Western Union is an American-based financial services company that operates in over 200 countries and territories while transacting in more than 130 currencies. Customers can make domestic or international money transfers online, in person or by phone.
What Are Western Union’s Transfer Fees?
Western Union fees vary based on where you're sending money to, what delivery method you choose and how you'd like to pay for the transfer. To determine the exact fees for a specific kind of transfer, you can use the company's Estimate Price tool online or speak with an agent. In general, transfer fees can range from 0% to 10%.
- For domestic transfers, here’s an example: if you're sending $500 to a U.S. bank account, you will be charged a $5 fee if paying with a bank account or a $20 fee if paying with a debit or credit card. Conversely, if you want to transfer $500 to be picked up in cash at a U.S. agent location, you will be charged a $10 fee if paying with a bank account or a $49.99 fee if paying with a debit or credit card.
- For international transfers, here’s an example: if you're sending $1,000 to a bank account in China, which requires a currency conversion to Chinese Yuan Renminbi, there is no fee if paying with a bank account or a debit or credit card. However, if you're sending $1,000 to be picked up in cash at a Chinese agent location, you will be charged a fee of $25 if paying with a bank account or a fee of $75 if paying with a debit or credit card.
How Fast Are Western Union's Transfers?
The delivery speed for a Western Union transfer can differ based on a variety of factors including the amount sent, the destination country, the selected delivery method, the payment type and the availability of a foreign currency. In general, transfer speeds can range from a number of minutes to seven days.
- For domestic transfers, transferred funds are usually ready to be picked up at an agent location within minutes if you're paying by debit or credit card--or, if you're paying by a bank account, the funds should be available for pickup within four business days. Alternatively, if you're sending money from a bank account to a bank account, the transfer may take up to six business days.
- For international transfers, if your recipient is picking up the funds in cash at a local agent location, the funds are often available in a matter of minutes if paying by a debit or credit card--or available in 3-7 business days if paying with a bank account. Alternatively, if you're sending money to a bank account, the funds may not be available until three business days if paying by card or four to seven business days if paying with a bank account.
Western Union's Backstory
Headquartered in Colorado, Western Union has over 500,000 agent locations and 100,000 ATMs and kiosks around the globe. The company reaches more than one billion bank accounts worldwide while moving over $150 billion in principal annually. On average, the company completes over 30 transactions every second.
Who Can Benefit From Western Union?
Western Union is a go-to pick for individuals who are looking for a speedy transaction processed by a global leader. Whether you want to send money to a local friend or pay an international bill, Western Union can complete the transfer in a matter of minutes. Since the company offers multiple choices when it comes to how you place the transfer, how you pay for the transfer and how your recipient can access the funds, Western Union is a great choice for customers who need flexibility.
What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages Of Western Union?
This is what we love about Western Union:
- The Estimate Price tool lets you see exactly what fees you’ll pay and when your funds will become available.
- Domestic and international transfers can be processed for pickup in a matter of minutes.
- The company transacts in over 130 currencies and there are over 500,000 agent locations spread throughout the world.
- Transfers can be made online, in person or by phone.
What We do not Like About Western Union:
- For some types of transfers, such as when you’re paying by credit card, the fees can be expensive.
- If you’re sending a transfer from one bank to another, the delivery speed can be slow--taking multiple business days for processing.