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Travelex Horrific Exchange Rate AVOID!!

Travelex Horrific Exchange Rate AVOID!!

Old Aug 18, 14, 8:33 am
  #1  
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Travelex Horrific Exchange Rate AVOID!!

Just a warning about Travelex at Manchester Airport. I'm not a frequent flyer and because this trip was last minute, there was no real opportunity to get currency before hand. When I get money, I tend to put some trust in the company to give me a reasonable exchange rate. I don't expect the best, but as far as I'm concerned, this is a disgusting rate and my company may not be too pleased with me for going there, so I may be paying the price. Once bitten right? I even got a better exchange rate from the ATM that I went to in Denmark!!

So the actual exchange rate is about 9.40 krona to every pound. The exchange rate I got from the ATM in Denmark was 9.3510.

From Travelex at Manchester Airport, I got an incredible 8.2106, which means for every pound they're effectively short changing me 12p. In fact, it means realistically, that the 309 I spent to get 2500 Krona, should have got me nearer 2878 krones, effectively they charged me 40!!! Now it's whether my company will honour such a disgusting exchange rate. I'm not holding out.

Travelex go onto my black list.
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Old Aug 18, 14, 8:40 am
  #2  
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An expensive lesson indeed!

If you look at the buy/sell spreads on the FX company boards in airports, I'm always amazed that people actually still use them at all!

If you do a search of 'foreign currency' or similar in FT you'll get thousands of threads that all basically come down to a few key points:

- these days not much cash is needed, so take a little to get you beyond day one
- use your credit card (ideally one with no FX fees)
- withdraw from ATM (again, ideally one without fees)
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Old Aug 18, 14, 8:47 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
An expensive lesson indeed!

If you look at the buy/sell spreads on the FX company boards in airports, I'm always amazed that people actually still use them at all!

If you do a search of 'foreign currency' or similar in FT you'll get thousands of threads that all basically come down to a few key points:

- these days not much cash is needed, so take a little to get you beyond day one
- use your credit card (ideally one with no FX fees)
- withdraw from ATM (again, ideally one without fees)
London, as a total novice (as I don't even know what the heck FX means) I guess I don't expect to be treated with such contempt, but it's a lesson I'll never forget.

Obviously, i'm with HSBC, I've always been told to make a payment in a foreign country, it'll cost me 2.99 or something? So, every lunch, dinner, 2.99, it all adds up, or are you telling me, this is not the case anymore? That's why I drew out my money earlier, oh, that and the fact I had no idea if there were any ATM's there at all tbh. The ATM I went to is called Hvidbjerg Bank, can't say whether it has fees, it didn't warn me if there are. I wouldn't mind the fee because the exchange rate was fair. In going to travelex and not paying a fee, I'm getting a horrific exchange rate, an expensive lesson, but we'll find out how my company reacts. They may give me the benefit of the doubt, they may not, however.
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Old Aug 18, 14, 9:02 am
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It's advisable to research the fees on your accounts before traveling.

Impossible to say with the info given what are the charges HSBC assesses on you for transactions abroad. But there are indeed cards from some issuers that don't have foreign transaction fees, so you don't get hit with a conversion fee every time you use your card.

For withdrawals, there are again some
Banks that have agreements so you don't get charged for withdrawing on a "partner" ATM or even banks that reimburse you the money for using an "outside" ATM. Otherwise if you use an ATM abroad you usually have to pay a fee to use the ATM and a fee to your bank for withdrawing money outside the country/network.
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Old Aug 18, 14, 9:04 am
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mbece, I bet it was still cheaper than Travelex though!
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Old Aug 18, 14, 9:06 am
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FX = Foreign Exchange

HSBC charges a 3% foreign currency conversion fee for foreign ATM withdrawals, but no additional transaction fee for their own ATMs. You will pay a transaction fee for using non-HSBC ATMs. Also, if you use a different ATM from, say, a local bank, they will also likely charge a transaction fee.

