FairFx Currency Exchange and Pre-paid Card Review
Who is FairFx?
With an annual turnover of over £600 million, FairFx is a big player in the marketplace. Trading since 2007, FairFx has made a name for itself in the foreign currency card market, in particular. Though the brand is primarily an e-banking and international payments group. The various services it offers does mean you can handle all your currency needs with one company. Definitely an advantage if you happen to travel frequently and need to send money abroad.
In 2018, FairFx will be branching out into new territory. The newest arm of its operation will see it offer businesses a current account. The Fair Everywhere account will offer businesses a multi-currency account – with the ability to transfer money globally, using FairFx’s competitive rates.
Is FairFx reliable?
FairFx has been in the game considerably longer than some of the newer faces on the currency transfer block. In that time, it’s built a solid customer base and received a lot of coverage from the financial press, and recommendations from hard hitting news outlets, including the Financial Times, The New York Times and The Guardian. With a £656 million turnover for the year ending October 2016, FairFx is dealing with some big numbers, but still keeping customers happy.
How much does FairFx charge?
Fees are a source of contention among some reviewers of the brand. Whichever FairFx service you use, be sure to read the small print. Fees for ATM withdrawals from the currency card are among the most controversial. So what about the basic fees? A prepaid currency card has an issue fee of £9.95 – plus a slew of fees relating to withdrawals, over the counter withdrawals and transaction fees. The most eye-watering fee we spotted was the £10.00 per disputed transaction fee.
Moving on to currency transfers, FairFx labels this as ‘Fairpay’. It also says this is a free service – so you’ll need to keep a close eye on the exchange rates – as this is where FairFx will be making its money. If you’re looking to buy travel money via the brand, you can get it delivered to your door, with no delivery fee, if you order over £750 or more. You’ll be charged £5 for orders between £500 – £750 and £7.50 for orders below £500.
How easy is FairFx to use?
Online reviews praise FairFx for its easy to use site. FairFx also offers instant transfers – a bonus for anyone needing to get a deposit somewhere fast. You can also make transactions over the phone, great if you think your particular transaction may have some hiccups – or you’re unsure of the process. There’s no charge for this service either, unlike some other money transfer companies.
What do the FairFx reviews say?
FairFx has built up a solid reputation online – though many reviews relate to the brand’s currency card offering. Positive customer reviews include glowing reports of helpful agents, an easy to use site and prompt service. As with most money transfer brands, there are some negative reviews lurking amongst the flock of positive ones. Give those a read and you’ll find eagle-eyed customers are unhappy with FairFx’s various fees. One customer pointed out that – due to information being absent from FairFx’s website, he was met with unexpected charges on his return from holiday. In FairFx’s favour, they admitted the omission, added it to their FAQ section and awarded the customer a voucher as a gesture of goodwill. Though this relates to the currency card, it’s a reminder that it pays to always check the small print.
On TrustPilot, FairFx has an average score of 4/5, with customer quotes including:
‘Excellent rates given and always prompt with deliveries when required. Also the online transfers are outstanding.’
‘FairFx make it so easy to control my money transfers. When I had a problem with a withdrawal they sorted it out quickly and very effectively.’
‘I now have a USD card in addition to my anywhere card and have made a couple of international transfers, no problems managing my accounts or using the cards around the world. All my foreign finances in one place – brilliant – very happy customer.’
Has FairFx won any awards?
The silverware is starting to rack up at FairFx. The brand has received awards across a range of areas – not just service. The standout award has to be the 2016 win for Most Trusted Prepaid Card Provider at a Moneywise award ceremony. Other medals pinned to FairFx’s chest include an award for Best Currency Exchange Service in 2015 at the ADVFN International Financial Awards and a Money Transfer Innovation Award at the Moneynet awards in 2014.
Anything else to know about FairFx?
FairFx has been thinking outside the box and made a strategic alliance with another travel app. An agreement with Vizeat (coined the Airbnb of food) has seen FairFX offer its customers a discount to enjoy an authentic meal with local hosts. In return Vizeat customers get preferential exchange rates and offers. Let’s hope this fares a little better than FairFx’s doomed agreement with Monarch airlines. With the airline crumbling in 2017, the mutual agreement to promote each other’s brands couldn’t save the troubled travel company.