Foreign exchange and travel cards – a review of OzForex.com.au
Market leading foreign exchange rates and 24 hour customer service, what’s not to like? OFX is one of Australia’s leading providers of foreign exchange services - it’s their bread and butter. And if you’re thinking about using the OzForex Travel Card while you’re overseas, it helps to know a little about the company behind the card.
- The OzForex Travel Card will no longer be available for applications as this credit card is no longer available to new customers. The information provided and cards cannot be applied for, however, the information on this page has been kept for the benefit of existing customers and for those who are interested. Compare other cards credit cards:
Before you read on, what won’t OFX do?
It’s worth mentioning that there are some methods of payment and types of trade that OFX doesn’t accept. So if you’re thinking about paying for your foreign exchange trades or topping up your travel card with cash or credit card, OFX are not the provider for you, as they don’t accept these methods of payment.
If you’re using their website to transfer money between currencies, there is a minimum transaction amount of $2,000, so people who are having a play on the foreign exchange market with small sums of money may want to consider an alternate forex provider. The same limit does not apply for deposits made onto their prepaid travel card. For this there’s a minimum deposit amount of $100 Australian Dollars. If you plan to make speculative foreign exchange trades you may want to consider another foreign exchange platform too.
Otherwise, read on for a review of the benefits OFX can offer it’s customers as well as some key information about the company’s history, an overview of their foreign exchange services and how and why they can offer such competitive foreign exchange rates.
What do OFX offer?
OFX specialise in foreign currency conversion. They offer a travel money card too. They can also organise international money transfers, deal with foreign exchange options, forward contracts, set up regular payment plans and provide foreign exchange risk management tools.
OFX foreign currency exchange services
The OzForex Travel Card is just a small part of what the company offers. Customers can use the OFX online trading platform with a customisable Foreign Exchange Trading Dashboard.
OFX foreign exchange news and commentary
As well as providing a trading platform, OFX also have a number of information services aimed at keeping you up to date with the latest news, commentary and analysis from their team.
There’s an email full of commentary you can sign up to that comes every day, week or month, and their team sporadically presents video commentary if reading the reports are not your thing.
OFX foreign exchange tools
Their website also has a fantastic research tool for traders searching for historical exchange rates. Whether it be seasonality, the monthly return percentage, monthly and yearly average rates or snapshots of the interbank rate, there are a number of ways you can view and sort the data offered on the website.
They also offer a foreign exchange calculator, options calculator, economic calendar listing important dates, currency converter, information on spot exchange rates, detailed information on customer exchange rates and a mobile APP, which lets you manage your OFX account from your smartphone.
You can use the foreign exchange tools for free on their website, but to get access to the full range of OFX services, you’ll need to register and sign into your OFX online account.
The reasons why OFX is a leading provider of foreign exchange services
Guaranteed market leading customer foreign exchange rates:
The main value proposition OFX have to potential customers is their guarantee that they will not be beaten when it comes to providing a market leading foreign exchange rate.
If you ask them why their rates are good, they’ll say it’s because of the volume of transactions on the interbank market, which is sometimes called the ‘spot market’. By doing a lot of foreign exchange business with the banks and other major lenders on the cheap, OFX says they can pass the savings onto you, their retail customers.
How do the exchange rates offered by OFX compare to other foreign exchange providers?
When you log onto their website, you’ll see a rate. This is an indicative rate only - it’s a mid market rate somewhere between the price they buy and sell currency at. According to Head of Marketing at ofx.com Christopher Minehan, who you can see talking about this same point on this page, the key thing here is that they have a lower mark-up than other foreign exchange providers of about 4%. Other forex providers and travel card providers take about 8%.
Another key point is OFX updates their retail foreign exchange spot rates every thirty seconds, whereas retail lenders and deposit taking institutions who also offer foreign exchange services only update their rates once a day with the disclaimer that ‘rates are subject to change without notice’. For the keen foreign exchange trader, multiple updates throughout the day presents an opportunity to take advantage of fluctuations in international currencies as they happen.
24 hour customer service
Foreign exchange trading doesn’t sleep and neither does OFX. If you need to contact OFX for any reason, you can speak to one of their customer service representatives 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Depending on where you are in the world, there are a couple of numbers you can call. If you’re in Australia and want to get in touch with OFX, you can reach them on the numbers listed below in our FAQ section:
OFX fees and charges
Like all retail foreign exchange providers, OFX apply a margin to their customer’s foreign exchange transactions. There is just one other fee you should be aware of too. If you make a trade under $10,000 you will be charged a $15 fee for each transaction. There’s no fee to register and no ongoing fees.
Frequently Asked Questions:
OFX company profile and history
OFX have been in the market for over a decade. They first launched their website as an information service in 1998, but have since moved into the UK to become an international company and one of Australia’s leading providers of foreign exchange services.
The company was founded by Matt Gilmour and Gary Lord. They had both worked in financial services, and they figured they could do a better job than the foreign exchange providers already out there. Such was their success, they sold controlling share to Macquarie Bank in 2007. In 2010, Accel Partners and the Carlyle Group purchased another significant share of the company and the three organisations now hold positions on the board of directors along with the original owners Matt and Gary.Back to top