One important thing to have if traveling abroad is a credit card that does not charge a foreign transaction fee.
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Old Aug 18, 14, 9:09 am
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Obviously I had absolutely no time to research such topics, as what the fees were. Effectively, I was thrown under the bus, and was a rabbit in the headlights y'know? No knowledge of this stuff and really I had no time to find out. With a weeks notice, I could have walked in HSBC, worked out any fees etc, walked into Lloyds, found out fees for them too. Worked out the best bank to use etc and whether drawing out money back in England was wise or not.

So you think a credit card is the way to go abroad? Maybe that's the solution for me.
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Old Aug 18, 14, 9:16 am
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Originally Posted by Skezza View Post
Obviously I had absolutely no time to research such topics, as what the fees were. Effectively, I was thrown under the bus, and was a rabbit in the headlights y'know? No knowledge of this stuff and really I had no time to find out. With a weeks notice, I could have walked in HSBC, worked out any fees etc, walked into Lloyds, found out fees for them too. Worked out the best bank to use etc and whether drawing out money back in England was wise or not.

So you think a credit card is the way to go abroad? Maybe that's the solution for me.
Been there. A word of caution, several countries in the ME and Far East accept CC at major hotels and stores only. In the west, you can use a CC to charge the newspaper at a small shop . So I have learnt to bite the bullet and pay the price for small amount of FX.

ANother warning: in several countries if you go to the bank or an official FX bureau they want to see your passport. So be prepared.
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Old Aug 18, 14, 9:19 am
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Travelex Horrific Exchange Rate AVOID!!

If you travel frequently, you may wish to check out CaxtonFX. Debit and credit cards with no fees.

Last edited by LondonElite; Aug 18, 14 at 10:12 am
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Old Aug 18, 14, 9:20 am
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.....

Last edited by angatol; Mar 1, 15 at 2:41 am
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Old Aug 18, 14, 9:42 am
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Also, I travel enough that I try to keep some currency (pounds, euros, CHF) on hand for the next trip, and will sometimes go to the ATM before returning just to re-stock. It does save time and stress to just have some cash for metro, train tickets and a day or so of incidentals when you are arriving without having to find an ATM right off the bat or hoping they will take a credit card.
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Old Aug 18, 14, 9:45 am
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No matter where you see Travelex, bad exchange rates will soon follow. Sorry you had to learn that the hard way. Next time, if you need cash at the airport, only get enough to get you to the nearest non-airport bank or grocery store ATM/cashpoint.
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Old Aug 18, 14, 10:04 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Skezza View Post
Just a warning about Travelex at Manchester Airport. I'm not a frequent flyer and because this trip was last minute, there was no real opportunity to get currency before hand. When I get money, I tend to put some trust in the company to give me a reasonable exchange rate. I don't expect the best, but as far as I'm concerned, this is a disgusting rate and my company may not be too pleased with me for going there, so I may be paying the price. Once bitten right? I even got a better exchange rate from the ATM that I went to in Denmark!!

So the actual exchange rate is about 9.40 krona to every pound. The exchange rate I got from the ATM in Denmark was 9.3510.

From Travelex at Manchester Airport, I got an incredible 8.2106, which means for every pound they're effectively short changing me 12p. In fact, it means realistically, that the 309 I spent to get 2500 Krona, should have got me nearer 2878 krones, effectively they charged me 40!!! Now it's whether my company will honour such a disgusting exchange rate. I'm not holding out.

Travelex go onto my black list.
I have found that airports are usually the absolute worst place to get foreign currency - it is a captive market, and they know it!

As to whether your company will honour it - they should have given you a receipt showing the exchange rate, so it would be a pretty shoddy company that would not reimburse you even if they acknowledge it wasn't the most prudent way of changing the cash.
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Old Aug 18, 14, 10:08 am
  #14  
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Travelex is always the worst no matter where I go... I had to actually explain to tourists in Japan that it's a bad exchange
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Old Aug 18, 14, 10:29 am
  #15  
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Yeah my company have agreed to reimburse it. Just said I should be more careful next time.
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