If you’re planning an overseas holiday and you prefer to spend in cash, you’ll need to buy some foreign currency. There are lots of ways to do it, but one of...
Debenhams offer travel money products so you can spend when you’re travelling abroad. When you travel you don’t want to spend more than you need to, and why should you?
That’s why it’s important to do your research, to compare fees and exchange rates, before you choose a travel money provider. This article provides an overview to Debenhams travel money, and also introduces an alternative: Wise - to help you start your search.
With Debenhams you can buy foreign currency, to either be delivered to your home or collected in store. As a convenient alternative you can also get a preloaded travel money card, and if you need to make an international payment you can do so via Debenhams partner Western Union.¹
Debenhams Travel Money exchange rate varies depending on the currency, if you want to buy foreign currency, or load money onto your travel money card. You’ll always get a better rate for currency exchange if you have a Debenhams loyalty card.
The relevant exchange rates are displayed online, so you can see them when you order your currency. However, the rate that Debenhams decides to provide to you may come with a markup. In effect this is a hidden fee, and can mean you pay more than you have to for your foreign currency exchange. The exchange rates for Western Union payments are different to those offered by Debenhams for currency services. Western Union are upfront about the fact that they profit from an exchange rate spread.
When a provider adds a markup, it means that you’re not getting the mid-market rate - so you may be losing out. The mid-market exchange rate is the one you’ll find on Google, and sites like XE. Although exchange rates change all the time, you can always find the latest rate online.
Take a look at this example to see how Debenhams exchange rates for euros compare to the mid-market rate at the time of writing this article:
|Debenhams exchange rate
|£1 = €1.1517
|£1 = €1.1517
|£1 = €1.1517
|£1 = €1.1517¹
|£1 = €1.17273
|£1 = €1.17273
|£1 = €1.17273
|£1 = €1.17273
Rates displayed are for online orders only. Information correct at time of writing (03/12/2019).
By comparing the rate offered by Debenhams - or Western Union in the case of international payments - with the mid-market rate, you’ll spot any hidden charges. Although many banks and exchange services add a markup to the real exchange rate, it's possible to find a service that doesn’t, if you know how.
For example, you could try the multi-currency account from Wise. There’s no markup, as all currency exchange is done using the real exchange rate, with just a small upfront fee to pay.
Hold your money in 40+ currencies in the same place. Switch between them in seconds - always with the real exchange rate and low, transparent fees when you need to convert.
And, you can do it all from the mobile app, so you can easily manage your money wherever you are.
|Get your account.
|Need to know more? Check out how you can save with Wise
Travel money cards are a convenient and safe way to spend while you’re abroad. You can add the money you need before you travel and likely save money compared to using your UK bank card.
Debenhams Travel Money offers a Travel Money Card, as well as foreign money options. A travel money card is preloaded with the currency you need, before you travel. It can then be topped up at a Debenhams store with a travel money bureau when you need it, and used as any other card - to make ATM withdrawals and to spend in shops and restaurants.
Debenhams only offer travel money cards in euros and US dollars. If you need a different currency, or want a cheaper more flexible option, there are other products out there that might suit you.
You have to load a minimum of €100 for euro denominated cards, $150 for US dollar cards, and can only hold up to €5,000 or $7,500 at a time. There's also a maximum daily ATM withdrawal amount of €400 or $500, depending on the currency of the card.²
You can order your foreign currency online, and then either collect it at a travel money bureau in a Debenhams store, or have it delivered to your home.
Euros and US dollars will be available for collection on the next working day, if you order them before 2pm. All other currencies will take 5 days to be prepared if you’re collecting them in store. When you collect your holiday money, you should bring identification with you (passport or full driving license), the reference number and the card you used to pay. When you order your money before 2pm, and want it delivered to your home, it should be available the working day after the order is placed. You’ll need to sign for the delivery for security reasons.
Debenhams suggest customers order currency online for home delivery or collection at a travel money bureau within a Debenhams store. Debenhams also promote using the Western Union service for direct payments to recipients abroad, either using a bank transfer direct to an overseas bank account, or by having your recipient collect currency at a Western Union agent near them.¹
If you need to make a payment to someone overseas, you can do so at Debenhams via their partner Western Union. You can make a payment directly to a bank account held abroad, or your recipient can collect the cash at an agent location near to them. In some countries it's also possible to send money to a mobile wallet. If you choose this option, you’ll need to consider the Western Union money transfer international fees for your payment. If you need, you can also search other Western Union branches.
Before you travel, invest some time in researching the best ways to arrange your travel money. That way you’ll have more in your pocket for spending while you’re away. Alternative providers, like Wise can also be a great way to save you money.
Sources checked: 10-December 2019.
This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.
We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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