Ultimate Guide to UK Currency Exchange

When you are moving abroad for studies, the biggest dilemma that we all face is when, where, and how we will exchange our home currency to the local currency. There are many ways by which you can get your currency exchanged but most of them turn out to be quite disappointing due to various reasons. But you need not worry, with the following tips, you’ll make the most of every cent you spend. With these tips, doing UK currency exchange will be a cakewalk.

Currency exchange is the process of exchanging one’s home currency into the currency of the country he/she is visiting. The exchange can be for anything be it tourism, studies or commerce, etc. For those visiting UK, the currency used throughout the UK is British Pound (GBP- £), made up of 100 pence (p). The pound is also known as Sterling or pound sterling. In slang term, pound or sterling pound is called quid and pence is referred to as “pee”. The coins come in denominations of 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, and £2 whereas the notes come in denominations of £5, £10, £20, and £50. These are the denominations that you will get when you will exchange your local currency to pound.

UK currency in notes and coins

Why should you avoid exchanging currency at the airport?

Which is the best place to exchange currency before a trip? The answer should never be the airport. Avoid UK currency exchange at the airport as it the worst place to exchange foreign currency. On exchanging currency from popular booths like Forex, and Travelex that can be easily spotted at the airports, you may end up losing about 15% of the cash you require.

UK currency exchange at airport

Why should you contact your local bank?

You can contact your local banks before travelling and find out what are the UK currency exchange rates. Local banks are more likely to offer better exchange rates and may not charge a fee for it. Also, try to practice the 70/30 rule, in which you load 70% of your total expense in forex card and carry the rest 30% in cash in the form of local currency.

Which is the best place to exchange currency?

No matter what your destination is, exchanging foreign currency at a government institution is always better. Visit your nearest post office or a government bank as they can provide you with better exchange rates than local agents or private dealers.

Click on this link to know how to open a bank account in the UK

Should you pay using your debit/credit cards?

Don’t overuse your international debit card or credit cards because that will result in unnecessary convenience and transaction fees. Make use of credit card only for large purchases and debit card for withdrawing money from the ATM.

You can also read this blog: How to find part-time jobs in the UK.

Which places should you avoid?

If you don’t want to pay high conversion fees plus get a poor exchange rate, you must avoid exchanging currency near popular tourist attractions or in the city centre. Instead, we recommend you to opt for less popular tourist areas so that you can get better exchange rates and thus save some money.

If you need more help regarding forex exchange, send us a tweet! We’re always available to make your student experience truly hassle-free. We will help you purchase, sell, and transfer international currency anywhere in the world through our trusted partners at Niyo. Indian students can use their Niyo Global card worldwide with zero Forex markup.

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