Afriex vs. Western Union

Afriex vs. Western Union

Western Union is a household name in the financial service industry, especially in money transfers. Understanding the different options and costs involved in making a Western Union international transfer can help you decide if it’s the best choice for you. Here’s all you need to know when sending money with Western Union.

Unlike newer providers in the fintech space such as Afriex, Western Union makes money from exchange rates and transfer fees. The provider may change the fees and rates without notice.

With Western Union, there are also different charges depending on whether you fund the payment with a bank transfer, cash, credit, or debit card, as well as how the recipient accesses the money. The fees vary depending on the type of payment you’re making and where it’s heading.

Western Union Rates and Fees

Western Union can be a suitable choice for sending money to friends and family. You can make a transfer to a bank account, or have the recipient collect the cash from a Western Union location somewhere convenient for them.¹ It’s possible to fund transfers using cash, bank transfer, credit or debit card.² However, the costs can be high if you’re sending money using a credit or debit card and may take days for your loved ones to receive their international money transfer.

The fees charged by Western Union change according to where you’re sending money, and also the payment method. Some of the highest fees you’ll run into are from international money transfers with Western Union.

Here are some of Western Union fees you should know about:

Western Union Limits

For international transfers, you might have to provide information about the transfer purpose, and fund source, to ensure compliance with anti-terrorism and money laundering regulations. Transfers to and from some countries are prohibited under US law.

Generally, you'll find the following limits apply:¹

    Payments arranged online or using a smartphone
  • Sending money using In Minutes and Three Day - $2,999 per transfer
  • Next-Day payments and Mobile Money transfer - $500 per transfer
  • Prepaid payment cards - limits set by the card issuer, and can vary
  • Payments arranged at agent location - usually unrestricted
  • Payments arranged on the phone - $300 to $2,500 depending on the exact transfer details

Afriex vs. Western Union

If you choose to send money with Western Union, from a US debit card to a Nigerian bank account, it will cost you a transfer fee and take anywhere from 0-5 business days to arrive. Sending money with Afriex allows you to have the money securely transferred from your debit card to a recipient's bank account in Nigeria, all within minutes.

Here's a comparison of the costs to send 500 USD to NGN, using both Afriex and Western Union. In both cases, this assumes a debit card funds the transfer.

Afriex doesn’t change any sending fees, which is a technique most services use to make a profit and charge a hidden fee. Remember that the costs could be much higher with Western Union if you want to use a different payment method. With Afriex you’ll receive no additional fees and the best exchange rate when transferring money abroad.

Sending money overseas? Afriex can help you save!

Banks and other money transfer services often use expensive exchange rates to make extra profits.

Traditional providers like banks and Western Union mark up your exchange rate, charge you expensive sending and receiving fees, or both. Afriex is different. You can expect none of that. You always get the best value on your currency rates, zero fees added, and instant transfers when you send money. Check out how to make your first transfer with Afriex.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out Afriex’s free multi-currency wallet. You can save, send, and receive USD, NGN, and BTC with more currencies being added very soon.

What Western Union says about their exchange rates for International Transfers:

Send Money Online page²

“Western Union also makes money from currency exchange. When choosing a money transmitter, carefully compare both transfer fees and exchange rates. Fees, foreign exchange rates, and taxes may vary by brand, channel, and location based on a number of factors. Fees and rates subject to change without notice.”

What Western Union is saying here in the footnotes of their site is that their fees and rates are not secure, and can change at any time without you being notified. The fees for Western Union international transfers vary greatly depending on both, how you want to pay for the transfer, and how it’s received. This is where customers should be aware. Thankfully there are services like Afriex who believe in fairness and providing customers with the best experience by giving them the best dependable rates.

A service who can provide you with as close as possible to the real exchange rate can make a big difference for your family.


Western Union can be a good service and offers a wide range of options for both the sender and recipient to ensure that the transfer is quick and easy. However, be careful of changing rates and additional fees. If you need to make an international transfer from one bank account to another, you can find it much cheaper and faster to use a complimentary service provider like Afriex.

Whoever you choose to go with for your international money transfer, remember to look into all hidden fees and ensure your family is getting the best exchange rate.


1. (July 12, 2020)

2. (July 12, 2020)

Gayle Were

As a digital marketing major, I wanted to intern at a company that valued my contributions as well as provided an environment for me to hone my skills. Luckily, Afriex has given me much more. I have joined a family dedicated to easening currency exchange across the globe with a focus on Africa.