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Western Union is now offering ridiculously cheap money transfers via POLipay

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Can you end up with more money than you started with after a money transfer?

Zero fee international money transfers of up to AUD$50,000 are now available through Western Union when you make a transfer with POLipay. And the exchange rates aren't bad either.

It's a big move, considering Western Union has never really been known as the cheapest option around. But could that be changing?

Let's take apart this new deal and find out.

The terms and conditions

First, the restrictions.

This deal is only available for money transfers from Australia to the following countries:

  • India
  • The Philippines
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Bangladesh
  • Thailand
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Vietnam
  • New Zealand

Secondly, this is only available when you make a transfer through POLipay, which means signing up for POLi and linking your account.

POLipay is a third-party service, which works by linking to your Australian bank account, allowing you to make cheap transfers. It's available for all of Australia's Big Four banks, and many of the smaller ones, so that's not really a problem.

Similarly, when sending larger amounts, the funds have to be delivered straight to the recipient's bank account, and you may not be able to get these rates with cash pick-ups.

Exchange rates

Western Union describes it as a "no transfer fee" offer, but a lot of money transfer services have no fees. That just means you need to watch out for the exchange rates.

And in this case, Western Union's exchange rates are actually ridiculously good in some cases.

Here's what it will cost you to send the maximum amount possible to each destination, as a percentage of the total, according to the Western Union money transfer calculator:


Exchange rates are current as of 28 November 2019. The total cost is based on the difference between the amount provided by the Western Union calculator and midmarket rates at the time of writing according to Morningstar.

CountryMaximum transfer size (AUD)Total cost
India$50,0000.43%
Philippines$19,0000.12%
Pakistan$4,7750.18%
Sri Lanka$30,0000.8%
Bangladesh$50,000-0.41%
Thailand$20,0000.32%
Indonesia$7,0000.18%
Malaysia$5,0000.07%
Vietnam$4,5000.31%
New Zealand$50,0000.22%

When sending money to Bangladesh, you may actually end up with more money than you started with. Rates for sending money to Malaysia are also extraordinarily good. The rest are still good, but you may still want to compare Western Union to other options to make sure you're getting the best deal.

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