Western Union is probably one of the most commonly used money transfer tools, and this article describes its use as well as comparing the fees and exchange rates of various money transfer channels.

Western Union


Western Union is probably one of the few services that can accept both foreign money transfers to China and Chinese money transfers to the U.S. It supports online operations as well as over-the-counter operations, and organizations in China that support online Western Union transfers can refer to this page. Recipients can go to a Western Union store to collect cash, or use their bank account to collect money, and domestic users can now use Alipay to collect money as well.

After initiating the remittance, both the payer and the recipient can track the progress of the remittance by entering the 10-digit tracking number (MTCN) on the website or in the APP. If you have any questions, you can contact customer service through online chat, email, phone, mail and other channels.

Western Union Fees and Exchange Rate Losses

Readers using Western Union online remittance operation must look at the handling fee, choose a different payment, payment, and currency combinations generated by the handling fee may vary dozens of hundreds of times! I have listed a table for your reference with the example of 1000 USD remitted back to China in RMB:

Payment Methods Payment Methods Handling fee Timeliness Exchange rate
Credit Card Outlet Cash Withdrawal $102 Minutes 6.4583
Credit Card Bank Account Number $29.99 Real Time 6.3775
Credit Card Paypal $29.99 Minutes 6.3775
debit cards Cash withdrawal at outlets $75 Minutes 6.4583
Debit Card Bank Account Number $2.99 Real Time 6.3775
Debit Card Alipay $2.99 Minutes 6.3775
Bank Accounts Cash at branch $26 0-4 business days 6.4583
Bank Account Bank Account Number $0 0-4 business days 6.3775
Bank Account Paypal $1.99 0-4 business days 6.3775

In terms of Western Union fees, paying with a debit card or bank account, bank account or payment collection fees are relatively much lower, paying from a bank account is the slowest, and combined paying with a debit card from a foreign bank, and receiving money from a bank account or payment collection from a domestic bank is not only the lowest rate but also the fastest.

However, the exchange rate for cash withdrawals from online stores is significantly more cost-effective. At the time of this writing, the USD/CNY exchange rate is 6.48, and cash withdrawals from online stores only incur an %的汇率损失,而其它渠道则要产生约1.7% about 0.5 %的汇率损失,而其它渠道则要产生约1.7% an exchange rate loss of %的汇率损失,而其它渠道则要产生约1.7%.

In summary, which channel has the lowest cost, readers are afraid that they still have to calculate carefully according to the actual amount of remittance, combined with fees and exchange rate losses, when the amount is large, the advantage of the network cash withdrawal may be greater.


Western Union remittance from the United States to China, a single remittance limit of 7,000 U.S. dollars, you can send in dollars or RMB, if the remittance is in U.S. dollars, the recipient must have an account number in the recipient’s bank, if not, you can open the bank account at the time of withdrawal. If the remittance is in RMB, the recipient can go to the counter to withdraw cash directly, but usually it is more convenient to have a bank account.

Under a specific payment method, Western Union only allows a specific collection method, and the availability of the collection method also depends on the currency and country.

The author’s feeling, in these two years, the domestic Western Union online store to receive Western Union remittance restrictions are getting higher and higher, we recommend that readers call the receiving online store before remittance, inquire about the current policy, so as not to delay the time to cause unnecessary losses.

Western Union official website.

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