changing money in london

Jul 15th, 2007, 08:25 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 569
changing money in london

I"m going to london and need 125 pounds or so to start with. I assume the exchange rate at Gatwick will be a bit better than in the US. Any experinced currency changers out there?
youngtom2910 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2007, 08:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,468
I would assume it was, also, since money is always cheaper in the place where it is the regular currency -- well, it always has been when I checked. The last time I exchanged a USD travelers check at Heathrow (at Travelex, I think, a couple years ago), I believe the markup was around 10-12 pct. Can't say if it's like that at Gatwick, but that's a major company in the area, so it could be. That isn't as bad as some airports, although not great. I presume they have ATMs at Gatwick, although I haven't been there in a while. A lot of people just use those rather than exchanging currency.
Christina is offline  
Jul 15th, 2007, 08:41 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,632
They have many ATMs at Gatwick and that is always better than using a bank or exchange facility. As Christina said, the markup on exchanging traveler's checks is 10-12%, but the ATM markup is only 1% plus the buck or two your bank will charge. When you leave the baggage claim you will find several ATMs just around the corner. If by chance those are out of cash, go up the escalator and you will see several more ATMs.

When you enter your withdrawal amount into the ATM, keep in mind you are asking for £'s, not dollars. Most ATM's only do withdrawals in multiples of 10, so you might have to get £130 to start instead of £125.
P_M is offline  
Jul 15th, 2007, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,926
yep - you don't need to exchange money at all. Just use your ATM card and get whatever amount you want to start (I'd personally get more than £125 so I don't have to keep hitting ATMs)
janisj is offline  
Jul 15th, 2007, 09:10 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,521
You have been given the best advice about using an ATM. Asking for "experienced currency changers" here is difficult as most savvy travelers have little or no experience "exchanging" currencies. That's a thing of the past -- like Travelers Checks.

That said, if it makes you feel better or safer, I suggest you order 100 or so pounds from your bank. It might be worth the extra cost for "peace of mind".
NeoPatrick is offline  

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