How much GBP should I take to Scotland?

Apr 12th, 2004, 10:57 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 239
How much GBP should I take to Scotland?

Going to Scotland on holiday for 10 days in May. I am exchanging money at my bank before I go in hopes of getting a better exchange rate. How many GBP do you recommend I bring? I know most places accept Visa, but I want to be prepared for those places that don't, especially petrol stations.

Also, how much is a postcard stamp there? Thanks!
Amere is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 11:11 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Amere - Just browse at all the threads about euro. It's the same thing. You can get the best rate by using an ATM card to get cash there, and use your credit card for purchase.

If you MUST HAVE some GBP before you go, then get the least possible. You're going to be charged a much higher rate here anyways.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 11:35 AM
  #3  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,145
Hi Amere,

The euro would have to go up about 8% for you to break even if you buy pounds in the US.

Take no more than about 25 GBP.
ira is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 11:40 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 239
So we should just get cash advance on our ATM cards when we get there? Should we go to a bank or at airport or does it matter.
Amere is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 11:45 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,144
I've not found a UK petrol station that doesn't accept Visa (and Mastercharge) for at least 20 years.

Otherwise - apart from your postcard stamps (39p) at post offices (and usually when bought elsewhere as well), some B+B's, small quantities of drink in pubs, anything in tattier pubs and bus fares bought on a bus - it's hard to think of anything a visitor might be doing where cards aren't accepted.
flanneruk is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 12:08 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
Just to be a smartass, dear flanner, you can't use Visa at the pumps in Lochaline.

(otherwise, I agree wholeheartedly)
sheila is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 12:14 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,144
I knew there had to be a petrol station somewhere in the UK that was still in the 13th century.

Obviously, it was bound to be in Scotland.
flanneruk is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 12:23 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,050
Amere, one does not get a "cash advance" from an ATM debit card, one withdraws money from an attched checking or savings account. Do NOT get cash advances on your credit card -- that's definintely the MOST expensive way to pay for anything!

It doesn't matter much whether you use the ATMs at the airport or at banks, but watch out for little ATMs in corener variety stores, they're sometimes privately operated and charge a fee for the transaction, which regular ATMs (i.e., bank or airport) won't.
Anonymous is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 12:39 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Also make sure you have a 4-digital PIN for your ATM card, not a 6-digital one. Change it to a 4-digit one if necessary. And remember the numerical number of your PIN, as the ATMs abroad usually don't have the "ABCs" labelled on the number pad.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 20th, 2004, 03:40 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 26
Amere, May I suggest that you notify your back as well as your credit cards that you will be traveling to the UK. A few years ago I travelled around the US for 2 months and in the middle of my vacation my bank put a "hold" on my card. I immediately called the bank and they explained that,for your protection, if charges appear in your card from many geographical locations, the bank rather put a hold on your card than to allow a thief to continue to use it. It was inconvenient but all was straightened out with a phone call.
Laly is offline  
Apr 20th, 2004, 03:58 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 312
Ever since we confirmed that Visa, Master Card, and Amex all take either 2 or 3% as a transaction fee on all charges outside the US, we have gone to a cash basis. For example, my Mileage Plus Visa converts a charge in France at whatever the going rate is at the time of the transaction. Then, they put a 3% charge on that.

So, to charge the equivalent of US$700, they would charge me 21.00. On the other hand, if I draw $700 from an ATM (my daily limit with Bank of America), I am only charged $3 for that transaction. After a while it gets to be real money.

I found another bonus in doing so. We got a ten pound per night discount in London at our hotel for paying cash.

BigBlue
BigBlue is offline  
Apr 21st, 2004, 02:40 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 541
Laly's report of a card being frozen has been reported before.
Some banks regard sudden foreign withdrawals as "suspicious activity".
Notify your bank that you intend to use the card abroad & check that you will not be charged extra for a "cash advance".
Remember that your daily limit will probably refresh at midnight US time!
Visa/mastercard are well accepted.Amex is not.
zippo is offline  
Apr 21st, 2004, 03:21 PM
  #13  
njc
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 48
Hate to be stupid by is Scotland on GBP or Euro?
njc is offline  
Apr 21st, 2004, 05:25 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 470
Amazingly enough Scotland is on neither, although they accept GBP and you should try to stick with those. Scotland banks issue their own pounds which aren't always accepted south of Hadrian's wall (I made the mistake of getting a load of bank of scotland pounds just before heading south).

P.S. Never get significant amounts of cash outside the country, and never ever use those stupid credit cards for cash. Use a straight ATM card (preferably from a credit union) to avoid such fees (not sure if those debit atm cards avoid fees)
viking is offline  
Apr 21st, 2004, 05:37 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,079
I have a question for Amere.
Do you know the difference between an ATM card and a credit card? I am not asking to be facetious. I find people all the time who do not.

I do not classify using an ATM card to withdraw money as making a cash advance. If you use your credit card in a bank ATM you will receive a cash advance at a very high rate of interest.

An ATM card transaction on the other hand should be the same as taking money directly from your checking account.

We have beat this issue to death on this forum. But essentially, getting European currency in this country will cost you more, often 4% more than it will in Europe.
brookwood is offline  
Apr 21st, 2004, 05:44 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 238
I have a related question: ATMs at Glasgow Airport.

I'm visiting Glasgow in a couple of weeks on business. I was planning to withdraw some pounds from an ATM at Glasgow airport to pay for the taxi my host recommends I take. But www.visa.com doesn't list any ATMs at Glasgow airport in the Star/Plus network (which is my card). Are there ATMs at Glasgow airport that take Star/Plug network ATM cards?

Or do taxi drivers accept credit cards?
Linda0515 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2004, 04:40 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 239
Thanks for all your responses. Yes, I will bring my debit card to withdrawl cash. However, my credit union has a $200/day withdrawl limit, so I will bring my credit card as well. I e-mailed the bank and they do not impose any charges-the only ones would be from whatever ATM I am using.
Thanks again!
Amere is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2004, 04:46 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 337
Do pay attention to what viking said above...we only had a few Bank of Scotland pounds (maybe 20) when we headed south and we had a very hard time finding a place in England/London that would accept them.

So, try to stick with GBP - and check your wallet before you head south!

Gayle
leonberger is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2004, 05:13 AM
  #19  
P_M
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,583
Have you asked your credit union if they will raise your withdrawl limit? My bank told me they will do it on request. If not, then you can still withdraw about 100 pounds a day if $200 is your limit. But whatever you do, don't get your cash in the US, you will not get a better exchange from any bank over here.
P_M is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2004, 05:26 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,323
How long is a piece of string?

What a stupid question, how much driving do you intend to do? how fast do you drive? and petrol stations take all major credit cards!
m_kingdom2 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:32 AM.