Western Union Australia review

A straightforward way to send money overseas with multiple transfer options - just watch out for high fees and weak exchange rates.

  • Good for sending money to just about everywhere, with options for those without bank accounts.
  • Watch out for fees that can add up and poor exchange rates.

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Details

Product NameWestern Union
Minimum Transfer Amount$1
Pay ByBank transfer
Receiving OptionsCash pickup location, Bank account
Customer ServicePhone, Email
Available CurrenciesAED, AFN, ALL, AMD, ANG, AOA, ARS, AUD, AWG, AZN, BBD, BDT, BGN, BHD, BIF, BMD, BND, BOB, BRL, BSD, BTN, BWP, BZD, CAD, CDF, CHF, CLP, CNY, COP, CRC, CUC, CVE, CZK, DJF, DKK, DOP, DZD, EGP, ERN, ETB, EUR, FJD, FKP, GBP, GEL, GHS, GIP, GMD, GNF, GTQ, GYD, HKD, HNL, HRK, HTG, HUF, IDR, ILS, INR, IQD, IRR, ISK, JMD, JOD, JPY, KES, KGS, KHR, KMF, KRW, KWD, KYD, KZT, LAK, LBP, LKR, LRD, LSL, LYD, MAD, MDL, MGA, MKD, MMK, MNT, MOP, MUR, MVR, MWK, MXN, MYR, MZN, NAD, NGN, NIO, NOK, NPR, NZD, OMR, PEN, PGK, PHP, PKR, PLN, PYG, QAR, RON, RSD, RUB, RWF, SAR, SBD, SCR, SDG, SEK, SGD, SHP, SLL, SOS, SRD, SVC, SYP, SZL, THB, TMT, TND, TOP, TRY, TTD, TWD, TZS, UAH, UGX, USD, UYU, UZS, VEF, VND, VUV, WST, XAF, XCD, XOF, XPF, YER, ZAR, ZMW, STD, MRO
Bank Account Required?Yes
Western Union has a gigantic global network of agent locations and bank connections that makes it easy to send money to almost anywhere. You can transfer this money fast for higher fees, or a bit slower for lower fees, depending on your needs and resources. However, given Western Union's history of customer complaints and lawsuits, maybe consider looking at smaller money transfer providers who have a better track record and also offer better exchange rates and lower fees. Having said that, Western Union will almost always be a cheaper option than your bank, especially when sending one-off transfers or to remote destinations.

Why should I consider Western Union?

  • Established service. Western Union has managed both domestic and international money transfers since 1871.
  • Huge network. With around 600,000 agent locations worldwide in more than 200 countries, Western Union is one of the world's largest money transfer providers.
  • Flexible transfer options. With a mix of online and agent locations services, you can choose to pay with cash, credit, debit, bank accounts and more. Also, Western Union's business transfer options let you use hedging tools to get even more flexibility.
  • Fast transfers. Some transfers through Western Union be received within minutes, which helps in an emergency or when you don't want to wait a few days for your transfer to go through.
  • Suitable for large transfers. If using POLi, you're able to send $50,000 to an international bank account in one transaction.

What to be aware of

  • Weak exchange rates. Western Union adds margins approaching 5% on top of the mid-market exchange rate, so you'll be able to find better rates from other online transfer services.
  • Maximum transfer limits. There is a maximum limit on how much you can send online which is determined by which country you are sending to. However, agent locations typically have no limit, as long as you can provide adequate identification while sending.
  • High fees. Fees vary depending on your transfer amount and destination, but Western Union's fees are often higher than those of other transfer providers.

How much are Western Union's transfer fees?

Western Union has different fees for nearly every country it sends to. These fees depend on how you are paying for the transfer and how the transfer will be collected. Agent location fees aren't typically posted online, but Western Union's online fees are based on:

  • Location. The fees you pay will be different when sending to different countries around the world.
  • Payment. Paying with a credit card versus a debit card or a bank account will have different fees. Keep in mind that if you choose to pay with a credit card, you may be charged fees by your credit card provider too.
  • Receiving method. Picking up cash is typically more expensive than having money sent straight to a bank account.

Western Union offers a "Price Estimator" tool on its website which you can use to check the exchange rate and fee for your specific transaction before you proceed.

How are Western Union's exchange rates?

Western Union makes money by adding a margin to the exchange rate in addition to any fees charged. It applies different exchange rates to different transfer types. It also uses stronger or weaker exchange rates based on the currency you are transferring.

It is best to compare the displayed rate on Western Union with the current mid-market rate to work out the size of the margin charged. You can also then use the interbank rate as a benchmark for comparing the rates of other money transfer providers.

What your Western Union transfer could look like?

Use the table below to find out more details about what making a money transfer with Western Union looks like. Click the Go to site button to visit Western Union's site and get a quote for your transfer.

