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Dollars for Pounds

New Hampshire
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Dollars for Pounds

Hi, we are going in March 2014. Wondering what i will save if i swap my Dollars for pounds with a friend coming the other way? We are doing USA - UK March and they will do UK - USA in June.

Is it worth doing this?? Thanks

Stanley, Falkland...
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1. Re: Dollars for Pounds

You need to know how many pounds you will get for your dollars. Say you give your friends $1,000. How many pounds will they give you?

Now ask your bank or foreign exchange how many pounds they would give you for the same amount. Which is better?

And you friend would have to do the same calculations. When they go to the USA with the dollars you gave them, will they have more, or less dollars than they could have got from their bank?

What you will save is the commission to the banks, but it still may be better to use a bank. One of you is almost bound to lose out. Plus it means carrying a load of cash which is an unnecessary risk these days.

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
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2. Re: Dollars for Pounds

If it isn't a lot of cash, look at this website to help make the swap...

http://www.xe.com/

Contact your bank though; in almost every case it is better to draw money out of ATMs once you arrive in London (not the airport ATMs). Carry only what you need for the day. As Peterscot says, it isn't worth the risk to carry large sums.

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3. Re: Dollars for Pounds

If anyone knew the answer they wouldn't be posting on TA, they'd be making millions on the foreign exchange markets

Cotswolds
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4. Re: Dollars for Pounds

If you agree on the 'right' rate you will both be better off - in terms of no spread, no commission, no fees.

Apart from the security angle it's a no-brainer.

New Hampshire
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5. Re: Dollars for Pounds

Thanks Dzug1 thats what i thought but was not sure

Liverpool
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6. Re: Dollars for Pounds

Put "dollars for pounds" into Google and it gives you a rate - .62 when I looked. So your friends give you £620 and you give them a thousand dollars. Three months later when they travel the rate has changed. Maybe they gain, maybe they lose. Are you all OK with that? Or do just owe them £620 and give them the dollar equivalent when they arrive?

It's a good idea, but think it through.

London
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7. Re: Dollars for Pounds

You save on bank fees but because your trips are at different times, the FX rate might move - so you're engaging in currency speculation. That's entire legitimate, and in this case on a small scale,. just make sure both parties understand the potential gains/losses

Winchelsea, United...
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for West Sussex, East Sussex
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8. Re: Dollars for Pounds

If you're happy to have the cash on you (and only you can decide that) then I'd definitely go for it. Commission for changing money is one of the biggest rip-offs going IMHO.

If you're both happy then choose a time and date in advance for the swap. At the agreed time, check the prevailing money market rate here bbc.co.uk/news/…gbp

Indeed, thisccould provide some good-natured fun in the weeks leading up to the big day, as each of you becomes a small time winner or loser, based on the short term vagaries of your own economies...

Mike

London
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9. Re: Dollars for Pounds

Have you thought through the practicalities ?

1. Are you going to hand over a large wad of notes and they do the same for you (which rather conflicts with your post about security - later deleted - a couple of weeks ago when you said London was full of pickpockets preying on Americans) and means you will both be paying cash for everything

or 2. Are you going to pay money into each other's bank accounts where it can be withdrawn by card ? (the transfers might involve fees, exchange rate calculations)

or what ?

Cardiff, United...
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for Cardiff
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10. Re: Dollars for Pounds

"Are you going to pay money into each other's bank accounts where it can be withdrawn by card ?"

Don't really see how that would help, as it would be no different than each person withdrawing their own money from their own bank account?

Sounds like the proposal is for the two parties to meet up at some point and exchange wads of cash. Which might be a small saving in money but is a pretty bad idea security wise.