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Currancy Exchange for London Olympics for GBP

Currancy Exchange for London Olympics for GBP

Jul 22nd, 2012, 06:50 AM
  #1  
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Currancy Exchange for London Olympics for GBP

Leaving from Miami to JFK for trip to LHR for the Olympics. Where is the best place to exchange US dollars to GBP? Should I do this at one of the above airports or any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Norbert is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2012, 06:56 AM
  #2  
 
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Use an ATM at the airport.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2012, 07:06 AM
  #3  
 
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Wait till you get to London....there are several ATM's at Heathrow Airport.....if worst come to worst and yo're in a hurry, the Underground takes credit cards for fares. You will find London is a lot like cities in the USA. Credit cards are taken almost everywhere including the Underground, convenience stores, groc eries and convenience stores, theatres, restaurants both fast food, moderate and higher end. Get an ATM card from a bank that doesn't charge fees for atm withdrawals (if your bank does, just oen an internet bank account that will give you a free ATM card(. Check to see that your credit card does not charge either an annual fee or a foreegn transaction fee. Again if you donn't have one yet, open up one as soon as possible. Lots of them out there now. If you follow the advice about using your credit cards, you will find the use of cash is almost (not quite completely) non-existant. I was just in London for a week at the end ofg June and not once did I spend any cash and believe me, I don't live high on the hog!
xyz123 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2012, 07:12 AM
  #4  
ira
 
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Hi N,

You will be better off charging whatever you can and using ATMs for whatever cash you might need.

If you are concerned about having GBP when you arrive, get about $100 worth at your departure airport. It will cost about $6 more than if you got it in London.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2012, 08:36 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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I agree with the three above experienced travelers. The best ways to go are cash and credit cards. I get cash from my bank, which charges $5.00 per withdrawal in Europe. I've had my bank raise my maximum daily withdrawal to $500, which is the cheapest way for me to go, since I don't want to go to the trouble of finding a way to get cash without a fee.

I also charge larger expenses, such as hotels, with my credit card because I get frequent flyer miles for it. The cost is 3%, which is of course more expensive than if I paid in cash.

However, I've used ff miles for 5 or 6 trips abroad, so it's worth it for me.

Don't bother with travelers' checks. They're hard to use nowadays.

Get a money belt. I suspect that there will be many pickpockets in town for the Olympics, and I've never lost anything that I keep in my money belt. Unless I'm dumb enough to leave it in the rumpled covers of my bed.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2012, 05:45 PM
  #6  
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Thank you for the advice. however, all news in the USA says not to count on GBP once there since most ATM are running out of money. I think they are not topped off enough so I will most likely exchange in the US.
Norbert is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2012, 06:16 PM
  #7  
 
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"Thank you for the advice. however, all news in the USA says not to count on GBP once there since most ATM are running out of money. I think they are not topped off enough so I will most likely exchange in the US."

That is plain silly. sorry, but it is. What "All news"? There are ATMs everywhere and since most visitors to the Olympics are . . . going to the Olympics/Olympic venues, ATMs in central London won't be out of£££

You will waste a lot of money buying in the States. For comparison, - I was in London for the Jubillee -- which concentrated millions (yes, millions) of people in central London and didn't notice a single cash machine out of money. There will be fewer people at any one time for the Olympics than there were over Jubilee weekend.
janisj is online now  
Jul 22nd, 2012, 07:04 PM
  #8  
 
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You post on this forum asking for advice and are given some excellent information from knowledgeable and well- traveled Fodorites and, yet, choose to ignore it in lieu of rumors and hearsay. Not a propitious start to your trip.
historytraveler is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2012, 07:12 PM
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That's complete nonsense about ATMs "running out of money." Where do people get this stuff? What "news in the USA" is reporting this??? It's complete HOGWASH! Get on the freaking plane and change your money at the ATM at the airport when you get there and call it a day. JEEEEZ!!
StCirq is online now  
Jul 22nd, 2012, 08:00 PM
  #10  
 
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I read the same article - one article. It wasn't "All the news" - one article by one nit wit.

IMO Half of the syndicated "travel" features published/re-published by the huffpo, NYT, SF Chron, etc are idiotic. Probably written simply to qualify for the authors' per diems

The problem is someone reads excerpts of the same story over and over and doesn't notice it is all the same source.

