Western Union international money transfers review July 2018

Review: Western Union international money transfers – July 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
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.

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
  • HiFX
  • 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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82 Responses

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Default Gravatar
    LynnMay 26, 2018

    I live in the USA. I need to know if I can transfer mo st from my bank account to Turkey now for my family there?

    • finder Customer Care
      joelmarceloMay 27, 2018Staff

      Hi Lynn,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      You can use Western Union to transfer from your bank account to another bank account in Turkey. Please go to the Western Union website to see how much exactly it would cost and real time exchange rate. If you are still looking to compare on other money transfers from the US to Turkey, please go HERE.

      Cheers,
      Joel

  5. Default Gravatar
    MyraMay 18, 2018

    May I ask how long or hrs to wait to receive the money from Netherlands to Philippines by western union?

    • finder Customer Care
      joelmarceloMay 19, 2018Staff

      Hi Myra,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Here are a few ways to send money online with Western Union:

      Money in a few minutes:

      – If your money needs to be available in a few minutes, you can send it online with your credit or debit card. Recipients can collect cash at worldwideWestern Union agencies , depending on the opening hours of those agencies.

      – If your recipient is living in a country where we transfer mobile money, you can send money to his / her mobile phone in minutes. Make sure that the recipient has activated a mobile wallet with one of the cooperating mobile service providers in his / her country.

      Money available within 1 or 2 days:

      – If you send money to a bank account, it is usually available within 1 or 2 days, depending on the country of your recipient.

      Cheers,
      Joel

  6. Default Gravatar
    EsmailMay 17, 2018

    How much fees required to pay for $300 from Afghanistan to India?

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniMay 17, 2018Staff

      Hi Esmail,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      As a friendly reminder, while we do not represent any company we feature on our pages, we can offer you general advice.

      As per Western Union’s website, the estimated exchange rate is 1 USD = 66.4858 INR. Fees and foreign exchange rates may vary by brand, channel, and location based on a number of factors and are subject to change without notice. Fees and rates provided are estimates only and are not guaranteed. Additional taxes and fees may apply.

      I suggest that you download their app to check the cost of sending money anytime, anywhere. You may also verify the fees or other charges if you visit your nearest WU agent location.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  7. Default Gravatar
    SaraMay 15, 2018

    May I send money to Nigeria via WU?
    Is there a limit?

    • finder Customer Care
      joelmarceloMay 16, 2018Staff

      Hi Sara,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Yes you can use Western Union to send money to Nigeria. However, please note that there is a maximum send limit of 1000USD Naira equivalent per customer per quarter, as stipulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

      Cheers,
      Joel

  8. Default Gravatar
    LeannaMay 13, 2018

    Does all western union service in India allow rupees to be sent to Trinidad and Tobago?

    Why do I need to convert rupees to euros in order to make a transaction to Trinidad?

    • finder Customer Care
      JoshuaMay 14, 2018Staff

      Hi Leanna,

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

      Let me answer your questions one by one:

      1. The answer is yes. However, your Indian Rupees will automatically convert into the local currency which is Trinidad and Tobago dollar. In some instances, you can indicate that your Rupee won’t be converted, but this will also depend whether Rupee is available in the receiving Western Union branch.

      2. You can send your Rupees to Trinidad without converting it to Euros as well. Just indicate this when sending money.

      Please note that we are don’t represent WU so it would still be a good idea to directly get in touch with them to ask your questions. By doing so, you get a more personalized answer.

      Finally, if you’re still looking for alternative ways to send money to your recipient, please read our guide “How to send money to Trinidad and Tobago.”

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

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  9. Default Gravatar
    LinhMay 9, 2018

    What are reasons to make a receiver name be blocked? I have six names were blocked by western and still dont know why. The recent name was blocked when I received 1 transaction per week, 5000$ per transaction.

    • finder Customer Care
      JhezelynMay 9, 2018Staff

      Hello Linh,

      Thank you for your comment.

      If your name is blocked by Western Union, they may have detected suspicious activity associated with your names. According to their terms and conditions, if they suspect that there has been fraudulent activity by you, their obligation to refund you will be suspended, pending further investigation, and such investigation will be undertaken promptly.

      Best to check with Western Union directly and see if you can dispute this.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  10. Default Gravatar
    EdmilsonApril 26, 2018

    What is the fee if I want to send money from Angola to Namibia through bank account to bank account?

    • finder Customer Care
      RichApril 26, 2018Staff

      Hello Edmilson.

      Thanks for posting your question on Finder.

      Fees for international money transfer may vary depending on the amount and the destination contry. For a more accurate infourmation, you may check using the price estimator right on Western Union’s website.

      Best regards,

      Rich

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