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Post Office

post office review
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 2.5 stars
£10 to £500000
  • 50%

  • Post Office Review
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: June 13, 2016
  • Exchange Rates
    Editor: 48%
  • Website Friendly
    Editor: 55%
  • Customer Service
    Editor: 51%
  • Overall
    Editor: 50%

Post Office Review

UK Post Office has over 370 years of localised service and presently offers more than 170 products and services which include money transfers, travel money, travel cards and a Platinum credit card promising no fees on overseas purchases.

They have partnerships with Moneycorp to provide international transfers and MoneyGram for cash transfers. Respected and local, Post Office is the UK’s largest retail network and the largest financial services chain in the UK with more branches than all of the UK’s banks and building societies put together. They have focused on growing direct channels such as contact centres and online – seeking more ways to connect with more customers. Post Office has:

  • More than 170 products and services
  • Over 11,500 Post Office branches nationwide run by local people
  • Over 17 million customer visits & 47 million transactions per week

 


There are 322 crown offices, directly managed by Post Office. The remaining branches are managed on an agency basis either by sub-postmasters or partners. Some partners include Tesco and WHSmith.

Post Office and its partners offer over 170 products under four product pillars

  • Mails & Retail
  • Financial Services
  • Government Services
  • Telephony

 

Products/services are available through branches, call centres and online.

post office

post office

Foreign currency

In branches: Zero commission is charged, nearly unlimited transfer amounts are available which can be purchased with cash, Visa or MasterCard. Post Office offers up to 80 currencies which can be ordered for pick-up two hours later. There is no minimum purchase in branch and Post Office will buy back any cash not used.

Online currency has a slightly better exchange rate than in branches and rates occasionally improve during Travel Money Flash Sales. £400 minimum is available online. A currency calculator is available to check exchange rates.

  • Click & Collect at branch or free next day delivery
  • Competitive rates and 0% commission
  • Best rates available online – the more purchased, the better the rate
  • Rates improve when spending over £500, £1,000, £1,500 or £2,000
  • Order up to five days in advance
  • Order before 3pm on a working day for free next working day delivery or collection from nearest branch. Saturday delivery available.

Money Transfer Services:

Moneycorp  provides International payment services through Post Office and MoneyGram provides cash transfer services.

Post Office Travel Card

Pros: Post Office MasterCard can be topped up online and is convenient to collect from local Post Office. A travel card affords safety over bringing holiday cash abroad and the ability to stick to a budget when travelling.

Cons: Clients purchase currency at 9% higher than mid-market rate. Money left on the card is eventually refunded at 14% below market rate, which is the fee charged for the card. Refunding the money left isn’t as quick and convenient as purchase at the local Post Office. Refunds can be collected from branch by presenting a letter requesting the return of unused funds which takes 15 days to process.

The Travel Money Card Plus is available in 8 currencies:

 

Preloaded with Sterling, Post Office converts them into chosen currency. Used like a debit card in shops, bars and restaurants – anywhere MasterCard is accepted.

  • Travel Money Card Plus is not linked to bank account, so it reduces risk of identity theft. If card is lost or stolen,  money is protected too (terms and conditions apply).
  • Accepted in over 36 million locations in 210 countries around the world.
  • Balance can be checked, card topped up and recent transactions checked via website, text messaging, smartphone app or UK call centre 24 hours a day.
 Fees for using Travel card at ATMs: €2/ $2.50/ AU$ 3/ CA $ 2.50

Smartphone app

Free smartphone apps can be downloaded for iOS and Android, including Travel Essentials, Travel Money Card Plus & Currency Converter. An instant currency converter for Apple Watch can also be downloaded.

Easy-to-use smartphone app allows client to manage Travel Money Card Plus from phone 24 hours a day. Features include:

  • Free to download from the Apple App Store or Google play
  • Check balance
  • View the last 6 months’ worth of transactions
  • Find nearest ATM, anywhere in the world

 Reviews

Review Centre has 303 reviews of Post Office travel card. Only 9% of users  recommended the card. Many complained about poor exchange rates and a hassles involved in accessing funds leftover on card. For one client it took two months of making frequent requests to refund a £600 balance on card.  One of the worst rated UK travel cards due to fees charged by Post Office and fees for using the card at ATMs are made worse by very poor exchange rates.

TRUSTPILOT rates Post Office as Bad with 53 reviews. Long waiting times at branches and poor customer service dominated customer experiences. No clients noted the poor exchange rates mentioned on other review sites, but they described a general inadequacy employees have when trying to offer so vast a range of products and services.

Money Saving Expert Forum outlines the advantages and pitfalls of using a Post Office Travel card after a forum member inquired about the product.  Two thirds of the respondents described specific incidents that had made them discover the disadvantages of the services firsthand. After a  client had his card stolen in the US, he found the thief was easily able to use his card and bypass any security mechanisms. Replacing the card took 5 working days and cost him $50,on top of the money taken from his balance even after he’d reported the card stolen. Losing time and money was the price for trying to refund leftover travel money, requiring a long phone call to a customers centre, a 15 day wait for a letter to be brought to PO for refund of money left on card- which is reduced by 14% below mid-market rate on the day the letter is written. One client cashed in around $400 losing £30 to hidden fees.

Which Reviews compared the cost of using all the UK travel cards when used for purchases and ATM cash withdraws abroad and found Post Office Travel Money Card to be the second to worst in value:

Editor’s Review

Currency exchange services provided through Post Office are best accessed through Moneycorp in the case of international payments since they make the range of services clear on their site, not but one of many offers as seen at the Post office. As with other MoneyGram service agencies, the Post Office passing on the poor value this global transfers company offers. Travel money rates are clearly not competitive, as they are only just slightly slightly better than the most expensive bureau de change branches at airports. Its a pity the Post Office has been awarded a silver British Travel award- given that the Post Office travel card is nearly the very worst rated card available in the UK.

2.5 star out of 5 for Post Office currency exchange rates. For Travel card a lower rating for the bad buy back rates.

Pros

Awards given for service

Cons

Poor Exchange Rates
Rates not competitive
Travel Money card – poor rates