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Western Union Review: Should I use WU to transfer money abroad?
Support your local money transfer agent with Western Union.
Western Union is for sure the most prestigious brand to remit money home. But how do the exchange rates compare with Western Union alternatives? Find out more in our Western Union review.
Western Union is one of the oldest money transfer services with over half a million offices in more than 200 countries globally. Set up in 1851, Western Union has over one hundred and fifty million customers who can access payments through various channels at relatively affordable rates using 130 different currencies.
Starting as a telegram service in the new world, we could look back on the exciting history of Western Union, which includes money laundering.
How to review the fees, exchange rates, and service of Western Union?
In this article, I will be reviewing Western Union’s coverage, fees as well as alternatives to this service provider.
With CompareTransfer, you can compare the live exchange rates of 10 different money transfer providers. Technically, it was not allowed to us yet to integrate Western Union. We are still aiming to integrate Western Union into our price comparison to compare the fees and live exchange rates of money transfers.
Sending Money Via Western Union
Western Union allows its customers to send money online either through the website or phone application and in person. Also, the service has a membership program and points for when you send particular amounts or pay specific bills.
You can redeem these membership points for transfer fee reductions as well as access rewards and promotions every year.
A complete money transfer will take anywhere between a few minutes up to five business days. This feature is dependent on the receivers’ method of access as well as their location. As for the amount, the limit is $5000 for a receiver within the US.
For any other place outside the US, the amount you send is determined by your money transfer history, location, your receiver’s country of residence as well as the mode of payment when making the transfer.
How to send money with Western Union?
Here’s how you send money online:
- The first thing you must do is create a profile on the app or website
- Choose the “send money” button
- Fill the money transfer details such as amount and country
- Choose the receiver’s access method either by wire transfer, cash pick-up or through mobile
- Select the method of transfer either through credit card, your bank account or by sending physically through an agent
- Confirm the fees and rates then submit the transaction
Send money In-person
Paying in-person is relatively easy. Look up the locations of the Western Union agents near you. The agent will give guidelines on transfer options, fees as well as exchange rates. Pay via cash or debit card to complete the transaction. Remember to carry your national ID as it’s required when making cash transfers.
Receiving Payment Via Western Union
You may receive money directly to your bank account or as cash, which you would have to pick up at the Western Union agent office. For the latter, you will need to present the tracking number, the sender’s full name as well as your national ID. You will also confirm the amount you expect to receive, and in some scenarios, answer a security question before receiving the funds.
Western Union Exchange Rates
Typically, each currency has a mid-market exchange rate. Western Union’s fee is higher than the mid-market rate because this is how the provider can make more profits. Also, the exchange rate for online payments differs from in-person transfers.
Exchanges rates are dependent on particular factors that are similar to those affecting sender’s fees. These factors include mode of money transfer, receiver’s location as well as amount.
Western Union Fees
Western Union’s fees are different for every country. You will see the charges on the website before submitting an online transaction. If you’re doing it in-person, the agent will notify you about the fees.
Note that in-person fees are higher than direct transfer to the receiver’s bank account. Additionally, payment through debit or credit card is more expensive than bank transfers; however, it’s much quicker.
For instance, if you are planning on sending $1000 to someone in the US, direct bank transfer fees will be $0.99, bank to in-person pick-up $23, and credit card to bank transfer $72.
Aside from the transfer charges, you may have to pay bank origination and landing fees. It would help if you kept this in mind before choosing a transfer method.
Western Union’s Major Remittance Locations
Even though Western Union has a presence in over 200 countries, there are a few destinations where people utilize this service more. These countries include Nigeria, India, the US, and the Philippines, as well as Mexico.
Western Union Alternatives
In our comparison, you can find the best alternatives for money transfers with Western Union.
Western Union vs. TransferWise
Since its establishment in 2011, this money transfer service has over five million customers with 11 agent locations on four continents. Here are a few things to note about TransferWise:
- TransferWise uses the mid-market exchange rate, making it cheaper than Western Union.
- This platform allows for international transfers. However, it has limitations for some countries where one can either send or receive payments, but not both.
- The transfer amount is dependent on the location, and the amount wishes to send.
Western Union vs. Xoom
Xoom is the most recent out of all three and was set up in 2001. Here are a few things to note about Xoom:
- This provider allows for various money transfer options.
- One can send money to over 70 countries globally
- This service offers quick transactions
- The transfer limitations can increase by verifying your account with Xoom
- Transfer charges vary due to several factors
Western Union Review
Overall, Western Union is a useful money transfer platform with 24/7 customer care, several transfer channels as well as comprehensive coverage. The high fees may discourage someone who feels that these charges cancel out the amount received, on the other hand, you can book your money transfer with a great premium brand. The alternatives have similar services though they differ in costs. You must, therefore, assess which one works for you. We advise you to compare the exchange rates of options with CompareTransfer before booking a money transfer online.