There’s nothing more frustrating than exchanging your money before an exciting trip, only to realise that you have been been given a bad rate and charged fees to get your currency. It doesn’t have to be this way though. There are lots of ways to avoid these annoyances, especially by changing your money on arrival in London . You’ll find a myriad of places across the capital that will change your money with minimal fees so we’ve put together a list of the places to go.
You may also want to bear in mind before your trip that almost everywhere in London accepts Visa and MasterCard and most places also accept American Express. Even the market stalls at places like Camden and Spitalfields often take card payments. But this doesn’t mean you should always use plastic. Your bank at home will charge a fee every time you make a payment and you may also be stung by an unfair exchange rate. So although it’s easy to pay on card in London, we recommend you seek out one of these places with the best exchange rates in the capital.
Wherever you stay in London you’ll never be far from a Thomas Exchange Global which is widely considered to give you the best exchange rate in the capital. They provide over 120 currencies with 0% commission and no fees. They also specialise in transferring money to foreign bank accounts worldwide so are a good place to go to make a foreign transfer. You can even order your money online and pick it up when you arrive in London.
Travelex branches are scattered around London and can be found in some large hotels and train stations. Their website features a handy location finder so you can find the one nearest to where you’re staying. They also have branches at all London airports.
Fourex currently have branches in King’s Cross Station, Highbury and Islington Station, Blackfriars Station and at Westfield shopping centre in both Shepherd’s Bush and Stratford. It is worth seeking out for it’s great exchange rate and they charge no fees. They will also exchange your small change for cash and accept out of circulation UK coins.
Moneycorp can be found in all of the airports in London as well as on Shaftsbury Avenue near Soho, so if you’re staying in the area, this could be a convenient choice. You can order your currency online before you travel and arrange to pick it up when you arrive. They also offer a prepaid multi-currency Explorer card which lets you secure your travel money before your trip. Their staff are knowledgable and friendly and will be happy to help.
Eurochange have been providing a currency exchange service for over 40 years and have branches all over the city in train stations, hotels, banks and on the high street. You will also find a lot of the Eurochange branches in London are open late so you don’t need to worry if you arrive to the city in the evening.
A final word on ATM withdrawals
If you are using ATMs (known locally as ‘cash points’) to withdraw your money while in London, avoid ones what are inside corner shops or bars. These will charge a fee even on UK bank cards. So opt for a reputable bank in a brightly lit location. Citibank and HSBC actually offer withdrawals with no charge for almost all bank cards.