Travelex USA 2020 Review
Learn about the biggest travel money provider in the world, including their services, rates, and fees with our complete review.
It’s a very exciting time. You’re about travel from the US to a beautiful foreign destination and you need to make sure you’ll have enough cash when you get there. What’s the easiest and cheapest way to get your travel money? You might be considering Travelex—you’ve almost certainly seen Travelex counters and shops at airports and major cities around the world.
The Travelex website and kiosks provide a wide range of travel money and foreign exchange services to millions of customers each year. Due to that familiarity, Travelex is a trusted brand for exchanging currency. You might be asking if the company provides good value, so we’ll dig into their services, rates, and fees to answer any questions you might have.
Travelex does offer a fast, easy, and safe way to exchange your dollars into many other currencies. Unfortunately, Travelex is very expensive and you could are likely to pay a lot more for your travel money than with another currency exchange service. Depending on the travel currency you want, it could cost you up to 9 percent of the total amount you’re exchanging if you buy through the website, and even more than that if you use a counter or kiosk in the US or around the world.
Don’t worry though, we’ll break everything down, so you can make an informed choice on whether Travelex is right for your travel money needs.
Travelex is good for
- Wide availability of stores across the US and around the world.
- Fast and convenient currency exchange face-to-face or via the Travelex website.
- Safe and secure travel money from a trusted brand.
Travelex rating: 3.0 / 5.0
You can buy the following currencies from Travelex
Is Travelex US legitimate and safe?
4.5 / 5 star rating on Trustpilot
Yes. Travelex is the largest travel money exchange service in the world, and it has been in existence since 1976, over 40 years. Travelex processes over 5,000 transactions every hour and services 40 million customers a year. You can find Travelex shops and kiosks in many countries and over 1,000 locations. Travelex is rated by the Better Business Bureau at an A+.
Travelex also scores well with its customers. According to Trustpilot, Travelex US scores an average of 4.5 out of 5, with 86 percent of reviews saying they are “Excellent” or “Good” and 8 percent saying they are “poor” or “bad.”
Travelex is fully regulated and the website uses strong encryption technology to keep your identity, transactions, and money safe. Travelex also partners with other businesses including some popular US banks, the American Automobile Association (AAA), and Mastercard.
How fast is Travelex in the USA?
If you’re exchanging travel money at a kiosk or counter, you can get most of the popular currencies immediately.
If you order home delivery, you can expect to receive your currency in two to three working days. Not bad.
How much does it cost to exchange money with Travelex?
For online transactions through the Travelex website, the only fees you will pay are hidden in the exchange rate you get. These hidden charges can be very expensive, upwards of eight percent of the total amount you’re exchanging. It’s possible that if you choose to exchange dollars or another currency at a Travelex kiosk or counter that you might be charged a service fee, which will reduce how much you get of a foreign currency.
If you order home delivery for your currency, you will need to pay a fee if you order less than $1,000.
Travelex US online exchange rates
The main concern we have with Travelex is how much it charges to exchange travel money. You could end up paying around nine percent of the total amount you’re converting in exchange rate fees, which is not great. This means if you’re exchanging $1,000 for travel to another country, you could pay up to $90 in hidden charges. It’s a bit of a rip-off!
Let’s look at a few examples.
Exchanging US dollars to euros
If you’re traveling to Europe, you’ll want to convert USD to EUR. Here’s how Travelex stacks up.
The base, midmarket exchange rate* is 1 USD to 0.909 EUR.
The Travelex website offers a rate of 1 USD to 0.829 EUR.
Exchange 500 USD to EUR
If you’re exchanging 500 USD, you would get 414.75 EUR with Travelex, compared to 454.50 at the base exchange rate. That’s about $44 more expensive, around 9 percent of the dollars you’re converting.
Exchange 2,000 USD to EUR
If you’re exchanging 2,000 USD, you would get 1,659 EUR with Travelex, compared to 1817.20 EUR at the base exchange rate. That’s about $175 more expensive, around 9 percent of the dollars you’re converting.
Exchanging US dollars to British pounds
If you’re visiting the UK, you will need to convert USD to GBP. Here’s what it could cost.
The base, midmarket exchange rate* is 1 USD to 0.805 GBP.
The Travelex website offers a rate of 1 USD to 0.725 GBP.
Exchange 500 USD to GBP
If you’re exchanging 500 USD, you would get 367.55 GBP with Travelex, compared to 402.68 at the base exchange rate. That’s about $43 more expensive, around 9 percent of the dollars you’re converting.
