Foreign Currency FAQs

Placing your order

Need to contact us?

Got a query or want to give us some feedback, it's easy to get in touch.

Phone
Ring our dedicated Travel Money UK-based call centres, on 0345 8500 900, Monday to Saturday from 8:30am to 5:30pm

Email
Alternatively email us at postofficetravelmoney@firstrate.co.uk

I am having trouble using the website

Please make sure you are using the latest version of your internet browser, we also have a fully mobilised purchase journey but if you are using a mobile device and experiencing problems it may be easier to start the process again on a desktop device. If using a smartphone please ensure you are using portrait view to minimise issues whilst ordering.

Why can't I order Indian Rupees

This currency is restricted and cannot be sold outside of India. We suggest you change your currency on arrival at your destination.

Do you charge a fee for debit or credit card cards, or any other fees?

Any fees relating to commissions, card issuer or delivery will be displayed during the order process.

Please note that your credit card provider may charge a cash advance fee for buying Travel Money. When you place your order you will be given the option to select a preferred delivery date/time. Any additional charges that may be applicable, for example ordering for home delivery on a Saturday, the system will display the fee charged.

Why can't I find the currency I want to buy?

There are restrictions on a number of currencies that prevent us being able to buy and sell them, including Indian rupee, Moroccan dirham, Sri Lankan rupee, and Tunisian dinar. 

If your preferred currency is not on the drop down list of currencies when you are entering the amount we do not stock it.

Can I purchase more than one currency or Travellers Cheque in one order?

Yes. When placing orders online, choose 'Add Another Currency'. If ordering in branch, let the staff member know the full list of currencies and products you require.

 

How can I get currency today?

When placing your order, you select the collection/delivery date of your choice. An option is available to obtain currency the same day, providing that there are branches in the local area that have sufficient currency stocks to fulfil your order. If there aren't any, this choice won't be displayed in the drop-down list. You will be however offered a home or branch delivery service which is available next working day, provided you order before 3pm.

How much can I order online?

Minimum order is £400. Maximum order is £2500.

Are there any fees when ordering Travel Money?

Any fees relating to commissions, card issuer, or delivery will be displayed during the order process. Please note that your credit card provider may charge a cash advance fee for buying Travel Money. When you place your order you will be given the option to select a preferred delivery date/time. Any additional charges that may be applicable, for example ordering for home delivery on a Saturday, the system will display the fee charged.

Are there any import or export restrictions

In the UK you must complete a Cash Declaration form if you plan to take out (or return with) €10,000 or more, or the equivalent in any currency, in cash (notes and Travellers Cheques)

Do I need a logon account in order to purchase my Travel Money

No. You will need to provide personal details during the order process, but you don't need an account logon.

What denominations will I receive?

We appreciate that it is always handy to have a few lower denominations available for small purchases at the start of your travels. Therefore your order will be fulfilled using the denominations available, wherever possible supplying you with a mix of banknotes.

How will I know that the transaction has been successful?

An on-screen confirmation message of your order will be displayed to advise if your order has been accepted or declined. If your order has gone through, you will also receive a confirmation via email. Where possible, you should print this and take it with you if you are collecting your order from a Post Office branch.

When will my payment card be debited?

As soon as you select the 'Place order' button we will validate your card and the availability of funds. If your order is accepted funds will be allocated against your card immediately.

Will I receive a call from you in relation to my order?

It may be necessary for us to request further information from you so that the order can be completed and/or to comply with regulatory requirements. It is therefore important that you provide the correct contact details during the order process. You will be notified by First Rate if, for whatever reason, your order cannot be confirmed.

Can I cancel my order

Cancellation can only be undertaken prior to dispatch of your order. A £20.00 cancellation may apply.

Does someone need to be available to sign for the order when being delivered

Yes, if you have selected home delivery, the order will need to be signed for. Your order will always be delivered to the card billing address you entered when you placed the order. The order will be delivered by Royal Mail Special Delivery™.

Can I have my order delivered to a different location?

You can collect your order from the branch chosen during the order process. If you have selected home delivery, your order can only be delivered to the billing address of your payment card to protect you from any un-authorised card use.

Do you do phone orders?

Unfortunately, we don't have a central phone ordering facility. However, you can reserve currency by phone from your local branch if they have the stock available. Contact details can be found here. If your local branch does not hold currency in store, they can pre-order this for you. Pre-orders can only be done by visiting the branch. The cut off time for next working day delivery for branch pre-orders is 2pm.

How can I find out if my branch holds currency in stock?

Our branch finder will display your local branch. Simply enter your postcode and choose the 'Travel and Foreign Currency' indicator from the 'Products and Services list.

If my order does not arrive on time whom should I contact?

Please call 0345 8500 900 during our office hours, which are Monday to Saturday from 8:30am to 5:30pm.

What happens if no-one is available at home to sign the order?

If no one is at the billing address when the order is delivered, the order will automatically go to your local Royal Mail sorting office. Royal Mail will leave a 'sorry we missed you' card and you will be required to collect the item from your local sorting office the next day, or arrange re-delivery.

When will I receive my order?

General ordering:

  • Orders placed midnight - 3pm are available the next working day, for delivery to home, or collection from a branch.
     
  • Orders placed after 3pm are available the following working day.
     
  • Collections from a branch on a Saturday are not guaranteed, as delivery of the order is not assured by Royal Mail.

 

Orders incorporating same day collections:

  • Orders placed Monday to Friday, midnight - 9:00am are available after 11am same working day.
     
  • Orders placed Monday to Friday, 9:01am - 2:00pm are available 2 hours after the order is placed on the same working day.
     
  • Orders placed Monday to Friday after 2:00pm are available the next weekday working day after 11:00am.
     
