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How/where do I exchange dollars for pounds?

How/where do I exchange dollars for pounds?

Old Aug 21st, 2001, 12:35 PM
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How/where do I exchange dollars for pounds?


I am traveling to England in several weeks and would like to know the best way to exchange dollars for pounds. At the London airport? I'm arriving on a Saturday morning, and don't know whether banks are open on the weekends. Any advice/information would be appreciated.


Old Aug 21st, 2001, 12:44 PM
Book Chick
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Hi Lara,
I would recommend you carry some pounds over with you. If you haven't already obtained them & don't live in a locale that can obtain pounds quickly for you, you can do this via your credit card & have some pounds sent directly to you. I am not suggesting this be the full amount of cash you will need or want for your trip, but just 2 or 3 days' worth.

You can order it from Chase Bank at their web site, or

www.foreign-currency.com or


Once Monday rolls around, you can go to a bank or use an ATM. I always feel a bit better arrive with some currency of the country I'm visiting already in hand, just in case.
Happy Travels,
Old Aug 21st, 2001, 12:54 PM
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For the (modest amount of) pounds sterling you might want to have in your pocket upon arrival, I find that the service and deal offered at any American Express office to be hard to beat.

Best wishes,

Old Aug 21st, 2001, 12:56 PM
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Hi Lara, I would just take a few pounds with you. You will find ATM's everywhere and in most cases, the banks don't need to be open.
Old Aug 21st, 2001, 01:01 PM
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Oh rats! You're talking about MONEY. I thought I was going to be able to cash in my spare tire for a little extra income... ;-)
Old Aug 21st, 2001, 01:13 PM
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OOOH, Janice, now THAT's a tempting idea!
Old Aug 21st, 2001, 02:12 PM
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If you want to get a few ahead of time - maybe to practice with - just go to your local bank.

But it is not necessary to do so. The exchange rate is much worse (and if the surge in the - actually fall of the $ - for the last few weeks continues, that exchange rate becomes even more important).

Just go to an ATM at LHR and get "cheap" from the machine. The airline and everplace in the airport takes $ so you will be fine if you need to buy something before you get to an ATM.

Some people say you need ahead of time to tip people - but you cannot get less than 5 notes and usually only higher denominations in the US so that isn't much help for tips.
Old Aug 22nd, 2001, 10:35 AM
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Take about US$100 in cash with you. If your ATM card won't work, exchange the $100 at the airport in London. They have the worst exchange rates, but for only $100, it's not a big deal.

Old Aug 22nd, 2001, 10:46 AM
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The best way to exchange dollars for pounds is to spend a lot of money at all-you-can-eat restaurants.

Sorry, I couldn't resist... :~)
Old Aug 22nd, 2001, 11:06 AM
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I just got back from London last night. Had a wonderful time, but the one bad experience was exchanging money at any of the money changers whether at Heathrow or in the city. They really screw you. First, the exchange rates offered are bad to begin with. Then, to make things worse, they tack on a large commission. Changed $100 at Heathrow and was slapped with a 3 pound commission!!
My advice...take some pounds with you. Even if the exchange rate at your bank is not great, it won't be worse than it is there, and you won't be hit with the commission. Then, use your ATM card there instead of changing money there.

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