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Western Union vs MoneyGram

Which money transfer company should you use for your next international payment?

Western Union and MoneyGram are number one and number two in the international money transfer business. Western Union is almost synonymous with international payments and continues to be a leader in the increasingly competitive money transfer space. Compared to Western Union, MoneyGram is a relatively new player. MoneyGram as we know it now joined the market in 1998. We take a closer look at these two providers in this guide.

You can use the table below to compare money transfer services. Enter your transfer amount and destination to see the most suitable providers for your needs.

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Rates last updated December 17th, 2017
Name Product Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description
Western Union International Money Transfers
AUD 1
Same day
Online, Phone, Agent, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer, International Money Order
Send money online to friends and family around the world with Western Union.
The ‘Rate’ and ‘Amount Received’ displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated December 17th, 2017
Name Product Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description
TorFX International Money Transfers
AUD 200
1 day
Online, Phone, Agent
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply.
Send money overseas in 45 currencies. Once registered, you'll be assigned an Account Manager who can provide support and guidance.
Exclusive: OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
AUD 250
1 day
Online, Phone, Agent
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in 45 currencies.
Exclusive: WorldFirst International Money Transfers
AUD 2,000
1 day
Online, Phone
Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee and discounted exchange rates for your first trade.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in more than 130 currencies.
FC Exchange International Money Transfers
AUD 3,000
1 day
Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account
FC Exchange can save you money with its Best Exchange Rate Guarantee. Conditions apply.
No transfer fee when transferring more than £10,000 or equivalent. Send money in 43 currencies.
XE International Money Transfers
AUD 0
1 day
Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account
Enjoy fast, secure and fee-free international money transfers from global payments provider XE.
HiFX International Money Transfers
AUD 50
2 days
Online, Phone, Agent
Make your first transfer for free
Send money in more than 40 currencies.
Exclusive: Sable International Money Transfers
AUD 0
1 day
Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account
Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee and Price Beat Guarantee
Quote "finder" when your Sable International account manager calls you - guaranteed to beat any competitors exchange rate.
Foremost Currency Group
AUD 1,000
1 day
Online, Phone, Agent, Bank Account to Bank Account
Trade over 40 currencies with no transfer fees with Foremost Currency Group.
Moneycorp International Money Transfers
AUD 2,000
Same day
Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account
The longest standing and largest full service specialist currency provider in the UK.
Compass Global Markets International Money Transfers
AUD 1,000
1 day
Online, Phone
Send money overseas in at least 140 currencies.
The ‘Rate’ and ‘Amount Received’ displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

Compare up to 4 providers

Western Union vs MoneyGram

The two money transfer companies have a number of similarities. MoneyGram is a little more straightforward when it comes to fees, while Western Union provides more ways to pay and has more agents and collection points across the world. Both Western Union and MoneyGram let you send money online and in person and make funds available to collect from an agent in minutes once a payment has been made. Electronic transfers allow money to be sent directly to a bank account as well.

The services on offer vary based on where you’re sending the money. For example, MoneyGram transfers to Hong Kong can be collected in person only, whereas there’s the option of agent pickup or bank account deposit for transfers to India. Western Union give a similar range of options.

Western Union and MoneyGram do charge fees, and the cost of the transfer depends on how the money is sent and received. Payments from a credit or debit card, for example, are quick albeit expensive. MoneyGram has a simpler ‘flat-fee’ approach to transfer fees, while Western Union transfers can be more expensive with fees up to 10% of the total transfer amount. Both Western Union and MoneyGram make a small margin on the exchange rate for international payments. Be sure to compare the different payment providers as services and fees vary depending on what you’re looking to do.

