Exchange Pounds to Sterling

Old Dec 14th, 2007, 09:17 AM
  #1  
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Exchange Pounds to Sterling

Ok given the lovely strength of the Pound to the Dollar (sorry everyone) does anyone know if it is better to change money in Europe or wait till you get to NYC - any tips on checking rates?

Cheers

J
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 09:56 AM
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You can check exchange rates here:

http://www.xe.com/ucc/

ps: Pounds ARE sterling.
Barbara is online now  
Old Dec 14th, 2007, 10:19 AM
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You should not quot;change: cash. You should be paying for as much as possible with credit cards and and pulling cash for walking around money from ATMs.

If you want to land with some $ change 50 pounds or so at the bureau de change in the airport. The rate will be bad, but it doesn;t matter for so little.

Do NOT wait and try to change in NYC. There are very few places in New York where you can change currency. Most branch banks do NOT provide this service. So you either need to find one of the very few bureau de changes or the one main branch of a bank that will change money on the spot. (Here you often have to wait a couple of days to have foreign currency mailed to you.)

Your best bet is to find a partner bank to your own home bank and use their ATMs to try to avoid paying a fee. Otherwise you will be charged a fee (usually $1 or $2 per transaction) at ATMS of other banks - or commercial ones (in every hotel, drugstore, deli, supermarket etc).
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 12:49 PM
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I've always been told that it's to your advantage to exchange for the currency you want in the country that issues that currency, i.e. change to dollars in NYC, change back to pounds in London. That's what I do but I've never really done much research on it. I work for an international company and that's what "everyone" says to do, FWIW. I know I see exchange booths in NYC, I'm sure the airport has them and I know Grand Central Terminal has a booth. Also, you can check rates online but you'll ever get that rate, or you'll have to pay a transaction fee. As NYT says, using a credit card tends to be in your best interest (no pun intended).
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 01:42 PM
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I assume the mistake in your title is just because Fodors doesn't let us edit the subject line.

Anyway - £ to $ should be done at cashpoints (called ATMs in the States). Just use your debit card to withdraw $ from your checking acct. One downside - unlike in the UK, Stateside ATMs do charge fees. But if you bank w/ Barclay's you can use any Bank of America ATM for free.

Loki's info is correct as far as it goes - it is better to exchange in the country you are visiting IF one must exchange. But 95+% of the time it is better to not "exchange" anywhere and just use ATMs.
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 04:52 PM
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Do not exchange cash at the exchange places at the airports. They charge very high fees. Use the ATMs.
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 05:28 PM
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Just to clarify. There are bureau de changes in New York - just many fewer than in any major european city. And, while in europe any bank will change cash - in the US very few banks do - since there's so little call for it.

So you can;t just walk into the nearest bank - but need to check which branches change foreign currencies - usually just a couple of major branches.
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Old Dec 15th, 2007, 07:49 AM
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I have heard the Nationwide Flex account is a great option for those in the UK visiting the US. You can access cash without paying ATM fees at HSBC banks.

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