How Much Are Western Union’s Fees and Exchange Rates? Dec05

Share This

How Much Are Western Union’s Fees and Exchange Rates?

Western Union is one of the world’s largest systems for international money transfers. Western Union fees have a system of commissions (for online transfers and rate exchanges), which depends on the country where you decide to use this system. As a rule, there are also hidden markups for services provided. Next, we will figure it all out.

Payment for service (or for transfers)

How much does Western Union charge to send money? It`s rates are fees for transferring funds and exchange rates. Let’s look at the prices of this service using a specific example if you need to move money from the USA to Canada using this payment system. Everything will depend on the transfer amount and methods of sending and receiving.

So, the Western Union international fees for sending money for 1000 USD from the USA to Canada will look like this:

  • 2 USD – from bank account to bank account;
  • 5 USD – from a bank account to the WU office to receive cash;
  • 7 USD – from a debit card to the WU office to receive cash;
  • 25 USD – from debit cards to bank account;
  • 34 USD – from a credit card to the WU office to receive cash;
  • 50 USD – from a credit card to a checking account.

Of course, Western Union fees for financial transfers will differ and may sometimes be different if you send money from another country. But you can pay attention to some aspects:

  • the cheaper the currency, the more expensive the transfer will be;
  • it is most profitable to send from a bank deposit and receive cash;
  • sending by bank transfer will be cheaper but longer;
  • it is unprofitable to send from a bank deposit to a mobile wallet.

Thus, Western Union international fees may vary significantly depending on three factors. But in any case, a transfer from a bank account will always be more profitable than a cash transfer, card or mobile wallet. To give you a rough idea, you must pay from 0.7 to 4 USD for every 100 USD sent. But it is also necessary to consider that Western Union transfer fees can be much higher, and this will depend on the type of currency you are sending and on what currency it will be converted into upon receipt.

WU commissions in the USA

In the United States, the Western Union wire transfer fee is typically small and increases depending on the transfer method and the currency in which it is received. In general, to transfer money, you will need to pay 0.5 – 4% if the transfer of funds is from the United States to foreign countries.

WU Commissions in Canada

Western Union rates for sending money will be affordable, like in the USA. But this only applies if you use WU online (if you compare the services with the service department) – then the tariff for transfers from Canada will be from 0.5 to 4%. Sending funds from a branch will be significantly more expensive.

WU Commissions in India

If you are going to send money from India to other countries using WU, the price will be more expensive. This is because there are certain taxes included in the final cost. Therefore, a Western Union transfer fees from India will cost at least 2%. These rates may be higher depending on the amount of money transferred.

Payment for currency exchange rates

Compared to money transfer fees, Western Union exchanges are complex and often hidden. Before deciding on the exchange rate exchange fee, let’s figure out why and how payment is collected for the exchange.

Determining the margin for currency exchange

All banks and financial companies exchange foreign currencies based on the interbank exchange rate (or mid-market exchange rate). As a rule, this is the most optimal cost of currency exchange. But to make a profit from money transfers, the Western Union payment system uses an undervalued exchange rate in transferring funds. Thus, Western Union fees to send money, in this case, will be a foreign exchange margin (profit on the difference in exchange rates). Let’s give an example. The average market exchange rate between the US dollar and the euro maybe 0.93, and the WU payment system will set it to 0.9. Therefore, Western Union fees will be 3% of the financial transaction.

Let’s look at a specific example: you need to transfer money from the USA to England. In this case, the recipient will receive 0.8 British pounds sterling when moving one US dollar. And at the average market exchange rate, £0.82 would reach the recipient. Instead of 82 pounds, only 80 pounds will get the recipient through the Western Union payment service (this corresponds to a transaction rate of approximately 1.62%). But this applies to the dollar and euro.

Here, the exchange rate for Indian rupees will be more unprofitable; for them, the margin will be approximately 6.5-7%. The cheaper the currency to receive, the more expensive the exchange rate will be. However, there is a benefit if you compare such a margin when exchanging currency at the airport (approximately 10%). Therefore, Western Union current rates are not unfavourable compared to other options.

Here are a few more specific examples when sending money from one bank to another (these fee limits depend on the type of currency that reaches the recipient):

  • sending 100 USD will cost 0.7-3.8 USD;
  • 200 USD – 1.3-7.5 USD;
  • 300 USD – 1.9-11.3 USD;
  • 500 USD – 3.5-18.5 USD;
  • 1000 USD – 6.5-37.5 USD;
  • 10 000 USD – 32.5-187 USD.

Please note that these Western Union rates only apply when sending funds from bank to bank. But if another method of transfer and receipt is chosen, the commission may be higher. Western Union fees will not seem the most favourable if you are in the US and need to send funds within the state. Everything will depend on the transfer amount and the currency type received.

Advantages and disadvantages of this methods

The Western Union offers various methods for sending funds, but only two methods exist for receiving money.

Cash at the WU branch

This method of receipt will be necessary for those who do not have a bank account. Therefore, you can get cash at a WU branch. This method is quite convenient since finance can be obtained through this service in a store or using the phone. It is worth noting that the funds will arrive in just a few minutes. Disadvantages include Western Union rates, which can be three times higher than if you withdraw money using a bank account. This is because this method is not automatic, and additional operator work will be required to translate.

Receipt via bank account

Whether you send money in cash, through a bank account, or need a debit card (or credit), you can always receive it through a WU bank account in a specific currency in the country where the recipient is located. The disadvantages include the Western Union wire transfer fee, although this will be significantly lower than receiving funds in cash at a WU branch. It is also worth paying attention to the fact that you will only be able to receive money after some time. The duration of the transfer can be from 5 to 7 working days. In this case, you must check the transaction deadline to receive the money as quickly as possible. Therefore, it is better to prioritise your transaction: the Western Union bank transfer fee or the duration of the money transfer.

Established restrictions on the WU payment system

Like other payment services, Western Union has specific restrictions when transferring funds. And you need to pay attention to this. Western Union fees to send money to any individual when account verification and identity confirmation are optional for up to 3,000 US dollars (or in another currency corresponding to this amount). If the client has an account confirmed by identity verification, the transfer amount can reach 50,000 US dollars. The limits mentioned apply to daily transactions.

What to look for when transferring money internationally?

There are many different aspects that, to varying degrees, can affect Western Union’s fees when making an international financial transaction. We list the most critical factors that will influence the size of the commission and the duration of the transfer:

  • location of the sender and recipient;
  • method of transferring and receiving money;
  • type of currency sent and received;
  • size of the transferred amount.

Thus, Western Union’s current rates are affected by many aspects that must be considered when making a transaction. Calculating what commission you will have to pay and how long it will take for the transfer to arrive is recommended.

So, we looked at how much Western Union charges for sending money and commission for currency conversion. This is more profitable in some cases, but in others, less. It is better to find everything in advance so that the translation is as cheap as possible and arrives within the desired time frame.