Western Union vs MoneyGram exchange rates

AUDWestern UnionMoneyGram
USD1 AUD = 0.7555 USD1 AUD = 0.7353 USD (cash transfer)
EUR1 AUD = 0.6342 EUR1 AUD = 0.6514 EUR
JPY1 AUD = 84.5022 JPY1 AUD = 84.0824 JPY (cash transfer)
GBP1 AUD = 0.5647 GBP1 AUD = 0.5606 GBP
CHF1 AUD = 0.7147 CHF1 AUD = 0.7180 CHF (cash transfer)
CAD1 AUD = 0.9336 CAD (cash transfer)1 AUD = 0.9416CAD (cash transfer)
HKD1 AUD = 5.9845 HKD (cash transfer)1 AUD = 5.8300 HKD (cash transfer)
BRL1 AUD = 2.3811 BRL (cash transfer)1 AUD =2.3299 BRL
CNY1 AUD = 5.2262 CNY1 AUD = 5.2418 CNY
INR1 AUD = 49.5323 INR (cash transfer)1 AUD = 49.5692 INR (cash transfer)
CLP1 AUD = 497.9618 CLP (cash transfer)1 AUD = 488.0758 CLP (cash transfer)
  • Rates are correct as at 17 July 2017. You should always seek a quote for current rates and fees.
  • All rates based on bank account transfer rates unless stated as cash transfers.

On face value, Western Union offers slightly better exchange rate than MoneyGram, but the above rates don’t factor in transfer fees. Western Union charge transfer fees that vary depending on the payment and method of collection. Unless you’re sending a large sum of money, the rates on offer won’t affect the bottom line too much.

As you can see, there’s a considerable difference in the exchange rate offered on Chilean Pesos (CLP). The choice of company for your international transfer can influence the bottom line here. This is why it pays (literally) to compare all your options before you agree to a transfer. Shop around between money transfer companies to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your international exchange, particularly for currencies that are less common. Scroll down to see which provider is cheaper.

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Western Union vs Moneygram fees - which is cheaper?

It can be hard to compare these two companies as there are a number of factors which influence the overall cost of your transfer. To compare apples with apples, the following example puts Western Union and MoneyGram side by side for a transfer of AUD $1000 to India.

Sending money to India

Using a credit or debit card to pay for a transfer to India and selecting cash as a collection option will cost you AUD$20 using Western Union. The same transfer using MoneyGram will net you a small saving. MoneyGram charge AUD$18.00 for this service, and it also offers a slightly better exchange rate as we can see in the table above. These fees vary greatly depending on the country you’re sending the money too and the payment and collection method, so be sure to compare your options for the country you want to transfer to before you access and process the payment.

Western Union vs MoneyGram pickup locations

The main difference between the two companies is the number of pickup locations. Western Union is ahead of MoneyGram, they offer over half a million places all over the world where you can collect your money in person compared to MoneyGram’s 300,000+. Another key difference is the payment options. Western Union offers telephonic transfers if using the internet isn’t your thing.

Western Union and MoneyGram pick up options

MoneyGram

Moneygram gives you the following options for collecting money.

  • Cash. Collect the funds as cash from a MoneyGram agent. In Australia, you can send the make cash transfers at 7-Eleven stores.
  • SMARTMoney. Get the funds sent to a smartphone mobile wallet using the MoneyGram SMARTMoney utility. Transfer limits apply.
  • Bank deposit. Get the funds sent directly to a bank account.

Western Union

Western Union offers a similar choice of collection options.

  • Cash. Collect the funds as cash from a Western Union agent.
  • Bank deposit. Funds can be sent direct to the recipient’s bank account.

Got it - what now?

Now that you have a better understanding of the different services provided by Western Union and MoneyGram, it's time to compare your options and get a quote. Use the comparison table above to compare the features of a range of services and, after selecting a couple that you believe would meet your needs, click the green 'Go to Site' button to source quotes for your transfer. You can also check out our guide to see how Western Union and MoneyGram compare against PayPal for sending money overseas.

Jacob Joseph

Jacob is a writer and video journalist with finder.com.au. Credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts are his bread and butter, and he likes nothing more helping people understand the sometimes overly complex world of personal finance.

