See How Western Union Stacks Up
Western Union at a Glance
The largest money transfer company in the world.
An almost unmatched scope of pay-in and pay-out methods.
Fairly competitive fees and exchange rates.
A poor 2.6/5 star rating on Trustpilot, although a large number of good reviews.
Learn More About Western Union
Frequently Asked Questions About Western Union
Are Western Union exchange rates good? 💱
Yes, all in all, Western Union exchange rates are reasonably competitive compared to competitors on Monito's comparison engine. Typically, Western Union exchange rates range between 0.4% and 1% of the transfer amount, which makes them significantly more competitive than most banks. However, while comparatively low-cost, because Western Union's exchange rates are seldom the most competitive of all, we recommend running a search on Monito's real-time comparison engine if you'd like to find a better deal still.
What are Western Union's exchange rates today? 💲
Western Union exchange rates are constantly fluctuating, meaning it's practically never the same value over time. To find the latest Western Union exchange rate, you can take a look at Western Union's OnlineFX web app to get a sense of which rate you'll be paying at in advance of making a transfer (although it's not always completely representative.) Insofar as exchange rate margins go, Western Union exchange rates are reasonably priced at between 0.4% and 1% under the mid-market exchange rate (i.e. the rate you'd see on Google.) Run a search on Monito's comparison engine to see how Western Union's rates compare to those of its top competitors.
How do I avoid Western Union's fees? 💸
While there's sadly no way to avoid Western Union fees fully, they can be minimized using the following tricks:
- Compare Western Union fees with alternatives with Monito's comparison engine to find the best deal;
- Use the Price Estimator before continuing with your transaction to check the WU transfer fees (Western Union fees take into account the hidden currency conversion cost, which might be quite a big chunk of your WU transfer fee);
- Use the most affordable way to receive the money;
- Avoid credit cards; they’re typically the more expensive pay-in method;
- Transfer with Western Union partners where possible (e.g. in Walmart shops in Canada, you get 5% off Western Union standard fees);
- Avoid typos when filling in your transfer details; they can cause a lot of trouble further down the line;
- Avoid making changes in the transfer after it’s done (this comes at a cost.)
How do I track my Western Union transfer? 🔍
You can track your Western Union transfer on their website or via the WU mobile app. On the website, go to Track Transfer, and on mobile, select the 'Track Transfer' option from the dropdown menu. In short, here's what you'll need to do to track your Western Union transfer:
- Enter the 10-digit Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN), a unique number assigned to each transfer that you can find on the transfer history page on the web or mobile, or your email receipt;
- Alternatively, use your beneficiary's mobile phone number or their first and last name;
- Aside from their full name, you may also be asked to provide your recipient's country, the date you sent the money, the transaction amount, and the receiving currency.
Is Western Union Online better than going in-person to stores? 💻
Yes. According to data from Monito's comparison engine, Western Union Online is pretty much always cheaper than going to a Western Union agent near you. To find even better deals still, run a search to find out the cheapest services of all.
How long do Western Union transfers take? ⏱
Depending on the delivery and payment methods chosen, the country of origin and destination of the transfer, money send with Western Union can be available within mere minutes or as long as three to five working days. Usually, the quicker the transfer, the higher the fees are, with delivery times being structured accordingly:
- Money in Minutes (pick up at an agent’s location): Within minutes
- Next Day (pick up at an agent’s location): The next working day
- Direct to bank deposit: Two to five working days
- Mobile Money Transfer (transfer to a receiver’s mobile wallet): Varies significantly
Source: Western Union
How do I fill out a Western Union money order? 💵
Here are step-by-step instructions for filling out a Western Union money order. First, complete the Send Money section of the form:
- Record the payee’s name;
- Provide your full name, address, e-mail address, and phone number;
- Provide your destination country and currency;
- For some countries, you may be required to add a test question for your recipient to answer;
- Sign the front of the money order (not the back as this is where the recipient signs to get the money);
- Store the money order receipt and the tracking information you receive.
If possible, we recommend that you complete the form in large, dark letters, so the details are clear and difficult to alter.
Where do I go to cash a Western Union money order? 🏦
Western Union money orders can be cashed in over 500 thousand Western Union agent locations worldwide. They can also be deposited right into a bank account or cash at other check-cashing locations. To find a Western Union agent location near you, go to the Agent Locator on WU's website, provide the address, city or postal code where you’d like to cash your money order.
Does Kroger have Western Union? 💰
Yes, Kroger has teamed up with Western Union to provide money services, including money transfers, cash checks, bill payments, and money orders. The money transfers can be sent online or in any of the nearly two thousand store locations across the US. You can find a list of all Kroger locations can be found here, and find out more on the website.
Does Western Union have a fee calculator? 🧮
Yes. To get a sense of Western Union's fees and exchange rates in advance of paying for your transfer, take a look at Western Union's OnlineFX web app to take a look at exchange rates, or, if you're in the US, simulate your transfer on Western Union's price estimator tool to get an even fuller overview of total fees and exchange rates. You will also get a comprehensive overview of Western Union's exchange rates and transfer fees before you send money on the Western Union website or the mobile app itself. Finally, to compare Western Union's exchange rates and fees to those of other top competitors, run a search on Monito's real-time comparison engine.