I'm planning a trip to Scotland and I want to know where would be the best place to exchange British Pounds (GBP). I think that the exchange rates at the airports are not good, so my options are the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region and Edinburgh. Where can I get a better rate - bank or exchange shop?

EDIT I have no credit card, only V PAY card (Postbank Germany) which I can't use in the UK. The ATM usage fee would be 1%

  • If I were going on holiday from the UK and needed to change sterling to euros one consideration would be Travelex UK. Can you not use the German arm travelex.de ?
    – Simon
    Commented Mar 8, 2013 at 11:46
  • @Simon looks good, make it to answer
    – Dirty-flow
    Commented Mar 8, 2013 at 12:04
  • 2
    From my experience 1% is still less, than spread for cash exchange (which tends to be around 4-6%). OTOH, your bank will have spread also, but for electronic transactions it's usually much lower than for cash. See also: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/1911/…
    – vartec
    Commented Mar 8, 2013 at 14:28
  • @Dirty-flow As a UK citizen (can't comment on other countries), it is undoubtably better & far more convenient to exchange currencies in the UK before going abroad.
    – Simon
    Commented Mar 8, 2013 at 14:42

4 Answers 4


If I were going on holiday from the UK and needed to change sterling to euros one consideration would be Travelex UK, they don't charge commission, and will send me the money via mail to my home address (alternatively I can pick up at the airport if I desire).

Can you not use the German arm of the company ?



My second choice option:

Alternatively I would purchase before travelling a Prepaid Travel Money MasterCard® from Thomson Holidays UK (part of the TUI group).

Just load up the card with the amount you want & there are no commission charges or purchase fees when you buy or reload your card*, the exchange rate is also fixed at the time of purchase, so you don’t need to worry about fluctuating rates and the uncertainty of credit/debit card charges on returning.

(*2% load fee applies to Sterling cards and subject to a minimum £5 application fee).

(Obviously similar pre-paid travel cards must exist in Germany & if my German was of a reasonable standard I could have given an example for you, but i'm sure if you go to http://www.tui.com/ you can find their own branded Pre Paid Travel Card)

  • travelex worked fine for me :)
    – Dirty-flow
    Commented May 15, 2013 at 20:29
  • @Dirty-flow Good :)
    – Simon
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 6:12

I have no credit card, only V PAY card which I can't use in the UK.

This is not true. You can use V PAY in UK.

You can use it in shops having their payments handled by some of popular banks:

[...] banks listed below are already able to offer V PAY to their merchants:

United Kingdon: Barclays, HSBC, HBoS, AIB

source: http://www.vpay.com/merchants.html

Besides that, you can use the card in these banks' ATMs.

As a side note, V PAY is designed to work in whole of SEPA, which is far broader than Eurozone.

SEPA consists of the 27 EU member states, the four members of the EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and Monaco

enter image description here

See also: Should I change most of my money in my home country or in the destination country?

  • 1
    Please be aware that many banks will claim not to charge a fee, but in fact do. When you exchange currencies the bank will give you a particular rate that directly affects how much money you get after the exchange. Banks will give less favorable rates (and thus, take more of your money). There are lots of sites that will give you the mid-market rate for a currency pair - anything less than that is a fee. A bank with a 1% fee could charge you less than a bank with a 0% fee.
    – Rob P.
    Commented Mar 8, 2013 at 21:02

Depending on your bank it might be the cheapest to use an ATM in the UK. Look up what they charge you for a) using ATMs that are not their own and b) purchases made in foreign currencies.

  • My bank(Postbank Germany) charges 1%
    – Dirty-flow
    Commented Mar 8, 2013 at 11:22

If you have a little time you may simply try walking into a bank and ask whether they can change your cash. British Pounds should be available in every bank without preordering them.

If you're lucky they won't charge you any fees. A few years ago this worked perfectly for me.

  • 1
    +1 This works in most countries, for common currencies in a reasonable amount ;) (side note: it doesn't work so easily in France for instance)
    – yo'
    Commented Mar 8, 2013 at 11:05
  • 3
    if you have the time in Edinborough, it might be worth going to a Post Office instead; they have many branches and their exchange rates are often better than high street banks. Commented Mar 8, 2013 at 11:58
  • 1
    @tohecz: this also doesn't work in the US or Canada (unless you want to get US dollars in Canada).
    – Jonas
    Commented Mar 8, 2013 at 13:16

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