need the address and phone number.
  • Your contact and payment information. The card number or account number and security information for the account you’re transferring from.

If your recipient is picking up cash in person, let them know to bring along a required ID.

The registration and transfer process

You’ll need to create a Western Union online profile before you can send funds online. It’s free to register with your personal contact information and details about your linked bank account or credit or debit card.

You can also initiate a transfer by phone through Western Union’s toll free number, providing the details of your transaction and your payment information.

If you prefer the security of a face-to-face transaction, visit one of Western Union’s 70,000 North American locations to transfer funds using cash or a debit card.

Steps to transfer your money online

Money transfer locations near me

Bottom line

Western Union offers plenty of useful transfer and cash pickup options when you need to send money overseas. Before you commit to sending your hard-earned dough, of course, you should always make sure to compare all the available options and find the best deal.

Frequently asked questions

Methodology

Our team analyzes money transfer providers offering services in the US — from big names to digital upstarts. We rank rates and fees, speed, services and user experience for:

  • TransferWise
  • World First
  • XE
  • OFX
  • WorldRemit
  • Currencies Direct
  • Western Union
  • RIA Money Transfer
  • MoneyGram
  • Remitly
  • Payoneer
  • Remit2India
  • Xoom
  • PayPal

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

Back to top

Kelly Waggoner

Kelly Waggoner is a senior editor with finder.com. She's worked with publishers, magazines and nonprofits throughout New York City, including ghostwriting a how-to on copyediting for the Dummies series. Between projects, she toys with words, flips through style guides and fantasizes about the serial comma's world domination.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

96 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MichaelSeptember 22, 2018

    Hi my name is Michael and I have a question I won’t to know how can you find someone that won’t to send money and pickup by Western Union and they will pay you well for doing it for them I know about Western Union I have been picking up and also sending money thru Western Union at different locations and I do have a valid driver’s license too do it well I’m just trying to find someone that needs money to pickup and send by Western Union and they will pay well I’m from United States i will like to do it that kind of good thing I to do

    • finder Customer Care
      JoshuaSeptember 24, 2018Staff

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      It is less likely that you will be able to find people who want to send and pick up money through Western Union. For one, by doing so, you will be breaching their privacy as well as the terms and conditions put up by WU. Next, money is a highly sensitive issue and WU works hard to ensure that the money they handle will safely reach their clients. Finally, it would be difficult to pick up money that you were not a recipient of or you don’t have a tracking number.

      If you want to know more or discuss your concern, you may want to directly get in touch with Western Union.

      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
    NikSeptember 19, 2018

    Hi Team,

    It has been 4 days that my friend from Australia transferred the money into my bank account (India) and still I have not received it.Would you like to tell me when I can expect the money into my account.

    Thanks and regards,
    Nik

    • finder Customer Care
      joelmarceloSeptember 20, 2018Staff

      Hi Nik,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      The minimum transfer time in bank transfer using Western union is 3 – 5 days not counting bank holidays and weekends. If it takes longer than 5 business days, you can contact Western Union or the sender to follow up and see what could be causing the delay.

      Please send me a message if you need anything else. :)

      Cheers,
      Joel

  3. Default Gravatar
    TinasheSeptember 17, 2018

    Someone else has picked up my money, who can I contact and how can I possibly go about it? Or can I at least get the location so I can try to investigate or maybe question a teller from that organization?

    • finder Customer Care
      JhezelynSeptember 17, 2018Staff

      Hello Tinashe,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I am sorry to hear about what happened to your money. If something like that happened, you must directly get in touch with Western Union and have them traced it for you. You must ensure to keep the necessary details, especially the reference number, so they can check it for you.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  4. Default Gravatar
    JeanetteSeptember 13, 2018

    If I sent money yesterday, when my friend picks it up tomorrow, does he get the money exchange rate of yesterday or tomorrow’s rate

    • finder Customer Care
      AshSeptember 14, 2018Staff

      Hi Jeanette,

      Thank you for contacting finder.

