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.

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At some point, you'll have a need for fast and easy international money transfers. You've certainly heard of Western Union, which has been around for more than a century. But online companies like WorldRemit are establishing a name for themselves with many unique benefits that help you save money.

We've compared them side by side on fees, exchange rates and speed to see who comes out on top.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 18 February 2019.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 30.00 0.744 USD
3,698
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world. Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 3.99 0.761 USD
3,802
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.
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.

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

Same day95+ 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

Same day95+ 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?

Use our calculator below to compare the fees, exchange rates and transfer speeds of leading international money transfer providers. Just enter the details in the calculator to see what fees and exchange rates you would get.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 0 1 - 2 days AUD 1.99 0.765 USD
7,648
Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries. Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.767 USD
7,672
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.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.767 USD
7,672
SendFX guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.767 USD
7,672
Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
WorldFirst sends 60+ currencies at competitive rates with no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
Go to site Show details
AUD 250 1 - 2 days AUD 0.00 0.767 USD
7,672
$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 1 day AUD 52.00 0.766 USD
7,625
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.
Go to site Show details
AUD 10 Within an hour AUD 2.99 0.762 USD
7,616
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.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 0.00 0.766 USD
7,664
XE has fast transfers with no fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 - 2 days AUD 50.00 0.769 USD
7,656
Exclusive: Use code FINDER10 to receive US$10 off your first transaction.
InstaReM offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers. Zero-margin rates on some currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 5 1 - 2 days EUR 3.00 0.763 USD
7,624
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 3.99 0.761 USD
7,608
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.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 1 - 2 days AUD 45.00 0.77 USD
7,668
TransferWise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. 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.

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 SendFX International Money Transfers
SendFX International Money Transfers

SendFX guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.

Logo for WorldFirst International Money Transfers
WorldFirst International Money Transfers

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

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