Sending money from PayPal to Western Union

About Author: Hi, I’m Quinn Askeland. In 2014, I started Transumo after experiencing expensive, slow, and frustrating international money transfers and payments through banks. Once I discovered how to manage my own international currencies much better, I became driven to help others improve their transfers and payments. Fortunately, today, there are many excellent options. See My Full Bio.

Big Question: Can you send money from PayPal to Western Union?

Send money PayPal to WesternUnion

WesternUnion doesn’t support PayPal as a payment method for money transfers.

Fortunately, there are ways… but they may not be the cheapest or fastest.

We will show you how.

We are also uncovering the real fees and time it takes along with three excellent alternatives.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and savings on transfers if you use some of the links! For more information, see my disclosures here.

Sending money from PayPal to Western Union is quite common because it allows you to send cash to someone. On Trustpilot, Western Union has more happy customers and a better image than PayPal, with a rating of 4/5 ratings versus 1.3/5 ratings.

Before You Start: If you don’t need to send cash, PayPal international transfers are an option but these are a bit limited and the fees tend to be high. Western Union (review) has other advantages like cash but it has its limitations too and these days they both have a lot of competition which can make things easier, cheaper, and even faster!

1. Send money from PayPal to Western Union using a Bank Account

This is one of the cheapest – but not the fastest ways – to move money from PayPal to Western Union.

The first step is to link your bank account to your PayPal Account and verify it.

  1. Log into your PayPal account and go to “Wallet”
  2. Select “Link a Payment Method”
  3. Click “Bank account” and choose type of account
  4. Enter your details and click “Confirm”
  5. If your bank allows instant confirmation you’ll see the “Confirm Instantly” option
  6. If not, it will take 5-6 days to be linked and verified (PayPal sends two random small deposits to your bank account to confirm)

Once the confirmation process is done, you can withdraw money from your PayPal balance to this linked bank account.

  1. Go to “Wallet”
  2. Click “Transfer Money”
  3. Choose “Withdraw to bank account”
  4. Choose “Instant” or “Standard options” (Standard is free, fees applicable for instant transfers)

Once the amount is credited to your bank account, you can use the same account as a payment method in Western Union to fund your transfer.

Best when:

You are not in a rush to transfer the money.
Limitations: Slow with lots for you to do.

2. Send money from PayPal to Western Union using PayPal debit card

The PayPal Prepaid Card is another way of using PayPal and Western Union together. (Only works for 18 years or older and reside in the US)

This method gives you instant access to the funds in your PayPal balance (up to $400 USD), which you can use to fund your Western Union transfer at a kiosk or agent office.

  1. Go to any ATM (MoneyPoint ATMs are preferred – zero fees for withdrawing at these)
  2. Swipe your card and enter the PIN
  3. Choose “checking account”
  4. Enter the amount (note: there’s a $400 USD limit for card withdrawals)
  5. Confirm and get the cash

Best when:

You want to send small amounts and would rather deal with cash even if fees are relatively high.
Limitations: Only for US residents and you need to go to an ATM and get cash then take it to a Western Union. Cash transfers overseas using Western Union can attract lots of fees compared to alternatives. Moneypass ATMs are free but other domestic ATMs are subject to a fee of $2.50, plus the surcharge fee the ATM owner or bank may charge.

3. Send Money from Paypal to Western Union Using Western Union Netspend Debit Card

Have a Western Union Netspend debit card?

Here’s another way you can use PayPal and Western Union together.

Simply link your Netspend card with your PayPal account as you’d link a bank account.

  1. Log into your PayPal account and go to “Wallet”
  2. Select “Link a Payment Method”
  3. Click “Debit card”
  4. Enter your details and click “Confirm”

Now you need to verify your card and for this, PayPal deducts a small amount from the card (which will be refunded). You will also get a message with a 4 digit code for the next steps in the process.

With the code handy, do this:

  1. Go to “Wallet” again
  2. Select the Western Union card you just added
  3. Enter the 4-digit PIN and click “Confirm”

Once the card is linked and verified, you can withdraw funds to your Western Union card, which can then be used as a payment method for your transfer.

Best when:

You want to send small amounts abroad (in cash or bank transfer) with Western Union fast – using a debit card to fund the transfer is faster than using your bank account as a pay-in method.
Limitations: Only for US residents and a bit of work to set it up.

4. Costs and Hidden Fees

Since PayPal and Western Union aren’t linked, making them work together involves multiple steps, which can end up being quite expensive.

