Western Union money transfers review November 2018 | finder.com

Review: Western Union international money transfers – November 2018

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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.

  • finder money transfer awards 2017 bannerWestern 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.

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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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US International Money Transfers Offers

Important Information*
XE Money Transfer

Transfer up to $500,000 with no minimums and no fees.

WorldRemit International Money Transfers

Use promo code FINDER to send your first transfer with no fee.
Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up.

World First Foreign Exchange

No maximum limit, no fees and competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.

TransferWise International Money Transfers

Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks.

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116 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    RonilymNovember 12, 2018

    Hmm i already receive an MTCN from my sender but sinche he choose the economy service .. is it true that i can get the money after 72 hours?

    • finder Customer Care
      AshNovember 12, 2018Staff

      Hi Ronilym,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      The time frame on when you will receive the Money Transfer will depend on how the Sender paid the transfer. If the money was sent through an Agent Location and paid by cash, you can claim the money within minutes. But if its paid through Debit/ Credit Card or Bank Account, it will take 3-5 business days before you receive it even if you have the Reference Number (MTCN).

      I hope this helps.

      Please do not hesitate to reach out again to us if you have additional questions that you may need our assistance.

      Cheers,
      Ash

  2. Default Gravatar
    TrishaOctober 29, 2018

    Someone has sent me 1000 Dinar and sent me a receipt that he sent. How will I know if the receipt is legit or not fake?

    • finder Customer Care
      JhezelynOctober 30, 2018Staff

      Hello Trisha,

      Thank you for your comment.

      The Western Union receipt contains the MTCN number which you can use to verify if it’s a valid MTCN or not. To validate, you may track the status of the payment using the MTCN through the Western Union’s website or by contacting their support.

      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

  3. Default Gravatar
    AprilOctober 27, 2018

    Can I use WesternUnion online/app in the Philippines?

    • finder Customer Care
      JhezelynOctober 29, 2018Staff

      Hello April,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Yes, the Western Union app is up and running in the Philippines. You can transfer money through the app or through online.

      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
    StaceyOctober 25, 2018

    Do you have to be family to pick up a Western Union?

    • finder Customer Care
      CharisseOctober 25, 2018Staff

      Hi Stacey,

      Thanks for reaching out to finder.

      You can send money using Western Union to anybody as the receivers are not limited to only your family members. Whoever’s name you put as the receiver will be able to claim the money you sent as long as you give that person the tracking number (MTCN) and the person is also able to present an acceptable form of government-issued photo ID.

      Make sure that the name you put as your receiver exactly matches the name that appears on their government-issued photo ID to avoid any issues in claiming the money.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Charisse

  5. Default Gravatar
    MattOctober 17, 2018

    How much does it cost to western union 500.00 dollars?

    • finder Customer Care
      BellaOctober 17, 2018Staff

      Hi Matt,

      Thanks for inquiry.

      The transfer fees vary depending on the transfer method you use. You may use the price estimator on Western Union’s website to see how much you will pay.

      I hope this information helped.

      Kind regards,
      Bella

  6. Default Gravatar
    RobertOctober 16, 2018

    How do you change the recepient name?

    • finder Customer Care
      joelmarceloOctober 16, 2018Staff

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      It is important to enter the receiver’s name exactly as it appears on their government-issued ID. You may be able to make slight changes to the receiver’s name. Full name changes are currently not permitted.

      On wu.com, log on to your Western Union profile.

      – Recent money transfer activity is presented. Click Show details. If you are on a mobile device, tap the money transfer you want to edit. If your money transfer is eligible for a name change, there will be an Edit Receiver Name link. Follow the instructions to make permitted changes to the name on your money transfer. Please note that you can make minor changes to the receiver’s name to match their ID. You cannot change to a different receiver. Please contact Customer Care if you see that name change option is not available.

      In person initiated money transfers

      – In order to edit the name on your transfer, please visit the same Agent location (or same agent network) where you’ve made your transfer, or contact Customer Care. Note, that you will be asked to provide your ID to make the changes.

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

      Cheers,
      Joel

  7. Default Gravatar
    zikraOctober 11, 2018

    How can I get my transaction details? I want that! Can you please help me?

    • finder Customer Care
      AshOctober 13, 2018Staff

      Hi Zikra,

      Thank you for contacting finder.

      You can retrieve your transaction details within 90 days if you have a registered account with Western Union. You just need to log-in to your Western Union account then you will be able to see your transaction history.

      I hope this helps.

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

      Cheers,
      Ash

  8. Default Gravatar
    Cutieloopz22October 11, 2018

    I am reciever money from my love every month in western union …but this month the western union agent said my mtcn is invalid…what should i do for this..?

    • finder Customer Care
      joelmarceloOctober 11, 2018Staff

      Hi there,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      If the money was just send, give it a couple of hours for their system to update. If after waiting you and are still getting the same error message, you can contact Western Union directly to check on why it is being declined or contact your sender to see if you have the correct MTCN number.

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

      Cheers,
      Joel

  9. Default Gravatar
    BeatriceOctober 1, 2018

    Well I went to Walmart to send to my Love in Ghana and I wasn’t grant the permission on doing the transfer. I want to know why should that be the case?

    • finder Customer Care
      johnbasanesOctober 2, 2018Staff

      Hi Beatrice,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      There are no know restriction in sending money from the US to Ghana via Walmart. You may need to speak to the representative at Walmart on why you were hindered to send the amount. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  10. Default Gravatar
    RichardSeptember 25, 2018

    How do I check on a tranfer coming to me

    • finder Customer Care
      AshSeptember 26, 2018Staff

      Hi Richard,

      Thank you for contacting finder.

      The Sender should provide you with the Reference Number (MTCN) to track the money transfer. You may visit the Western Union website (homepage) then click on “Track Transfer”, you will then be asked for the MTCN or the Sender’s/ Receiver’s details.

      Also, you will need the MTCN to claim the money to any Western Union’s Agent Location.

      I hope this helps.

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

      Cheers,
      Ash

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