Great Britain Currency

Great Britain currency consists of pounds and pence (pennies) - 100 pence equals 1 pound. The cheapest and best way to exchange US Dollars for British currency is to first check with your own bank or a branch of it, and see if they deal with foreign currency conversion. Some banks do not charge its own customers to exchange currency. You can pick up Great Britain currency this way. I found this to be most economical compared to exchanging your money at the exchange counters in the airports. You always need some Great Britain currency to land in London with, whether it be for a newspaper, coffee, or a bite to eat. How much Great Britain currency you physically carry with you depends on your comfort level. Even though Fagan's team of street urchins in Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist pickpocketed unknowing passerbys in London of old days, people are more careful with their cash in this day and age. Hopefully, nobody walks around with their wallet hanging out of their pocket, but instead uses some type of money belt or similar safety measure. If you are comfortable carrying a larger amount of cash (I do - I break up the cash between everyone in my party, just in case), then going to your fee-free bank is an economical way to get Great Britain currency. Everybody is different, and if you are wary about carrying a large amount of cash, then exchange just enough for incidentals for your first day or two in London.

My next tip, if you do not like carrying a large amount of cash, and for the cheapest way to get British currency in London is with your ATM debit card. Check with your bank to see what charges you will incur, and that you will be able to use your debit card in London. Make sure your debit card has a 4-digit pin number. This has to be in numbers, as ATM machines in London tend to deal with numbers only. You can use the ATM machine at the London airport where you disembark or anywhere else in London. ATM machines are plentiful and all over the city. Another tip would be to bring both your VISA and Mastercards with you (in case you can use one and not the other at certain places), to pay for purchases you do not wish to pay in cash. If your credit card does not charge a foreign transaction fee, you will save money. Your bank will simply convert your purchases from Great Britain currency to US Dollars on your statement. The credit cards to check into as far as no foreign transaction fee would be Discover Card who have dropped their 2% foreign transaction fee on all cards. Capital One has no foreign transaction fee. Chase, Citibank and American Express have dropped these fees from some of their cards. The best thing to do is check with your credit card companies. Also, make sure to let them and your bank know you will be out of the country so they do not freeze your accounts for irregular activity.

Go to Reuters to find out how much British currency your dollars will buy. I also find on my cell phone under tools and calculator, there is a converter that deals with US Dollars and Great Britain pounds. This is the easiest way to see the conversion of your money. Another tip is be sure to avoid currency exchange shops and kiosks in London. They will not only give you an unfavorable rate, but will also charge commission on top of that. Do not give US Dollars to stores or shops in London where you make purchases. The same deal will apply with them. You will not get a good rate. Instead, use your no foreign transaction fee credit card. Finally, make sure that you use up your coins. There are pound coins and larger, as well as smaller denomination coins. These can add up quickly even though you may not think you have much in change. When you exchange your British money back to US Dollars, it is easier with notes so keep your eye on those coins.

You are sure to save money with my tips on converting your US Dollars to Great Britain currency. Most importantly, do what you feel comfortable doing as far as your money conversion, and, above all, have a great time in London!

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