Norbert: the cash machines are NOT empty . . . Honest
janisj is online now  
Jul 22nd, 2012, 08:08 PM
  #11  
 
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It may be pompous claptrap, but it's also the truth.
historytraveler is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2012, 08:24 PM
  #12  
 
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I looked at the exchange rate at an exchange booth at the Seattle airport. The booth was selling euros at $1.55 per euro, whereas I was paying $1.30 per euro in Europe. Now that's a serious difference!
Pegontheroad is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2012, 12:34 AM
  #13  
 
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Believe me, if there was even a sniff of news that ATMs were running out of money, it would be ALL OVER the UK press, which loves a good moan, particularly if it's connected to the Olympics.

There has been not a word. And I use ATMs virtually daily.

I've travelled widely and can honestly say you will find more ATMs in London than anywhere you could hope to visit. (Running out of money? Why on earth would they be??)
Kate is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2012, 01:45 AM
  #14  
 
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That story is very untrue - not one bit of news of this in London AT ALL. Bank machines are loaded with cash daily - there is absolutely no shortage of cash at ATMs. Just use your bank card at the ATM.
jamikins is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2012, 02:20 AM
  #15  
ira
 
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Hi N,

>Thank you for the advice.... I will most likely exchange in the US.<

Why did you bother wasting our time if you are going to rely on spurious news accounts instead of the advice of experienced travelers who know the area very well?

ira is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2012, 02:41 AM
  #16  
 
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Well.. the advice of travellers is limited to their expereinces when they were in London, not under current conditions. Given an "on the spot report" by a journalist compared with experiences from God-knows-when maybe it was a logical deduction.

However Janis J's first reply is at last something tangible and comparable.

Maybe the question would have been better addressed to actual bona fide Londoners and those on their vacations in London right now. They would have been able to attest or deny the veracity of the article.

FWIW, Norbert, there's no run on the cash in ATMs - and it's highly highly unlikely there ever might be given the location of the Olympic venues and the ubiquity of cash-machines.

Dr D.
Dr_DoGood is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2012, 03:05 AM
  #17  
 
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Leaving the issue of ATM's aside, I will stick with what I said which has nothing to do with the Olympics. London is a lot like your typical American city these days. You hardly need cash for anything. Almost, and yes it's not true perhaps in other European cities but that's irrelevant, every last business takes credit cards and few push these minimum purchase garbage. Here's just about the only places cash might be necessary...

1. Internet cafes
2. Pubs for drinks only. If you get food, almost surely they take credit cards.
3. The overpriced refreshments they serve at half time at shows in theatres (but you can do as I do...stop at a convenience store before the show to pick up soda, potato chips, chocolate bar. I wouldn't pay £3 for a small cup of ice cream.
4. Programs at the theatre
5. On street food vendors (but do you really want to eat from some of these stands?)

Maybe I've missed some so even, and I highly doubt it, all the ATM's in an area are out of cash (chances less than 1% of course), you won't go hungry.

And I don't have to be in Londnn now to know this is true.
xyz123 is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2012, 03:56 AM
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Well I live in London and I can attest to the fact that I have not heard any mention of cash shortage at bank machines AT ALL. And I got cash out this weekend - and this morning - with no problem at all. This is really the most ridiculous suggestion.
jamikins is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2012, 04:14 AM
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xyz, I'm curious about your habit of picking up snacks before a show. Is that possible in the UK? Here in the US, one may be able to sneak a semi-automatic gun into a theatre, but try to get through the door with a snack or soft drink hidden beneath your jacket and you're likely to be hauled away!
NeoPatrick is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2012, 04:25 AM
  #20  
BKP
 
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IF you were going straight from LHR to the Olympics I would suggest exchanging some dollars for pounds before you go. I don't think the ATMs will run out of money but I hate relying on my cards when time is tight. If convenience is worth more to you than several cents on the dollar, I understand arriving with (some) pounds in my pocket. But you'll probably go to your hotel first, giving you ample time to get to an ATM before you go to the Olympics.

People are always advised to bring back up cards with them to Europe in the odd chance of one card being declined. With Visa's monopoly on Olympics ATMs I would hate for your back up to be an American Express or MasterCard.

We live in the UK and are going to the Olympics. We will be bringing cash and cards with us. Having survived the NatWest disaster we keep cash around just in case.
BKP is offline  

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