People who can’t afford checking accounts, or live in neighborhoods where banks are scarce, often rely on money transfers (and cashier’s checks) to pay their bills and send money to relatives. Check-cashing companies, American Express, the U.S. Postal Service, and Western Union have all made a fortune in surcharges for such transactions, so you’ll pardon us if we get a little cynical about Western Union’s holiday offer. The company is providing a $10 phone card to any person sending money to “any country outside the United States which Western Union serves, including the West Indies and Latin America” until Jan. 15, 1995. People sending money within the U.S. will receive a free coupon for a future transaction. Ho, ho, ho.

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