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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.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

With both Western Union and WorldRemit offering cash transfers to many global destinations, picking between these two can be tricky. We've compared them on fees, exchange rates and transfer speeds to help make your decision a bit easier.

1 - 2 of 2
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.
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.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Western Union and WorldRemit: How they work

Western Union and WorldRemit both offer 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 creating 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

Back to top

Which has lower fees?

Western Union

Western Union's remittance fees depend on how much money you're sending, and where you're sending it. It uses a tiered fee structure, in which the cost of sending money will increase at round numbers as the amount you send increases.

When sending money from Australia, fees start from $4. But for large transfers, they can get as high as $30 or even more.

WorldRemit

WorldRemit's transfer fees will be different depending on where you're sending money. For many destinations, the online transfer fees are fixed at $3.99.

Trophy icon
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$9$3.99
Exchange rate1 AUD = 0.6848 USD1 AUD = 0.714 USD
Transfer speedMinutesMinutes
Total US dollars receivedUS$680US$711.15
Receiver getsUS$31.15 lessUS$31.15 more
Sending $10,000 to the United States
Western UnionWorldRemit
Transfer fee$60$3.99
Exchange rate1 AUD = 0.6848 USD1 AUD = 0.714 USD
Transfer speedMinutesMinutes
Total US dollars receivedUS$6,806.91US$7,137.22
Receiver getsUS$330.31 lessUS$330.31 more

With lower fees and more favourable exchange rates, WorldRemit ends up being cheaper than Western Union.

And when you look at the numbers, you can see what a difference it makes. On a transfer of $1,000, WorldRemit can put another US$31.15 back in your pocket. And on a transfer of $10,000, using WorldRemit means the recipient gets another US$330.

It definitely pays to compare.

Which offers better exchange rates?

Western Union

Western Union's exchange rates for AUD to USD are equivalent to about 4% to 6% above mid-market rates. This is essentially equivalent to an exchange rate "fee" of 6%.

As is typical for Western Union, and most other remittance companies, the exact exchange rates will fluctuate over time and will vary by currency.

WorldRemit

WorldRemit's USD exchange rates are around 1% to 3% above the mid-market rates, but the rate varies for each currency.

Trophy icon
Winner: WorldRemit

WorldRemit wins, coming out with much 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.

Trophy icon
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 UnionBank transfer, credit card, debit card, cashBank account, cash pick-up location, e-wallet transferMinimum: $1

Maximum: $50,000

Within minutes95+ currencies
WorldRemitBank transfer, credit card, debit card, mobile paymentsBank account, cash pick-up location, e-wallet transfer, cash home delivery, airtime top-upMinimum: $1

Maximum: $50,000

Within minutes95+ 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, but WorldRemit comes out on top when comparing nearly every other aspect of your money transfer. If low fees, competitive exchange rates and quick transfers are your top priorities, WorldRemit is the clear choice.

Of course, it can help to compare your options to find the service that best fits your individual needs.

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.
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.
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
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
All new customers who send more than AUD$10000 in June and July are eligible to receive a $300 Woolworths gift card. Conditions apply.
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.
OFX Business Transfers
24 hours
From $15

View details
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
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Compare up to 4 providers

About options other than Western Union

More guides on Finder

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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