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Virgin Money

virgin money review
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 2 stars
£10 to £1000000
  • 40%

  • Virgin Money Review
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: June 13, 2016
  • Exchange Rates
    Editor: 25%
  • Website Friendly
    Editor: 49%
  • Customer Service
    Editor: 22%
  • Overall
    Editor: 21%

Virgin Money Review

Virgin Money, founded by Sir Richard Branson in March 1995, is a UK-based bank and financial services company. Virgin bought Northern Rock plc in January 2012, re-branding the business as Virgin Money. As a UK bank, Virgin Money offers  a range of over 15 services that include credit cards, mortgages, stocks and shares, pension accounts and pet insurance. International transfers and travel money are among the services available in the UK, while other products like credit cards are the only services available in South Africa. Some insurance products and the credit cards are available through Virgin Australia.

virgin money

virgin money

Virgin Money has partnered with WorldFirst to provide International Transfer services since October 2015. More than 75,000 individuals and businesses exchange more than £26 billion through well established WorldFirst, and Virgin Money’s website includes a WorldFirst micro-site,  branded as Virgin Money.

Personal International transfers made through WorldFirst available in the UK, only:

  • Min transfers of £1,000
  • No fees for transfers
  • Guaranteed to beat other banks
  • Phone and online service
  • Knowledgeable dealers available
  • Spot transfers/ Forward Contracts/Regular Payments
  • Easy to use, payment by credit card or bank transfer
  • Complimentary visit to Virgin Money Lounge

 

A currency calculator is available on the site which features a live interbank exchange rate. When a visitor uses the calculator it shows the interbank rate with a well known disclaimer: ‘The interbank rate is the rate that banks buy and sell currency to each other. It shows you the market rate of your chosen currency pair for information purposes and is not our offered rate or an indication of price.’ The calculator isn’t the way to get any idea of what Virgin Money’s great rate might be because only by phoning a UK  number can an account holder see what the real rate might be.

Best Rate Guarantee:

Virgin Money ‘s services are provided by WorldFirst, who transact more than £5 billion annually. Since WorldFirst is large, trustworthy foreign exchange firm, they offer clients good rates and services which are then provided through  Virgin Money International Transfer service. To get the best rate guarantee, client who has already registered with Virgin, gets a better quote from a competitor, and Virgin Money  will expect that WorldFirst will offer a better rate.

 

Travel Money:

Virgin Money’s travel money services are provided by Travelex, one of the the largest airport bureau de change companies

  • Online order
  • 55 currencies available
  • Orders available between £150-£2,500
  • Free click and collect service at 74 Virgin Money stores in UK
  • Free home delivery on orders over £500
  • No commission charged on travel money
  • Money can be paid for by credit card
  • Orders between £150 and £499.99 have a delivery charge of £4.95
  • 24/7 online and phone service
  • Complimentary visit to Virgin Money Lounge with each order

 

Currency calculator and the day’s live exchange rates on Virgin Money show rate of GBP to USD at 1.38, although the mid-market rate was currently 1.42, indicating that the poor rate is the actual commission charged ( despite no commission promised) for purchasing travel money. Also, payment by both Visa and MasterCard credit cards induces a 1.5% handing fee. Virgin Money’s travel money isn’t competitive, as it’s simply the same airport bureau de change rates Travelex provides there. Virgin money can be ordered online and collected at Virgin Money stores, Travelex airport shops and-with a Virgin Airline ticket, also picked up at MoneyCorp airport stores.

Website:

Virgin Money’s site attempts to make banking feel liberating.  Dogs dressed in silly costumes  market ’groovy readymade ISAs’ and hippy pigs  promise investors ‘kickass ISAs’. Your Money  awards Virgin Money for best online cash ISA provider and best direct stock and share provider, the only credibility seen on the site which suffers from the cloying youthful approach throughout. The range of products on offer is vanilla, and  more limited than most seen by larger UK banks. Given that trustworthiness and reliability are what most seek from their bank, this approach is novel, but ultimately insubstantial since there isn’t any revolutionary savings on offer.

The showy imagery dissolves leaving little content and no customer feedback or content that could be found useful. In contrast to the media material most banks provide to assist clients, Virgin Money falls short as the focus is simply on themselves which losses interest rapidly.

Reviews:

TRUSTPILOT rated Virgin Money at Bad at 2.2 with 36 reviews.  Multiple Virgin Money bank services were found to be untrustworthy by reviewers who experienced very poor customer service across all sectors of services. Virgin Money’s inexperience was evident and this youthfulness was at odds with giving clients the stability they sought as banking customers. There were, however no complaints that specifically found fault with money transfers, which may be down to WorldFirst’s well organized services, rather than Virgin Money’s abilities.

on Feefo WorldFirst has a 98% rating from 4138 reviews, a much brighter score although the exchange services were not specifically noted, rather the overall banking experience was focused upon and found highly satisfactory.

ReviewCentre gives Virgin Money Services a 1.75 out of 5 stars, with a very poor 17% satisfaction rate out of 47 reviews. Again, no mention of exchange services, but customer services weren’t able to assist clients with mortgage, savings and insurance issues that occurred.

Editors Review:

Virgin Money  is simply an agency for WorldFirst money transfer services and Travelex, so why not use them directly since there’s no discount or improved service by going through Virgin Money? Offering a let clients pass the time in a  Virgin Money Lounge is a silly inducement to encourage them to use FX services. We can’t fault WorldFirst’s exchange rates or sevices, but we certainly can suggest those needing travel money find a better source than the high airport bureau de charge rates Travelex charges both solo and via Virgin Money.

2 out of 5 stars

Pros

Virgin Money International transfers are provided by WorldFirst, a large industry provider capable of offering very competitive exchange rates. Travel money services are provided by Travelex, available in all major airports.

Cons

Virgin Money transfer service is provided by WorldFirst offering more services across the global marketplace- why bother going through Virgin Money to reach a WorldFirst micro-site?