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Old 06-03-2015, 06:25 AM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
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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?
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Old 06-03-2015, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Middle of the Pacific Ocean
11,673 posts, read 6,277,227 times
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Before my January trip to London, I exchanged some dollars for pounds at a place in Midtown Manhattan (near Herald Square) that actually had really great rates. I forget the name of it, but I did post about it in an earlier thread (I'm sure if you search "currency exchange" you'll find something). I always try to avoid exchanging at airports, as they usually charge rates that should be criminal.
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Old 06-03-2015, 06:43 AM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,124 posts, read 17,129,667 times
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I normally hit a ATM when I land, and load up with some cash.

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,

When you pay by Credit Card, Pay for it in the "Local" currency, Some store will give you the option to pay it in USDollars, Don't do it. What they do it convert the Local Currency to USDollars at a real bad rate, then re-covert it back to local and send it to there credit card processor, Then your bank/processor bank again converts it back to USDollars.
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:57 AM
 
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Go to an ATM when you land, I was in London last month and did this.
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:59 AM
 
Location: NoVa
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Only a fool would do that, so don't be one. You'll get much better rate by withdrawing at the ATM when you arrive in London.
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Old 06-03-2015, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Middle of the Pacific Ocean
11,673 posts, read 6,277,227 times
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Great advice, graceC

OP: ignoring what graceC wrote, and adding to my post above, if you're going to use the ATM abroad and are concerned about getting the best deal (if fees aren't of concern to you, then do whatever is most convenient to you), check with your bank first.

Using ATM's overseas is not guaranteed to be cheaper than going to a currency exchange place (especially one that doesn't charge a user fee if you're exchanging more than $200, etc.) before you travel. Consider these articles:

Currency Exchange Rates at ATMs - London Forum - TripAdvisor

https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-ti...chine-atm-tips

https://transferwise.com/blog/2012-1...t-foreign-atm/

One common piece of advice I'm finding, however, is to try avoiding exchanging currency at a bank, as they generally have very high rates.

Last edited by prospectheightsresident; 06-03-2015 at 12:20 PM..
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Old 06-03-2015, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
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You should check with your bank if you want to have cash before you land, you're likely to get a better rate than using a place like travelex and depending on how much you order the fee will be relatively small. Check to see if your bank has a sister bank in England where you can withdraw from your account without having to pay an additional fee, if they don't find out if there are fee for using a foreign ATM and/or foreign transaction fee, and check to see if you use a credit card for a cash advance, even a no foreign transaction fee card, what the cash advance fees are or if the advance starts accruing interest from the day of the transaction vs. after your usual grace period.
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
1,300 posts, read 1,094,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prospectheightsresident View Post

One common piece of advice I'm finding, however, is to try avoiding exchanging currency at a bank, as they generally have very high rates.
I think there may be a difference when ordering it from a bank in advance vs going into the bank to make the exchange
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:09 AM
 
12,267 posts, read 18,397,848 times
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I typically travel out of country with maybe only $5 or $10 in my wallet...then simply go to the airport ATM machine when I land in the destination country.
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:24 AM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,124 posts, read 17,129,667 times
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Few Banks in the US Stock foreign currency, so they have to order it (There often is a fee, or the mail it to you, more fees).

Also look at the "Soft" costs of getting it, If you have to go to a bank 10miles away to get it, or in to city. Drive 10 miles (20 RT) at IRS NonProfit rate is like $4.00, Maybe parking ?

How much would the foreign ATM fee be? $3-4?
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