Western Union Review: Rates, Fees and Charges For International Transfers

Western Union ReviewFounded in 1851, Western Union has been specialising in money transfers for a long time. It has of late been considered a ‘traditional’ money transfer service, however, significant rebranding and work has been done by Western Union in recent years. It now has a strong online platform for its users, while still offering its more traditional services such as ‘cash pick-ups’ and ‘person-to-person’ transfers. In addition to this, they have a trust worthy reputation. We’ve created this Western Union review ready for your browsing.

To compare other money transfer providers and banks, you can use our comparison table here.

What will this Western Union Review cover?

Although Western Union has a strong presence in the never-ending field of money transfer services, it is important to know how it differs, in good ways and bad, from it’s surrounding competitors. In this article, we will explore:

  • How Western Union’s exchange rate compares with others
  • How Western Union’s fees compare with others
  • Length of time it takes to send a money transfer via Western Union?

If you need to transfer money regularly or for business, we also have information about foreign currency accounts here.

How Western Union’s exchange rate compares with others

Exchange rates unfortunately fluctuate daily, so we are unable to give you a set fee amount. However, you will be able to see how Western Union compares with other money transfer services, as well as major New Zealand banks by going to our price comparison tool.

How Western Union’s fees compare with others

Western Union’s fees and charges are, unlike some other money transfer companies, completely dependent on the amount you’re sending, how you are sending it, and where you are sending it. This in itself can be a good thing and a bad thing when it comes to transfers.

You can transfer money in-store or online, with each method having different charges set up. For example, if you wanted to send $1000NZD online to the UK i.e. NZD-GBP then you have two options: ‘Money in Minutes’ or ‘Direct to bank account’ (taking 1-2 business days). The transfer fees are as such:

Money in Minutes (cash pick-up) based on $1000NZD being transferred to the UK incurs a $20 transfer fee as well as the live exchange rate at that time.

Direct to bank account based on $1000NZD being transferred to the UK incurs a $10 transfer fee as well as the live exchange rate at that time.

You can also draw out funds at set locations around the globe, which will incur different costs that differ per location. The factors that make this cost differ from online transfers are if you add or change services, the local laws in both New Zealand and the country you are sending it to as well as the actual transfer fee.

When comparing this to other Foreign Exchange services, such as MoneyGram, Western Union fares marginally better. MoneyGram’s online fees are:

– $26NZD for a transfer of $1000NZD-GBP as well as the live exchange rate.

Unlike Western Union though, this applies to both cash pick-up services, and direct to bank account.

How long does it take to send a money transfer via Western Union?

Western Union has made it incredibly simple and easy to transfer funds abroad. If you have the correct information of the recipient you are sending the funds to, then the whole process should take between 10-15 minutes.

Unlike other foreign exchange companies, Western Union also allow you to pay via credit card. This can be particularly handy if you needed to set up an emergency transfer to help someone overseas. If they needed it urgently, then you can send it through Money in Minutes and they will have the funds typically within an hour, or direct to a bank account can take between 2-5 business days.

Western Union Review: Case Study

Fred’s daughter, Lily has decided to travel Asia before starting her new job in Auckland. Lily has planned to travel for three months, and saved up enough through working at home before her trip. Unfortunately what Lily didn’t plan for was her bag being stolen while away. This disaster meant that she had no way of accessing her money abroad. So when Fred gets a frantic phone call in the middle of the night telling him just this, he needs to act quickly to help his daughter. Fred uses his credit card to send money, and decides to transfer through Western Union’s ‘Money in Minutes’ so that Lily can stop worrying. Lily is able to pick up the cash from the nearest Western Union while she cancels and re-orders her cards. Not to worry, travel plans back on track! Both Lily and her dad Fred can relax again.

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