  • Orders placed on a Saturday, Sunday or Bank holiday are available the next weekday working day after 11am.
     
  • Please note - if ordering for Monday delivery, Royal Mail may attempt to deliver this by 1pm on a Saturday.

Exchange Rates

Are your rates the same online as they are in branch?

Branch exchange rates depend on several factors, eg., branch location, competition, cost of order, convenience, etc. We will always try and offer the best rate, subject to this criteria. As with many retailers, the cheapest order / distribution method is online, where centralised packing costs can be used. This is why online exchanges are invariably better than branch rates.

Do all your branches have the same rate?

No. Branch exchange rates depend on several factors like branch location, competition, cost of order, convenience, etc. We will always try and offer the best rate, subject to this criteria.

What exchange rate will I get on my order?

Exchange rates are displayed during the ordering process.

What is a buy back rate?

This is the rate used when you sell unused currency back to us and is different from the rate when you purchase currency from us.

Currency

How can I check what rate of exchange is being applied?

The current exchange rates are displayed during the ordering process. In addition, a rate display is provided on the travel money ordering website which can be accessed by selecting the ‘currency exchange rates’ menu option.

How can I find out the currency restrictions for where I'm going?

Certain countries have restrictions over the amount of currency you can take in / out per person. These limits can usually be found on that country's government website. Alternatively, contact us on 0345 8500 900, Monday to Saturday from 8:30am to 5:30pm.

How do I know what currency to order?

Please contact us on 0345 8500 900 Monday to Saturday from 8:30am to 5:30pm for advice over what is the best currency to take.

What do I do with any leftover currency?

Unused currency can be exchanged for Sterling at Post Office branches. You may need to produce your original Post Office receipt. Please click here to find your nearest branch.

Travellers Cheques

Can I encash my Travellers Cheques whenever an AMEX Card is accepted?

There is no direct correlation between those establishments accepting Travellers Cheques and American Express cards. American Express Travellers Cheques are widely accepted globally. The number of merchants accepting them is increasing daily.

Can I use my Travellers Cheques in shops, hotels etc?

American Express Travellers Cheques are recognised around the world and can be used like cash at millions of retailers, hotels and restaurants. They can also be exchanged for local currency at banks, foreign exchange / bureau de change outlets and American Express Travel Service Offices.

Search to find accepting banks, foreign exchange locations and American Express Travel Services Offices where you can redeem your Travellers Cheques for local currency.

How do I encash Travellers Cheques?

Make sure that the acceptor sees you counter-sign the Travellers Cheques in the lower left-hand corner. As long as the counter-signature matches the original one, payment is guaranteed by American Express.

If I return to the UK with some unused Travellers Cheques, what should I do with them?

You can either hold onto them for use on your next trip, or alternatively you can take them into your local Post Office branch and exchange them for Sterling. Please remember to take your original Post Office receipt with you. Currency Travellers Cheque buy back rates will differ to sell rates.

Is there a fee to cash Travellers Cheques?

Normally there is no fee when you use Travellers Cheques to pay for goods and services at merchants (e.g. shops, restaurants and hotels). However, a small percentage of merchants and banks may charge a fee at their sole discretion. Banks apply their own encashment policy when providing encashment facilities. There are many encashment partners worldwide, including American Express Travel Offices, encash your Travellers Cheques fee free.

Search to find accepting banks, foreign exchange locations and American Express Travel Services Offices where you can redeem your Travellers Cheques for local currency. We would recommend that you check for the nearest encashment office to your holiday destination prior to purchase.

What are the benefits of taking Travellers Cheques?

  • They are like cash but safer.
     
  • They can be used as cash in many shops, hotels and restaurants around the world.
     
  • They can be replaced worldwide if lost or stolen, usually within 24 hours.
     
  • They have no expiry date so can be kept for your next trip (unless you date them and then they are only valid for six months).

What do I do if I can't use my Travellers Cheques?

To find the nearest encashment location, or for any general queries, please contact American Express using the number shown on your Travellers Cheque wallet, or visit www.americanexpress.com/useTC.

What did I do if I lose my Travellers Cheques or have them stolen?

For refund assistance please call the appropriate phone number as shown on your Travellers Cheque wallet at the earliest opportunity. Please have your Travellers Cheque serial numbers to hand when you call for refund assistance. Once your claim for refund is authorised, American Express Travellers Cheques will be refunded or replaced worldwide, usually within 24 hours.

What happens if my signatures do not match?

The acceptor will usually allow you to re-sign the Travellers Cheques on the back and then compare the signatures again. If the acceptor is still unsure, they will contact American Express to obtain authorisation.

What should I do to ensure that my Travellers Cheques are safe?

Unlike cash, with American Express Travellers Cheques you have the assurance of the world’s most comprehensive refund and travel assistance service. When you receive your Travellers Cheques you must sign them immediately on the top left-hand line. You are not protected against loss or theft until you do so. Do not counter-sign your cheques until you use them and only then in the presence of the acceptor. Safeguard your Travellers Cheques as you would for your cash. Retain your serial numbers, shown on the transaction receipt, separate from the Cheques themselves. These numbers will be required should you need to report them lost or stolen.

Where do I sign the Travellers Cheques when I receive them?

When you receive your Travellers Cheques, you must sign them immediately, in the upper left-hand corner. Once done, the Travellers Cheques are insured against loss or theft.

Why do I have to show my passport when I encash my Travellers Cheques abroad?

It is not an American Express policy to ask for identification when encashing Travellers Cheques. However, some countries have legal regulations which require identification to be shown.

Will I get change when encashing my Travellers Cheque?

Yes, American Express Travellers Cheques are just like cash, but safer, so when the full face value of the Travellers Cheque is not used, the change is returned in the local currency.