Myriad deposit methods exist all over the world for online poker players. In the United States, however, most Americans have a very limited range of deposit and withdrawal options. That’s where Western Union poker sites come in, giving US players a fast, safe and secure way of getting funds into their account, without worrying about their credit/debit card being rejected.
Offshore poker sites that accept Americans are always quick to advertise Visa and MasterCard as a viable payment method, but for many US players, the bank that issued the card will interrupt any transaction associated with an online gambling website. Western Union poker deposits don’t suffer the same fate.
Is Western Union really Trustworthy?
Oh my gosh, yes! If there’s any financial institution that is worthy of your trust, it’s Western Union. Poker sites have only been around for about two decades, but this company has been in existence since 1851. Western Union actually started out as a telegraph service, devised by Ezra Cornell. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he also founded one of the four Ivy League schools, Cornell University.
Western Union first started transferring money for customers in 1871, and has been doing so with utmost efficiency ever since. The company has evolved immensely over time, following technological trends that have resulted in multiple ways to send and receive money. Users access Western Union via hundreds of thousands of local agents, online, over the phone or on their mobile device.
The Western Union Mobile App is incredibly convenient for US poker players who use the service often. Players can send money, receiving money, pay bills, track transfers, find an agent, get notifications when money has arrived, and more.
How to Make a Western Union Poker Deposit
Making a deposit at a Western Union poker site can be done in one of two ways. You can visit a local agent, or send money online.
Local Cash Transfers
Before you visit a local agent, visit the cashier of the Western Union poker site you want to deposit at. When you choose Western Union (or Cash Transfer) as your deposit method, you will be provided a brief list of instructions, including where to send the money. Copy that info down (or print it out) and take it with you to the nearest agency. Use this Western Union Locator to find one near you. When you get there, give them the receiver’s info, fill out the form and choose your payment method – cash or credit/debit card.
Within moments, the agent will give you a transaction receipt with all of the details. Don’t lose it! Take this home, go back to the poker website and give them the information of the transfer, including the transaction number, amount, and time/date of the transfer. The funds are generally available in your poker account within an hour, (or however long it takes the operator to verify the transfer).
Online Cash Transfers
This process is basically the same as making a Western Union poker deposit from a local agent, with a few slight exceptions. For one, you won’t have to leave home. You can sign up a free account at WesternUnion.com (and/or download the mobile app). Secondly, while you can’t pay with cash, you will have the added option of transferring the funds directly from your bank account, although that method takes a few days. Immediate credit/debit card deposits are also available, of course.
How to Request a Western Union Poker Withdrawal
Most Western Union poker sites who offer this deposit method will also allow players to withdrawal via cash transfer. The rules and steps for doing so often vary from one operator to the next, so you’ll want to contact customer support to find out how to cash out your winnings via Western Union, and what fees you can expect to pay for doing so.
Fees for Western Union Poker Payments
If ever there were a negative to using Western Union for your online poker financing needs, this would be it. Western Union is known for being one of the more expensive ways to send and receive money. The fees vary greatly depending on your method of payment and the amount being sent.
The typical fee on an immediate international transfer of $100 is $10-$12 online, or about $15 in person. That fee increases to about $27-$29 for a $250 deposit, $40-$45 for a $500 deposit, and $68-$81 for a $1,000 deposit. Also be aware that international transfers can incur a small currency conversion fee.
There are less expensive fees associated with transfers processed in 3-4 days. If you’re not planning to play immediately with your funds, this may be worth looking into. However, there’s a good chance you can avoid paying any fees when making a deposit.
Many poker sites will offer to cover all fees when you send money. For example, Americas Cardroom will cover all deposit fees if you purchase $300+. They will not, however, cover fees for withdrawals, and they can get expensive.
Players would be well advised to use Western Union poker withdrawals only if they are requesting a large amount of money. For instance, Americas Cardroom will charge you $60 for a $100 withdrawal, dropping your cashout to just $40. In contrast, a $1000-$1,500 withdrawal will cost $110. So make sure it’s worth it.
Possible Credit Card Fees
Also be aware that, when making a Western Union poker deposit with your credit card, you may incur additional fees from your bank (not from Western Union). Call your financial institution or check the terms of service contract you signed when accepting the credit card.
Some banks will define a money transfer via credit card as a ‘cash advance’, which is essentially the same as a loan. And like all loans, banks will charge interest on such purchases. Cash advances tend to have supremely high interest rates, so you don’t want to neglect looking into that before making a Western Union poker deposit with a credit card.