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Travelex CashPassport - BEWARE Exchange Rates When Loading

Melbourne Australia
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Travelex CashPassport - BEWARE Exchange Rates When Loading

BEWARE of exchange rates when reloading your Travelex CashPassport online using BPay!!!!!!!

I had previously purchased in Australia a Travelex CashPassport card in Euro's and used it successfully when travelling around Europe. I found it very convenient for withdrawing cash from ATM's in most cities.

I recently loaded AU$ 4000 onto the card via the BPay number shown on the card for an upcoming trip to Europe and am outraged to discover that the exchange rate used by BPay to convert AU$ to Euro's is nearly 10% lower than the Bank rate for the same date. My CashPassport acount was credited with 200 Euro's LESS than what I would have received from my Bank if I had purchased Travellers Cheques instead.

When protesting this discrepancy with Travelex I received an excuse that the rates are set by BPay and that they do not necessarily relate to the official Bank rate of exchange.

If you are going to use Travelex CashPassport, be sure to upload it at a Travelex Office where you can check the exchange rate being used or use a direct online bank transfer but DO NOT USE BPay!!!

Once burnt - twice shy!

Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: Travelex CashPassport - BEWARE Exchange Rates When Loading

I've previously used a Travelex Cashport. I purchased in Australia a Travelex Cashport in Euros. In Croatia they don't take Euros and my ATM withdrawals had to be converted by Travelex from Euros to Kuna. The Travelex conversion margin was much higher than the banks. I'm now using a Wizard Clear Advantage card based on the advice in the Tripadvisor forums by other Australians.

Wangaratta...
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for Kota Kinabalu, Wangaratta, Sandakan
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2. Re: Travelex CashPassport - BEWARE Exchange Rates When Loading

Welcome to Travelex. I don't use them for any form of currency exchange as their exchange rates are very poor.

Scottsdale, Arizona
2 posts
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3. Re: Travelex CashPassport - BEWARE Exchange Rates When Loading

Travelex is by far one of the worst currency exchange companies. We were traveling to Costa Rica and had never exchanged money through travelex before. I made sure to ask the genteman who was exchanging our money if there was any difference between using Travelex and going to a bank. He responded by saying absolutely not and that as long as we exchanged at least $500, we would eliminate a fee. Once we got to Costa Rica, we realized he shorted us roughly 100 colones to every dollar which in exchange resulted in us losing $160.00 USD. When we got back to the states, I asked a representative about this and she explained that they go by the retail exchange rate and there was nothing she could do. So instead of not paying a fee, we lost $160. WHAT A RIP OFF!!! Why would anyone use this company? I hope before anyone thinks this is a good deal, they read this post. We were very angry and hope we can save someone some money by NOT USING TRAVELEX. Just go to a bank once you leave or arrive at your destination.

Adelaide, Australia
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4. Re: Travelex CashPassport - BEWARE Exchange Rates When Loading

<<<<I had previously purchased in Australia a Travelex CashPassport card in Euro's and used it successfully when travelling around Europe. I found it very convenient for withdrawing cash from ATM's in most cities.>>>>

Why not just use your normal card - check with your bank where you can withdraw without attracting fees- eg with Westpac you can withdraw from BNP Paribas, Barclays and a couple of other banks in Europe without attracting fees. And that way you will get the bank's exchange rate on the day - could be very worthwhile with the currency fluctuations we are currently experiencing. Thank god we didn't buy usd before our trip last year - because between us leaving Australia and arriving in the US 6 months later our currency had increased by >30% against the greenback.

There is NO NEED to do an exchange before you leave Australia except to get a small amount of cash to pay for incidentals on arrival at a foreign port.

Brisbane
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5. Re: Travelex CashPassport - BEWARE Exchange Rates When Loading

I've looked at the reload options and there appears to be only 2, BPAY or sms

BPAY they charge 1%, sms more. How do you do direct deposit?

