Western Union Money Transfers

Find out more about Westerm Union and compare money transfer providers here.

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, updated on August 18th, 2023       

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Western Union has been in existence for more than 145 years, so it’s one of the best-known international money transfer companies in the world. If you’re thinking of sending money overseas, find out if Western Union is your best option right here with Savvy.  You can compare providers with us and start your overseas transfer today.

*All product information is correct as of August, 2022.

More information about Western Union

About Western Union

Western Union was founded in 1851 in New York as a telegraph company. It completed the world’s first transcontinental telegraph in 1861 and got into the money transfer business in 1871.  After buying out its two main competitors, Western Union had a virtual monopoly on delivering telegraphs in the USA for many decades.

Today, the company has grown to become the second largest international transfer company in the world (behind PayPal) and operates in every country on the planet (except North Korea and Iran). It has over 12,000 direct employees and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.

Products and services offered by Western Union

Western Union is best known for its fast international money transfers of small sums and for its vast network of remittance agents, which is said to number more than 525,000 located around the globe.  In Australia, Western Union has partnered with Australia Post, so all post offices in the country offer its money transfer services.

Online money transfers

Western Union offers an international money transfer service that enables payments to be sent internationally to any bank account almost anywhere in the world. It offers this service via its website and also a mobile app. These transfers can be completed as quickly as a matter of seconds up to as long as five days, depending on where you’re sending your money. In most cases, though, transfers will be completed within two banking days through Western Union.

Cash transfers

In addition, it offers an instant cash pickup and delivery service, where cash can be sent to be collected in person at the other end.  In certain circumstances, Western Union can also arrange for cash to be delivered.

Transfer limits

Although there is no minimum amount you can send with Western Union, there is a maximum online transaction limit of AUS $50,000 which applies to transfers from Australia to some other nations. However, depending on the destination of your funds, a $5,000 maximum limit may also be applied.

How does Western Union charge for transfers?

A transfer fee is charged to send money overseas based on the amount you wish to send. This percentage-based fee will vary depending on your intended destination, with less common destinations more expensive than the more popular ones.  In addition to the transfer fee, a markup is also placed on the exchange rate, so you won’t be offered the mid-market rate. For cash pickups, this markup can be as high as 5% or more. The mid-market rate represents the best exchange rate available at any point in time.

To find out how much your transfer will cost, you’ll have to get a quote from Western Union. The transfer fee and exchange rate on offer will be displayed, which you’ll be able to use to compare transfer services with Savvy.

How to send money through Western Union

A Western Union account can be opened either online or through the Western Union app. You’ll need to initiate a transfer to start the identification process, which is as follows:

  • Enter the country you wish to send money to and the amount you’re transferring
  • Follow the prompts to get your identity verified. You’ll need to provide a form of identification such as your passport or driver’s licence
  • After your identity has been verified, your transfer will be accepted
  • You’ll receive a notification when your transfer has been completed successfully

The pros and cons of Western Union money transfers


Transfer funds to more than 200 countries

You can use Western Union to send money to more than 200 countries around the world in more than 135 currencies; they have the largest forex agent network of any transfer provider.

Simple online or mobile app transfers

Once you’ve registered with Western Union and set up your account, international money transfers are very easy to arrange and can be completed in less than two minutes. 

Get money where you need it, fast

Western Union prides itself on offering a fast international money transfer process, so your money will frequently arrive the same day, if not within two business days. This is far faster than the timeline offered by bank transfers, which is three to five business days. 

Cash transfers available

Western Union is one of only a handful of transfer providers in the world that can get cash to remote locations where recipients may not have a bank account.


Fees can be expensive

Fees charged by Western Union can be quite high, particularly if you want a priority service or an instant cash transfer.

Exchange rate may not be the best

The exchange rate you receive from Western Union may not be the most competitive exchange rate available, so your transfer could end up costing you more than anticipated.

Transfer limits

Western Union sets maximum daily transfer limits, which vary according to where you wish to send money.  These can be as low as $1,000 a day for transfers to some countries.

Less security for cash transfers

Once a cash transfer has been sent, and the money collected in person, there’s no way to wind back a cash transfer, so it’s important to never send cash to a person you don’t know, or have met in person.

Compare international money transfers

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Remitly offers fast, safe and secure money transfers with excellent rates to over 100 countries

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site-logos Revolut
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Fast and easy, with super competitive rates across all major currencies. Join 25+ million customers saving on global transfers.

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Disclaimer: Savvy is not advising or recommending any particular product to you. We provide general information on products for the purposes of comparison, but your personal situation or goals are not considered here. Although we try to make our comparisons as thorough as possible, we do not have information on all products on the market on our site.

If you decide to initiate a money transfer with one of the providers listed above via our website, you will not be dealing with Savvy; any applications or enquiries will be conducted directly with the provider offering that product.

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