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Old 06-04-2015, 02:50 PM
 
Location: USA
437 posts, read 1,056,769 times
Reputation: 209

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcip View Post
I'm headed to England in july and was thinking of converting some cash to pounds before heading over. Suggestions on the best place to do this?
BofA does it. From them you can also get a travel card which acts just like the credit card.
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Old 06-04-2015, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Middle of the Pacific Ocean
11,910 posts, read 6,386,070 times
Reputation: 11719
My post is primarily directed at the OP directly as others seem pretty set in their belief that exchange bureaus are not the way to go: the place I used when traveling to the UK in January (Omnex currency exchange on W. 33 St. in Manhattan) is offering 640 pounds for $1,004.80; the straight exchange rate is 653.85 pounds for $1,004.80 as of 2 seconds ago. From what I can gather, BoA's rate (online) is at least $30 more. Note, Travelex, which I'd NEVER use, gives you 585.80 pounds for $1,004.80, over 54 pounds less than you'd get with Omnex (you'll see Travelex at many airports)! Again, all of this is to say that, if you look around, you can get a great deal from an exchange bureau.
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Old 06-04-2015, 02:58 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,738,173 times
Reputation: 13024
Quote:
Originally Posted by prospectheightsresident View Post
My post is directed at the OP directly as others seem pretty set in their belief that exchange bureaus are not the way to go: the place I used (Omnex currency exchange on W. 33 St. in Manhattan) is offering 640 pounds for $1,004.80 (the straight exchange rate is 653.85 pounds for $1,004.80 as of 2 seconds ago). From what I can gather, BoA's rate (online) is at least $30 more. Note, Travelex, which I'd NEVER use, gives you 585.80 pounds for $1,004.80, over 54 pounds less than you'd get with Omnex (you'll see Travelex at many airports)! Again, all of this is to say that, if you look around, you can get a great deal from an exchange bureau.
Sure, if you live in a major area with this type of service. 90% of us do not. My options for foreign exchange before I leave are at the airport, one of the malls, or my bank. Where do you think I'll get the best rate?
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Old 06-04-2015, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Middle of the Pacific Ocean
11,910 posts, read 6,386,070 times
Reputation: 11719
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Sure, if you live in a major area with this type of service. 90% of us do not. My options for foreign exchange before I leave are at the airport, one of the malls, or my bank. Where do you think I'll get the best rate?
The OP is in West Orange (I assume NJ), which is 17 miles from Manhattan. I wouldn't have used the place I went to as a specific example otherwise. Still, I think the point is to look around and don't automatically assume that an exchange bureau is going to rip you off, especially if you live in or near a major area.
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
6,177 posts, read 6,346,147 times
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Where ever you end up exchanging dollars for pounds don't go overboard on how much you get. Last year I scaled back my oversees travel and decided to unload a bunch of my foreign currency from various countries. Everywhere I went (banks, coin shops, currency exchanges, etc) would only pay about 85 cents US for the 1 Euro bill. Euro coins were even worse as most places would only give 50 cents US for a 1 Euro coin. Most other foreign currencies they would not even buy at any cost. I ended up selling my Euros to a friend and donated my other currency to some kids getting into coin collecting
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:17 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,141 posts, read 17,227,704 times
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The Toll across (or under) the Hudson is 9.75(off)/11.75(Peak) EzPass.
How much do you think it will cost to Park in Midtown for one or two hours.
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:23 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,141 posts, read 17,227,704 times
Reputation: 9995
Within our office we have the "Spare" "Change" box,
We all toss in the stray money we pickup when we get back, Next one off to X take some "Loose" change, will give you enough for tips, a train ride.

Just about everything else we put on our Corp Amex, So Don't go thru that much cash. I normally Hit the ATM for about $10-15 for each day I will be there.

Last I looked there was about 50€, $20CAN, 20-30
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Middle of the Pacific Ocean
11,910 posts, read 6,386,070 times
Reputation: 11719
^^True, the toll to get from Jersey to NY is not cheap; as you probably know, though, the toll is only one way. The same goes for parking (not that the OP has to be parked for any longer than 30 minutes and there are plenty of metered and non-metered parking spots in the area, even if that requires a little trek, work, and luck). But, perhaps the OP works or otherwise will have the chance to get to Manhattan before s/he travels, whether by car or via public transportation (not everyone has to drive or drives everywhere). Perhaps the OP is even flying out of a NYC airport. I don't know. Still, the overall point holds. Indeed, even if traveling to NYC to exchange currency is not an option for the OP, it would be worth it to check out any currency exchange places (you can call/check websites beforehand . . . don't have to actually travel there) in Newark (8 miles from West Orange) or Jersey City (14 miles from West Orange), neither of which require the $9.75-$11.75 toll. The point is not to automatically discount currency exchange bureaus.

Last edited by prospectheightsresident; 06-04-2015 at 05:46 PM..
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,706 posts, read 16,169,386 times
Reputation: 7746
My primary bank is a military credit union. It's perfectly normal for someone to call them up and say 'Hey, I've got a work trip coming up where I'll be in Greenland, Belgium, Uzbekistan, Japan, Germany, New Zealand, and Brazil. We're good?' and you will indeed be good and if your credit card doesn't work in an ATM pretty much anywhere on the globe, it won't be because of a credit union hold.
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Old 06-05-2015, 03:34 AM
 
31 posts, read 60,005 times
Reputation: 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyonpa View Post
FYI: Notify your back (Credit Card Company) you are going there, So fraud will know its a expected charge. Also ask if they have a Pin&Chip Card that can be issued to you. Most of the World (except US/CAN) have gone to the Pin&Chip technology
The problem is that while most US card issuers will now give you a card with a chip, only about 5 (that I know of) will do a true "Chip and PIN" card. The rest (i.e. the vast majority) are "chip and signature", which is ridiculously stupid and not nearly as useful. Many cashiers were rather confused when a receipt printed out asking for a signature on my "EMV" card when I was last in Europe. Also, I was unable to use my card to buy tickets at unmanned subway kiosks in Paris and other places because the machine demanded a PIN.

That being said, I agree with most others here - just go to the ATM when you get there. If your bank is a member of the "Global Alliance", you can go to any other member bank's ATMs without fees. But I ended up just using my credit card wherever possible - my card has a 3% foreign transaction fee, which I'm perfectly happy to pay - it's only $3 per $100 you spend, big deal. There are plenty of cards that don't have this fee if you want to apply for them.
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