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Exchange

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Houston, Texas
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166 posts
3 reviews
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Exchange

Where is the best place to exchange dollars to pounds? A client told me last week that using an ATM in London was free and had the best rate...is this true? I currently do not have an ATM card but if it is worth it I will obtain one before we leave....also will I be able to access an ATM at Gatwick on Christmas Day? Are there plenty of ATM's around? I have always traveled with travlers checks in the past.

Los Angeles
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37 posts
10 reviews
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1. Re: Exchange

The advice I've received is to sign up for a free Bank of America checking account and use Barclay's ATMs. They're all over London, you will get the best exchange rate, and NO FEES.

London, UK
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1,502 posts
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2. Re: Exchange

ATM will always give you the best rate, even if there are fees involved, but as others have noted, there are ways to remove fees. Do not bring travellers cheques, they belong in the 80s and very few places will take them anymore.

Ipswich, United...
Destination Expert
for Ipswich
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7,412 posts
29 reviews
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3. Re: Exchange

If you really want to change dollars for pounds the best rates can be found in the small booths near Victoria Station. A lot of people who live and work in the area use them. One is right opposite Victoria Station on the curve between Victoria Street and Wilton Road, and there are a couple more just along Victoria Street.

I agree that ATMs are the most convenient way of getting your cash, though. I think travellers cheques have been overtaken by events.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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42,795 posts
1,036 reviews
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4. Re: Exchange

Travellers cheques are a thing of the past, other than a few $ worth for a back-up in case your ATM card gets lost. Debit cards are the way to go, and ATMs are everywhere, except maybe in tiny villages. I would suggest that if you area traveling with a friend/spouse, that you each take one, as sometimes they get bent if you keep them in a pocket.

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
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31,666 posts
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5. Re: Exchange

Check your local credit union - for some reason many of them are able to offer free (or very cheap) withdrawals from ALL UK ATMs, not just the ones your bank reluctantly allows you to use

For BoA folk you'll find this link essential as you need to know where the Barclays ATMs are - www.multimap.com/clients/places.cgi…

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
166 posts
3 reviews
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6. Re: Exchange

Thanks to all, I will get the Bank of America ATM and learn how to use it before we leave...funny thing I am nearly 50 and my older sister told me I should be using a debit card instead of checks just this week.

Houston, Texas
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166 posts
3 reviews
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7. Re: Exchange

Will ATM's be open on Christmas Day? At Victoria?

Chester, United...
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2,700 posts
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8. Re: Exchange

Most of UK ATMs are on the wall outside of Bank branches, major supermarkets and post offices as well as in airports and stations. These are all open 24/7/365 so you'll have no problem on Christmas Day.

Charlottesville, VA
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35 posts
1 review
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9. Re: Exchange

I've found ATMs to be open 24/7. I always use them when travelling. The exchange rate varies daily, and is always better than at the public 'booths'. My back account allows a withdrawal of $300/day (and have been able to get 200L a day at the ATMs). The fee charged by my bank is about $5 per transaction.

deceks7
Level Contributor
53 posts
1 review
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10. Re: Exchange

I was reading elsewhere that the post office is a good place to exchange currencies. Is there a post office near Paddington station that can perform this on a Saturday morning?

I would also like to purchase a prepaid card while in London. My understanding is that using a card purchased in the US would result in heavy transaction fees. Once I have the local money in hand can I purchase a card at most any supermarket or at the place I exchange the money?

Thank you for your help; a few more days and I will be in your city, looking forward to my visit.