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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.

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 0.654 USD
3,250
Send money online to friends and family around the world with Western Union. Show details
AUD 1 Within an hour AUD 3.99 0.669 USD
3,341
An online money transfer service with cash pickup, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available. 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 Union WorldRemit
Transfer fee $9 $3.99
Exchange rate 1 AUD = 0.6848 USD 1 AUD = 0.714 USD
Transfer speed Minutes Minutes
Total US dollars received US$680 US$711.15
Receiver gets US$31.15 less US$31.15 more
Sending $10,000 to the United States
Western Union WorldRemit
Transfer fee $60 $3.99
Exchange rate 1 AUD = 0.6848 USD 1 AUD = 0.714 USD
Transfer speed Minutes Minutes
Total US dollars received US$6,806.91 US$7,137.22
Receiver gets US$330.31 less US$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.

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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 methods Receiving options Minimum and maximum transfers Transfer speeds Currencies
Western Union Bank transfer, credit card, debit card, cash Bank account, cash pick-up location, e-wallet transfer Minimum: $1

Maximum: $5,000

Same day 95+ currencies
WorldRemit Bank transfer, credit card, debit card, mobile payments Bank account, cash pick-up location, e-wallet transfer, cash home delivery, airtime top-up Minimum: $1

Maximum: $50,000

Within an hour 95+ 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
AUD 3,000 1 day GBP 20.00 0.673 USD
6,720
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 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.674 USD
6,739
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 0.674 USD
6,738
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 250 1 - 2 days AUD 0.00 0.674 USD
6,735
$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 2,000 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 5 1 - 2 days EUR 3.00 0.67 USD
6,700
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 0.669 USD
6,685
An online money transfer service with cash pickup, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available. Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 day AUD 0.00 0.672 USD
6,715
Low minimum transfer amount of just AU$200, with no set-up fees or transfer fees. 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 ANZ International Money Transfer
ANZ International Money Transfer

Transfer to over 99 countries via online banking, phone banking or through an ANZ Bank branch. Rate last updated on 17/08/2018 at 1:30 pm. Find out how we calculate this exchange rate.

Logo for Global Reach (formerly FC Exchange) International Money Transfers
Global Reach (formerly FC Exchange) International Money Transfers

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.

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

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

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