Edited: 12 July 2010, 07:35
Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
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6. Re: Travelex CashPassport - BEWARE Exchange Rates When Loading

My understanding is that the Travellex cards - or should I say the money uploaded on the card - should be used up within a certain time frame and once that elapses, it costs to get back any money left on the card - is that correct?

I can't believe the rip off about using Bpay to upload cash - and that Bpay is allowed to get away with charging outrageous fees that's a sick joke !! Pretty soon we'll be keeping what we have under the mattress !! lol

Cairns
1 post
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7. Re: Travelex CashPassport - BEWARE Exchange Rates When Loading

I recently took out a Travelex CashPassport to travel to the USA. One of the selling points was the fact that Travelex have offices all over the world.

They said it would take two days for any money I transferred to the card online to go through so I went into Travelex in Time Square to put cash on the card. They told me that they have nothing to do with CashPassport and that they have numerous people going in there every day expecting to be able to upload money to their cards.

This meant that I had to borrow cash from my daughters and use my credit card (exactly what I didnt want to do), because the cash couldn't be credited to my card for two days.

Another reason i used Travelex was because they issued two cards, so that if one was lost or stolen they could immediately transfer the funds and activate the other card. I wish the banks would do this.

I will certainly use another option rather than Travelex next time because its very misleading to be told that they have offices all over the world when these offices have nothing to do with CashPassport.

Hue, Vietnam
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8. Re: Travelex CashPassport - BEWARE Exchange Rates When Loading

I don't understand all the negativity associated with Travelex.

I have doen all my research and am fully aware of the pros and cons when using these cards. With so much information available on the internet now about different ways of using foreign exchange if you run into trouble it has to be mosrtly your fault.

I have been loading my card with USD for our xmas trip to the US. We have been loading each time the dollar goes over .90. Yes you get charged 1% but thats the same as any bank will charge you for forex.

Also I find the travelex online rate the best going around, look at the rate monday at 1200 noon then call a few banks I bet the rate won't be as good as i have done this a few times.

"The travelex online rate" not the rate offered at a travel ex booth, thats the worst rate going round.

I have loaded my card 3 times and only ever been charged the 1% by travel ex never had any fees or rate change through Bpay. Seems iike those people must be doing something odd when loading.

Destination Expert
for Adelaide, South Australia, Kangaroo Island
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9. Re: Travelex CashPassport - BEWARE Exchange Rates When Loading

I generally just use my visa card and withdraw as normal.. I had never considered a Travelex card.. How would it compare to Visa Debit? I have just had a look online and can't find the costings to compare Travelex with Visa Debit or a normal visa card.

In other words.. has anyone a simple explanation why travelex (or similar) is better than using a normal visa and taking out cash when needed?

With Visa, I gather the exchange happens when the transaction is processed at the Oz bank you are a member of, I've never really noticed that I have been "ripped off" the normal exchange rates... but then again, I've never really checked or worried about the small change...

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
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10. Re: Travelex CashPassport - BEWARE Exchange Rates When Loading

Yachtgal

friends have just returned from a trip to South America and they got a Travelex card through a travel agent, pre-loaded it with lots of $US on the advice of the travel agent who told them that US $$ were widely accepted in Sth America. Our friends clearly thought that they would get US $$ from the card when they used it.

Instead they found it difficult to work out what was actually left on the card when the money they drew out was in the local currency. They said they had to work out what the local currency was and equate it to US $$ to try and figure out what was left on their Travellex Card.

They weren't that enamoured with it and when they got back, they withdrew the balance of the funds but weren't allowed to withdraw it in US $$, only Aussie dollars after the converting it from US to AUD, applying fees and charges etc - they said they lost a lot of money for no gain at all.

The thing to watch for charges with debit/credit cards is the "Dynamic Currency Conversion" which some retailers offer - eg you can pay for goods in the US but be charged in AUD - the retailer does the FOREX at a rate which may be completely different to the credit / debit card company...and not in your favour at all.

Edited: 29 August 2010, 13:56