Feedback needed on Bureau de Change providers

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Flights, Currency & Car Hire
121 replies 79.1K views
1.6K Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Flights, Currency & Car Hire
Hi folks,

We are thinking about adding some new companies into the Travel Money Maximiser tool, and I want to get your feedback on whether you've used them, and your experiences. Principally, we're looking for any issues (good or bad!) you had with actual mechanics of ordering the money and getting it delivered/collecting it - the rates should speak for themselves if the providers get into the TMM.

The companies we'd like to focus on are

Travel Money Services
Crown Currency Exchange
Fair Fx
Interchange FX



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  • martywmartyw Forumite
    36 Posts
    Not used any of these, but I recommend removing "Currency Express / International Currency Exchange / ICE" :mad:, here's why:-
  • I can highly recommend this company.

    I used them recently by buying dollars for this April last October. Yes, they had my money for 6 months, but I got $2.10 to the £ when the rates were at $1.90 or less.

    The money arrived on the day specified and there was a variety of denominations, including smaller value notes.

    A very professional company.
  • ince_monince_mon Forumite
    323 Posts
    Which company are you recommending.
  • M4RKMM4RKM Forumite
    5.1K Posts
    I can wholeheartedly recommend no1currency as i've used them many times at my local cheque centre....

    a great company, brilliant exchange rates, no issues at all collecting dollars from them at any time!!!

    i personally don't use anyone else now
  • runsfarrunsfar Forumite
    2 Posts
    I have just come back from America having used Fairfx and found the company very good and efficient to deal with, giving very fair rates on money exchange and relatively inexpensive charges.
    However I was disappointed that every ATM that I could find where I was charged a minimum of 2 dollars for withdrawing money. This on top of the Fairfx charge of 2 dollars made it more expensive than I anticipated.
    It is handy not carrying cash around and the money I had left in my account was refunded with minimum fuss though of course at a much less favourable rate than for the original transaction!
  • I have also used Fair FX recently in the USA. The service is very well-organised and they answer emails very quickly and fully. I used two ATMs and one charged me $3 in addition to the standard $2. The other made no additional charge. A word of caution. Do not give your Fair FX card to hotels/car hire firms to "take an imprint". They actually stop part of your credit and you do not get it back for a week. In future I will only use it to pay immediate bills or in ATMs but will definitely use it again.
  • I used the comparison tool, but have found that Tesco Travel provided a better rate than Travelex... They are 0% commission too, but I don't think they offer buy-back?
  • julliffjulliff Forumite
    625 Posts
    I can definitely recommend TMS (Travel Money Services).

    I ordered some US Dollars, and got a really good rate, as I chose the deliver in 30 days option. The rates are excellent, the communication is top notch, and the dollars arrived on the specified day (you get to choose), by special delivery.

    I was a bit worried that they wouldn't turn up, so I am really pleased with the whole thing, start to finish.

    "Carpe Diem"
    MFW - Starting mortgage April 2010 - 120,000
    MFW - restart Nov 2013 - £70207.88 & £14086.49
    Current balance - £62459.49 & £10380.19

  • zelgzelg Forumite
    1 Post
    I have recently applied for, received and used the FairFX Euro currency card and would highly recommend it to anyone planning a trip to the Euro Zone.

    Although I initially had some problems registering - due I suspect to my own web based email account and nothing to do with Fair FX - once I found a contact telephone number and spoke to them they were incredibly helpful. The customer services seem to me to be excellent: any queries I had were dealt with promptly and efficiently and in a very friendly manner.

    The exchange rate I got was fantastic: at a time when the best high street rates were around 1.21 or 1.22, I got a whopping 1.25. There is no set up fee and it takes just a few days to arrive (although they do say up to 10 working days to err on the side of caution). Some banks may charge for making the initial transaction by debit card, so if you are organised, it may be better to make the initial load by bank transfer; whilst this may take longer (around 3 - 5 days with most banks) it does avoid any unseen charges.

    The use of the card was simple - just like using your own chip and pin debit card.
    Withdrawing cash at any machine displaying the 'MaestroCard' logo holds a €1.50 flat charge per transaction, beating the pants off most debit cards which generally accrue both a standard fee of a few pounds as well as a commission fee based on a percentage of the amound witdrawn. This means that, if you are savvy and make just one large withdrawal last a few days, you will not pay through the nose on fees. Obvously it is not a good ides to carry large amounts of cash around for longer than necessary; better to leave it in a safe place (such as a hotel room safe). The card can also be used in restaurants and shops - anywhere that will accept credit or debit cards really - and works just the same, with no additional fees or commission.

    Now that my trip is over, I have some money left on the card. I have the option of either cancelling my card or leaving it there for my next trip. If I cancel the card and have the funds returned to me, it will cost £10 administration. If I leave the funds there, they will not accrue any interest, but everything is in place and ready to go and I can add more funds any time I choose. The card will remain valid for 36 months, after which it will expire and a new card will be issued, with the funds transferred. There are no monthly service fees or charges and I can check my balance and transactions online for free.

    In summary (I know I've waxed lyrical a bit) I would highly recommend Fair FX as cheap and easy, clear and transparent, and a really nice bunch of people. Don't just take my word for it though, check out their website; everything you need to know is there.

    Happy travelling

  • robnyerobnye Forumite
    5.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Just used "Currency Express / International Currency Exchange / ICE"

    just used the above - first time ever ordered currency online.... very impressed - good rate, delivered within 48 hours as stated on their website
    smile --- it makes people wonder what you are up to.... ;) :cool:
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