Western Union international money transfers review April 2018

Review: Western Union international money transfers – April 2018

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

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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
Banking PartnerWestern Union (US)
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:

LocationFee
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.

Learn more about Western Union and safety.

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

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.

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62 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    AmyApril 24, 2018

    I was trying to send money to Nigeria and at the end of the transaction this error code came c1912 Max send exceeded. What does this mean?

    • Staff
      joelmarceloApril 25, 2018Staff

      Hi Amy,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      It simply means that you have exceeded the allowable amount limit of money transfer for that country for today.

      Your limits will vary based on your transaction history, the receiver’s country, your location (state) and the service you choose.

      – ONLINE: When sending online, your limits are typically as follows:

      In Minutes, Three Day, and WU® Pay
      $2,999 per money transfer

      – Next Day
      $500 per money transfer

      – Mobile Money Transfer
      $500 per money transfer

      – Bill Payments/Quick Collect
      $2,500 per 7 days to a biller (certain states have a limit of $400 only)

      – Prepaid Services
      Limits vary by card issuer.

      – Online FX International Payments
      $10,000 per transaction (and this limit can be raised)

      – SMARTPHONE: When sending using a smartphone, the same limits apply as when sending online, although not all the same services are offered on the smartphone.

      – AT AGENT LOCATION: There’s usually no restriction on the amount of money you may send at an agent location. However, some countries set limits on how much can be received. If you have questions about a specific amount you’re sending or a specific country, please call Customer Care at 1-800-325-6000.

      – ON THE PHONE: The money transfer limit ranges from $300 to $2,500.

      Hope it helps!

      Cheers,
      Joel

  2. Default Gravatar
    ElizabethApril 23, 2018

    can I send $5000 (US) to any Western Union branch in Argentina?

    • Staff
      joelmarceloApril 24, 2018Staff

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Yes you can surely send 5000$ to Argentina via Western Union. As I checked there will be a 165$ fee to transfer this amount. If you still want to weigh your options and compare, please check this out. It’s a comparison of money transfers specifically for Argentina.

      Cheers,
      Joel

  3. Default Gravatar
    JamesApril 19, 2018

    Please why will western Union in new Zealand request for birth certificate before someone can send money to African countries?

    • Staff
      jenivelascoApril 19, 2018Staff

      Hi James,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Sending money with the Western Union money transfer service from an agent location does not require credit cards, debit cards, bank accounts, or memberships. You will need to show valid identification, and birth certificate can be one of them since it is a primary proof of identification.

      Primary identification verifying the full name (birth certificate, etc.) and one form of non-primary identification verifying the current or permanent address (e.g. utility bill, a letter from a hostel manager confirming temporary residence).

      In your case, they possibly ask for that for security purposes. You can certainly ask the representative regarding that process. It is your right to know why they are doing that.

      If you find it inconvenient to show your birth certificate while sending money from an agent location, you may also try their services online or through mobile app.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  4. Default Gravatar
    john2018April 15, 2018

    what information do i need to send a western union over the phone from a credit or debit card?

    • Staff
      JoshuaApril 15, 2018Staff

      Hi John2018,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

      The information you need to provide is the same information you would have to give when doing an online purchase. This may include your account name, address, mobile number, card number, and expiry date, among others.

      Please note as well that fees and charges may apply if you use a credit or debit card when making payments.

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

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  5. Default Gravatar
    DCApril 15, 2018

    If someone will transfer 1500 us Dollar from USA is the Receiver has been charged for the transaction and will pay first berfore he can claim the money transfer?? How much would it be??

    • Staff
      JoshuaApril 15, 2018Staff

      Hi DC,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

      In general, the sender is the one who pays the service charge and fees. The receiver doesn’t have to pay anything and just need to show up and present needed documents to claim the money.

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

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  6. Default Gravatar
    ashrafApril 13, 2018

    How many days will it take for a Western Union transfer by credit card or debit card from Australia to Malaysia and the amount is aud3000

    • Staff
      joelmarceloApril 14, 2018Staff

      Hi Ashraf,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      “Direct to bank account” money transfers vary by country and can take up to five days. Under certain conditions, your money could be delayed or some services might be unavailable. These conditions include the amount you’re sending, the country you’re sending to and any regulatory issues in that country, a change in identification requirements, time zone differences, or selection of delayed options.

      Cheers,
      Joel

  7. Default Gravatar
    BryanApril 5, 2018

    Hello How much money can I send Via western union per year thank you :)

    • Staff
      joelmarceloApril 5, 2018Staff

      Hi Bryan,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Your limits will vary based on your transaction history, the receiver’s country, your location (state) and the service you choose.

      ONLINE: When sending online, your limits are typically as follows:

      In Minutes, Three Day, and WU® Pay
      $2,999 per money transfer

      Next Day
      $500 per money transfer

      Mobile Money Transfer
      $500 per money transfer

      Bill Payments/Quick Collect
      $2,500 per 7 days to a biller (certain states have a limit of $400 only)

      Prepaid Services
      Limits vary by card issuer.

      Online FX International Payments
      $10,000 per transaction (and this limit can be raised)

      SMARTPHONE: When sending using a smartphone, the same limits apply as when sending online, although not all the same services are offered on the smartphone.

      AT AGENT LOCATION: There’s usually no restriction on the amount of money you may send at an agent location. However, some countries set limits on how much can be received. If you have questions about a specific amount you’re sending or a specific country, please call Customer Care at 1-800-325-6000.

      ON THE PHONE: The money transfer limit ranges from $300 to $2,500.

      Cheers,
      Joel

  8. Default Gravatar
    ReginaApril 2, 2018

    I need to send 1000.00 to Ghana. what r my fees if sent with debit card?

    • Staff
      MayApril 2, 2018Staff

      Hi Regina,

      Thanks for your question. With Western Union, if you send and pay using a debit card, there’s a fee of $15. The total fees you would incur when sending will be automatically computed by Western Union online. So I encourage you to visit their site and see how much exactly you would pay when sending $1000 to Ghana.

      Cheers,
      May

  9. Default Gravatar
    KMarch 21, 2018

    I live in Australia and would like to send money to vietnam.
    As i will be doing this in a branch can i send $20.000 out of my bank card in one transaction?

    • Staff
      MayMarch 23, 2018Staff

      Hi K,

      Thanks for your inquiry! If you are sending money via agent location, you can send as much money as you’d like but please note of certain security and compliance requirements must be met for amounts higher than AUD $7,500.

      Cheers,
      May

  10. Default Gravatar
    MajaliwaMarch 20, 2018

    what is the cash limit I can send from China to Tanzania (Africa) through Western Union? and how long does it take for the cash to be received in my country? Thank you…

    • Staff
      joelmarceloMarch 22, 2018Staff

      Hi Majaliwa,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      The cash limit for Tanzania is $7499 USD. 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.

      Cheers,
      Joel

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