Where should I look into cashing in a few dollars for pounds?

Reader submitted question: I am going to London for the New York Giants football game.Where should I look into cashing in a few dollars for pounds?


The best thing to do would be to plan to take money out of an ATM while in London as you will get the best exchange rate. Some American banks have British counterparts (decreasing or eliminating fees). For example, Bank of America has been affiliated with Barclays in the UK but I am not certain if that relationship still exists (I will be finding out). Also, be sure to let your bank know that you will be traveling abroad so they don’t freeze your ATM or credit cards while you are traveling.

You may want to arrive with some British pounds in your pocket and you have several options for acquiring those before you leave. Several banks offer currency exchange. I am using Bank of America again as an example because I am a customer – I plan to get about £100 before I leave through BOA. As of today, their exchange rate was $1.3488, which is not great but not the worst exchange rate I’ve seen (Currency Exchange International quoted me $1.3679 today). If you are a member of AAA, their stores offer (or at least used to offer, I haven’t checked lately) packets of small change – probably around £50 worth) but the exchange rate is not usually great and you will want to pay in cash or with a debit card. If you pay for it with a credit card, it will be treated as a cash advance. However, the AAA option can be the most convenient way to get some small change foreign currency before traveling, especially for those who don’t live in a big city.

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