Post Office Review

The Post Office is an institution.  It has evolved over the decades from simply a way of moving documents around, to a firm that is heavily involved with moving money around and sorting important official documentation, from driving licenses to passports.

The home page alone shows you just how much you can do with the Post Office, so if you are still thinking that maybe buying a stamp is the limit of their useful skills, think again!

Take me to the site!  How do I get there?

Okay, well the home page is easy enough to reach at this link.  That will show you the links you need to get to all kinds of other services that they offer.

What does the site offer?

Asking what the site doesn’t offer would be a better question!  A lot more of the services being offered by the Post Office are currently what could be referred to as “retail”, or consumer driven.  They include phone and telecommunication services from broadband to mobile phone top-ups.

On top of all this the Post Office offers a series of financial services.  You can arrange travel insurance, sort out your National Savings certificates and even arrange a Post Office mortgage.  Within the finances section there are many features and service geared towards moving money about from country to country.

When ordering foreign currency you pay no commissions, and you can even have either foreign currency, or Traveller's Cheques delivered to your door (for free if you order more than £400 worth).  Now that's service.

The travel section alone is very comprehensive, and offers all the services you might need if you are going abroad at any point.  Travel money and travel documents both have their own sections, making it easy to locate exactly what you need in the shortest possible time.

Don’t miss out on the Travel Extras part either.  These are services which may not be directly offered by the Post Office, but by partnering up with other companies they have been able to gather together all kinds of other services which you might find useful.  Why go to more than one website when you can get everything you need through one?

What is their currency converter like?

Part of the suite of features available for visitors to the foreign currency section of the Post Office site is their currency converter.  You will easily be able to find this because you’ll notice a link to it at the top of every page.  It is roughly situated in the middle, and it appears in nice easy to see red type.

The “calculate your conversion” feature is different from most others because it does not allow you to specify which currency you wish to convert from – everything is converted from British pounds Sterling (GBP).

This is because the calculator is part of an active ordering system – the amount or the exchange rate is not an average or estimate, it is the actual current rate that the post office will sell you foreign currency at.

Another difference is that you have a choice of whether you'd like to buy “foreign currency notes”, “American Express Traveller's Cheques” or if you'd like to put credit on a “Travel Money Card”.

The fees are different for each and as such you get a slightly different amount of foreign currency depending on which of those three options you choose.  You select the currency that you wish to convert from using the drop-down list called “choose currency”.  You will see product type, currency type (the one you are converting to) and today’s rate listed underneath that heading.

There is a helpful link underneath called “what currency do I need” if you're not sure which currency is best for which country.  Finally enter the amount in the box entitled “enter the amount of currency” and click on the button marked calculate.  The website delivers the exchange rate and the total amount you will receive in foreign currency.

On the whole it is very practical and easy to use.  You just need to remember that it is set up to give you actual selling rates if you are buying currency in any format from the Post Office.  So long as you keep that in mind it will be invaluable to you.

Supposing I need some help and advice – can they help me with that?

Oh yes, the Post Office has put in place a number of ways to help you out if you need it.  First of all there is a help section located in the customer service part of the site.  You can access this from the bottom of the site.

You can also reach the ‘contact us’ section from this part of the site, which allows you to select which topic you need help with.  You can reach the appropriate FAQs from here, or you can email them or use any of the helpful information they have given there to make sure any questions you have are answered.

They even have a Minicom number and a Welsh speaking number you can call if need be.  That makes them one of the most accessible sites for people in a number of ways.

In conclusion

The Post Office has a great range of services on offer for lots of people.  It is definitely worth making a beeline to if you are going on holiday or on a business trip and you want to get some foreign currency.  They do supply plenty of different ones.

And of course the Post Office is a familiar name and company among all Brits.  That means you know you can trust it and be safe when using its many services.  Long may it develop in this way!

Rating (out of five stars)

The Post Office gets four stars out of five.  It loses one purely through not offering a currency converter that can be used for any means, rather than just having one to use for buying currency from them.

- 4 Stars

Link: Post Office Currency Converter

 

Comment

  1. Today’s exchange rate with the Euro was better at around 1.010 according to your website.
    I bought £250 at my local Post office today and only got 1.05. Why?
    You only seem to quote rates for online rates. Why? This is a terribly low rate and I wish I had gone to Sainsburys!.

    — jan hopkins · Sep 2, 10:49 PM · #

  2. Although the Post Office offers commission free on currency exchange it is worth noting that the exchange rate is slightly over 2.6% less than interbank rate. Effectively, they incorporate their commission into their exchange rate.

    — David Lockwood · Jun 1, 03:00 PM · #