Western Union Hong Kong: what’s the cost of an international money transfer ?

Joao Marcos

Western Union Hong Kong is part of a global company with a network of agents all over the world, offering international payments online and in person. Our handy guide will walk through the key facts about making a money transfer with Western Union, to or from Hong Kong. We’ll also look at the fees and the Western Union exchange rate which will be applied to your payment.

If you need to make an international money transfer, it’s worth checking out a range of providers to find the right one for you. This Western Union review will also touch on Wise as an alternative provider to consider for your cross border payment.

Interested in learning more about how Wise and Western Union compare? Check out the full review and comparison of Western Union and Transferwise, here.

What are Western Union fees for sending money?

When you send money with Western Union, you’ll pay a transfer fee which varies according to factors like the way you fund the payment, and the way your recipient will receive the money¹.

Western Union fees: how you pay matters

Usually, arranging to transfer money to Western Union from your bank account is the cheapest way to pay for your transfer. You may even find there is no fee listed - although you’ll still pay a charge in the form of an exchange rate markup. We cover that in a moment.

Sending money with a credit or debit card is quicker than using a bank transfer, and the fees usually reflect this. You’ll pay extra - and your own card issuer might also charge a fee². The pay off is that if you’re sending money for cash collection the funds can usually be available very quickly - sometimes within just a few minutes.

You can also usually pay in cash at an agent location - this can be more expensive again, and may mean you get a different exchange rate.

Western Union fees: how your recipient gets the funds matters

Regardless of how you pay for the transfer, you’ll usually be able to choose to have your payment sent directly to your recipient’s bank account, collected in cash or even home delivered.

Having the payment sent to your recipient’s bank account directly is usually the cheapest option, with cash for collection or delivery incurring additional fees.

Western Union fees: where you arrange the payment matters

Arranging your payment online - and paying with your card or a bank transfer - is usually cheaper than visiting an agent location and arranging the transfer there. At an agent location, you might even find the exchange rate you’re offered isn’t as good as the Western Union online rate, so check before you go ahead.

Western Union fees: where you’re sending the payment matters

The final factor which dictates the costs of your transfer is how much you’re sending, and which country you’re sending to. Usually, the more you send, the higher the fee - although you may also find relevant online promotions which bring down the cost.

To check the fees and exchange rates which will be applied to your specific transfer, take a look at the Western Union fee calculator which is available online. You’ll need to open an account with Western Union to get started.

What exchange rate does Western Union use in Hong Kong?

Western Union may charge a transfer fee when you make a payment. But that’s not the only cost you need to consider. Western Union also adds a margin or markup to the exchange rate, which can push up your costs, or mean your recipient gets less than you expect them to in the end.

This comes as a surprise to many customers - but it really shouldn’t. Western Union is upfront about the fact that they make money from currency exchange. In fact, this is stated both on their website home page and in the terms and conditions. The Western Union team will buy foreign currency using the mid-market exchange rate, but then add a percentage to the rate they received, to calculate the exchange rate they pass on to customers. This is an extra fee for customers - and a slice of extra profit for Western Union.

International payment providers adding a markup to the exchange rate used is not unusual. However, it makes it harder for you to see the real costs of your transfer, and can mean you pay more than you need to.

Not all money transfer services add a fee to the exchange rate. Wise, for example, uses the live mid-market exchange rate for all payments. This means you can easily see what you’ll pay - and what your recipient will receive. More on that in a moment.

Wise: A cheap, fast and transparent alternative for your international transfers

Before you decide to send money online with Western Union, take a look at Wise. If you’re sending a payment directly to your recipient’s bank account, you could save money.

Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate with no markup or margin added. There’s just a simple transparent fee to pay per transaction - which can work out much cheaper than using a bank or alternative provider.

Join Wise now and start saving 💰

Western Union Hong Kong contact and addresses - How to get in touch

If you’re planning on sending a payment with Western Union Hong Kong you have a couple of options. You can visit a local agent, or create an account online to send money. And if you have a question, there are also a few ways to get in touch with the Western Union service team³:

  • Western Union has 99 agent locations in Hong Kong. Find the one closest to you using the location finder tool, to get face to face help³.
  • Or call toll free on 21179088 for help in English, Bahasa, Tagalog, Cantonese and Mandarin

Western Union is a good way to get cash to someone overseas in a hurry, as you can have the payment delivered to a local agent in a short time. However, it’s not necessarily the fastest or best value option out there if you’re sending money online, direct to a bank account.

If your international payment will be made direct to your recipient’s bank account, check out the costs and convenience of using Wise. There are no sneaky hidden fees and no surprises - just simple, fast, low cost international payments.

Sources used in the article:

  1. WesternUnion - HomePage

  2. WesternUnion - FAQ

  3. WesternUnion - Find Locations

Sources last checked on 23-September 2020.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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