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Western Union vs WorldRemit

We compare a tried-and-true company with a newer digital provider to help you learn who's best for your next transfer overseas.

Western Union and WorldRemit are both reputable money transfer providers and the best option will depend on your needs. We've compared them on fees, exchange rates and transfer speeds to help make your decision a bit easier.

Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Western Union
Within minutes
From $0
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
From $0.99
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
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Western Union and WorldRemit: How they work

Western Union and WorldRemit both offer flexible ways to transfer your money online.

Western Union

To use Western Union, go to its site, enter how much you're transferring and to where, and see how much you'll pay for the exchange. You also have the option of visiting an office, calling or using a mobile app to initiate a transfer. Once complete, Western Union converts and delivers your money to a bank account or makes it available for cash pickup at locations worldwide.

Read review: Western Union

WorldRemit

With WorldRemit, you go to its site, enter how much money you'll be transferring and then send your funds to WorldRemit. When setting up your transfer, you provide a mobile number for both yourself and your recipient, as well as a copy of your personal ID. Once approved, WorldRemit converts your currency and sends it to your recipient, who collects it via bank transfer, cash pickup or Mobile Money.

Read review: WorldRemit

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Which has lower fees?

Western Union

Western Union's remittance fees depend on how much money you're sending, where you're sending it and the payment method. It uses a tiered fee structure, so transfer fees increase at round numbers as the amount you send increases. Despite this, in recent years Western Union has become more competitive and offers discounts to new customers.

When sending money from Australia via bank transfer, fees start from $0. Western Union offers a "Price Estimator" tool on its website which you can use to check the exchange rate and transfer fee before proceeding.

WorldRemit

Similar to Western Union, WorldRemit's transfer fees will vary depending on where you're sending money. WorldRemit's bank transfer fees start from $0.99 and charge a fixed-rate transfer fee. Whether you're sending $1,000 or $10,000 the transfer fee will be the same.

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Winner: WorldRemit

In many cases, WorldRemit's fees will be lower than Western Union's, especially because its fees don't rise as you send more money.

Let's crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 and $10,000 from Australia to the US

Let's see how Western Union and WorldRemit compare when sending two different amounts from Australia to the United States.

Sending $1,000 to the United States
Western UnionWorldRemit
Transfer fee$0$0
Exchange rate1 AUD = 0.666 USD1 AUD = 0.665 USD
Transfer speedMinutesMinutes
Total US dollars received$666.30$665.60
Receiver gets$0.70 more$0.70 less
Sending $10,000 to the United States
Western UnionWorldRemit
Transfer fee$0$0
Exchange rate1 AUD = 0.6848 USD1 AUD = 0.714 USD
Transfer speedMinutesMinutes
Total US dollars received$6662.95$6,655.98
Receiver gets$6.97 more$6.97 less

Based on transfer fees and exchange rates taken from their websites on July 12th 2023, surprisingly Western Union is slightly cheaper than World Remit when sending money to USA via bank transfer.

Which offers better exchange rates?

Western Union

Western Union's exchange rate markup typically ranges between 1.5% to 5%. When we checked rates for converting $2,000 AUD to USD, they added a markup of 1.76% to the exchange rate. Western Union offer strong rates for USD but added a markup 4.55% to AUD/GBP and 3.88% to AUD/Euro.

WorldRemit

WorldRemit's exchange rates are around 1% to 2% above the mid-market rates for major currency pairs. For AUD/USD, WorldRemit adds a markup of 1.27%. Currently, WorldRemit doesn't support AUD/Euro.

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Winner: WorldRemit

WorldRemit wins, coming out with more favourable exchange rates than Western Union will typically offer customers.

Which is faster?

Western Union

The speed of your transfer will depend on the delivery method. Some transfers might take a day or two, while the fastest transfers can arrive at their destination in just minutes, although sometimes these will cost more.

The slowest are typically bank transfers, which can take up to five business days.

