8

I need to know how many pounds I can get from my dollars? I need to know it before traveling, since I want to make a plan before going to London, and everything is in pounds and euros...

Also, which is better, change my dollars to pounds or euros?

  • 2
    how many pounds I can get from my dollars This is dependent on which currency exchanger you use. Websites give the nominal rates in the market. The forex seller is in the market to make a profit, so he will offer you rates less than what you see on the websites. – DumbCoder Nov 21 '14 at 12:26
9

As Mark says, London uses pounds so no need for Euros. However, if you're transiting through a EU destination (such as Amsterdam or Frankfurt) a few Euros may be useful (although you can pay via card).

For the base rate I always just use Google, enter "30 dollars in british pounds" etc in the search box (or "30USD in GBP" if you know the currency symbols -- Euro is EUR).

But how much you'll get from an actual shop will vary. A lot. So you want to check out the place you're actually going to change money. If you plan to change cash in London then you could start at TravelEx who have, probably, the biggest presence. But beware, there are money changers (particularly in tourist spots) who will give a much worse exchange rate.

If you want to change money before you go then start with your bank, and compare other local exchanges to see how the vary from the base amount (watch out for commission and fees).

Personally, I just use plastic (debit and credit) when abroad. Either pay for things on it or withdraw cash. If you want to do this make sure your card is enabled for the country you'll be in (phone the issuer and check) and also check what the costs are. Typically you'll get money at the base exchange rate and they'll maybe charge a flat fee + a %. Depending on the card issuer this is sometimes better than you'll get at exchange places and at least you'll be able to work it out in advance. Also check which cash machines (ATMs) will work, and if they'll charge their own fee.

Finally, if you have a smartphone, and you really want to keep things in check, I recommend downloading a currency conversion app.

8

Well you go to a handy currency conversion website, like XE.com.

London doesn't use Euros; while the United Kingdom has joined the European Union, they've decided to keep their currency - the British Pound. So if you're just going to London, all you need is Pounds.

  • 1
    Thanks Mark, I thought they used euros in London for some reason...I will also save the tool you gave me Luke, thanks! – Carl Nov 21 '14 at 12:34
1

there are a lot of tools for that in the Internet, moreover, most of the official sites of the countries you are visiting usually have a link to them too among a lot of useful information.

Anyway, I often use http://currencyconverter.io, you can convert almost any currency, and it is really simple and easy to use. You can also see there how many pounds or euros you get from your dolars.

Hope you have a nice trip!

-2

Forget the web sites, forget all the other useless answers here. The only rate you need to be concerned with are the rates at the place where you will actually exchange your cash.

All the web sites provide the spot rate on the international FX market. It will not be an accurate reflection of what the rate is "on the street". On top of that, many exchange bureaus charge straight-up fees. So they make money on both the exchange itself (by having you pay more than spot rate) and then they tack on a fee.

Your concern right now should be to compare places by fee and try to get the best deal out there.

  • 4
    Knowing the interbank rates (as found e.g. on xe.com) is very useful to determine if an exchange office is trying to rip you off (as they often do) or operate with reasonable provisions. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Nov 21 '14 at 17:18
  • 1
    It's also useful to find out if every exchange office in an area is trying to rip you off. For example, if all the exchange places at an airport charge the same, you might think they're all fair rates. An app can tell you if they're actually close to the market rates, or (more likely) if they're all MUCH worse than the market rate. If they're exploiting the location like this you might be better off waiting until you get into town. Likewise for XE places in tourist-y areas - you can find out if it's worth walking further to a bank. – user568458 Nov 21 '14 at 18:05
  • 2
    ...It's true that you'll never get the market rate (else the shops would go out of business), but it's useful to know how big a margin they're taking, to judge if it's worth spending time looking for a better deal. – user568458 Nov 21 '14 at 18:14
  • I deliberately made that point in my answer, and talked about fees and commission. So I take exception at the 'all the other useless answers' phrase. Your answer is fine, but take the snark out if you want to avoid the downvotes. – SpaceDog Nov 22 '14 at 4:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.