There are two popular ways of sending money within United States or across different countries.
- Western Union
Wester Union is the most popular one. They have more agents thoughout united States. Their agent can be a grocery store, supermarket which are easily accessible and usually we can find them very close to us. They also have more options for sending money such as in minutes, next day, only transfer.
MoneyGram is less popular but provide the same service. They usually have less options, I am not sure if they have within minutes options but generally it is over next day. They do not have many locations around. One of their agent is Walmart and I know Walmart is not every where. Of course they will have other agents as well.
They both provide online options and agents option. There rates constantly change as well. Western Union have a bigger limit on maximum amount sent online. As of today (2012-08), it is $3000 to Pakistan. MoneyGram has $800 limit which is quite less. As I mentioned above, Wester Union gives more option. In terms of number of Agents in Pakistan, both have about the same. I have no problem with either of them.
Comparison when sending Money within United States
If you are sending money withing United States, all that matters is the transaction fee. There is no exchange rate involved. Choose the one that has less transaction fee. Of course make sure they both are available at the destination.
Comparison for overseas Money Transfer
In overseas money transfer, there are two or may be three factors involved
- Is MoneyGram (and Western Union) both available at the receiving station. Usually it will be.
- What is the transaction fee
- What is the dollar exchange rate you are getting
Considering that you will take care of point 1, point 2 and 3 are very important. It is hard to choose one because with one transaction fee can be less but can give better exchange rate and vice verse. In order to do a best comparison, I am going to write an application that will compare which one is better.