1 - 1 of 1
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
Western Union
Within minutes
From $0

View details
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
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Check for the latest Western Union discount codes and coupons

What are the ways I can send money abroad with Western Union?

Western Union has a diverse range of transfer options. We'll go through the most used options and what the steps look like:

How to send money transfer online with Western Union

To send your first money transfer with Western Union, you will need to create a profile online:

How to send money transfer via the Western Union app

With the Western Union app you can send money, transfer transfers, review exchange rates and find agent locations. Sending a transfer is simple:

Send money in person at Western Union locations

If you prefer to send your money transfer in person, then complete the following steps:

Go to site

How can my recipient get the money?

Western Union has several options for how your intended recipient can get their money. You can choose from any of the following:

  • Cash (in-store)
  • Bank account
  • Mobile wallet

What are Western Union's payment options?

There are several payment options available with Western Union, each with its own set of limits, fees and restrictions. Its online, phone and in-store options include:

  • POLi transfer
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Prepaid card
  • Cash (when sending money in person)

How long does an international transfer with Western Union take?

You can send your transfer a few different ways, which will determine how quickly your transfer is sent and how much it will cost.

If you pay for your transfer with a credit or debit card and have it sent for cash pickup - you'll typically pay a higher fee but your money can arrive in as little as 10 minutes. However, your credit card may charge a cash advance fee, further increasing the cost of your total transfer.

The cheaper, but slower option, would be to make a bank transfer. This can take up to 5 business days. Depending on verification needs, you may have to wait longer while Western Union confirms you own the registered bank account.

Transfers typically takeClock icon for transfer speed

1 day

How much money can I send with Western Union?

Your limits will vary based on a number of factors including your transfer history, location, transfer destination and what service you choose.

You can see the maximum amount you can send when inputting your transfer details in the Send Money section on Western Union's homepage.

If you are looking to make a large money transfer, then Western Union allows you to transfer up to US$50,000 or the local currency equivalent from Australia when sending from your bank account directly to the receiver's bank account. Just keep in mind that this limit may not be available for all receiver countries and is subject to restrictions based on the factors mentioned above.

Limits at Agent Locations

There's usually no restriction on the amount you may send at an agent location. However, some countries set limits on how much can be received. If you have questions about a specific amount you're sending or a specific country, you can call Customer Care to inquire.

Is Western Union safe to use?

  • Regulation: Regulated in Australia by ASIC
  • Established: 1851
  • Reviews: TrustScore of 4/5 stars* from 25,000+ reviews on Trustpilot
*According to Trustpilot on 07 April 2022.

As a global money transfer company, Western Union must comply with all the relevant laws and regulations in the countries in which it operates. As it's based in the US, it is primarily regulated by FinCEN, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. In Australia, the company is regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) and is also listed on AUSTRAC's remittance sector register.

Western Union is a globally recognised name in the remittance business and has been offering money transfer services for more than 145 years. It also claims to use SSL technology and a variety of other techniques to protect customer information.

Money transfer scams

Western Union uses policies and procedures like photo identification and tracking number (MTNC) verification to help make sure your money is sent to the right person. It also educates its agents and customers on how to protect themselves from fraud and scams.

Typical scams through Western Union include:

  • Payment requests. Someone online offers to sell you something and asks that you pay through Western Union. They pick up the cash that you sent to a Western Union agent location, and you never hear from them again.
  • Overpayment scam. You receive a check that appears to be valid for a new job, a service or a product you are offering. The check amount is more than you earned, so the sender requests you return the extra amount by money transfer. After sending the money transfer, you'll learn that the check bounced, and there is no way to reverse the money transfer.
  • Tax scam. You are contacted by someone claiming to be from a government agency, stating that you owe taxes and they must be paid immediately. They will claim the fastest way to send money and avoid penalties is through a money transfer.

To combat these types of scams, Western Union provides clear warnings on their website before a user sends a money transfer. This popup warning requires users to choose Accept before sending their transfers. Western Union has a specific Twitter account dedicated to fraud awareness that tweets about the newest and most relevant scams while they are popping up. Also, Western Union now operates 24/7 phone lines for customer support all over the world.

How does Western Union compare to other providers?

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.
1 - 20 of 22
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
TorFX
24 hours
$0

View details
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.
Send Payments
24 hours
$0

View details
Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
OFX
24 hours
From $15

View details
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Ria Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0 for new customers or $2.89 fee per transaction (online only)

View details
$0 fee for new customers with code ‘HelloRia’
Ria lets you send money to 165+ countries with cash pick-up at 507,000 locations.
Western Union
Within minutes
From $0

View details
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
XE Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0

View details
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
TorFX
24 hours
$0

View details
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.
Send Payments
24 hours
$0

View details
Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
SingX
Within minutes
0.45%

View details
Pay no fees on your first two transfers, up to $3,000.
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
Wise (TransferWise)
24 hours
From 0.35%

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
Instarem
Within minutes
From 0%

View details
Instarem offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers.
Remitly
Within an hour
From $2.99

View details
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
CurrencyFair
Within minutes
From $0

View details
Special offer: New customers get unlimited fee-free transfers for their first 3 months. T&Cs apply.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
$1.99
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Use the code ‘4FREEFINDER’ to get 4 free transfers if you are a first time user. Eligible countries only.