Exchange 2,000 USD to GBP
If you’re exchanging 2,000 USD, you would get 1,470.20 GBP with Travelex, compared to 1,610.73 GBP at the base exchange rate. That’s about $174 more expensive, around 9 percent of the dollars you’re converting.
Unfortunately, these hidden charges are similar across many currencies including Australian dollars (AUD), Japanese yen (JPY), New Zealand dollars (NZD)and others.
*The midmarket exchange rate is the rate that banks and other financial institutions use to transfer money between themselves. Although it’s unlikely you would get this rate yourself, it’s a useful way to compare exchange rate fees, with many providers charging much lower fees than Travelex.
You can definitely get better exchange rates elsewhere.
How you can pay Travelex
You can pay for your Travelex travel money online through the website by using a debit card or a credit card. If you use a credit card to buy your foreign currency, it’s very likely you’ll be charged a cash advance fee by your credit card provider.
You will also probably need to start paying interest on the cash advance amount immediately and you may be charged at a higher rate. If you are going to use Travelex, we strongly recommend using a debit card instead.
Travelex foreign currency services in the US
Travelex offers a variety of travel money and currency exchange services to people in the United States.
Order foreign travel money on the Travelex US website
Travelex gives you an option to order currency online through the website. It’s a fast and easy process and you can easily pay by debit or credit card.
Pick up currency you’ve ordered online from a Travelex location
When you order through the Travelex US website, you can choose to pick the money up from a local Travelex shop or kiosk, super-handy if you live in a major city or near to an airport.
Have travel money delivered to your home
Travelex can also send travel money directly to your home address. You should receive the money within one to three business days but there is an additional charge for delivery if you order less than $1,000 in currency.
Buy travel money at a Travelex location
You can easily buy money-face-to-face at a Travelex counter or store. These locations keep more popular foreign currencies in stock, so depending on where you’re going, you can get your travel money straightaway. It’s important to note that the exchange rates at Travelex stores are likely to be very poor compared to what you could get elsewhere.
Use a Travelex ATM
Travelex has over 1,000 ATMs around the world. You can use these to withdraw money in popular currencies, although beware of poor exchange rates.
Spend on the Travelex Money Card
Travelex offers a prepaid debit card called the Travelex Money card. You can preload and top up this travel card in dollars or another currency and then spend on it like you would a debit card in other countries. The card is expensive though, charging a 5.5 percent currency exchange fee, which is much higher than other popular cards.
The Travelex Cash Passport
The Travelex Cash Passport is an older product that’s no longer available. You can still log in to Travelex and manage your Cash Passport through the website.
The Travelex mobile app
If you want to manage your money on-the-go, Travelex provides mobile apps for both Apple and Android devices. The app allows users to order cash for delivery or collection and to manage the Travelex Money card, check the card balance, and see recent transactions. The app scores well on Apple’s app store with a review score of 4.7 out of 5. It does not rate highly on the Google Play store, where it only scores 1.5 out of 5.
International money transfer and payment
Travelex allows you to make international transfers and payments through a partnership with OFX, another popular currency exchange company. If you have a Travelex International Payments account, you can use those details to log into OFX and send money overseas to an individual or business bank account.
You just need to login to OFX and follow the instructions. You will need to provide information on the country and currency where you want to send money and the bank account details of the recipient. You can then pay for your transfer and OFX will convert the money and send it.
Selling foreign currency back to Travelex US
Once you’ve completed your trip, you can sell unused banknotes back to Travelex. You will normally get Travelex’s standard exchange rate, which is considerably worse than the midmarket rate. This means you could pay up to nine percent of the amount you’re exchanging when you buy the foreign currency and another nine percent when you sell it!
Travelex store, kiosk, and counter exchange rates
Unfortunately, Travelex does not list its face-to-face exchange rates on the Travelex.com website, and individual locations do not provide exchange rates over the phone. We do know from anecdotal evidence that the rates charged by Travelex counters are more expensive than those offered on the Travelex website. We’ve heard reports that face-to-face rates can account for 10 to 15 percent of the total amount of currency you’re converting.
If you’re exchanging smaller amounts, Travelex may also charge a service fee, which will reduce the amount of currency you get back.
While Travelex is a trusted travel money provider, their fees are among the highest we’ve seen. You can get a much better deal on your travel money by comparing and shopping around. Enjoy your trip!
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