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Travelex

travelex review
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 2 stars
£10 to £500000
  • 40%

  • Travelex Review
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: June 13, 2016
  • Exchange Rates
    Editor: 30%
  • Website Friendly
    Editor: 48%
  • Website Friendly
    Editor: 36%
  • Overall
    Editor: 34%

Travelex Review

Travelex was launched in 1997  by Lloyd Dorfman in London. In November 2000 Travelex expanded operations by purchasing the Thomas Cook worldwide foreign exchange company for £440 million.

To reduce debts, in 2010 Travelex sold its card programme management division to MasterCard for £290 in 2010. In 2011 Travelex sold off its global business payments division to Western Union for £606 million.

The foreign exchange company focuses primarily on  bureau de change services, travel money and pre-paid travel credit cards.  Through partnerships with Western Union and OFX , Travelex offers remittance services and international payments.

travelex

Travelex

 

Online international payments available through partnership with OFX:

  • £300 minimum transfer
  • 46 supported currencies
  • Best international payments price promise
  • 24/7 customer service online
  • Spot transfers and Regular payments
  • Forward contracts and Limit orders

Corporate accounts will enjoy good exchange rates for transfers of very large sums with OFX, considering their massive liquidity, this would be the area where Travelex’s better exchange rates would be anticipated ( they aren’t seen elsewhere). Travelex’s online currency exchange isn’t competitive but larger rates must offer business clients better margins, or else they wouldn’t stay with the company.

Travelex is also an agency provding remittances services in its branch locations through  Western Union.


Bureau de change Services:

Travelex serves over 37 million customers annually in 1,400 stores and 1,250 ATMs in 26 countries, at airport, seaport, rail and tourist locations.

Over 40% of the world’s travellers pass through airports where Travelex’s bureau de change stores are located including Amsterdam, Beijing, Frankfurt, London, Hong Kong, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Sydney and Tokyo.

Stores are located across many retail locations worldwide, making collecting one of the 60 available currencies of travel money easy. Delivery to home or office locations are free for amounts over £1,000/$1,000 in locations such as London or NYC.

A fee of £3.99 is charged for a buy back guarantee, allowing client to re-sell leftover travel money at the same rate it was purchased.

Currency can be purchased by pre-loading into a Travelex multi currency or globe cash passport MasterCard

  • £100 minimum load
  • Exchange rate is locked in each time card is loaded.
  • Works at merchants and cash machines where MasterCard is accepted
  • Can be reloaded and balance tracked online

Website:

The 23 Travelex globally translated websites  emphasize bureau de change services- which are clearly Travelex’s bread and butter. It promise to charge no commission on travel money which can be ordered online and collected at airports.

A currency calculator  gives visitors the option of seeing a quick spot transfer rate or a rapid passport card reload. The rate shown is higher than  the actual mid- market rate, and since that’s even before the additional fees, the spot transfer exchange rate is clearly uncompetitive. These are  Travelex’s lowest rate  offers, so purchases in any of the 1,400 stores and 1,250 ATMs charge additional fees, making them unpredictably high.

The websites don’t all match: The only ones with any content that is designed for  travellers is available on the US and the UK sites.  Travel hub pages have articles informing  holiday travellers. The site isn’t particularly user friendly, speeding visitors to buy travel money online is its major function.

Reviews:

TRUSTPILOT  gives Travelex a 8.8  of 10 star review  with  a mammoth 18,705 reviews. Clients complained most often about receiving very poor currency exchange rates at the airport bureau de change agencies. A recent traveller exchanged euro for Canadian dollars at Heathrow’s Travelex branch, having checked his mobile to see  Travelex’s online rate of exchange. He was  charged twice for conversion fees resulting in receiving a rate that was far less than his calculation online through Travelex had initially promised.

Yelp Reviews award Travelex 2.5 stars out of 5 with 23 reviews. Consistent complaints about very bad exchange rates that don’t match Travelex’s advertised rates of exchange are cited. When customers use currency buy-back guarantee many were shocked to discover they paid  even more than their banks charged for both the travel money and changing it back to Sterling..

ReviewCentre rate Travelex Passport Travel cards at 1.7 out of 5. Only 17% of clients would consider recommending them. Consistent issues regarding reloading cards prevented many holiday travellers from accessing the money they’d loaded- breaking their holiday budgets as a result. Incredibly unresponsive customer service was reported by clients were forced to waste more money in long distance phone rates as they waiting on long hold times for customer service that was not able to resolve card issues. ATMs worldwide were reportedly not accepting cards with high fees charged when they did allow transactions.

Editor’s Review:

Travelex’s is a massive airport de change agency that’s notorious for being an expensive source for travel money. Their online rate for spot exchanges and travel money has lulled customers into excepting a fair rate only to surprise them with an unexpected final return. The most damning issue, though must be seen when customer service is considered. The company isn’t structured  to resolve customer issues, it’s set up to be a global machine that happens to offer travel money where a majority of travellers are:at the airports. Too many customer service complaints with the Travel cards make them unreliable as well as a poor value for money. The buy back travel money service, too cannot be recommended due to the high fees. Travelex has 2 out of 5 stars for all services.

 

 

 

Pros

Travelex card offers convenient travel cash option to bureau de change travel cash. Free delivery of travel money where available is also a time savings. The international currency exchange services bring depth to Travelex’s services which other bureau de change firms don’t offer.

Cons

ATM and airport bureau de change exchange rates are a notoriously poor value as are Western Union spot transfers. Transparency is an issue often complained about at the bureau de change branches because Travelex doesn’t deliver the same rate of exchange their online rate advertises.