American Express Review: Using Them in the UK Effectively

American Express Review logoAmerican Express Currency Exchange (AMEX) was founded as far back as 1850, it is well known for credit and charge cards as well as its traveller’s cheques.


American Express has been recently ranked as the 22nd most valuable brand in the world by BusinessWeek. It estimates the brand to be worth £12.01 billion. Fortune Magazine also names it as one of the most Admired Companies in the World.


The Currency Shop Says:

  • American Express Currency Exchange (AMEX) has multiple locations around the world.
  • Rates are better than major banks but aren’t the cheapest.
  • They offer interesting products and specials such as the Return Rate Guarantee.
  • Use our comparison table if you need to compare exchange rates and the fees charged by other providers.


What we will cover

Our main focus is the safety of using American Express Currency Exchange and how and when you should use them. This article will look at:

  • How to buy currency and in store.
  • The fees and charges associated with AMEX.
  • Travel cards?
  • The Pros and Cons of AMEX.


How to buy currency online and in store.

Finding an American Express Currency Exchange store location

AMEX have stores all over the UK, see their website for details.


Available currencies

You can send over 60 different currencies with AMEX


How to buy Traveller’s Cheques or Foreign Exchange online

There are four basic steps to buying currency online.

  1. Ordering. You can order a number of currencies. There is a minimum and maximum amount you can order. Please check their website for details.
  2. Set the location you would like to pick your currency up from.
  3. Enter contact.
  4. Confirm your transaction


There are two basic steps to buying currency in-store.

  1. Tell them the currency you require and how much you need. They will tell you the exchange rate and the overall cost.
  2. Pay by cash or by card.


You will also need to provide identification.



AMEX does not charge commission.


Do AMEX accept credit cards?

They do, you can pay by cash, cheque or credit card.


Paying by cash incurs no charge but there is a charge for using debit and credit cards. Using debit card carries a flat rate fee whereas a credit card is charged as a percentage of the total amount being transacted. When using a debit card bear in mind that you may have a daily EFTPOS limit attached to it. If using a credit card remember that the issuer will likely charge you a cash advance fee.


AMEX Exchange Rates

AMEX offers competitive exchange rates when compared to the major banks for most of the popular currencies.  It is worth remembering that their online exchange rates can vary from the ones offered in store.


Return Rate Guarantee

The Return Rate Guarantee is an interesting offer. For an upfront charge you can guarantee you will receive the same exchange rate if you need to sell some of the currency back on your return from your destination. See the website for the maximum amount this applies to.


Travel Cards

The AMEX Global Travel Card can be purchased in AMEX stores.


The Pros and Cons of using American Express Currency Exchange.


Pros of using AMEX for money transfers.

  • Handy and numerous locations
  • Order online with a vast selection of currencies.


Cons of using AMEX for money transfers

  • Card handling fees


Case Study

Tammy has been putting aside cash, saving up for her upcoming holiday to Ibiza in the summer. She has an AMEX store in High Street which she can walk to.


She doesn’t need to make an appointment so she takes her cash into the store, remembering to bring her passport with her. The store offers her an exchange rate and tells her the total amount of Euros she can expect in exchange for her sterling. She accepts the rate and the currency is changed over in store.


She suspects that she is taking more money than she needs so she takes out a Return Rate Guarantee, meaning that any Euros she brings back will be exchanged into sterling at the same rate.

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