WorldRemit

WorldRemit's transfer speeds also depend on your transfer method. Cash pick-ups, mobile money and airtime top-ups (when you top up someone's mobile phone airtime) can arrive instantly.

Bank transfers and cash home delivery are slower though. Home deliveries can take up to seven days depending on the location, while bank transfers can take several days depending on where the money is going and what day of the week it is.

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Winner: Tie

Both Western Union and WorldRemit offer similar transfer speeds and options.

In both cases, the faster choices can arrive in a few minutes, while the slower ones can take up to a week.

General features

Payment methodsReceiving optionsMinimum and maximum transfersTransfer speedsCurrencies
Western Union
  • Bank transfer
  • Cash
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Bank account
  • Cash pickup location
Minimum: $1

Maximum: $50,000

Within minutes138 currencies
WorldRemit
  • Apple Pay
  • Bank transfer
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Bank account
  • Cash pickup location
  • Home delivery
  • Mobile wallet
  • Prepaid phone credit
Minimum: $1

Maximum: $50,000

Within minutes61 currencies

Western Union

Western Union locations can be found all over the world, making it relatively easy to drop in and make a cash transfer. You can also send funds over the phone or at Western Union online.

You can track your remittance and receive confirmation that it has arrived at the other end via email or SMS.

WorldRemit

You'll need to add a recipient phone number when making WorldRemit transfers. This is to ensure they're automatically updated on the progress of their transfer.

Both senders and recipients will be notified when a transfer is sent and again when it's received.

Bottom line

Western Union offers more flexibility in terms of transfer methods and coverage, but WorldRemit typically has lower transfer fees and better exchange rates for remittance countries. One big downside for WorldRemit is they don't currently support AUD to Euro transfers.

If low fees, competitive exchange rates and quick transfers are your main priorities, WorldRemit is the better choice. It's also worth noting, Western Union offers discounts for new customers so they could be cheaper if you're making one-off transfers.

Looking for more options?

Our table below lets you compare services you can use to send money abroad. Compare fees, exchange rates and discounts from different money transfer services, and when you have made your choice, click Go to site.
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
TorFX
24 hours
$0
TorFX sends money overseas in 40+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Xe Large Transfers
24 hours
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
Send Payments
24 hours
$0

Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
Revolut
Within minutes
$0
Send money with great rates and low fees in 30+ currencies.
Xe Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Instarem
Within minutes
From 0%
50% off first transaction fee from any country in APAC (outside India).
Minimum transfer of $250 and max transfer of $500,000
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.43%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
TorFX
24 hours
$0
TorFX sends money overseas in 40+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
From $0.99
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Rocket Remit
Within minutes
From $0 to $5
Send money instantly to friends and family in over 45 countries using just your mobile number.
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $1.99
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
SingX
Within minutes
From 0.5%
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
CurrencyFair
Within minutes
€3
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
Send Payments
Send Payments
24 hours
$0
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
MasterRemit
Within minutes
From $0
Get your 1st and 2nd money transfer for free with promo codes FIRSTFREE and MASTERFINDER!.
Send money in minutes at competitive exchange rates to the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
Western Union
Within minutes
From $0
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
Qantas Business Money
Within minutes
$0
Limited time offer: Earn up to 125,000 bonus Qantas Points as a first-time converter. Ends 30 April 2024. Conversion limits and T&Cs apply.
Set up accounts in 11 different currencies and get rewarded for global business payments by earning Qantas Points.
Airwallex
Within minutes
$0
Streamline global payments in 60+ currencies. Send & receive securely in 150+ countries, with fast settlements & competitive rates. Simplify book-keeping & manage everything in one place.
TorFX Business Transfers
24 hours
$0
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
OFX Business Transfers
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
WorldFirst
24 hours
From $0
Open bank accounts in Australia, the UK, US, Canada, Japan and Europe. Send and receive funds with zero fees for large sums, including same-currency supplier payments.
Send business
24 hours
$0

Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
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