Virgin Money is a UK-based bank and financial services company founded by Sir Richard Branson in March 1995. In January 2012, Sir Branson bought Northern Rock plc and re-branded the bank as Virgin Money. As a UK bank, Virgin Money offers more than 15 services including credit cards, mortgages, stocks and shares, pension accounts and pet insurance.
International transfers and travel money are among the services available only in the UK, while other products like credit cards are the only services available in South Africa. Some insurance products and the credit cards are available through Virgin Australia.
Since October 2015, Virgin Money has partnered with World First to provide International Transfer services. With more than 75,000 people and businesses exchanging more than £26 billion through World First, Virgin Money’s website includes a World First micro-site, which is branded as Virgin Money.
Personal International transfers made through World First available in the UK only:
A currency calculator is available online as well as a live interbank exchange rate. When a visitor uses the calculator it shows the interbank rate with the caveat: ‘The interbank rate is the rate that banks buy and sell currency to each other. It shows you the market rate of your chosen currency pair for information purposes and is not our offered rate or an indication of price.’ The only way to discover what Virgin Money’s great rate might be is to telephone a UK phone number since the currency calculator isn’t a rate quote estimator.
Best Rate Guarantee:
Virgin Money is partnered with WorldFirst, who transact more than £5 billion annually. As World First is able to access interbank rates, these savings are passed on the Virgin Money International Transfer service. If a client has already registered with Virgin and has a better quote from a competitor, Virgin Money (or rather, World First) will endeavour to beat the exchange rate.
Travelex handles Virgin Money’s travel money services, which is convenient for clients looking to sell back any travel money unused after a holiday.
Currency calculator and the day’s live exchange rates on Virgin Money showed the rate of GBP to USD at 1.38, although the mid-market rate at the time was 1.42, so there’s that fee for purchasing travel money. Additionally payment by both Visa and MasterCard credit cards costs an extra 1.5% handing fee. Provided by Travelex, Virgin Money’s travel money doesn’t compete with airport bureau de change rates – it matches them. Virgin money can be ordered online and collected at Virgin Money stores, Travelex airport shops and – with a Virgin Airline ticket – can also be picked up at MoneyCorp airport stores, so there’s the only perk in using the expensive service: being able to collect it at the airport. Better rates are seen, however, by companies who provide free delivery.
Virgin Money’s website sets out to make clients feel like jet-setters with a kangaroo promising ‘knockout rates on international money transfers’, and there’s a funky range of credit card designs. YourMoney has awarded Virgin Money for best online cash ISA provider and best direct stock and share provider, which gives these products the weight of reliability lacking elsewhere on the site. The range of financial products Virgin Money offers feel strangely packaged given that most clients will seek a more sober approach to investments, credit cards and banking. Rather than offer values other banks don’t, Virgin Money re-packages the same services with a youthful irreverence that feels silly and does not actually inspire trust.
No hint of customer reviews is seen as the focus is firmly on Virgin Money, not the clients, and business news content doesn’t exist.
TRUSTPILOT rated Bad at 1.7 with 56 reviews. The full range of Virgin Money bank services was found untrustworthy by reviewers who cited very poor customer service across all sectors of services. Virgin Money’s inexperience was seen as very detrimental to fostering stable products banking customers expect. None specifically cited transfers which are actually carried out through World First, and so may escape the issues seen with all other Virgin Money services.
World First, on the other hand, has a 98% rating from 4138 reviews on feefo, so perhaps Virgin Money is good at choosing associates like World First who are also handling the customer service and sparing transfer clients from having to rely on Virgin Money to track transfers.
ReviewCentre rates Virgin Money Services at 1.7 out of 5 stars, with 17% satisfaction rate out of 47 reviews. In every case customer service let down clients with mortgage, savings and insurance complications caused by Virgin Money service issues.
Virgin Money is simply re-branding World First as their own product. If you wished to trade with World First, why would you go through Virgin Money to do so? Likewise, since Virgin Money’s travel money is provided by Travelex, why not avail oneself of one of their 1,500 stores? Hanging out at a Virgin Money Lounge is simply not enough to compensate clients for all the hassles of using Virgin Money exchange services.
2 out of 5 stars
Virgin Money International transfers are provided by WorldFirst, a large industry provider capable of offering very competitive exchange rates. Travel money services are provided by Travelex, available in all major airports.
Virgin Money transfer service is provided by WorldFirst offering more services across the global marketplace- why bother going through Virgin Money to reach a WorldFirst micro-site?