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Western Union vs WorldFirst

Find out whether the well-established company or the online upstart is best for your next transfer overseas.

International money transfers are no longer just for the tried and tested companies and newer companies like WorldFirst have emerged to undercut the established competition. We compare them both side by side on fees, rates and transfer times.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 4 April 2019.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.675 USD
1,687
Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates and no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 30.00 0.655 USD
1,617
Send money online to friends and family around the world with Western Union. Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

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.

Which has lower fees?

Western Union

Western Union's fees start from $4, but will typically increase in tiers as you send larger amounts. Certain transfer methods will also incur much heavier fees, such as credit card payments.

The fee structure varies widely depending on which country you're sending money to and how you pay. For example, a transfer of $1,700 from Australia to France would cost $9 in fees with a bank transfer, but over $100 with a credit card.

WorldFirst

WorldFirst does not charge any fees. However, its minimum transfer amount is AUD$2,000, so not everyone will be able to take advantage of this.

Trophy icon
Winner: WorldFirst

WorldFirst charges $0 for money transfers, provided you're sending more than $2,000.

Let's crunch the numbers: Sending $2,000 to the United Kingdom

The tables below show how much it would cost to send $2,000 to the UK with Western Union and WorldFirst, so you can see the actual price difference when factoring in both fees and exchange rates.

Sending $2,000 to the United Kingdom

Western Union WorldFirst
Transfer fee $0 $15
Exchange rate 1 AUD = 0.5148 GBP 1 AUD = 0.5376 GBP
Transfer speed Within minutes 1-4 days
Total British pounds received GBP£1,021.90 GBP£1,075.20
Receiver gets GBP£53.30 less GBP£53.30 more

WorldFirst is more cost-effective, charging no fees while simultaneously offering more competitive exchange rates. But in this case it's also slower than Western Union.

Which offers better exchange rates?

Western Union

Western Union's exchange rates, relative to the mid-market rate, vary widely by currency. In the case of Australian dollars to British pounds, Western Union takes a 4.8% margin on exchange rates.

But for conversions from Australian dollars to euros, Western Union takes about 10%. On the other hand, it only takes 0.35% on conversions from Australian dollars to Indian rupees.

The exchange rates vary widely depending on currency, and change constantly, so it's important to check rates prior to making a transfer, and not to assume that they will be equivalent for every currency.

WorldFirst

WorldFirst's exchange rates also vary by currency, but tend to be more favourable and less variable than Western Union's. You'll also get different rates depending on how much money you're sending, with larger transfers typically enjoying better rates.

For a $2,000 transfer of Australian dollars to British pounds, WorldFirst only takes a margin of about 0.5%. It takes a similar cut for the same sized transfer to euros.

It takes a slightly larger margin than Western Union on conversions to Indian rupees though, of around 0.4% on the mid-market rate.

Although its rates vary by amount sent and currency, it still tends to be lower and more consistent than Western Union's exchange rates.

Trophy icon
Winner: WorldFirst

WorldFirst's rates aren't always going to be better than Western Union's for every currency, but they usually are.

Which is faster?

Western Union

Western Union offers different speeds depending on your preferred transfer method. At its fastest, funds can arrive in just a few minutes with cash deposits or credit card payments, depending on your location and the destination. For bank transfers, it might take several business days.

WorldFirst

WorldFirst transfer times will also differ depending on your location and the destination.

If you're sending British pounds, US dollars or euros, the recipient can usually get their funds on the same or next day.

But other currencies will generally be slower, taking one to four business days to reach their destination.

Trophy icon
Winner: Western Union

Western Union is able to do faster transfers to a wider range of destinations, in a wider range of currencies, than WorldFirst can.

General features

Payment methods Receiving Options Max and Min Transfer speeds Currencies
Western Union Cash deposit, credit card, bank transfer Cash pick-up, bank transfer, mobile payment Minimum: $1

Maximum: $5,000

Same day 100+ currencies
WorldFirst Bank transfer Bank transfer Minimum: $2,000

Maximum: No limit

1 day 60+ currencies

Western Union

You can create an account to send money online, send it over the phone or walk into one of its many branches with cash in hand. Western Union also has one of the widest ranges of countries you can send to.

WorldFirst

You'll need to create an account to send money with WorldFirst as well as see the exchange rates on offer. Although you can call WorldFirst to send money over the phone, you'll generally be doing it online with a bank transfer.

Bottom line

WorldFirst is competitively priced compared to Western Union when you can use it, but it's not suitable for smaller transfers, and won't let you send money overseas in a hurry.

Looking for more options?

If you still haven't found an option that works for you, or want to see if anyone else can beat WorldFirst on price, browse the table below to see how much your transfer will cost with different providers.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.675 USD
6,748
Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates and no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
Go to site Show details
AUD 250 1 day AUD 0.00 0.675 USD
6,746
Sign up through Finder and get a $50 Myer gift card when you send $10,000 or more. T&Cs apply.
SendFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.
Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 day AUD 0.00 0.674 USD
6,742
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
Send money overseas in 30+ currencies with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Go to site Show details
AUD 250 1 - 2 days AUD 0.00 0.675 USD
6,746
$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. No transfer fee over AUD$10,000.
Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 day AUD 0.00 0.672 USD
6,723
Low minimum transfer amount of just AU$200, with no set-up fees or transfer fees. Go to site Show details
AUD 5 1 - 2 days EUR 3.00 0.671 USD
6,708
Special offer: Pay zero fees on your first 5 transfers.
Get bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Within an hour AUD 3.99 0.67 USD
6,693
An online money transfer service with cash pickup, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available. Go to site Show details
AUD 3,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.675 USD
6,750
Global Reach will match any competitor's exchange rates. Conditions apply.
No transfer fee when transferring more than £10,000 or equivalent. Send money in over 130 currencies. No maximum transfer amount.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 1 day AUD 0.00 0.671 USD
6,709
With global payments provider XE, enjoy fast and secure transfers and a range of foreign currency tools and calculators while benefiting from $0 transfer fees. Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 - 2 days AUD 50.00 0.678 USD
6,743
Exclusive: Finder customers receive $15 off their first transaction. T&Cs apply.
Quick and simple international money transfers with zero-margin exchange rates. There's a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers. Earn loyalty points on sign up, referral and every transaction.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers


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.

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

Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates and no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.

Logo for SendFX International Money Transfers
SendFX International Money Transfers

Sign up through Finder and get a $50 Myer gift card when you send $10,000 or more. T&Cs apply.
SendFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.

Logo for TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX International Money Transfers

TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
Send money overseas in 30+ currencies with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.

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

$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. No transfer fee over AUD$10,000.

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