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Currency used in England

Old May 1st, 2012, 02:53 PM
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Currency used in England

Will be traveling 4 days England / 3 days Paris...visiting from US...just converted US $ to Euro for my trip. Completely forgot that UK uses Pound...now what???
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Old May 1st, 2012, 02:57 PM
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Get both currencies at ATMs in each country.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 02:57 PM
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Use a bank machine when you get there to make a withdrawal from your account.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 03:00 PM
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Do what you should have done in the first place. When you get to the UK use your ATM card to withdraw cash. Buying euros in the US is the most expensive way to exchange money and never a good idea. Of course your euros can be used in Paris and if you have any leftover you can use them on your next trip. If you convert some of your euros to pounds you will lose even more money.

Be sure to inform your bank and credit card companies of your overseas use.

A lesson learned, now enjoy your trip. And if you have any other questions please ask, we will be glad to help.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 05:12 PM
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Use credit cards for whatever you can (making sure they charge you in pounds) and pull some walking around money from an ATM as soon as you get to the UK airport. If you end up with a lot of left over euros - you're probably carrying way too much cash -which is really not very safe.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 05:22 PM
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You should have come to this board BEFORE you bought any foreign currency.

As noted above, you should use an ATM card for cash. Depending on what your credit card company charges you in foreign transaction fees vs what your bank charges for ATM withdrawals, you may be better off using cash instead of your credit card for some purchases.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 06:34 PM
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Lesson learned...thanks for all your responses. I arrive Harwich, England via transatlantic cruise from US...I need pounds when I arrive. Should I change Euros to pounds on ship?

My local bank should have known this as they new I would be traveling to England. Shame on them, shame on me!
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Old May 1st, 2012, 07:15 PM
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Your bank has no responsibility for keeping you from making bad decision especially since they profited from your decision. Change some of your Euro to Pounds on the maybe pounds on the ship - maybe as much as a 100 pounds. The train is right at the dock so assume you are headed into London. Once in London find an ATM and get the amount of pounds that you need for your stay.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 10:49 PM
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I am sure there will be a bank machine in Harwich at the port or right by the port - just take out some cash there. Bank machines are everywhere in England!!
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 12:21 AM
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For pete's sake, don't get pounds on your cruise ship! They will be worse than your bank. ATM's, often known as "the hole in the wall", are ubiquitous in the UK, and you can use credit cards for most purchases much beyond buying a newspaper.

Just in case no one has told you at your bank, don't buy travelers checks, either. No one will take them.
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 04:19 AM
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Should I change Euros to pounds on ship?

Only if your other hobbies involve setting fire to $100 bills
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 04:55 AM
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While it is your responsibility to know which currency to buy, I'm still a little surprised the person at the bank didn't know the £ is used in the UK. Any person who handles foreign exchange on a regular basis should know that so you must have had the misfortune of getting an inexperienced teller.

I agree with the advice not to exchange money on the ship, just use the ATM when you get to the UK. You've already lost money by exchanging in the US, you don't need to lose even more by exchanging on the ship.

If you did buy TC's as well, just hold on to them and you can re-deposit them when you return home, assuming the TC's are in US$. God forbid they sold you TC's in €'s, then you will lose even more money. You have not mentioned buying TC's so I am hopeful that is not the case.

Don't let any of this ruin your trip, just put it behind you and enjoy yourself.
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 10:20 AM
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"I'm still a little surprised the person at the bank didn't know the £ is used in the UK. Any person who handles foreign exchange on a regular basis should know that so you must have had the misfortune of getting an inexperienced teller. "

Not surprising to me- at all. Most US branch banks hardly ever deal w/ foreign currency.

My personal banker is a bank vice president and she insists that it is cheaper to get currency from the bank and that European/UK banks charge to use their ATM/Cash machines. I've explained the opposite to her a few times but she still doesn't buy it.

wdiamond: Definitely DO NOT buy £ w/ your already purchased €! You will lose big time. You paid an inflated rate for the € and then you'll pay another bad rate for the £ - essentially doubling the fees. Just use your ATM/debit card.
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 11:18 AM
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"Not surprising to me- at all. Most US branch banks hardly ever deal w/ foreign currency."

OK that's probably true in today's world where exchanging at home isn't really necessary or beneficial. I was thinking of the days when I worked in banking and I did foreign exchange every day. But that was back in 80's and 90's when ATM use did not extend across borders and Traveller's Cheques were still the best way to get cash.

Damn I feel old now. Thanks a lot janis.
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 11:27 AM
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Heck -want to feel old?? I remember picking up mail at AMEX offices in London and Paris
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 12:00 PM
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I remember having to have every purchase of foreign currency listed in my passport.
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 12:03 PM
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Ha! Anyone remember poste restante?
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