The Co-operative Group was first established in 1844. As a different kind of business, the Co-operative was actually owned by individual members who all received a share of the profits. It is not run by big investors who don’t have a vested interest in the company aside from the business of money-making.
It is still run in this way today. At first, the business was just about supplying groceries to people across the country but it has now spread into a number of different markets. You will find the Co-operative Bank, Co-operative Funerals, Co-operative Health Care and most importantly for this review Co-operative Travel.
We’ll take a look at how competitive the Co-operative is in terms of their travel money offering as well as how well their travel money service is administered.
Co-operative Currency Exchange Rates
Last updated: Jan, 21 3:00
|Currency||Rate||750 GBP Buys|
|Costa Rica colons||665.72||499,290.00|
|Hong Kong dollars||9.6991||7,274.33|
|New Zealand dollars||1.938||1,453.50|
|Peruvian nuevo sol||3.9705||2,977.88|
|South African rand||18.3697||13,777.28|
|South Korean won||1409.27||1,056,952.50|
|Sri Lankan rupees||192.17||144,127.50|
|United Arab Emirates dirham||4.7054||3,529.05|
Now run solely by the Mid-counties Co-operative Group following financial difficulties within the main Co-operative group, the company still has the same ethos which prompted the creation of co-operatives throughout the country.
They believe in putting their customer first as well as making sure that they are run in an ethical way. For them, arranging your travel money isn’t just about them making profits (although undoubtedly they will at some point), it is about the value that is created in the community they serve. In other words, they are creating jobs and bettering the lives of those who come into contact with them as well as the wider society.
It is certainly enough to make you feel good about spending money with them, there should be no guilt associated with arranging your travel money with this group.
There are plenty of branches of Co-operative travel throughout England that you can use to exchange money. Branches are mainly located across the midlands, meaning that you might struggle if you live either north or south but every branch will have a travel money service that you can use.
If you can’t get into a branch to exchange your money, however, you could always opt for a cash passport which can be arranged online. Not being able to physically get into a branch won’t stop you from enjoying some of the favourable rates with Co-operative Money.
The cash passport is a service that allows users to take a pre-paid card with them on their travels with money loaded on it in the currency of the country they are visiting. It is touted as being one of the safest as well as the most convenient way to take money abroad. It offers you some security, in that users have access to a 24/7 support centre that can cancel lost or stolen cards as well as provide a free replacement card and emergency cash.
The card is accepted anywhere that takes MasterCard payments and it is not linked in any way to your bank account. It can be topped up easily in a variety of different ways, either online, in-store or via the telephone. Cards can also be posted out to you if you order online, saving you a trip into store.
It is currently only available in 7 currencies, British Pounds, Euros, American Dollars, New Zealand Dollars, Australian Dollars, South African Rand and Canadian Dollars so might not be suitable if you plan on visiting somewhere different.
The rates offered by Co-operative Money in order to exchange currencies are fairly consistent with rates offered by their competitors. There are certainly no complaints to be had. It does seem customers might be offered a more favourable exchange rate should they decide to exchange online through the cash passport offer rather than in-store.
This is fairly typical within the travel industry, however, where a discount is usually applied to take into account the lower costs involved in handling a transaction online. In-store you will find a wide range of currencies, they are sure to be able to help you no matter where you are travelling to.
All in all, Co-operative Travel is a great place to exchange money. The rates are extremely favourable and there is a wide range of currencies in offer. The cash passport offer is great for anyone worrying about carrying around a lot of money and the ease of being able to order and top-up the card online should make sorting out money for your next holiday stress-free.