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When traveling to a country with a different currency, how should you take your money?

I'm going to the U.K. How does the whole thing with money work? Can I use my U.S. credit card there?

If so, will the bank charge extra to convert dollars into pounds?

I guess I'll need some cash for tips and whatnot. Just go into any bank?

Do people still use traveller's checks?

(It's been a long time since I've been outside the U.S., obviously.)

marked as duplicate by Flimzy, Doc, user141, mindcorrosive, Rory Alsop May 14 '12 at 8:04

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Sure, similar question. However, that question is from almost a year ago as are most of the answers and it's quite likely the relevant information is different now. Also, I am asking specifically about the U.K., whereas the referenced question was more general in scope, starting with Italy as an example. I think my question is different enough. – Ethan May 14 '12 at 3:59
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    At minimum, the part about traveler's checks is not likely to have reversed course... Traveler's checks are a thing of the past. – Flimzy May 14 '12 at 4:41
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    Realistically nothing has changed with respect to this question in the past 5+ years. Any answers from a year ago will be just as valid now as they were then. – Doc May 14 '12 at 4:48
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    Chase British Airways VISA now offers U.S. customers a chip and pin card. We might have discovered other banks doing so had the question stayed open. I found I can use my ATM card for terms that are significantly better than the ones mentioned in a year-old response (1% vs 3%). Also, discovered BofA partially waives fees if you use Barclays. It would have been great to find out about other details like that. – Ethan May 14 '12 at 20:14