Moving money for cheaper

Living in one country and getting money from another can be expensive. The last time I did an international bank wire transfer, the originating bank charged USD 25 and the recipient bank USD 35. Since anything over USD 10,000 becomes a hassle, I have usually wired something less than that.

I have from time to time looked into alternatives, but they have always ended up being even more expensive.

Until now. I don’t know when it changed, but with Western Union I just picked up USD 500 cash locally for a fee of USD 5. It took, as promised, four days to get from my bank in the US to Uruguay. Had I charged it to a credit card, the fee would be USD 15 and the transfer instant. The maximum transfer without signing up for their FX service is USD 5000.

And I could have sent it in Uruguayan pesos as well. Sweet!

Western Union logo

Of course, I can’t quite make sense of their slogan, but who cares? It works. The service, not the slogan.