      The exchange rate that will be followed is on the day that you have sent the money. Exchange Rate changes from time to time so you may use Western Union’s price estimator first to see the estimated amount that your recipient will receive.

      I hope this helps.

      Please do not hesitate to reach out again to us if you will have additional questions.

      Cheers,
      Ash

  5. Default Gravatar
    RubySeptember 12, 2018

    Money was sent to me already but I don’t have an ID how can I transfer that money into my spouse’s name

    • finder Customer Care
      johnbasanesSeptember 12, 2018Staff

      Hi Ruby,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      Please see the list of requirements needed to receive money from Western Union:

      Complete the Receive Money form.
      Give the form to the agent with your government-issued photo ID and the tracking number (MTCN).
      Review and sign the receipt.
      The agent will give you the money and a copy of the receipt.

      It is a Western Union requirement that a government ID is needed to remit money via Western Union. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  6. Default Gravatar
    ActorCSeptember 4, 2018

    Is it true that Western Union is now requiring passports from immigrants for cash pick ups in Eastern Countries? Malaysia, China, Thailand etc? I heard they are posting notices that ID is no longer good enough identification… that recipient must bring passport also in order to pick up their cash?

    • finder Customer Care
      CharisseSeptember 5, 2018Staff

      Hi ActorC,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      As of this time, I cannot find any official announcement or publication coming from Western Union that would confirm this new ID requirement for immigrants in Eastern Countries when claiming money through cash pick-ups. You may want to contact Western Union directly to confirm this information.

      Cheers,
      Charisse

  7. Default Gravatar
    JameAugust 24, 2018

    Can I send money through Western Union even if I don’t have an account with them?

    • finder Customer Care
      JhezelynAugust 25, 2018Staff

      Hi Jame,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Yes, you can still send money through Western Union without having an account with them. Just go to their website and start sending money.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  8. Default Gravatar
    TintuJuly 11, 2018

    Am n Libya misurata,I want to transfer money to India.How can I transfer please help me

    • finder Customer Care
      joelmarceloJuly 12, 2018Staff

      Hi Tintu,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      As per the Western Union’s Agent locator in their website, there are 6 stores in Misurata:

      MISURATA
      Misurata Center
      Misurata

      GASER AHMED
      Gaser Ahmed Iron And Steel Com
      Misratah Libya
      Misratah

      KOZ ATTEK BRANCH
      Misurata
      Misurata,

      BANK OF COMMERCE AND DEVELOPMENT
      Africa Trade Center,misurata
      Africa Trade Center Agency
      Misurata

      MISURATA PORT
      Misurata Port Libya
      Misratah

      MISRATHA FREE ZONE
      Misratha, Misratha

      If you are still looking to weigh your options when it comes to sending money to India. please click HERE.

      Cheers,
      Joel

  9. Default Gravatar
    MaeJuly 6, 2018

    Nagpapalit pu ba kayo ng pera ng kuwait at india?

    • finder Customer Care
      joelmarceloJuly 7, 2018Staff

      Hi Mae,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Please note that we are a financial comparison and information website that helps consumers make better decisions. We do not represent any of the providers we feature on our website.

      Western Union’s rates are updated regularly based on the market, and you can find out the rate that applies to your specific transaction by clicking Estimate Price at the top of the Western Union website.

      If you are looking for money exchange services you can click HERE. Also You can ask around the locals in your area or look up money changer services in your neighborhood so you can get your money exchanged right away.

      Cheers,
      Joel

  10. Default Gravatar
    GregJune 23, 2018

    Hello for Western Union sending money online to the Philippines what are the limits that can be sent in a single transaction?

    Thank you

    Greg

    • finder Customer Care
      joelmarceloJune 23, 2018Staff

      Hi Greg,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      As per the Western Union website, you can send up to 19,000.00 USD for bank transfer and 5000 USD for cash pickup. Western Union offers plenty of useful transfer and cash pickup options when you need to send money overseas. Before you commit to sending your hard-earned dough, of course, you should always make sure to compare all the available options and find the best deal.

      Cheers,
      Joel

Go to site