Call us nosy, but we're constantly looking to hear about how our users get on with WeSwap - what they like, what they don't like, all of it. Recently we got in touch with one user who, having lost out to poor exchange rates and bank fees when travelling from London to her hometown in Ireland, heard about WeSwap and decided to give us a go. Here she has very kindly agreed to share how she got on...
When I first heard about WeSwap my first reaction, like so many others, was ‘how has this not been done before?’
I live in London but am from Ireland so I am constantly losing spending money when I travel back home, with exchange rates and bank charges racking up.
Throughout an average year I would probably travel approximately 12 times from the UK to Ireland, be it for long weekends, a week’s holiday, or a quick stop, for weddings, hen parties, family occasions or friend’s birthdays.
As my salary is paid into my UK account, I transfer money from it to my Irish account for those weekends at home – and get charged commission by the bank for the exchange, as well as charges for the transaction from British Pound Sterling to Euro.
I heard about WeSwap through a friend and thought that there must be a catch! I signed up and the process was so simple. My WeSwap card arrived in the post and I then had to phone up with my activation code to receive my PIN.
I remembered to do my first WeSwap on a Friday afternoon, when I was still in the office, just before leaving for the airport. It was so straight forward to load my money however so I had no issues. As I was in a rush I set my swap to finish in 15 minutes, and sure enough, 15 minutes later it was on my card as Euro. I constantly check currency sites like http://www.xe.com/ and was so happy to see how close the swap is to the direct conversion. As I did a speedy swap, WeSwap topped up my Swap so I only paid 1.5% in total, normally however it would be 1% if swapping with another person.
Then came the real test… I landed in Ireland and had to buy a birthday card for a friend in the airport. The card worked perfectly and it was a relief to not have to mentally add on the additional charges and exchange rate. The card works everywhere that they accept Mastercard®, so I used it throughout the weekend in restaurants, supermarkets and pubs with no issues.
I also found it extremely useful in budgeting for the weekend. I was able to transfer exactly what I wanted the weekend to cost and knew that only the exact amount was coming off the card, with no surprise charges being deducted from my account that I couldn’t foresee.
I would really recommend WeSwap and think that everyone should sign up. I invited my sister and boyfriend to join and so we can now swap money for 0%!
I just wish WeSwap existed a few years ago when my friends and I went travelling around the world, who knows we could have afforded another month or two!
This is the first in a series of guest blogs and case studies written by our users about their experience with WeSwap. If you've got any thoughts on WeSwap or a story of your own that you'd like to share, we'd love to hear from you - please get in touch here.
WeSwap is the world’s first person-to-person currency exchange for travellers. By matching people up who are travelling in different directions, we allow holidaymakers, expats and business travellers around the world to swap their different currencies without using banks or expensive retail outlets. It’s cheaper, more transparent and we’d like to think it makes people happier too. Sign up today to save on your travel money.