View details
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
MasterRemit
Within minutes
From $1

View details
New customers get their first transaction for free with code FIRSTFREE. T&Cs apply.
Send money in minutes at competitive exchange rates with this Australian money transfer service.
SingX For Large Transfers
Within minutes
0.45%

View details
Pay no fees on your first two transfers, up to $3,000.
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
WorldFirst Business Transfers
WorldFirst Business Transfers
24 hours
From $0

View details
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.
Airwallex
Within minutes
$0

View details
Airwallex can help you make business payments to 23+ currencies using competitive interbank rates and no fees for most transfers.
TorFX Business Transfers
24 hours
$0

View details
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.
Send business
Within minutes
$0

View details
Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Want to compare Western Union with other services side-by-side?

Frequently asked questions

International Money Transfer Offers

Important Information*
Logo for Azimo International Money Transfers
Azimo International Money Transfers

Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.

Logo for TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX International Money Transfers

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.

Logo for MasterRemit International Money Transfers
MasterRemit International Money Transfers

New customers get their first transaction for free with code FIRSTFREE. T&Cs apply.
Send money in minutes at competitive exchange rates with this Australian money transfer service.

Logo for OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers

$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.

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44 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    Kat
    December 22, 2018

    I have a friend in the USA that wants to transfer or send me some money ASAP in Australia for Christmas. What is the best, easiest and most efficient way to do this? Can it be done here?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Val
      December 22, 2018

      Hi Kat,

      Thank you for leaving a question and reaching out to Finder.

      Yes, this could be done through Western Union. Though their rates vary on a daily basis depending on exchange rates. Western Union and MoneyGram can send money using cash or EFTPOS. You may want to refer to our guide in sending money to Australia for more options.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Val

  2. Default Gravatar
    Priyanka
    August 27, 2018

    Hi,

    I transferred 1000 AUD to India on 26th Aug around 8 pm AEST. Now, it is 27th Aug 9 pm AEST. Still, If I go to make another transaction it says that “You have reached your daily send limit of 5000 AUD”. I do not understand how does it calculate the limit?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Joshua
      August 29, 2018

      Hi Priyanka,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Your limit does not only depend on the amount of money you sent for a particular given day. It also includes transaction history, the receiver’s country, your location (state) and the service you choose.

      To confirm the real reason why you still can’t send money, you may want to directly get in touch with Western Union.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  3. Default Gravatar
    Wendy
    December 30, 2017

    Hi,

    I was wondering can I buy Ripple from western union. This is similar to bitcoin.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Rench
      January 3, 2018

      Hi Wendy,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Western Union is a money transfer company. The service allows you to make quick and easy money transfers to more than 200 countries around the world. You cannot buy Ripple/Bitcoin from Western Union.

      You can buy Ripple as you would buy any other cryptocurrency from an online exchange. Most require you to go through a verification process but once done you just buy the XRP as you would any other product online. Finally, transfer the coins to your wallet for safekeeping.

      Please ensure to read through the relevant product disclosure statement and terms and conditions to ensure that you got everything covered before you initiate a money transfer.

      Best regards,
      Rench

  4. Default Gravatar
    Shinephil
    December 27, 2017

    Hi good day,
    Im from Australia, i just wanna ask if my mom can sent me money here in Australia from Philippines? How much is the maximum amount she can sent to me per day or per week or per month?

    Thanks,

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Rench
      December 27, 2017

      Hi Shinephil,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Please note that we are not affiliated with Western Union or any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

      Yes, she can send money from the Philippines to Australia using Western Union money transfer. She can send money per day or per week or monthly, Whichever you will prefer.

      Western Union updates its exchange rates regularly in line with fluctuating market conditions. The fees for Western Union may vary depending on how much money you are sending and where you are sending it to. To help you work out how much your transfer will cost.

      Your mother from the Philippines can check with a Western Union branch or from their official site to check the minimum and maximum amount for transfer.

      Best regards,
      Rench

  5. Default Gravatar
    mccorp89bd@gmail.com
    July 6, 2017

    I am from Bangladesh. My friend will send money ($1000) from China. Please tell me how much is the western union charge?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Rench
      July 6, 2017

      Hi,

      Thanks for reaching out to us.

      For sending 1000 USD from China to Bangladesh, the transfer fee is 48 USD. You may go to Western Union’s official site to see more details. I suggest contacting Western Union directly for further inquiries.

      Hope this information helped.

      Cheers,
      Rench

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