How does Travelex work in Malaysia: Step-by-step guide -2024

Claire Millard
Minami Ishii
Last updated
25 June 2024

Travelex Malaysia operates from 5 locations in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), allowing you to order select foreign currencies online to collect before you board your plane. This guide walks through the services available, including the Travelex exchange rate, how to order, and why you might consider arranging your travel money in advance. We’ll also touch on alternatives to getting travel cash at the airport, like travel money cards from Wise or BigPay.

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What is Travelex?

Travelex currency exchange is a global, and well established business, offering a selection of services to travellers around the world. In Malaysia, Travelex lets you order travel money online to collect at one of their airport locations - plus you can also walk up to a Travelex desk to do an on the spot conversion if you’d like.

In some other countries, different services are available - such as the Travelex money card. This isn’t an option in Malaysia, but we’ll touch on a couple of Travelex alternatives later if you’re looking more specifically for a travel card you can use to pay and withdraw when you’re away. One thing Travelex Malaysia does offer, is essay ways to buy a Singapore SIM for your phone - handy if you’re jetting off from KLIA to Changi.

How does Travelex Currency Exchange work in Malaysia 

Travelex Malaysia offers travel money services through its desks in KLIA. You can choose to order one of about 35 currencies online, with exclusive exchange rates, to then collect at the airport. This can save you time at the airport, and also means you’ll be sure the currency you need is available when you arrive.

If you need to set up travel money on your way through the airport - or if you order online to collect - you can choose any of these Travelex locations:

  • KLIA airside domestic transfer

  • KLIA arrivals, main terminal

  • KLIA departure, main terminal

  • KLIA landside departure, left

  • KLIA airside departure, satellite

Travelex currency exchange rate in Malaysia 

Travelex will set the currency exchange rate you get to convert MYR to the currency you need for your trip. This rate will be based on the mid-market exchange rate with a variable markup added, which may vary between currencies. You may get a better rate if you order your currency online and then collect it later, rather than just calling by a Travelex desk to do an on the spot conversion.

The mid-market rate - which may also be called the spot rate - is the benchmark used on global currency markets. It’s also the rate you’ll see if you search for your currency pair on Google, or using a currency exchange tool online. However, this rate isn’t often passed on to customers buying travel money. Instead the provider will add a percentage fee - a markup - to cover their costs and the risks of selling currency in a fluctuating market. This markup can vary a lot between currencies, and between different providers. Often the place with the biggest markup is the airport - because by this stage, travellers don’t have a lot of choice about how they sort out their travel cash.

Finding a travel money service which uses the mid-market rate - or as close as possible to it - is usually the best way to get a good deal when converting currencies. We’ll look at a couple of alternatives which may be cheaper and more convenient a little later - travel cards from providers like Wise and BigPay, which you can use to pay overseas, and to get cash from an ATM.

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How to use Travelex in Malaysia 

To get the best exchange rates with Travelex - and to save time - you can order your travel cash online and collect it when you arrive at the airport. This means you can skip the queues and also it means you’re certain that the desk will have the currency you need, when you need it.

To use Travelex in Malaysia:

  1. Open the Travelex desktop site and select Order currency

  2. Find the currency you need from the dropdown list

  3. Enter the amount you want to exchange to view the rate and applicable fee

  4. Confirm your order and the pick up date and location

  5. Collect your money at the airport - you’ll need to show your ID and your order confirmation

  6. Pay for your travel money on arrival at the Travelex desk

A couple of points to note - you can’t choose which currency denominations you get when you order your cash online, and you can only change your collection information within a 2 day window. If your plans change and you need a totally different collection date, you’ll need to cancel your order, and restart the process.

How to pay with Travelex 

If you’re ordering currency online with Travelex you will need to pay for it at the Travelex desk when you go to collect it. You can pay with MYR cash and you may also be able to pay with a card. Call ahead if you want to use a card to check the location you have selected for pick up is able to process a card payment.

Advantages and disadvantages of Travelex

Travelex is a large global provider which is safe to use and which offers several ways to get your travel money when you are heading off on a trip from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. However, it’s not right for everyone. Here are a few pros and cons to consider:


  • 35 currencies available

  • Multiple locations in KLIA to choose from

  • Online orders have improved exchange rates

  • On the spot currency conversion also available


  • Exchange rates include a markup

  • Fees may apply, depending on the exact service you need

  • Only available in KLIA

  • Carrying lots of money in cash when you travel is not the safest option

Travelex isn’t the only way to sort out your travel money for your next trip. Alternative services - including travel money cards from providers like Wise or BigPay - could be cheaper, more flexible and safe to use for overseas spending and cash withdrawals.

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Alternatives to Travelex

Travelex Malaysia offers ways to get travel money in cash before you leave Malaysia. However, you don’t necessarily need to arrange your travel money in advance if you don’t want to. Instead you could use a travel money card from a popular and trusted provider which lets you tap and pay when you’re abroad, and also withdraw the cash you need on arrival at an ATM in your destination.


Order your Wise card online, and get access to a Wise virtual card instantly which you can use to make mobile payments with a wallet like Apple Pay. You can spend in 150+ countries, and make withdrawals with your physical Wise card when it’s been delivered to you. Add money in ringgit and then either convert in advance in your Wise account, or let the card convert for you when you transact. Currency exchange uses the mid-market rate and low fees from 0.33%.

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Popular in both Malaysia and Singapore, BigPay and the BigPay card let you pay internationally from MYR, with competitive exchange rates. You’ll also earn AirAsia points whenever you transact with your card. You can add money in ringgit and let the card convert when you pay overseas. Plus you can use your account for local bill pay, to pay by QR, split bills and more.

Travelex fees

Travelex has variable fees which include an exchange rate markup. The full cost of your currency conversion is the combined total of any markup applied and any upfront fee - so checking both and comparing with alternative providers is essential to make sure you get the best available deal.

Is Travelex safe?

Yes. Travelex is safe. It’s a large global business with operations in many countries around the world. When you order currency online the transaction and your data are both processed and stored securely and in line with relevant laws.

Conclusion: Using Travelex in Malaysia

Travelex Malaysia could be useful if you want to have travel money cash in your pocket before you get on your outward plane. You can order your cash online and collect it at the airport before departure, often with a better rate than you’d get if you just showed up and did an on the spot exchange.

Travelex isn’t necessarily the best option for travel spending. As an alternative consider a travel money card which you can load with MYR and use to spend overseas. If you need cash while you’re away from home you can also use your travel money card in an ATM for convenient little-and-often withdrawals. Check out services like Wise and BigPay to see if a travel money card might suit you better than airport travel money.

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How to use Travelex FAQs

How do I use Travelex for the first time?

Order your Travelex travel money online for collection at KLIA before you fly. The process is simple, and you’ll simply need to book a day and location to get your cash before you board.

How can I pay with Travelex?

When you order online with Travelex you’ll need to show your ID and order confirmation, and then pay at the airport. Payments may be in cash or with a card depending on where you collect your money.

What are the conditions to register a Travelex account?

You don’t need to register a Travelex account in advance - but you do need to show your ID document when you get your money at the airport to prove the order was yours.