Here’s a breakdown of possible fees – along with some fees that can be difficult to anticipate.

Transfer MethodCostsWestern Union Fees
Via Bank accountStandard withdrawal: Free

Instant withdrawal: Usually 1%
Transfer Fees: To calculate the Western Union fees which are part of the exchange rate, use their Price Estimator and they also have a Currency Converter which gives you the interbank rate.
Via PayPal Debit Card

(Withdrawal limit: $400 USD)
MoneyPass ATM Withdrawal: Free

Other Domestic ATM withdrawal: $2.50 USD
As above (Transfer Fees) +
Via Western Union card

(Withdrawal limit: $2,500 USD)
As above (Transfer Fees) +

Monthly card fees: $9.95 USD + other fees

5. How Long Does It Take to Send Money from Paypal to Western Union?

Each method for sending money from PayPal to Western Union has different transfer speeds because of all the various steps involved.

If you have a bank account or card linked, the process will be much faster.

But if you need to add and verify a bank account or apply for the cards we talked about (PayPal’s cash card and Western Union’s Netspend card), it will take much longer.

And as a rule of thumb: using bank transfers to send money (like Method #1) will be much slower than using cash (Method #2) or card (Method #3) as payment methods.

Here’s a quick breakdown of transfer speeds for each method:

MethodTransfer Speed
Via Bank accountLinking Bank Account: Instant or 1-6 days

Standard Withdrawal: 1-3 business days

Instant Withdrawal: Instant

Sending to Western Union: 2-3 days with “bank transfer” as pay-in method
Via PayPal CardGetting the card: Up to 10 business days

Withdrawing cash: Instant

Funding transfer at agent office with cash: Instant
Via Western Union CardGetting the card: 7-10 business days

Withdrawing money to the card: Instant or a few hours

Funding transfer with card: Instant

6. FAQs

Yes – the PayPal and Western Union cards can be used like a regular debit card for both in-store and online payments. 

However, there are fees involved for both.

PayPal debit card fees

Western Union debit card fees

If you have either of the cards – PayPal’s cash card or Western Union’s Netspend card – you can speed up the process significantly because money can be withdrawn to the cards instantly.

7. Alternatives to PayPal and Western Union

PayPal and Western Union can be top of mind when you think about money transfers – at home or abroad. 

But they’re not necessarily the cheapest – whether you use them independently or together like we explained above. 

So what are some alternatives – that not only ensure low fees but also speed, safety, and ease?

Here are our top picks. 

You can withdraw your PayPal balance to your bank account and use any of them to save on fees (and time).

7.1 Wise – #1 recommendation for small bank transfers abroad

Wise (review) offers transparent and affordable pricing for bank transfers (below $7000 USD/£4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD/AUD) in 40+ currencies. 

And unlike PayPal or Western Union, they offer the mid-market exchange rate with no margins.

With the Wise calculator (opens new tab) you can see the fees you pay without signing up.

Wise also offer a multi-currency account for holding, managing, and converting between 50+ currencies – no need to jump through hoops if you want to access your own money or send money home to family and friends.

7.2 WorldRemit – Affordable option for sending small cash transfers below $7000 USD/£4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD/AUD

Want to send cash while avoiding agent fees at both ends?

WorldRemit (review) lets you fund your transfer online – either through a bank account or debit card – and lets you send card or bank transfers to 130+ countries in 70+ currencies. 

Check out WorldRemit who is often a clear leader.

And the best part: there are no agent fees at the receiver’s end either.


It’s not possible to link PayPal and Western Union officially, but there are alternative methods. 

Each method has its pros and cons in terms of cost, how much money you can send, and transfer speed.

Our suggestion: there are better ways to send money abroad – Wise (review) makes bank transfers more affordable while WorldRemit (review) keeps those cash transfers cheaper by ruling out agent fees.

Happy Money!

Does PayPal accept Western Union transfers?

No – there is no straightforward way to send money to PayPal with Western Union. However, there are ways to make it work best for you.

Which is the cheapest way to send money from PayPal to Western Union?

Withdrawing money from your PayPal balance to your bank account and then fund your Western Union transfer with the same account. This is not usually the cheapest way to send money overseas though.

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  1. So the steps involved in transferring money from PayPal to Western Union are kind of a hassle and it takes time. I feel like using these services is getting hit with hefty fees. Seriously, it’s like they’re robbing me with those charges. Makes me wonder, are still a lot of people using these services despite that? But yeah, gotta give them credit for being convenient.

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