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Exchanging currency upon departure from the country

West Chester...
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Exchanging currency upon departure from the country

I understand the benefits of using an ATM machine to obtain local currency upon entering the country. If I have £5 or £10 remaining upon my departure (from Gatwick), what is the best method of changing pounds into U.S. dollars with the most favorable exchange rate and the least commission and fees?

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Exchanging currency upon departure from the country

For such a small amount, personally, I would not bother. Buy some chocolate or a magazine &/or donate the remainder in charity collection tin.

Better yet, save it for your next trip.

Atlanta, Georgia
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2. Re: Exchanging currency upon departure from the country

Personally I would spend it all on sweeties in the Gatwick shops.

Otherwise, I think you will do better to try to change the money back in the USA (they already have plenty of it in the UK). If you get currency before leaving home look out for deals e.g. I believe AmEx offers no commission if you get currency at their office (but it may be on traveller's checks, sorry can't remember), and Travelex has some kind of no-fee buyback offer.

Amsterdam, The...
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3. Re: Exchanging currency upon departure from the country

Really £5? Come on buy a magazine or a drink. Surely you cannot be worrying about such a small amount of money?

West Chester...
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4. Re: Exchanging currency upon departure from the country

Thank you for reprimanding me for asking about small amounts of currency.

If I have a more significant amount of currency remaining, how would you answer my question?

Cotswolds
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5. Re: Exchanging currency upon departure from the country

Still spend it or keep for a future trip.

If you don't want to there isn't a good way - you go to a BdeC, hand it over and get your dollars at a truly appalling rate

If you have planned ahead you could do it in central London at a less appalling or even good rate.

Edited: 30 March 2013, 07:37
London, England
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for Solo Travel
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6. Re: Exchanging currency upon departure from the country

My bank (Barclay's) will change back leftover currencyat the rate they first changed it . It might be worth checking if yours does too. (Although I tend to keep it for the next trip)

Osaka, Japan
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7. Re: Exchanging currency upon departure from the country

If you really want to exchange it, other than for coins, you will probably get a better exchange rate back home than you will at the airport.

If it is coins, spend it or donate it. Coins brought back home most often become merely unneeded souvenirs. A very high percentage of travellers to a foreign country who think that they will come back someday never do.

USA
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8. Re: Exchanging currency upon departure from the country

I doubt that there is a cheap way to change leftover pounds to dollars at Gatwick. Airports are a haven for ripoff currency exchange bureaus. I have been quoted exchanges at over 22% markup.

Here is my guess for a Gatwick exchange. You ask for dollars for your £5. The interbank rate is $1.5204/£, meaning you could get $3.28 for your £5. But the exchange bureau takes its cut, let's say 13%, meaning you are only owed $2.85. But exchange bureaus don't deal in coins and you receive only $2.

"what is the best method of changing pounds into U.S. dollars [at Gatwick] with the most favorable exchange rate and the least commission and fees?" Ask for quotes from every exchange bureau at Gatwick and choose the one with the best offer.

Cotswolds
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9. Re: Exchanging currency upon departure from the country

The other possibility is to sell it when you get home to a friend who is visiting - you can agree a rate favourable to you both

UK
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10. Re: Exchanging currency upon departure from the country

1.spend your coins

2. Leftover notes use http://travelmoney.moneysavingexpert.com/ and convert in the centre of London before going to the airport.

3. If you must exchange at gatwick then expect appalling value - only two companies offer exchange gatwickairport.com/shopping-eating/currency/