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International Money Transfer Offers

Learn about our information service
TorFX International Money Transfers

TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply.
Send money overseas in 45 currencies. Once registered, you'll be assigned an Account Manager who can provide support and guidance.

Exclusive: OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers

Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in 45 currencies.

Exclusive: WorldFirst International Money Transfers

Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee and discounted exchange rates for your first trade.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in more than 130 currencies.

FC Exchange International Money Transfers

FC Exchange can save you money with its Best Exchange Rate Guarantee. Conditions apply.
No transfer fee when transferring more than £10,000 or equivalent. Send money in 43 currencies.

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12 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    mikeJuly 9, 2017

    I have an invoice for 1000 euros from Lithuania, I live in Singapore & have Singapore dollars. Can I do that?

    • Staff
      LiezlJuly 10, 2017Staff

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      Just to confirm, do you wish to send money to Lithuania to settle the 1000 euro invoice? If so, you may do that either through the Western Union or Moneygram. Both let you send money online and in person. You may also send the money directly to a bank account through electronic transfers.

      If this is not what you’re asking about, please do not hesitate to message us again and we’ll be happy to assist.

      Cheers,
      Liezl

  2. Default Gravatar
    PrajeeshDecember 30, 2016

    How about comparison between XE and these money transfer companies?

    • Staff
      MayJanuary 1, 2017Staff

      Hi Prajeesh,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      If you would like to see how XE Trade Money Transfers compares, you can see our review on here. Meanwhile, you may also like to check this page for other money transfer service options you can compare.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

    • Default Gravatar
      January 1, 2017

      Thanks May for your prompt reply. It sure is helpful.

  3. Default Gravatar
    BarbaraSeptember 6, 2016

    I want to send money via western union. Do I need an ID to Send Money?

    • Staff
      ChesterSeptember 6, 2016Staff

      Hello Barbara,

      Thanks for your question .

      You’ll need to register with Western Union in order to use its money transfer services. To do this, you’ll need an Australian driver’s licence, passport or Medicare card for identification purposes.

      Once your profile has been created, you can lodge transfers online or in person at a branch. You’ll simply need to supply your recipient’s full name and address, plus a credit, debit or prepaid Visa or MasterCard issued by an Australian bank. Of course, you’ll also need to be over 18 years of age.

      Though funds availability can be affected by factors such as agent location hours, funds are typically available for your recipient to pick up within minutes.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers!
      Chester

    • Staff
      ShirleySeptember 6, 2016Staff

      Hi Barbara,

      Thanks for your question.

      You must have an accepted form of government-issued photo ID. Acceptable ID includes:
      All passports (Australian and overseas)
      Australian-issued drivers license
      Australian-issued 18+ proof of age cards; and/or Photo Card

      Hope this helps.

  4. Default Gravatar
    LittleMay 15, 2016

    I am sending $600 to Istanbul, Turkey. I am going to use a credit card, probably pay pal. Which is cheapest to send it on line Moneygram, Western Union, or PayPal?

    • Staff
      ShirleyMay 24, 2016Staff

      Hi Little Sue,

      Thanks for your question.

      Based on our research and case study, your recipient receives more if you use Western Union. However, please note that services charge different fees and rates depending on the currency and send amount.

      We recommend that you conduct your own comparison for your personal situation to find the best deal for you.

    • Default Gravatar
      joseph094July 10, 2016

      Please I want to pick up money which one is the higher money between money gram and western union?

    • Staff
      ClarizzaJuly 11, 2016Staff

      Hi Joseph,

      Thanks for your question.

      Based on the case study on this page, Wester Union tends to offer higher exchange rates. However fees may vary so we recommend looking into the cost of transferring along with the exchange rate offered. Remember, fees will also depend on the country you are sending money to or where you’re picking up the cash. As we are a comparison site, we provide general advice only.

      Hope this helps.

      Clarizza

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