Although both MoneyGram and Western Union enable you to send money to anyone just about anywhere in the world, there are a few differences between each that are worth considering. For instance, Western Union has over 500,000 international agent locations, while MoneyGram has closer to 350,000. More locations means more places to send and receive money around the globe. This is particularly helpful if using other options to transfer funds, such as a phone or computer, are not available.
Both Western Union and MoneyGram give you the option to send money at a store location, by telephone or online. If you pay with cash, or with a credit or debit card, both vendors make the funds available the same day.
MoneyGram also gives you the option of using your bank account if you send money online or using your cell phone. However, the funds are available in three business days rather than a few minutes when you use this option. You can send money online using your bank information via Western Union when sending money online, but not by phone. Instead of providing your bank routing and account numbers to send funds, you must use your bank's bill pay service.
With both MoneyGram and Western Union, you have a variety of delivery options available. Both allow for in-person cash pick up at a store location or deposit to a cell phone or bank account. However, only MoneyGram gives you the option of sending money to a PayPal account.
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Both Western Union and MoneyGram allows funds to be deposited onto their own proprietary prepaid cards. In addition, both let you load money onto third party prepaid cards.
Sending Money to Inmate
You can send money to an inmate using either MoneyGram or Western Union. With MoneyGram, you can send the money online or in person at a branch location. You can only send these payments in person or over the phone when using Western Union. Provide the inmate's full name, correctional identification number and the name of the correctional facility where he resides.
Regardless of the provider you choose, the fees are comparable. For example, if you use Western Union to send $100 online from Los Angeles to another U.S. location, the fee is $11.99. The price drops to $11.50 if you send the money in person at a store location. With MoneyGram, it's $12, whether sent online or at a store location. To send that same amount for delivery in three business days, both Western Union and MoneyGram charge $8 if done online. However, Western Union increases the price to $10 if you send the money at a Western Union store. Prices also differ when sending money by phone.